North End’s Development Plan Marks Continued Path to Neighborhood’s Revitalization
By: Jeff Gambrell
HAMILTON – At its inception, the North End neighborhood was the center of industry offering a plethora of job opportunities to its residents, many of whom were brought in via the railway from Appalachia. However, like most things, this age of industry did not last forever and many of these jobs were either relocated or became obsolete as technology evolved. This left behind a population of individuals who lacked the skills and resources to find compatible jobs elsewhere leading to a steady decline in the neighborhood and manifested the false perception of North End being a crime-ridden community. Due to the collaborative efforts of Hamilton’s 17 Strong, RENEW, and the local schools, North End has been on a path of revitalization in recent years.
North End residents were encouraged to take part in a special meeting coordinated by City officials this past Thursday. Under the direction of the Planning Department, students from Miami University will be producing a Neighborhood Development Plan for the North End to act as a guide for the community’s revitalization. This is the third Hamilton neighborhood in a series of development plans being created, the others being Lindenwald and Second Ward in prior years. Some of the key areas of focus discussed by area residents included revitalizing businesses at the corner of 7th Street and Greenwood Avenue, expanding the livelihood of the neighborhood parks by adding more events, targeting issues of blight while working to save abandoned properties, and ensuring any progress made does not negatively impact the cost of living for the neighborhood’s low-income residents. The Miami students plan to have a draft developed by mid-April and will consult again with area residents before delivering the final product.
The Neighborhood Development Plan is but one of a series of improvements that have been propelling North End forward to becoming a safer, cleaner and more engaged neighborhood. RENEW, North End’s neighborhood organization has already been working in recent years to utilize grant funding from 17 Strong to implement new park equipment and host annual Art in the Park events for children. They plan to make several new additions this year including a little free library and a historical marker commemorating North End native Joe Nuxhall. Love Your Block, an initiative being carried out by the city’s Department of Neighborhoods, will also be actively working in the North End this summer targeting blight and promoting beautification in the area surrounding Vine Street. All in all, great potential can be expected out of the North End in coming years.