Resources for Investing in Ohio’s Future

July 26th, 2012

This four-page guide from the Ohio Department of Development and JobsOhio provides a description of every economic development finance tool available at the state level. These finance tools include tax credits for job creation and retention, research and development, historic preservation, and more.  There is also a loan program that aims to help small businesses grow and expand.

This catalog of resources is useful for communities that have catalytic projects that may be experiencing funding gaps. An easily accessible collection of resources available from the state can help communities identify economic and community development programs that can assist in the realization of these projects.

GO to provide Technical Assistance on Strategic Demolition to Moving Ohio Forward Applicants

July 23rd, 2012

Greater Ohio Policy Center will provide “Office Hours” to southeastern Ohio communities that have applied to Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Moving Ohio Forward Grant Program.

GOPC staff will be providing one-on-one assistance to local governments and lead entities with specific questions they may have on implementing their demolition programs, including strategic planning and site eligibility questions. The Office Hours are free to all participants.

The Office Hours will take place August 9th, 2012, 12:30-4:00 at Ohio University’s Voinovich School in Athens. The meetings are located in Room 116, in Building 21. Please see the map for more information on directions to OU’s campus.

Each session will last approximately 30 minutes. Two Greater Ohio staff members will be available; each member has their own calendar (“Hours A” and “Hours B”). If your preferred time slot has been filled on one calendar, please check the other schedule.

Please click the Book Now button to schedule your appointment by Tuesday, August 7th at 5pm.

Make an Online Appointment 

There are a limited number of parking passes available. Passes are on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also metered spots available near Building 21. Please contact Samantha Spergel for parking information and with any questions.

Visit our Moving Ohio Forward Page for more information on Attorney General’s DeWine’s program.

Revitalization through a Park

July 19th, 2012

Image from the Over-the-Rhine Blog

By Ezra Katz and Marianne Eppig

A Cincinnati neighborhood recently on a downward spiral is showing signs of revitalization. Over-the-Rhine, a historic district in Cincinnati famous for its Italianate architecture and proximity to the city center, recently re-opened its 150-year-old Washington Park after over a year and a half of renovations.

Over-the-Rhine, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been in a state of decline since WWII.  Anti-German sentiment following the war led city residents to “Americanize” the neighborhood’s German heritage, including German street names and organizations. The neighborhood attracted a lower-income demographic with its affordable housing and labor opportunities. With time the neighborhood went into decline, at one point becoming one of the poorest and most crime ridden neighborhoods in the country; the rate of poverty reached 58% and unemployment came just over 25%.

In 2003, the City of Cincinnati partnered with the city’s private sector to create the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) to help revitalize the area. 3CDC has focused on acquiring and leading the rehabilitation of abandoned properties within a 110 square block area of Over-the-Rhine. Among other initiatives, 3CDC, alongside the City of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Parks, helped to renovate Washington Park—an indication that Over-the-Rhine is making great strides toward revitalization.

The park has grown from 6 to 8 acres and includes some new amenities: a kids’ section, interactive water fountains, a dog park, updated restrooms, a concessions building, and a “civic lawn” that will host concerts and events. Neighborhood leaders are hopeful that Washington Park will serve as a civic center for Over-the-Rhine, fostering a sense of community and drawing people to public spaces that could attract future development for the district.

For more about the revitalization of Washington Park and Over-the-Rhine, visit these links:

The Park at the Forefront of Cincinnati’s Revitalization

Over-the-Rhine Blog

3CDC Website

Want More Transportation Options in Ohio? Let ODOT Know in this Survey!

July 18th, 2012

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is currently writing its long-term transportation plan called Access Ohio 2040. You can participate in their stakeholder engagement process by going to this link and clicking “Take the Access Ohio Survey.” Let them know your priorities for transportation in Ohio!

At Greater Ohio, we support investing in fix-it-first strategies for Ohio’s existing transportation infrastructure and finding more sustainable funding sources for our public transit systems.

By increasing our state’s transportation options with increased bus, rail, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, we can reduce our dependency on and need for new and expanded roads. Not only will a comprehensive transportation system limit the cost of infrastructure to taxpayers in the long term, but also decrease traffic congestion, fossil fuel consumption, and health issues related to inactivity. Building more robust public transportation systems will also help create jobs and boost economic development in the state, because people and businesses want to locate in areas that are accessible by more means than just cars. As the price of fossil fuels continues to escalate, it’s time that as a state, we build a more sustainable system of transportation.

You can help make a difference for the future of transportation in Ohio by taking this survey and letting ODOT know your priorities for transportation in Ohio.

Sprawl costs Ohio families and regional economy, new report shows

July 10th, 2012

By Smart Growth America

The twelve counties that make up Northeast Ohio are home to a community that prides itself on its public art, theaters, parks and hiking trails, and home-grown businesses. Now, a new vanguard of engaged residents are working with a local organization to make Northeast Ohio even better.

The first step in this process is to examine what’s working in Northeast Ohio’s communities, and a new survey from the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC) does just that. NEOSCC released its Conditions & Trends platform on Tuesday, during the Consortium’s monthly meeting in Youngstown. The extensive inventory of Northeast Ohio’s assets, challenges and year-over-year trends provides a comprehensive assessment of how the region could improve.
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Urban Attraction in Ohio

July 9th, 2012

The recent upsurge in demand for rental properties in Columbus’ downtown neighborhoods has gained increasing exposure in news sources. The Columbus Dispatch article “Urban Renewal” notes that, “The urban-living renaissance is real” and that

“more and more people, especially young singles, have come to demand the benefits that only city life can bestow: restaurants, entertainment, parks and workplaces within walking distance; a lively atmosphere; and plenty of other young professionals as neighbors.”

These trends are also apparent in U.S. Census data: between 2000 and 2010, the City of Columbus grew in population by 10.6%.

National trends, cited by the likes of LOCUS President Chris Leinberger and the Urban Land Institute, have suggested that both Baby Boomers and Generation Y are moving back to inner cities to take advantage of the many available amenities and walkable communities. At Greater Ohio Policy Center, we were interested in finding whether these trends held true for Ohio’s eight largest cities.

An upcoming GOPC report will explain the trends for Baby Boomers and Generation Y living in and around Ohio’s major cities. The graphs below present a preview of some of our findings:

Figure 1. The above chart compares the percentage of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1965 for this study) and Generation Y (born between 1981 and 2000 for this study) in the City of Columbus and the surrounding metropolitan area between 1970 and 2010. There was a 6.04% growth of Generation Y in City of Columbus from 2000 to 2010. Source: U.S. Census.

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