It’s been a great year for our organization and the neighborhood of Walnut Hills! As we prepare to launch into an even more fruitful 2013, we wanted to highlight some of the milestones and achievements of the past year:
Neighborhood Developments: 2012 brought exciting new projects and developments into Walnut Hills on several fronts:
- Entered pre-development on the Rhodes Buildings renovation, an $8-9 million project resulting in 30 new market-rate residential units and 3-5 new first floor store fronts. A major first step in this project was our success in partnering with the Model Group to apply for and receive State Historic Preservation Tax Credits, bringing in over $1.7 million in financing! Read our post for more details.
- Helped facilitate the transfer of ownership of 5-10 buildings to positive and engaged ownership.
- Facilitated the structural stabilization of the oldest firehouse in the city on E. McMillan St., with usable square footage of about 3,100 sf
- Worked with the City of Cincinnati and the Walnut Hills Area Council to get Taft and McMillan converted to two-way streets
- 30 new flower pots were added along the sidewalks of the business district
- Created a grocery program that boosted the store’s revenue by over $10,000 a month and helped create an organic and natural foods section in the store.
- Committed to be among the first neighborhoods in the City’s form-based code implementation, including a multi-day design charette in which dozens of Walnut Hills residents participated
- Received a Duke Energy Revitalization Grant to fund facade improvements to buildings within the business district. This grant has helped to launch our Facade Improvement Program which is already leveraging significant private investment from business and building owners.
Neighborhood Outreach: One of our primary goals over the past year was to increase outreach efforts and community events in Walnut Hills. In 2012 we planned the Cincinnati Street Food Festival. This event attracted over 1,500 people to Peeble’s Corner! We planned monthly neighborhood meet-up events throughout the year. We also created a website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Vimeo account, and Instagram account for the WHRF.
Organizational Growth: In 2012 we established a new mission, strategy and branding for the WHRF and hired a full-time employee (Business District Coordinator). The Business District Coordinator, funded through a LISC Community Safety Initiative grant, will prioritize making the business district and neighborhood both cleaner and safer.
We can’t wait to get back to work in 2013, and are looking forward to continued success. Join us in improving the quality of life for all residents of Walnut Hills!