Redevelopment effort launching in Evanston

Sep 13, 2012

Cincinnati officials and a number of groups are launching a plan to redevelop the city's Evanston neighborhood. 

They say decades of population loss have left the area in decline. 

The neighborhood has experienced 300 foreclosures since 2006 and there are more than 200 vacant or abandoned buildings. 

The strategy will focus on the Woodburn Avenue corridor between Xavier University and DeSales Corner, and includes the area near Walnut Hills High School. 

Elizabeth Blume with the Community Building Institute said one goal of the program is to target blight.

“The reason that people buy houses, the reason that people repair their houses is because they have confidence in the housing market and they have confidence in their neighbors,” Blume said.  “And one of the things that erodes that confidence like crazy is vacant, abandoned buildings next door.  And so removing the blighting influences is critical.”

Blume said other goals include targeting anchor building, stabilizing single family homes, offering foreclosure prevention programs and improving quality of life factors. 

Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls said Evanston is at what she calls “a tipping point.”

“We must reinvest in our neighborhoods, attract new residents, and stimulate economic activity. What’s happening in Evanston demonstrates the power of partnership,” Qualls said in a statement.  “We must take our success in downtown and Over-the-Rhine into our neighborhoods. Evanston has developed a blueprint to do that successfully.”

Part of the plan is being funded with grant money from the state of Ohio and a local match from Cincinnati.