CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A project started by The Port in Cincinnati is rebuilding the Evanston community one home at a time.
The agency works to improve property values throughout Hamilton County.
“We are very much committed to bringing back neighborhoods that have suffered from disinvestment for such a long time," said The Port president and CEO Laura Brunner. “We started in Evanston. This is ground zero in our effort.”
Port officials say before the project started, there had not been a private home sale in nine years. The agency started acquiring properties in 2013, redeveloping them in 2014, and now 27 have been fixed and resold.
“Our real goal was to redevelop and revitalize the houses, to bring people back into the neighborhood," Brunner said. "Evanston was a thriving middle class African American community decades ago until I-71 went through and a number of homes were taken, roads were cut off, all these dead ends streets, so property values declined.”
The revitalization project ultimately taking these homes into another 100 years, while preserving Evanston’s history.
“It’s been interesting to watch who’s buying these homes,” Brunner said. “We have seen a wide range of both ages and races. We have African Americans coming back into this neighborhood that have family history here and are now so proud to be back home again. We have one family that moved in from Toronto. We have the Walnut Hills baseball coach moved his family here from Anderson Township.”
The port recently received a $1 million loan from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation to assist in this project.
Port officials say the homes being worked on right now should be done in a couple months.