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Four More Neighborhoods Identified In Revitalization Proposal

Bill Rinehart
Community leaders and Mayor John Cranley announce plans for a mixed-use development at Avondale Town Center.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley is supporting a mixed used development in Avondale.  It's part of a neighborhood development initiative first announced on Monday as part of the mayor's version of the budget. Cranley has already announced projects in College Hill, Westwood, and West Price Hill, and plans more announcements through the week.

Cranley says the city will work with four churches and a private developer to rebuild Avondale Town Center at the corner of Reading Road and Forest.

"What we want is to bring back the urbanism that works and is spreading around the country. When this was built, you put parking in front and the retail in the back. We all know now that what we want is retail on the street and parking in back. We want this to feel like a neighborhood again. A neighborhood that walks and talks."

Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU
An artist's rendering of the proposed mixed use development at Reading Road and Forest Avenue in Avondale.

The mayor says the project will include a street level supermarket, and possibly a health center, along with affordable housing above.

Avondale is where Councilman Wendell Young grew up.

"What I'm seeing here today is heartening for me because I remember Avondale when it was the kind of community that we're talking about building today," Young says.

"I remember when there were businesses. I remember when there dry cleaners and drug stores and toy stores and theaters and restaurants. I remember."

Four neighborhood churches are part of the partnership to redevelop Avondale Town Center at Reading Road and Forest Avenue.

"This is probably the busiest well-known corners in Avondale, and yet it's going to be transformed into a new oasis of residency, of grocery store, of vibrant businesses," Reverend Donald Jones of Greater New Hope Baptist Church says.

For Bond Hill and Roselawn, the city will work with the Port Authority on $3 million worth of economic development projects.

Altogether, the neighborhood initiatives would cost about $35 million. The money would come from tax credits from Norfolk Southern Railway and some funds related to the sale of the Blue Ash airport.

The proposal still needs council approval. Cranley says the different projects will be split up for approval by council, but he is confident he has at least five votes on each.