Uptown Neighborhoods Have Outsized Role in Regional Economy

Data released by the UC Economic Center shows that Cincinnati’s uptown neighborhoods – Avondale, Clifton, Corryville, Clifton Heights, Fairview, University Heights, and Mt. Auburn – contribute heavily to the regional economy.

Commissioned by the Uptown Consortium, a non-profit dedicated to development in the area, the collection of neighborhoods actually have an outsized influence on the regional economy.

According to the study, uptown houses more than 800 businesses that collectively employ around 52,000 employees and contribute more than $3 billion in annual wages in the Cincinnati Metropolitan Statistical Area. For the City of Cincinnati, the area represents 18.2% of all income tax collections taken in by City Hall.

These statistics are buoyed by the fact that the area also has one of the fastest growing job rates in the region. From 2012 to 2013, uptown neighborhoods saw employment rise by 12%, while growth throughout the rest of the city stood at 0.2%, and the rest of Hamilton County at 0.7%. All of this growth has led to a building boom that is changing uptown’s image.

Furthermore, the UC Economic Center found that while average city-wide property taxes collected per acre held averaged $8,000, while in the uptown area that figure stood at an average of $14,000 per acre.

This economic impact is driven mostly by what the report refers to as anchor institutions – education, healthcare, and social assistance agencies. These types of employers make up a large portion of the city economy, but particularly so uptown. Overall, these types of employees make up 16.3% of the city’s total workforce, and contribute around $98 million in city income taxes and $17 million in Hamilton County sales taxes annually.

All told, they account for 7.8% of the Cincinnati MSA’s gross regional product.

The report also demonstrates that, in addition to the direct economic impact of anchor institutions, they also draw considerable indirect impact from the money injected into the local economy.

While the institution and what are referred to as their auxiliary businesses are a boon for the regional economy at the moment, an over reliance on them could be dangerous.

As the Economic Center stated, “were the University of Cincinnati to close, much of the economic activity in Uptown would leave the region.”

  • thebillshark

    My idea for “Cinculators” would extensively cover Uptown and connect 52% of Cincinnati’s jobs and 30% of Cincinnati’s population to a high frequency transit network, by my calculations. Future growth could be planned along these corridors to increase the city’s tax base and reduce the accompanying associated auto traffic and parking needs. More here: http://bit.ly/1L8RCnp

  • charles ross

    True, the Pill Hill archipelago hosts a cluster of jobs, but many of the hospitals are walled fortresses so far as their community footprint. They are all but self-contained urban space stations. Walk the blocks from Burnet to Reading. Same goes for The Christ Hosp – 1 block away and you find poverty. This needs some reportage.

    • Josh

      what do you expect them to do? this is how hospitals function in pretty much every urban area in the country..particularly pediatric hospitals such as Children’s Hospital Medical Center..safety and security of patients, some of whom are very sick, is of the utmost importance…it would be nice if employees at these places could get out into the neighborhood for eating and shopping but most of them barely have time to even eat lunch in this type of work environment…your criticism would make more sense of these were just typical desk job office complexes but they are not

    • charles ross

      I know, I have worked there, and I know it’s a general problem with hospitals but we need to do better or the boosterism rings hollow. These are major players in city landscapes and they have a major effect on the neighborhoods they occupy.

      This is a very poorly documented issue, and I think it’s mostly because of the “speaking to power” problem. The so called “Uptown Consortium” in Cinti is a rather high handed bunch. All I could find about this topic was a comment by one successful hospital architect, Michael Bobrow, in a forum about health care real estate. He said “Hospitals have been notoriously bad neighbors. I don’t know of a hospital that is considered a good neighbor.” It is true – in suburbs and in cities. If Uptown is to be a better place to live, it needs to be addressed, especially East of Burnet.

    • charles ross

      Happy to see the cincy planning commission is focusing on the reading road area of the new MLK interchange, so the neglect will be ending soon I hope.


    • Dan Scizak

      Uptown Consortium’s plan for the area immediately to the east of I-71 at MLK is to develop walkable developments. It will be interesting to see how they can accomplish that given the fact that MLK will be car-central after the new interchange opens.

    • Jules Michael Rosen

      Having also worked at Children’s, I know that there is enough time to walk across the street to lunch, especially for the many office and lab workers and graduate students who work at Children’s Corryville campus. If the northern end of Burnet weren’t so desolate, and there were more dining options there, I’m sure it would be frequented by Children’s employees.

    • Josh

      Fair point. Office and lab workers do have time to take lunch. Very few if any medical professionals are afforded that luxury, especially in certain departments, i.e. Emergency.

  • Dan Scizak

    I was wondering where I can get information on how much income tax revenue areas/neighborhoods of Cincinnati generate? Is there a website with that data or is it estimated?