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Monday, December 10, 2007

Fort Thomas Demographics

As I mentioned in my post on Friday entitled "Focus on Retail" I wanted to provide a comparison of Fort Thomas demographics as compared to other retail areas that have been mentioned as being a model district for what we are trying to achieve in Fort Thomas.

I looked at demographic data for Loveland, Mariemount, Milford, Bellevue, and Hudson, OH as compared to Fort Thomas. While most of those surrounding areas are probably very familiar to you I have posted a few pictures to give you a better idea of what these communities look like and to give you a vision of what they have done in case you have never visited there.

Hudson, OH - the first picture shows their newer development and the second is the older part of town. Store fronts are almost exclusively retail and they have a good mix of locally owned and chain. All retail seems to compliment the store front next door. Also notice how the newer development blends well with the older part of town.

Hudson had by far the best demographics for retail. They had a larger land mass and population. Not to mention they had far and away the largest median income. That being said the other demographic numbers were comparable to Fort Thomas.

The next town we looked at was Milford, OH

Milford could not even match the attractiveness for a retail business investor. Granted the data was from the 2000 census and Milford has grown quite a bit since then but Fort Thomas should still be a more attractive retail spot. Across the board from crime to total population to median income and college graduates Fort Thomas should win but take a trip down Main Street in Milford and you would have no clue it was so lopsided.

Next is Loveland.

While Loveland has the advantage of having the little miami bike trail running through its downtown the demographics point to the fact that again - Fort Thomas could be a more attractive place to set up retail. Ask anyone you know in Loveland and the picture above did not happen by accident. It took planning, vision, and a dedication to make the area a destination. My wife and I have stopped for lunch during a fall bike ride and loved the experience.

At the risk of sounding redundant I am going to stop now. I think you get the picture - all beautiful locations with differing assets but the one common thread that has created a great place to eat, play, and live is the vision by planners and leaders in these communities to attract the right types of retail for their communities.

Take one look at the table below (I apologize now for readability concerns since blogger doesn't have a good way to create a table) and see that Fort Thomas too has some great assets but has never had a vision to create the types of retail districts seen in these other photographs.

Demographics (according to the 2000 US Census)

CityPopulationMedian IncomeLand Area(sq miles)Pop Density(per sq mile)% HS Grads% Bachelors% MarriedDaytime Pop Change# Crimes# Banks
US Average
$ 50,185

211.7 index
Fort Thomas16,495$ 60,6585.67274489%37%57%-24%1737
Hudson, OH22,439$ 103,00025.690297%67%73%19%26210
Milford, OH6,284$ 39,0003.76168178%24%50%10%32812
Bellevue6,480$ 44,0000.94640181%13%46%-27%
Mariemount, OH3,408$ 61,8000.85365794%64%60%
Loveland11,677$ 56,6004.65241190%35%61%-13%2728

I would love to hear any ideas from you about how we can jump start this visioning process to allow others in the community to dream of creating a destination retail area for Fort Thomas residents.


  1. I'd like to hear from readers if they'd support an upscale coffee shop in the Midway (probably where the ceramic shop used to be). Gourmet coffee, breakfast and lunch foods, kids food, open mike nights, fireplace, comfy fireplace, private meeting room, etc.

  2. Thanks for posing the question Dan. Judging by the survey response this seems to be the favorite. If you would like I could pose the question in a new post to generate more response. If you want to shoot me something directly on how to position it I'll get something out there soon.

  3. There are some issues regarding existing businesses in town.

    The Convenient Store in the center of town is beginning to become run down and dirty.

    The Dry Cleaner has very short hours.

    The Mustard Seed has irregular hours.

    The French Hen? When is it ever open?

    The Theater Building is only half occupied.

    There is a need for more trash cans along the Avenue and Memorial Parkway. There are too many water, power drink and soft drink containers along those streets.

  4. Been in the Fort for 2 years, so sad that there is so little for us to patronize locally. I would much prefer to shop locally and be able to walk to a cafe, have dinner or simply sit along the ave. without starring at so many insurance agents, and funeral homes....they both make me sad... I am hopeful that it will turn around....what can I do to help?

  5. Rick, thanks for the thoughts and enthusiam. Feel free to send me your contact information and I can give you some thoughts about how to get involved.

  6. Darrin,
    I am an architect that lives in Fort Thomas and work for a firm that has a focus on developing walkable communities. I too would love to see improvements in the center of town and would like to contribute to your effort.