Monday, July 1, 2013

New Brewery District Plan has eight priority initiatives

Cincinnati City Council on June 19 unanimously approved the Brewery District Master Plan, updating its urban development plan first produced in 2006.

The Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (BDCURC) has been working with architectural and urban design firm glaserworks since January 2011 to bring residents and community stakeholders together to define desired physical improvements for an area roughly bounded by Liberty Street, Central Parkway, and McMicken Avenue.

The plan consists of eight initiative areas, categorized into three groups based upon how they'll be pursued: either primarily by the BDCURC, in partnership with other agencies, or through the encouragement of outside agencies or investors.

Comprehensive, prioritized action steps for each initiative areas were developed throughout 2012, including short-, medium-, and long-range time frames; detailed goals and objectives; phasing; difficulty level; participating agencies and partners; and the identification of responsible parties.

The goal is to repopulate the northern half of Over-the-Rhine, which currently houses around 3,000 residents, in a walkable, vibrant, and economically viable mixed-use environment.

It takes initiative

BDCURC plans to handle the development of a Brewery Heritage Trail system, including the creation of two new historic districts. It will also take care of neighborhood branding and gateway efforts, while seeking partnerships on several other projects:
  • Revisioning the neighborhood's recreational facilities;
  • Rediscovering the neighborhood's mixed-use economy by adapting the neighborhood's historic structures to the needs of the current economy;
  • The Brewer's Triangle, which would provide improvements to the roads, parking facilities, and open spaces that surround the Christian Moerlein Brewing Co.'s new production facility, tap room, and planned event center;
  • Complete Streets, including multi-modal transportation opportunities and pedestrian-friendly design.
To make this happen, BDCURC will require the City's help on maintaining the neighborhood's characteristics through proper zoning and land use decisions, while considering modern needs such as parking.

Several of the recommendations are already underway.

A committee has been established to research sites and develop preliminary routes for the Brewery Heritage Trail, and conceptual alternatives for a "road diet" redesign of Liberty Street are expected by this October.

In 2008, an Ohio Historical Marker honoring the neighborhood's brewing heritage was installed on McMicken Avenue, in front of Hanna Park.

Previous reading on BC:
Liberty St 'road diet' advances, to be bid by Nov. 2014 (5/31/13)
Historic Jackson Brewery to become performing arts complex (4/8/13)
Community voting for live/work design competition this Friday (1/8/13)
Cultural trail to highlight City's brewing history (6/7/12)
Architectural Foundation releases Brewery District report (6/18/09)