New Mt. Auburn study shows great potential for Uptown

A new study out from the University of Cincinnati's Economics Center for Education & Research shows there is "substantial potential for new retail businesses" in Mt. Auburn.

The study concluded that the neighborhood that is home to Christ Hospital and borders the University of Cincinnati has the greatest potential in developing and attracting food services, clothing and merchandise stores, and other retailers including book and electronic stores.

The Mt. Auburn Community Council and Mt. Auburn Chamber of Commerce pushed for the study, paid for by the University of Cincinnati Institute of Community Partnerships, with the goal of determining the feasibility of revitalizing Mt. Auburn's beleaguered retail and business district.

"We're looking for convenient shopping and employment/business opportunities in the neighborhood," said Dr. Stanley Broadnax, chairman of the Mt. Auburn Community Council.  "We don't want people to just come and leave the neighborhood."

The Mt. Auburn study identified 7,750 people living in just over 3,280 households in the neighborhood, with an average household income of $41,416 in 2008.  The study also discovered that more than 9,300 people work within the study area, with nearly half of those working at Christ Hospital.

Broadnax says that the University of Cincinnati has offered similar help in providing this type of neighborhood study to the Avondale and Over-the-Rhine neighborhoods, and that efforts in Mt. Auburn have been ongoing over the past twelve months.

"We saw a need to revitalize the district and take advantage of Christ Hospital - which is really the driving force behind the study's findings," said Broadnax.

The hope now is to market this data to potential investors looking at the neighborhood, and use it as a tool to secure confidence from lending institutions that might make or break any new investment.  Broadnax noted there are a number of locally owned businesses flourishing in the neighborhood and the potential for the relocation of new businesses is even greater.

"There is still lots of work to be done, but this is a critical step to understanding Mt. Auburn's potential," he said.

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Scott Beseler
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