Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Camp Washington has new guide for growth

Dealing with a legacy of environmental contamination and far too many outdated business facilities, the neighborhood of Camp Washington has a new vehicle to help guide its redevelopment.

Last week, Cincinnati City Council passed a resolution supporting the Camp Washington Industrial Area Plan and recommending that the city manager apply for grants to pursue its implementation.

First developed between 2005 and 2007 and revised last year following business and resident input, primary goals of the plan include returning the neighborhood's vacant, contaminated and underutilized land to productive uses; connecting existing businesses to City services and incentives to help them grow; attracting new businesses in order to increase jobs and the City's tax base; and enhancing the overall quality of life.

An accompanying action plan includes 57 specific steps – within short- and long-term time frames – divided into the categories of job creation and retention, sustainable development practices, transportation and infrastructure, clean and safe, and the buffering of residential uses. More than two dozen funding sources were identified.

Joe Gorman, community organizer with the Camp Washington Community Board, says that there are several steps that they're pursuing right away.

"We support the I-75 Mill Creek Expressway project by taking an active role in its design and implementation," he says, adding that a Revive I-75 presentation was given recently at the April 21 Camp Washington Business Association luncheon. "[As far as sustainable development], an energy audit presentation is scheduled for the Camp Washington Business Association luncheon May 19, emphasizing solar panels and geothermal elements."

These Business Association luncheons are key to retaining the neighborhood's strong business presence, Gorman says.

"Our business association represents nearly 150 companies in Camp Washington," he says. "The association offers regular monthly luncheons to share information, network, exchange ideas, and support commerce between companies."

Clean-and-safe projects undertaken by the community council and the community board development corporation are expected to help attract new growth, as is the neighborhood's proximity to and close working relationship with Uptown's job center.

"The Camp Washington Community Board has helped the development corporation in Walnut Hills with nuisance abatement process," he says. "Camp Washington is also supporting efforts by CUF, Avondale and Corryville regarding the I-71/MLK exchange."

The neighborhood is expected to become even more welcoming this summer, when a new gateway element is installed at Hopple Street and Garrard Avenue.

"A local Camp company called United-Maier Signs has won the contract to install the decorative statue, which is based upon iconic images from the manufacturing history of Camp Washington," Gorman says.

Previous reading on BC:
Golf outing to benefit Camp Washington board (4/5/10)