That’s ‘Q’ is in ‘quarter’, as in the newly renovated Gateway Quarter for Urban Living in Cincinnati’s once down-and-out Over-The-Rhine neighborhood.
The Over-The-Rhine neighborhood suffered a population loss from 40,000 to under 5000, but the 70-acre, 100-loft, indie-retail-driven Gateway Quarter looks to reverse that trend soon.
Much of the renaissance can be credited to the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), a nonprofit developer funded by some seriously capitalized corporate foundations whose sole purpose is to bring creative vitality to the downtown. They partnered with four developers in the Gateway development to provide a hundred lofts starting at $90K, rather unheard of in the downtown. The unique collaborative aspect of the development is the single sales team for all four developers.
When seeking an identity for the Gateway Quarter, the developers realized the market was seeking contemporary urban style and design as a theme, so thus the retail sought had a similar focus: furniture, home accessories, cool clothes, great restaurants, bookstore… speaking to what it’s like to live in a city. The retailers, being asked to locate in a high-risk district still on the fringe, were sold on the ‘absolutely gorgeous spaces’.
Furthering the momentum which hasn’t quite reached the tipping point, a K-12 School for Creative and Performing Arts, the only one in the country, is scheduled to open in the 2009 school year. Now that’s a coup for establishing the downtown as a long-term residence.