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CiTiRAMA coming to West End; new roller rink unveiled

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Mayor John Cranley and City Manager Harry Black are joined by several builders and HBA leadership participating in the announcement of the 2018 CITIRAMA development that will be in the West End.

By The Herald Staff

City leaders joined West End residents and various community stakeholders Tuesday, December 16, at Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses on Findlay Street to announce that the next CiTiRAMA would take place in the West End.

Formally named “CiTiRAMA@Stowe Place” in a salute to the former Stowe School, this new development of 54 single-family homes will be situated along Ezzard Charles Drive between John, Clark and Cutter streets. The Home Show is scheduled from Sept. 8-16, 2018.

“We are pleased to once again partner with the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati in this important residential development program and bring CiTiRAMA to the West End,” said Mayor John Cranley. “This is an investment in one of our City’s greatest assets—our neighborhoods. We look forward to continuing to work with the residents of the West End to continue the progress being made in this great neighborhood.”

City Manager Harry Black and Mayor John Cranley announce a new roller-skating rink and a CITIRAMA project for the West End at Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses on Findlay Street. Photo provided

“This is a strategic opportunity to invest in a community ripe for growth and development,” said City Manager Harry Black. “As Cincinnati continues to compete for companies and jobs, we need to support growth in our urban core by offering an adequate supply of high quality housing. CiTiRAMA is a significant catalyst for that type of revitalization.”

The CiTiRAMA announcement took place at Seven Hills Neighborhood House as children from the West End swooshed across the new floor of a new roller rink, one of the signature projects of the City’s 24th Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP).

The 90-day NEP blitz through the West End brought together residents, community and business organizations from mid-August through mid-November for a variety of community improvement, crime reduction and beautification initiatives.

Results of the City/community partnership include a 36 percent reduction in violent crime and a 19 percent reduction in blight. More than 400 volunteers from numerous organizations took part in several neighborhood cleanups. Signature projects include an outdoor raised garden bed and the new community roller skating rink at the Seven Hills Neighborhood House on Findlay Street.

“This represents a new era for redevelopment and investment in the West End resulting in increased opportunities for everyone,” said Keith Blake, president, West End Community Council.

West End Community Council President Keith Blake addresses the gathering at the Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses Tuesday. Photo provided

Highly visible stabilization projects were initiated during the NEP, including 10 dwelling units on Baymiller Street. Once the property has cleared the tax foreclosure process, the units will be available to developers, with the intention to develop mixed-income owner-occupant housing opportunities. The SEED Program (Strategic Enforcement and Economic Development) money invested is leveraging the completion of this project, which is an estimated $1.7 million.

When combined with the CiTiRAMA development, the anticipated ripple effect in the neighborhood will be the increase in surrounding home values, rise in morale of neighbors, increased investor confidence, and the preservation of the historic row of properties.

CiTiRAMA, an urban, single-site new home show produced by a partnership between the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati and the City of Cincinnati began in 1996 to act as a catalyst for the stimulation of revitalization of urban communities. So far, there have been 14 CiTiRAMA developments in various neighborhoods across Cincinnati.

Participating builders in the West End CiTiRAMA include: American Heritage Classic Homes, Brookstone Homes, Drees Homes, Chris Gorman Homes, Oakmont Custom Homes, Sterling Homes and the Titan Real Estate Group.

Dan Dressman, executive director, Home Builders Association, at left, and T.J. Ackerman, developer, The Meierjohan Group stand on the site of the next CITIRAMA project at Ezzard Charles Drive between John, Clark and Cutter streets. Photo provided

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