More residents, jobs and visitors in downtown Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Downtown Cincinnati saw a 12 percent growth in population along with more businesses, jobs and visitors according to a report released Tuesday by Downtown Cincinnati Inc.

DCI's eighth annual State of Downtown report provides a comprehensive look at downtown.

The report measures such areas as safety and cleanliness, jobs, development, retail and restaurants and arts.

Gina Gartner who authored the report says overall the news is very good. "It's an exciting time to be in Cincinnati, you know Cincinnati is regaining its cool factor," said Gartner.

Gartner says downtown has also become much safer. "Between the years of 2002 and 2011 crime has dropped in the central business district by 25 percent," Gartner said.

Gartner says downtown has become an attractive place to work and visit. "People are recognizing the unique gifts that Cincinnati has to offer and that's becoming more evident by the number of people that are coming downtown to live," said Gartner.

Community activist Rev. Pete Mingo says downtown seems to have gotten better over the years. "There are still some areas where there is some neglect, but on the whole I think there have been great improvements over the last ten years," said Rev. Mingo.

In our commitment to balanced news we talked with Josh Spring, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Homeless Coalition who has a different view. "From the downtown area we have seen thousands of people lose their housing. It is reason like this that homelessness has increased," said Spring.

The report notes that $577 million were invested downtown last year, but Spring says that begs two questions. "Was affordable housing created so that everybody has a chance to live in the downtown or to continue to live in the downtown and the second is, were jobs made available to people that live in the area. Did people locally and the in the downtown benefit and by and large the answer to those two questions tends to be no."

A number of statistics were used in compiling the State of Downtown Report, but the author also talked to people about their perceptions.

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