From Urban Land writer Mike Sheridan, continuing coverage of the exemplary Over-the-Rhine (Cincinnati, OH) neighborhood revitalization: "Only a few years ago, OTR was known for having one of the highest crime rates in the city. Today, the area — believed to be the largest, most intact urban historic district in the United States — has been transformed into one of Cincinnati’s most vibrant sectors. "The reason? Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC)—a private, nonprofit corporation that not only targeted OTR for a makeover but also refurbished Fountain Square and continues to revitalize Cincinnati’s central business district (CBD). '3CDC is not only physically changing the neighborhood but culturally as well and financing it creatively using public/private financing driven by the private sector,' says Thomas Murphy, a senior resident fellow, ULI/Klingbeil Family Chair for urban development, and former mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
"There are a number of reasons for the success 3CDC has experienced in Cincinnati, says Stephen G. Leeper, a ULI member and president and CEO of 3CDC. 'We limited our geographic scope in terms of where we would invest. We targeted our funds and targeted our efforts to areas where we could show visible progress. With OTR, we had something spectacular to work with. OTR was still intact, although it was a troubled area. The physical infrastructure, though deteriorated, remained intact, so we had a real asset to work with.'
"Leeper would advise other cities seeking to replicate the success of 3CDC to focus on a particular neighborhood. 'Define an area where investment would make a real difference -- an area that will allow change to occur,' he continues. 'Make big plans but don’t expand your scope too far. Think big but go small.'" Full article here (requires ULI membership).