CINCINNATI — Westwood residents are upset and angry with a development they say never played out as it was supposed to.
They're worried that the next people who take over the vacant Jubilee Market on Harrison Avenue will set the neighborhood back even more.
To prevent that, they're calling for the building’s current owners to give the property back to the city.
Members of the Westwood Coalition say the city paid for the property and turned it over to the Jubilee Project to turn it into a place to buy fresh food and affordable clothes.
The Westwood Coalition says now that the store failed and the Jubilee Project is looking to sell, the organization should give it back.
“The city fronted the money for it and then it was mismanaged," said Tom Sauter, vice president of the Westwood Civic Association. "I don’t feel like the taxpayers and, ultimately, this community should bear the burden of that failed project.”
The project was originally touted by city leaders as a huge step to combatting violent crime and drug activity in the area. The Westwood Coalition says this neighborhood has seen massive improvements in recent years and it is working to make sure that positive momentum continues.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley released this statement regarding the Jubilee Project: “Investing in Jubilee Market is not something that I supported or even knew about and was not approved by me or city council. When the market's failure came to light, I immediately brought everyone together to fix this problem and we are now close to a solution.”