Potential Future Starter Home 2.0 Sites
One of the more unique experiences I've had recently as a member of the Pleasant Ridge Development corporation was the opportunity to participate in the City of Cincinnati's annual Neighborhood Business District Improvement Program (NDIP) grant competition, which is open to neighborhood business districts seeking funding for projects ranging from gateway signage, to parking lot improvements, to building acquisition. The 3-part application process requires interested participants to fill out a funding request form, take part in a bus tour to visit the proposed project sites, and make a formal presentation to city officials and fellow business district representatives justifying the requests.
I was selected on behalf of the Pleasant Ridge Development Corporation to take part in the bus tour portion of the program, which was awesome because it not only gave me the opportunity to showcase the plans for the Pleasant Ridge business district, but because it also allowed me to see and gain insights on the growth and plans for other districts that could one day become locations for future Starter Home 2.0 projects.
Below are three neighborhoods on the tour (outside of Pleasant Ridge and Oakley) that stood out to me as potential candidates for expansion of the Starter Home 2.0 Program along with reasons that make them attractive long-term options.
- Madisonville: Madisonville has the advantage of being surrounded by some Cincinnati's most desirable neighborhoods with Indian Hill to the east, Madeira to the north, Mariemont to the south, and Oakley to the west. It has several large-scale developments in the pipeline to bring an influx of commercial space and residential units to the neighborhood, and a large historic business district along Madison Road that has great potential for redevelopment. There is also a large inventory of inexpensive residential vacant land in the area.
- Northside: Northside has the advantage of being one of the most attractive destinations for students, creatives and young professionals in Cincinnati with a thriving walkable business district and close proximity to the University of Cincinnati and downtown. There is a decent amount of vacant infill lots in the neighborhood that are prime for development, and new homes have been built in Northside in recent years that could be used as comps when trying to finance new construction.
- Walnut Hills: Walnut Hills might be the Cincinnati Neighborhood where the Starter Home 2.0 project has the most long-term growth potential. With immediate access to downtown and the University of Cincinnati, an influx of new development and commercial tenants moving into the area, and an abundance of affordable vacant lots for sale, the beginnings of an Over-the-Rhine style renaissance for Walnut Hills are already starting to take shape. The difference being, that Walnut Hills has a zoning density much more conducive to family life than does OTR, which will drive up the demand for new single family infill homes in the community.
Obviously, my current focus is on the design, financing, and construction of the Starter Home 2.0 Oakley project, but it is always important to be keep an eye out for future opportunities.