Alright, here’s the deal: Over-the-Rhine is the current favorite child of Cincinnati neighborhoods. That much is clear based on how vastly popular it’s become over the last half decade.
But have you met its artsy, authentic, oh-so-cool cousin, Northside? There’s a reason so many choose to live, work, and play there instead of Over-the-Rhine. Northside is known for its colorful businesses, vibrant arts scene, a legendary record store, and beautiful, old architecture up and down nearly every street.
BEAUTIFUL, OLD ARCHITECTURE?
Yup, you heard me right. Northside is chock-full of historic homes with loads of character. Just like OTR, many buildings in Northside date back to the 19th Century; they’re in various states of wear and tear, but thanks to the Cincinnati Northside Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (try saying that five times fast), many of those buildings in not-so-great conditions are receiving extensive renovations.
As a result of its efforts to restore these formerly-glorious places into usable spaces today, CNCURC helped establish NEST (also known as the Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation) to tackle individual restoration projects.
BUILDING A NEST
NEST has been working to rehabilitate existing buildings while developing new housing options in the neighborhood for over a decade. In the beginning, the entire team was focused on finding vacant homes on some of Northside’s more crime-ridden streets and turning them into desirable places to live.
Needless to say, getting started proved challenging. Shutting down and rehabilitating police hotspots, like McPerry’s Deli and other places associated with gang-related issues, were difficult tasks to accomplish and among the first things NEST did to improve the neighborhood’s livability.
NEST is committed to creating new housing options while maximizing their impact on the people of Northside. Their work aims to increase homeownership, preserve historic buildings, and provide affordable living options for the community.
As of this writing, NEST has impacted 65 properties during its lifespan. That’s 65 new living options in one of Cincinnati’s neatest neighborhoods. With all the hurdles they faced from their inception, that’s an impressive number to boast.
Call them do-gooders, call them flippers, call them whatever you like: the NEST team is plain awesome. They’re helping to breathe new life into an entire neighborhood one property at a time.
For more information about CNCURC and NEST, visit cncurc.org.