Walnut Hills revitalization project underway

WALNUT HILLS, OH ( FOX19) - The Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation is making progress on a multi-million dollar revitalization project for the community. Organizers say they're within months of opening new shops along McMillan Avenue.

Right now the foundation says they've obtained or is in the process of fixing up as many as 35 different properties.

Elizabeth Evans has lived in Walnut Hills since the 1960's. She says everything you could have wanted used to be along McMillan Avenue.

"Kids would run up there and get ice cream and whatever but it's no more now," said Evans.

Now the Redevelopment Foundation is trying to change that. Executive director Kevin Wright says the location of Walnut Hills makes it a valuable asset.

"You can be anywhere within the city or Northern Kentucky that you want to be within five minutes," said Wright.

Wright says their organization is taking a comprehensive approach by finding developers for different properties, helping with facade improvements, and enforcing code violations.

"We know we can't do it ourselves so we're focusing on working with people who are willing to help," added Wright.

Through a strong partnership with Cincinnati police, the foundation is hoping this project will also clean up crime related activity.

"You have to watch out more, you'd rather not but you have to face it. It's happening, it's the way it is now," said Evans.

Renovations are already underway on mixed units for commercial use on the ground level and apartments upstairs. There's even plans to fix up an old bathhouse.

"You're probably going to start to snap your head and be like whoa! There's a business there! Hey there's another business," said Wright.

Wright says this is the beginning of a five to ten year process, but he says many storefronts will be opening up in 2013.

The foundation's goal for 2013 is Clean and Safe. If you'd like to help with the project, officials say they need volunteers for painting, mulching, and planting flowers. There are several different clean up dates scheduled throughout the summer.

The first clean-up of the business district is on April 27th.

For more information on how to get involved visit http://www.walnuthillsrf.org/

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