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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Opinion: Thoughts About a Vibrant Central Business District

vi·brant  \’vī-brənt\  adj : energetic, bright, and full of life or excitement

There are so many reasons to desire a vibrant central business district (CBD).  It gives a town character.  It provides a stronger sense of community, and life.   One’s perception of a town is usually defined by its CBD.  Is it thriving or just surviving? Is there progress or does it seem like it’s stuck in time?  Does vacant space rent quickly or sit empty for months (or years)?  When residents can walk around and window shop and eat, they’ll spend more time in the community – thus creating more opportunities to bring in revenue.  And a vibrant CBD is great for property values.  A study conducted by Independent We Stand over a 14 year period shows that “…in ZIP codes that contained a central district dominated by strong, independent businesses, home values went up 54.2 percent more on average than those without one.”

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How can you we all help?  Participate in or follow the creation of the long-term plan for our city that is going on now (  Encourage our city leaders to create public policies and incentives that foster growth, promote CBD development, and attract small businesses.  Attend the amazing events that the City hosts.  And, most importantly, please support our local businesses as often as you can.

We spend a lot of time and resources on our fantastic schools and community events, as well as our beautiful parks and homes.  A strong and vibrant central business district is a critical piece we should consider focusing on as a community to make Fort Thomas as great as it can possibly be.

By Dan Gorman, Owner, United Property Group, Ltd.

PHOTO: Dan Gorman in front of the Hiland Building when he purchased it in 2015


  1. Many reasons there will never be a great business district here. The main reason is the city's reputation of being unfriendly to outsiders. Tell me I'm wrong.
    Subway was destroyed by shortened lunch times for school students and the "bar" run by the church across the street from Highlands.
    The "Art House" was a magnificent addition to City culture. As I understand it, Parrish was invited by City "elites" to open here, but when the bank pulled the property out from under him, these same "elites and city leaders were mute and offered no assistance to keep "Art House" in the city-SAD!. I know these two failure examples are correct because I ASKED THE OWNERS.
    I find it very amusing that any city leader would state with a straight face why businesses don't thrive in Fort Thomas. I'll bet small business owners have never been invited to City Council meetings or queried for input or feedback.
    You reap what you sow.

  2. As someone who is putting down his family roots in Fort Thomas (4 young children) and who loves the city, I appreciate the vision of Dan Gorman for wanting to make the community more vibrant.

    There are so many positives about Fort Thomas, but also areas of weaknesses. I like to see the forward thinking in terms of the Central Business District and what it could become!

    I am taking the surveys at the Fort Thomas Community Plan.