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3CDC will expand Over-the-Rhine's Ziegler Park with $3.5M from the city's carryover budget

Ziegler Park Expansion

Cincinnati Council voted Wednesday to approve $3.5 million from the city's carryover budget to expand Ziegler Park in Over-the-Rhine.

3CDC is developing the expansion. President & CEO Steve Leeper says construction could start as soon as November 1 and be complete by May 2023.

The plan calls for converting nearby Yukon Street and Woodward Street into civic and green space, which Leeper says will improve pedestrian safety.

Leeper says the expansion will also help reduce gun violence in the area by offering children and families a public space to gather.

"We've had some serious public safety concerns in this very vicinity, particularly on Woodward, where we've had multiple shootings and it might have been the location that generated them," Leeper stated in his proposal on Monday.

In August, a shooting on Main Street in Over-the-Rhine left nine people injured and raised concerns about safety near Ziegler Park.

"We would like to try to address this by creating space for everybody," Leeper said. "A safe area that will be safe for both children and members of the community."

Council member Reggie Harris spoke in support of the expansion but asked Leeper and council to consider the impact this project could have on the community who gather and reside in the space currently.

"The reality of Main Street is that many folks who are out on Main Street hanging out, whenever, are people who feel fundamentally not welcomed in the community," Harris said.

In response, Leeper agreed this specific community will need to be engaged with the project and mentioned the need for events in the park and the newly expanded area that will make everybody feel welcome.

See the full presentation from 3CDC below:

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.