CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Mark Mallory is finishing up his tenure as Cincinnati's mayor and tonight he spoke for the final time at the state of the city address.
Mallory says when he took office in 2004, the city was stuck in neutral and whether you support the projects or not, it looks a lot different today.
Tuesday wasn't so much an evaluation of the city of Cincinnati this year, but a closer look at some of the changes the city has seen during Mallory's tenure as mayor.
"Everywhere I go, I sense the hope and the possibility that Cincinnati is really ready to move to the next level," said Mallory in 2006.
That was mayor Mark Mallory addressing his goals for the city, and The Banks is one of the first projects that he made a priority. The first phase included 300 apartments and 12 restaurants while phase two will bring even more.
"Last year we won an award for implementing the Banks project. We don't let obstacles stand in the way. We roll up our sleeves and we figure out how to get things done and we complete big projects in this city," says Mallory.
Over-the-Rhine is another visual transformation for the city that initially sparked controversy. But now the population is responding well to new restaurants, condos, and apartments for an investment of more than 300 million dollars.
"There are 155,000 square feet of retail space, 99% of which of the completed space is leased. That's amazing," explains Mallory.
Mallory adds his most proud moment during his eight years is his decision to hire city manager Milton Dohoney.
"He's a steady handed, no nonsense, down to business kind of guy," says Mallory.
Mallory went on to talk about lowering crime rates, engaging the youth in the community, becoming the greenest city in Ohio, and new housing and streetscapes for the neighborhoods. But when it's all said and done in a couple months, what's his legacy?
"I simply want my legacy to be that I said we were going to change the direction of the city of Cincinnati and we did that. if there's a legacy to be left it is one that challenges the citizens to never accept that we can't do what we set out to do," explains Mallory.
Cincinnati residents will vote between Roxanne Qualls or John Cranley to become the 69th mayor of the city next week.