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With new plan, Hamilton gears up to revitalize North End neighborhood

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Posted at 10:25 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 11:03:59-04

HAMILTON, Ohio — Hamilton’s City Council has passed an ordinance Wednesday night for a plan to help revitalize the North End neighborhood just northeast of the city center.

Just beyond the railroad tracks on Heaton Street, North End resident Jeff Gambrell said there’s room for improvement.

“Community that has a lot of potential, right now it’s at a low point, given its history with the industrial jobs that used to be here,” he said.

Liz Hayden, Hamilton’s planning director, said students at Miami University came up with the plan that factors in economic, housing and neighborhood development.

“Students always have great ideas, great energy. Kind of keep us knowing what the cool new trends are in the planning world,” she said.

The plan includes signage to create an identity, new murals and artwork to create vibrancy, and revamping Moser Park to tie it all together.

“There’s some really great old buildings that have a ton of potential,” Hayden said. “We’ve met with property owners. Checking out their commercial spaces. Seeing if there’s a way we can connect them with coffee shops, and other things that would be great additions to this neighborhood.”

Gambrell, also the lead for neighborhood organization RENEW, is hopeful that with all the vacant commercial space, the new improvement lights “a spark for it to come back and be great again.”

“There hasn’t been much public and private investment in this area until the last few years,” he said.

With the upcoming Spooky Nook development, thousands of visitors will be moving through Hamilton -- Hayden said the time is right to revitalize.

“This will be their first impression of the community -- how do we make them see the beauty and charm that Hamilton has?” she said.

Hayden said the project’s aim is to create a future from the neighborhood’s historic past. Gambrell hopes that includes businesses, restaurants, and places for residents to gather safely.

"We have directions for our path forward now,” he said. “We know where we’re going.”