Fresh look on the way for Clifton Heights' business district

Over the past several years dramatic changes have taken place in Clifton Heights' neighborhood business district, primarily bounded by Calhoun, McMillan and their cross streets.  A host of new businesses have opened, facades have been improved, new buildings have gone up, old buildings have come down, and more is on the way.

The always busy Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) is working on plans to reconstruct the business district's streetscape and create a new gateway at Classen Park - the eastern most part of the business district.

Streetscaping work throughout the "Old Town" area of the business district will cost $1 million and include new sidewalks, curbs and lighting.  So far the design work has been funding through the Cincinnati Neighborhood Business Districts United (CNBDU), while another $530,000 is being applied for to help with the first phase of implementation.

"The business community is very excited about the progress being made," said Bourgeois.  "This has been planned for years as part of the overall revitalization and people are ready to give their input to shape the streetscape."

Streetscaping work at Calhoun, Ohio, and McMillan streets will include similar improvements, but also include a new traffic light at Calhoun and Ohio streets which CHCURC director Matthew Bourgeois says will cure a serious safety issue at that intersection.  Work is expected to start in early Spring 2010 and be completed within six weeks.

The work at Classen Park is expected to include a redesign and renovation of the current park space, and include new gateway signage, reoriented sidewalks, landscaping, lighting and more.  So far CHCURC has received $75,000 from CNBDU and $70,000 from the Cincinnati Empowerment Corporation for the $150,000 project.  Bourgeois expects work at Classen Park to begin in November and anticipates a Spring completion date.

"The park is our primary gateway to the neighborhood with over 22,000 cars passing daily.  The project gives us our best chance to make a positive first impression and define our neighborhood within the context of Uptown," said Bourgeois.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
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