REACH Walnut Hills
Neighborhood Residential Rehab Program Focuses on Peebles Corner District
Morgan Street revived through REACH:
Since 2012, The Port, in cooperation with the Hamilton County Landbank, has been working with neighborhoods to acquire vacant and distressed properties to remove blight and create new value and attractive development opportunities.
The Port’s REACH Program was developed to to holistically implement full-neighborhood residential redevelopment. REACH – Rehab Across Cincinnati & Hamilton County – is one of several programs The Port uses to promote enduring Hamilton County neighborhoods where families feel safe, have expanded employment opportunities, and greater access to viable housing options.
In Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills neighborhood, The Port has focused REACH on Morgan Street in the neighborhood’s historic Peebles Corner District. REACH Walnut Hills involved the acquisition and complete renovation of four vacant, single family homes and the addition of six newly constructed single-family homes, representing a $1.5 million housing investment in Peebles Corner. The Port’s Neighborhood Revitalization team has led thorough and consistent community engagement that has responded to the neighborhood’s desire to build on its existing assets, such as walkability, quality building stock, and civic engagement.
Background & Context:
“Walnut Hills is an urban neighborhood immediately northeast of downtown Cincinnati at to the east of University of Cincinnati. Walnut Hills is part of a collection of “midtown” neighborhoods such as Evanston that are in close, interconnected proximity to one another. The neighborhood has been negatively affected over the past couple of generations by concentrated poverty and misplaced investments in road widening, the interstate and the clearing of buildings for parking lots. Declines in education and employability coupled with the fraying and increasingly disconnected urban fabric have led, over time, to pervasive crime, elusive wealth building opportunities and disinvestment.” – Walnut Hills Reinvestment Plan, 2016
The Port has worked with neighborhood leadership, including Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, early to determine how the REACH program could best be used to eliminate blight and create new housing options for people who want to move to Walnut Hills, a place that strives to be vibrant, safe, healthy and inclusive for all. They decided to focus acquisition of vacant properties in Peebles Corner, near the neighborhood’s redeveloping Five Points commercial district.
Progress to Date:
10 Homes Rehabbed and Sold
3 Homes Underway
"This is another example of our focused investment strategy. These (REACH) homes will be just a couple of blocks from several popular restaurants/bars and retailers that have come to Walnut Hills in the last couple of years, and the future looks even brighter - we expect to break ground on over $40 million in urban development on E. McMillan over the next 12-18 months."
Kevin Wright, Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation