Four years ago, envisioning a resurrected Peeble’s Corner likely would have provoked laughter among most people, even from some of Walnut Hills’ greatest supporters. Imagine for a moment standing at the intersection of McMillan St. and Gilbert Ave in 2011. If asked, “what do you see?”, most would have “seen” dozens of vacant buildings, trash littered sidewalks and streets, criminal activity and cars moving as quickly as possible in one direction.
What we saw was opportunity.
Fast forward four years and at this moment construction crews are working on several buildings that represent millions of dollars in reinvestment. The sidewalks are clean and filled with neighbors, business owners and transit riders who are all walking throughout a more pedestrian friendly district. After 3-4 years of hard work, partnerships, community building and catalytic reinvestment, 2015 has emerged as our biggest and boldest year yet.
As an organization, and as a community, we have undertaken the bold challenge of redefining redevelopment. We recognize that our community has the potential to thrive through physical investment on a large scale. We have begun to prove that and we don’t plan on slowing down. Simultaneously we also know that community growth is most sustainable when it possesses a strong social construct.
In 2015 we doubled down in the areas of public health, workforce development and youth engagement for this very reason. Our approach has garnered much attention, including an eleven page feature from Cincinnati Magazine. This in depth feature chronicles the history of the neighborhood and the stories of our residents, boasting the provocative title “Will Walnut Hills Rise Again?” We believe that 2016 will be the year we answer this question. With your support, combined with our community’s efforts, undoubtedly we most certainly will. Join us.