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How Hamilton Is Revitalizing Itself

hamilton before and after
Courtesy of the City of Hamilton
A CORE Fund renovated building before (top) and after.

Looking to spur redevelopment, the city of Hamilton has unveiled two programs designed to revitalize neighborhoods and improve the vitality of Hamilton's downtown core. 

Though the Land Bank Side Lot program, city planners hope to sell hundreds of small, municipally owned vacant lots to homeowners who live next door. 

For those who meet the requirements of the program, these adjacent lots can be purchased for $100 or less, which covers the cost of the legal fees associated with the property transfer.

According to Liz Hayden, the director of planning for the city of Hamilton, the Land Bank Side Lot program will save the city money on maintaining the vacant lots throughout the year while giving homeowners who qualify the ability to purchase the adjacent property and improve the neighborhood. 

"The owners must be in good standing with the city," Hayden wrote  "…meaning that they have no outstanding nuisance issues on any property they own in Hamilton, and are current on all utilities and property taxes. We can also dispense of properties to non-profits, such as a parcel next to a church."

Another Hamilton area program, modeled after 3CDC's efforts to revitalize the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood in Cincinnati, is called the Consortium for Ongoing Reinvestment Efforts, also known as CORE.

Through the CORE Fund program, dilapidated and rundown buildings in the city of Hamilton are identified, purchased and redeveloped. The program also helps to identify businesses that want to move in to the newly renovated spaces. Participants sign a contract and have an opportunity to purchase the property. 

According to Mike Dingeldein, an architect and the executive director of Hamilton's CORE Fund program, this unique program allows the city to redevelop historic properties at a fraction of the cost.  

"You can’t build new like this today," said Dingeldein. He also added that other surrounding cities are now calling on the city of Hamilton to hear about their redevelopment success and to learn more about how these programs work. 

Liz Hayden and Mike Dingeldein join Cincinnati Edition to discuss how individuals can participate in these revitalization programs. 

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.