Tuesday, March 07, 2006


The Banks should be Renamed The Bortz

Councilman Chris Bortz introduced a motion today to revamp the Port Authority of Cincinnati. The plan would reduce from 18 down to 5 the number of board members, and increase their scope and powers. I have no information of this, but I am hoping this is step #1 in a two step plan to turn back over the control of the Banks to the Port Authority (who originally had control of the project until is ripped out from under them by the County last summer). Step #2 being to take the project and hand it to the port, removing it from the political arena, and handing it over to a non-partisan group (one I might add that actually knows something about economic development and project development).

We'll see where this goes, and it is certainly larger than the banks (it gives the port authority over economic development anywhere in Hamilton County). For this to happen the County would have to ratify an exact copy of the same set of guidelines... which opens the question... what is the chance of the City and County agreeing to the exact same guidelines for the banks? I put it at one in a million.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Northside Rocks

I really hope the progress continues in Northside. It is an amazing community, with a unique model of creating success out of small business and true economic and racial diversity. It's something that is talked about a lot, but rarely done well.

I will be the first to say that Northside still has some strides to make, but what they have today, and what they have on the drawing board is impressive. When you look at the Hamilton Ave business district there is an amazing collection of small business. You have the best music store in the city - Shake It Records. You have a great assortment of restaurants: Melt, Honey, Slim's, Potluck and others. You have two of the best neighborhood bars in Cincinnati, Northside Tavern and the Comet. It also have a local bank, a local drug sture, a local hardware store, a local independent bookstore and the list goes on. As does the renovation to the business district, paving the way to further business development.

Now what they need is real progress on housing. Apartments, condos and homes need to ramp up with the business development. The story today in the Enquirer talks about American Can renovation project, they need more just like that to continue their turn-around.

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