Thursday, December 3, 2009

DCD develops action plan for GO Cincinnati report

Cincinnati's Department of Community Development (DCD) has developed an action plan to implement GO Cincinnati, a plan for targeted, place-based development, workforce development, and transportation investments in the City.

Published in January 2008 following a year of planning, the plan has been used as a framework for informing some City policy decisions, but never has been adopted formally as an economic development strategy and has lacked the measurable metrics to ensure its success.

DCD has set 28 short-, medium-, and long-term goals in the areas of project implementation, place-based development, residential/office/industrial growth, transportation and infrastructure, and economic development delivery system structure.

In addition to the existing growth opportunity areas of Downtown, Over-the-Rhine, and the Uptown neighborhoods, the GO Cincinnati report identified the Madison Road corridor, the Seymour/Reading corridor, and the Queensgate/South Mill Creek corridor as ripe for growth.

According to the action plan, more than a dozen City departments and agency must play a part in directing and leveraging funds into these target areas, and the City must demonstrate a renewed commitment to existing levels of development funding – despite its current budget troubles.

"While full implementation of GO Cincinnati will require a larger commitment of public and private investment, DCD, and its partners, can effectively work toward increasing the economic development capacity of the Growth Opportunity Areas, retain and grow existing businesses, and minimize barriers to new investment as the Department promotes the City of Cincinnati as a vibrant and profitable place of business," the action plan said.

Brownfields and large vacant tracts received much of the action plan's attention.

Although the City has received more than 60 leads from the Ohio Department of Development and the Cincinnati USA Partnership for business attraction possibilities this year, available sites in the City only met the eligibility criteria for 22 of them.

And since 68 percent of these leads were for manufacturing firms – typically requiring an average of 150,000-200,000 square feet or 30 acres of vacant land – the action plan says that the City needs to provide a wider range of larger, shovel-ready sites.