SoHo of the Midwest?

I wasn’t able to attend the recent Cincy bloggers tour of the Gateway Quarter, but I’ve got some thoughts on the things happening in OTR nonetheless. 3CDC is making tremendous progress on its projects, and there are a stream of other investments that are complimenting these investments by 3CDC (see Washington Park, SCPA, Cincinnati Arts Academy, Main Street businesses, etc).

When you then think about the even greater potential, for private investment, that will be made possible by the Cincinnati Streetcar…it could really make you weak in the knees. I understand the issue of gentrification and/or displacement and it is certainly an issue that will have to be addressed as these efforts continue, but right now there is PLENTY of room for everyone to coexist.

I look at OTR and see that often talked about potential for Cincinnati. This is a neighborhood/built environment that VERY few cities can match…anywhere! When I see the things going on in the Gateway Quarter I can’t help but think of OTR becoming the SoHo of the Midwest. This is an opportunity for Cincinnati to be a major draw for YPs, the creative class, and new businesses. If ever the opportunity has existed…it is now. Cincinnati stand strong, this is your time!

So what do think should become of OTR? Do you see the SoHo that I see…or something else, please share your thoughts.

The rendering is of the proposed new infill (by 3CDC) called Trinity Flats on Vine Street. You can see images of the structures that were taken down HERE.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.