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Monday, November 19, 2007

Open Spaces in Midway District

Some great properties are now available on the MLS in the Midway district. These 3 wonderful properties provide a tremendous opportunity for those interested in being on the ground floor of a district in transition. I am providing links to each below:

The Midway district has held so much promise for the past couple of decades but has failed to live up to its promise. Its proximity to Tower Park (across the street), its location in town at the point of transition from North and South Fort Thomas, and its old town look and feel are all great assets that have never been fully exploited.

In the past year or two there have been many Renaissance Board grants that have been awarded to individual store owners to improve the facade on their buildings. Additionally, the city has filed for a historic designation. I have attached a link to an article from NKY.com regarding this application. Being awarded this designation could mean more money for building improvements by individual owners.

Many of you may know that there is also a plan for a re-development of the public infrastructure that is making its way through city council. I have not seen the details but have heard that it includes some repositioning of the intersection in front of Fort Thomas pizza, more parking and street scape improvements. I have not seen these plans but will pass them along to you if I can get them in digital form.

All of this adds up to a great opportunity for the area. With that being said not everything is roses for this area. I contend that the biggest thing that is lacking for a better district - not just Midway but the Central Business District and Inverness is a vision for the areas. The city should work with building owners in the area to identify the types of business that are desired for the area - possibly around a common theme - and then work to attract those types of businesses.

A perfect example comes from a recent article in the Cincinnati Enquirer regarding a new store in Milford - A&N Outfitters. This article really underscores the work that the city of Milford has done in re-vitalizing an older downtown that was in decline but has made a comeback in a big way. One quote really stands out to me as the owner talks about the advantages of moving to the location in Milford: "His store is a perfect fit with the neighbors, who cross-promote one another's businesses: Nature Outfitters, which sells outdoor gear, and Rustic Comforts, a cabin-home store, are just down the street. And the river is just out the back door."

For Fort Thomas to really re-vitalize the three business districts in Fort Thomas it takes this type of planning and vision to attract complimentary businesses that can not be found in a strip mall in Kenwood or Crestview Hills. Maybe this is capitalizing on the bike trails in and around Tower Park or perhaps it is creating a distinctive entertainment area for a more affluent laid back clientale. Regardless a vision must be created. Along with the vision must be cooperation among building owners and supportive zoning.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think the Midway will ever thrive until the storefront apartments have been demolished or converted back to retail/office, and those buildings have been rehabbed. You'll find storefront apartments in parts of Clifton and Over the Rhine - it's sign of dead part of town that can't support business. The stigma of the Midway will never change until these units are gone.

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