Locals celebrate revamped area in Walnut Hills

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Five Points Biergarten is set on a piece of land in Walnut Hills that, at one time, looked like it had no potential.

The area saw its share of crime, trash and 20-foot tall weeds.

But Sunday was a celebration for all the hard works that's gone into making the area what it looks like today.

"It was a negative space that created an environment that was unsafe.  But, what we saw when we walked through was potential," said Kevin Wright, executive director of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation.

That potential is now a reality.

After cleaning the site one Saturday a month, a celebration is held the very next day.  Those who stopped by on Sunday say by getting rid of the trash and overgrown plants, the community is changing.  There are two more clean-ups and celebrations slated for August and September.

"When you transition that into something that is a usable space, like an event space for tonight, it really changes the perception of the neighborhood," said Brooke Lehenbauer, who lives in Over-the-Rhine.

It's those efforts for revitalization that's drawing people back to one of the city's historic neighborhoods.

"A lot of people who normally don't come to Walnut Hills are coming down here.  I've met a girl.  She actually just came in from East Walnut Hills.  Some more people from Over-The-Rhine, and people from all over the community, someone from Oxford even," said John Yung, who lives in Over-the-Rhine.

For those involved with the Five Points development, expectations have been exceeded.

"It's incredibly gratifying to stand here and look around and see people experiencing a space that was once just a complete disaster," added Wright.

With those upgrades comes a new found sense of neighborhood pride.

"Whether it be cleaning up trash, or just celebrating at events like this, these kind of things really make me proud to be a resident of Cincinnati," said Daniel Traicoff, who lives in Clifton.

Wright says the space could see more use in the future.  They'll continue working with the community to find out what they want in the space in the future.

For more dates on the clean up and pop up Biergarten events, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/WalnutHillsRF#!/WalnutHillsRF

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