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Have developers figured out the "secret sauce" for gentrifying neighborhoods?


Have urban real estate investors come up with a winning formula to push redevelopment in "transitional" neighborhoods? According to Quartz, the digital news site covering the new global economy, it could be something as simple and intuitive as opening a coffee shop.

"Often, at least in America, we think of regular people as the agents of change — the artist, the boutique coffee shop owner, the tech startup," Sonali Kohli writes. "But as much as gentrification is an organic process, fueled by opportunity seekers and bargain hunters, it’s developers and financiers who have become the savvy midwives of change. Once they detect the early signs of gentrification, they bring on the serious money. ...

"The idea of driving development in an area by attracting trendsetters is not a new one; in fact urban planners took to calling it The Soho Effect in recognition of the revitalization of that New York City neighborhood after artists began moving into empty lofts in the 1970s."

Read the full story here.
 

Cincinnati Children's named #3 overall pediatric hospital in U.S.


U.S. News & World Report released its ninth annual rankings of U.S. pediatric hospitals, and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center was recognized as #3 overall.

The rankings evaluate hospitals in 10 specialties, from cancer to urology, and in the new rankings 83 hospitals were ranked among the top 50 in at least one specialty. Twelve of the 83 ranked hospitals had high scores in three or more specialties and were named to the Honor Roll. Cincinnati Children's was one of only three hospitals to be ranked in all 10 specialties, and the other two (Boston Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) ended up #1 and #2 overall, respectively.

See the full rankings here.
 

Kroger 20, P&G 32 on new Fortune 500 list


Greater Cincinnati is home to 10 of this year's Fortune 500 in the magazine's 2015 ranking of the largest U.S. public companies. Kroger is the highest ranked, at #20, followed by Procter & Gamble at #32.

Other locally-based companies to make the list include Macy's (105), Ashland (371), Omnicare (414), AK Steel (415), Fifth Third Bank (416), General Cable (443), American Financial (459) and Western & Southern (481). Omnicare recently announced it was being acquired by CVS Health (#10 on the list).

Five years ago, P&G was ranked #22 and Kroger #23.

The five largest U.S. companies are Walmart, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Berkshire Hathaway and Apple.

See the full Fortune 500 list here.
 

Workers need to make $13-$14/hour to afford apartment in Tristate


CityLab discusses a new study by the Pew Research Center on the growing gap between what American hourly workers earn and the rising cost of housing. The study results in a map showing how much a worker needs to earn per hour in each state to rent a two-bedroom apartment, finding that in no state can a person earning minimum wage afford such an apartment at market rent.

You'd have to earn $14.13 per hour in Ohio to afford a two-bedroom apartment, $14.31 in Indiana and $13.14 in Kentucky. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour; Ohio raised its minimum wage to $8.10/hour this year, while Indiana and Kentucky use the federally mandated rate.

CityLab also looks at the cost of moving to one-bedroom apartments, though the hourly pay requirements aren't spelled out state-by-state. Instead, a second map indicates that someone in Ohio working a minimum-wage job would need to work 54 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom apartment; Indiana workers would have to work 62 hours/week and Kentucky workers 57 hours/week.

"Rents keep rising because the demand for rentals keeps growing, and that’s partly because fewer people can afford to buy their homes today than they could before the recession," the article says. "The low supply of rentals has created a situation where people who definitely can’t afford to buy are also priced out of renting."

Read the full story here.
 

WVXU's Cincinnati Edition discusses church buildings coming back to life


WVXU's "Cincinnati Edition" show did a segment June 2 about abandoned local church buildings coming back to life, the subject of a recent Soapbox feature story by Rick Pender. Host Mark Heyne interviewed Pender, Cincinnati Preservation Association Executive Director Paul Muller and Kevin Moreland, head brewer and partner at Taft's Ale House, a focal point of Pender's story.

Listen to the full "Cincinnati Edition" segment here.
 

Hamilton County's slashed government jobs are likely gone for good


Governing Magazine's June issue reviews financial documents for more than 250 of the nation's larger distressed cities and counties to identify those recording among the steepest declines in public employment. Hamilton County ranks 11th, cutting 26.8 percent of its workforce from its 2006 peak of 6,272 positions to its current staff of 4,592.

"Total local government employment nationally remains about a half-million below its 2008 peak. But some governments have suffered a great deal more than others," says the article, "Are Some Government Jobs Gone for Good?" "What led these governments to make severe workforce reductions and how they responded to cutbacks offer unique lessons in an era of doing more with less."

Hamilton County Administrator Christian Sigman is quoted as saying he doesn't expect his workforce to return to pre-recession levels anytime soon but that the county has learned to adapt to the new reality. "Quite frankly, I don't want those days back," he says. "We’re now a leaner and more engaged organization."

Read the full article here.
 

Cincinnati's police reform after 2001 riots is a national model


Cincinnati Police reforms resulting from a U.S. Justice Dept. consent decree after the 2001 riots here are in the news every time another major city undergoes soul-searching following the death of an African American at the hands of police. The latest news story was about Cleveland's own consent decree from the Justice Dept. that will attempt to clean up a broken relationship between that city's police and its citizens.

"Cincinnati’s lessons seem newly relevant as officials call for police reform in the aftermath of the deaths of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Michael Brown in Ferguson and Tamir Rice in Cleveland," Alana Semuels writes in The Atlantic. "Indeed, the recently released report from President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommends that departments adopt some of the strategies used by Cincinnati. A task force convened by Ohio Governor John Kasich cited Cincinnati as a model for community-oriented policing and recommended that other law-enforcement agencies in that state develop similar reforms."

Semuels offers a long, nuanced story about the long path the Cincinnati Police Dept. has traveled from its own broken community relationship to today's role as "a model for community-oriented policing." Things aren't perfect here by any stretch, as the rash of recent shootings have some questioning if the police are still on the right path.

Still, "for a great many other cities, Cincinnati’s imperfect present provides a glimpse of a much better future," Semuels writes.

Read the full story here.
 

Locally filmed 'Carol' gets rave reviews at Cannes


Todd Haynes' 1950s-era drama Carol, filmed in Cincinnati last year, debuted this past weekend at the Cannes Film Festival in France to outstanding reviews, writes Steve Rosen on today's CityBeat staff blog. He says Cannes critics "called it an instant Oscar contender and the most important high-profile gay drama to come out of American cinema since 2005's Brokeback Mountain."

Carol stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in a story (based on the 1952 novel The Price of Salt) about a socialite who falls in love with a young department-store clerk.

Rosen links to published reviews from Variety ("the most important publication chronicling the entertainment business") and indieWire ("the most influential website for the independent-film industry").

Read the full post here.
 

Cincinnati Symphony's stability, growth in stark contrast to many other U.S. orchestras


The New York Times took notice of last week's announcements from Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra about its successful fundraising campaign and a new musician contract that will allow it to hire 14 more full-time players over the next four years. Classical music writer Michael Cooper says that the CSO's expansion of the ensemble to 90 members is in stark contrast to many other orchestras around the country, from Philadelphia to Atlanta, that are shedding positions to save money.

"The orchestra world is all too familiar with vicious cycles of mounting deficits, dwindling audiences, difficulty raising money and cuts," Cooper writes. "But at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, things are moving happily in the opposite direction: think crescendo, not diminuendo."

Read the full story here.
 

First Batch highlighted as one of the country's hottest design incubators


Dwell magazine has published a guide to “a few of the country's hottest design incubators,” including Cincinnati's manufacturing-focused First Batch, that it says are helping independent designers learn the basics of how to scale up and boost the local economy.
 
“While starting a company seems the scariest, figuring out how to grow and stay sustainable offers the most challenging decisions,” Matt Anthony, program manager of First Batch, says in the article. The Over-the-Rhine-based company is described as “one of the many local organizations across the United States helping designers and manufacturers build the networks, relationships and infrastructure they need to thrive.”

The article also highlights design incubators in Detroit, San Francisco and Oakland.

Read the full article here.
 

Open data making a splash in Ohio, Cincinnati


Ohio is making a name nationally for its efforts to open government records to public scrutiny.

Government Technology magazine, which provides "solutions for state and local government," published a story yesterday about a new initiative coming to Ohio's budget transparency site OhioCheckbook.com, which already offers 3,900-plus local governments — townships, cities, counties, school districts and more — a chance to place revenues and expenditures online free of charge.

The new concept rolls out in June and will allow citizens to track local government revenues and expenditures via interactive graphs, which the story says will "illustrate not only a bird's eye view of a budget but also the granular details of check-by-check spending. Highlights include top earning government contractors, highest paid officials and revenue consumption by departments."

Last month Ohio was ranked #1 in the country for financial transparency by consumer advocacy group U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), thanks to the launch of OhioCheckbook.com in late 2014. Ohio received a grade of A+ one year after getting a D-, and PIRG Senior Policy Analyst Phineas Baxandall says the new online portal looks like something one would expect from a successful tech company, not a government agency.

Back in Cincinnati, yesterday also marked the launch of the city's high-profile effort at transparency, Open Data Cincinnati.

"Open Data Cincinnati is about more than just stats, numbers and bar charts," City Manager Harry Black said in a press release announcing the online portal's launch. "This is about the City opening itself up to the people we serve on a daily basis."

Black says he wants to establish Cincinnati as a national model for using data analytics to make city government more efficient and effective.

Read the full Government Technology story here.
 

Dreaming again of a downtown grocery store


Cleveland recently opened its first downtown supermarket in modern times courtesy of the regional Heinen's chain. The two most remarkable aspects of the new store are that 1) Heinen's is a suburban grocery operator with 21 other stores in northeastern Ohio and the Chicago area and 2) the company spent $10 million of its own money to renovate the 100-year-old Cleveland Trust Rotunda building.

Supporters of Cleveland's urban renaissance are still pinching themselves over the transformation.

"We have become so accustomed to stepping into unattractive and cheaply built big box stores that the idea of shopping as anything other than drudgery has all but vanished," Erin O'Brien writes in Freshwater, Soapbox's sister publication in Cleveland. "They want our money; we need their stuff. Transaction complete.

"Not so at the new Heinen's. This family is glad you're here. These people respect you before you've spent a single dime. They know you are worthy of this beautiful space and so is their grocery business. After all, they spent $10 million to deliver it unto Cleveland in all of its stunning glory."

Next City ran a national story last week about the gamble the family-owned Heinen's organization took to open a downtown store and, given the family's deep roots in Cleveland, why the company's leaders thought the risk was justified.

"The conventional wisdom is that a grocery store needs 20, 25,000 people to be feasible," co-owner Jeff Heinen says to Next City. "There are about 13,000 people in this core area of Cleveland right now. Because there are not enough residents living in that area (to meet that standard minimum), we needed to design a store that appeals to a variety of needs. ...

"We might actually get to 20,000 people, but that's a bet. And not one you can say, 'Oh, this should only take 12 more months. We're talking about four or five more years.' ... From our perspective, hoping to continue the momentum of both people and businesses wanting to be downtown is important to us as a Cleveland company who needs Cleveland to be a viable city going forward."

A hometown grocery chain known for suburban stores opening a signature downtown supermarket in a major Ohio city, investing its own money to help support and boost the urban core's redevelopment with an eye toward long-term success for the city? What a concept!

Cincinnati can continue to dream, of course.

Read the Freshwater Cleveland story here and the Next City story here.
 

Jobs getting farther from home in U.S. cities


Jobs are moving farther away from where employees live, according to the Brookings Institution, which looked at U.S. Census Bureau data from 2000 to 2012 for the country's largest 96 metropolitan areas. The number of jobs within a typical commuting distance dropped by 7 percent for suburban residents during those years and dropped by 3 percent for city residents.

"Closeness to workplaces affects people differently," says an article on the findings in Governing Magazine. "While higher earning workers can afford to drive long distances to work, not everyone can. Being close to jobs affects how long black, female and older workers are unemployed more than other groups. For poor residents, having jobs nearby also increases their chances of working and leaving welfare."

Brooking calculated the typical commuting distance in Greater Cincinnati to be 8.7 miles. The shortest typical work commute among the 96 metro areas was in Stockton-Lodi, Calif., at 4.7 miles, and the longest was in Atlanta at 12.8 miles.

Read the full story here.
 

Get an M.B.A. from Indiana University if you want to work at P&G


Media outlets love to do splashy high school and college graduation stories at this time of the year, and The New York Times is no exception. Today's Education Life section has a story about how to choose the right university for your M.B.A. degree, which The Times says "has clearly become a commodity."

"Conventional wisdom will tell you that Harvard is for Fortune 500 jobs, Wharton for Wall Street, Kellogg for marketing and Insead for multinational entities," the story continues. "There's truth to some of it, but times change, and so do employers' recruiting preferences."

If you want to work at Procter & Gamble, for instance, you should enroll at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

"P&G clearly has a thing for Kelley," the story says. "The school is its biggest source of brand managers. Of the 172 Kelley alumni there, the most senior is Marc S. Pritchard, the chief brand officer."

Read the full story here.
 

Renovated food markets in New Orleans offer lessons for Cincinnati


New Orleans once had 34 neighborhood food markets, with historic roots to a time before modern refrigeration when neighborhood shopping was central to daily life. Many closed post-WWII, as population moved to the suburbs, and most of the remaining markets were shuttered by Hurricane Katrina.

Next City has a feature story on the rebirth of three neighborhood markets in New Orleans, two as traditional neighborhood markets and one as a museum.

"In all of our post-Katrina work, what we find is that people want what they had, except they didn’t understand that what they had was very difficult to have to begin with," says Cedric Grant, executive director of the New Orleans Building Corporation, which is spearheading the renovations. "And now you have to really imagine something new."

These efforts remind us of the tremendous asset Cincinnati has in Findlay Market, a neighborhood market that has withstood the decline of its Over-the-Rhine surroundings and seems poised to benefit from redevelopment there, including the new streetcar line.

Description of the efforts to revive neighborhood food markets in New Orleans — including interaction with residents and struggles to develop the right business model — might offer lessons for movements to bring co-op markets to local neighborhoods like Clifton and Northside.

Read the full article here.
 
189 jobs Articles | Page: | Show All
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