Two entertainment districts to open downtown - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Two entertainment districts to open downtown

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CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

Cincinnati council members voted overwhelmingly to pass two new entertainment districts.

The two districts will be split into Downtown West Community District, which will be about 30-acres along the Race Street corridor that connects Duke Energy Convention Center to Fountain Square, and Downtown East Community District, predominately between Race and Broadway Street.

"It's about being progressive,” said councilmember Chris Smitherman. “I think it's progressive legislation to allow downtown people to move freely with alcohol. So that might sound crazy for some, but I think that it's exciting for Reds games and when bands and musicians are playing.”

Under state legislature, the city is limited to issuing a certain amount of liquor licenses determined by the city's population. However, communities can bypass the population quote by creating “Entertainment Districts.”

Cincinnati already has 10 of these districts. One of these areas is Northside.

"It's been a boom for the neighborhood and the idea is it gives a business a lower cost of entry, right? So we have seen a lot of restaurants open up," said Northside Community Council President, Oliver Kroner.

Other neighborhoods like Oakley have not been given this, what could be called a "business incentive," despite having new development in their neighborhood too.

“We know there are a lot of things going on downtown with the street car and everything else trying to create some buzz down there,” said Sean Fasuto, Oakley's Community Council President. “But we will have development down in Oakley and we will continue to do that.”

The two downtown entertainment districts will open in 30 days.

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