13 Apr 2018

Kathleen Norris, Principal Urban Fast Forward joins Matthew Cleary, National Director – Real Estate Advisory Urbis, to discuss her involvement in the rejuvenation of the historic Over-the-Rhine district of Cincinnati Ohio.

In this episode, we learn how Over-the-Rhine went from being named one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the United States in 2000, to now being one of the most popular shopping and dining hot spots in Greater Cincinnati. Real estate investment in Over-the-Rhine by a not-for-profit development corporation, created and financed by Cincinnati’s Fortune 500 corporations, demonstrates the power of corporate social responsibility and the pivotal role private partnerships and non-government entities can play in our communities.

Kathleen is a sought-after expert in urban real estate and urban revitalization – particularly mixed-use and retail. Kathleen played a key role in breathing new life into Over-the-Rhine. After developing a concept for a new destination retail centre, Kathleen recruited over 20 retail and hospitality businesses to achieve a renaissance of the precinct.

This groundbreaking project ‘flipped the script’ on conventional planning and saw local corporations take responsibility for turning the failing retail and commercial precinct into a vibrant and thriving place for businesses and the wider community.

In the first part of Matthew Cleary’s fascinating interview with Kathleen Norris, the conversation follows this exciting project from conception; touching on the private partnership model of funding and how the project was governed. Kathleen describes the process of ‘door knock’ recruiting and how she tempted businesses to the area.

In part 2 of Matthew Cleary’s conversation with Kathleen Norris, we discover how Over-the-Rhine businesses have been able to prosper in a tough economic climate. Kathleen unpacks the changing nature of what constitutes ‘retail’ and how business owners are succeeding through providing authentic and unique experiences for shopping and dining.

From being one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the United States, Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati is now a popular and vibrant commercial and residential hub.