In this morning’s Cincinnati Enquirer, there was a great article about how suburban parents are toting the Q’s recent developments. The article went on to boast that it is mostly young, first time home buyers who are making the big purchase.
I can’t say enough about how much I love to see this once dilapidated part of Vine Street thriving with excited young property owners and vibrant business. There are a few things that worry me about the quick development of the area:
1. How does this urban revitalization affect the lower income residents?
Some of the reasons that OTR has been looked down upon by suburbanites is because of the over abundance of low income housing which populate this area. Historically, a low income environment fosters an environment of crime, but in my experience, criminals who reside in low income areas tend to be in the minority, with the majority of inhabitants being law abiding citizens. Will the Q’s gentrification efforts be detrimental to the low income non-homers who already reside there?
2. What are business / organizations doing capitalize on this influx of new home owners?
As stated before, a majority of the people gobbling up new condos in The Q are young, professionals (sans children) who are rebelling from their suburban up-bringing. But what will we do when they decide to raise a family? Though there is a plethora of charter schools in the area, there are few Cincinnati Public schools (one being a magnet school) and only one choice for a grocery store. You would think that one of the largest grocers in the world would have a higher expectation for their first location than predicting that it will lose money (yeah, I am calling you out Korger's).
3. Where is everyone going to park?
With this influx of residents, along come their vehicles. This coupled with the nontraditional opposition to the streetcar initiative from the NAACP, and the in ability to get bike lanes or scooter parking spaces on the street will cause a cluster when all of the condos are fully occupied. I guess the alternative would be to develop OTR into a series of high rises and parking garages.
Maybe Cincinnati is working under the old adage that “If you build it, they will come”. It may have worked in the movie “Field of Dreams”, but honey, this is no silver screen.