Cincy’s new ‘Q’ for contemporary urban living

That’s ‘Q’ is in ‘quarter’, as in the newly renovated Gateway Quarter for Urban Living in Cincinnati’s once down-and-out Over-The-Rhine neighborhood.

The Over-The-Rhine neighborhood suffered a population loss from 40,000 to under 5000, but the 70-acre, 100-loft, indie-retail-driven Gateway Quarter looks to reverse that trend soon.

Much of the renaissance can be credited to the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), a nonprofit developer funded by some seriously capitalized corporate foundations whose sole purpose is to bring creative vitality to the downtown. They partnered with four developers in the Gateway development to provide a hundred lofts starting at $90K, rather unheard of in the downtown. The unique collaborative aspect of the development is the single sales team for all four developers.

When seeking an identity for the Gateway Quarter, the developers realized the market was seeking contemporary urban style and design as a theme, so thus the retail sought had a similar focus: furniture, home accessories, cool clothes, great restaurants, bookstore… speaking to what it’s like to live in a city. The retailers, being asked to locate in a high-risk district still on the fringe, were sold on the ‘absolutely gorgeous spaces’.

Furthering the momentum which hasn’t quite reached the tipping point, a K-12 School for Creative and Performing Arts, the only one in the country, is scheduled to open in the 2009 school year. Now that’s a coup for establishing the downtown as a long-term residence.

  • Great post…however there is no way that the Gateway Quarter is 70 acres. Did you mean to say 7 acres?

    Either way, it’s great to see a retail niche like this carving itself out in Cincinnati and even more so in Over-the-Rhine.

  • Bobby

    Yea I’m a class of ’99 graduate from SCPA and its great to see this new school finally being built. OTR has the potential to be amazing. Once that park gets renovated and they add the Music Hall parking center, plus the streetcar…OTR might be one of the coolest places to live in the country. A LOT is happening here in Cincy, and all at once. I think we’re going to have a total of 6-8 new high rises within the next 5 years if you include QCS, The Edge, 1 River plaza, Southshore, and The Banks…jeeeesh!

  • Slaw

    Yes. This is very good to see. I look forward to seeing what becomes of the Gateway area and OTR.

  • Great story.
    I’ve only lived in Cincinnati for 3 years, but this past summer there has been more energy than I remember since coming here.
    The other downtown residents and I all feel we’re on the verge of something incredible happening.
    Its awesome for me to have a front row seat.

  • As a resident of Gateway Quarter I am so very happy with my choice. The neighborhood is progressing towards something special that will help OTR, Downtown, and the city maintain the momentum begun in recent years.

    I need more neighbors, though, so please come and join the neighborhood!

  • Oddly, I live here as well, except that my neighborhood is, and has been, called Over-the-Rhine. It comes with a rich, mixed-bag history developed over a span of time that’s longer than a few years. I appreciate its complexity and its changes and, while I welcome my new retail neighbors [Mica, Metronation, City Roots, Park+Vine], I can’t forget the neighbors who preceded them and me: Suder’s, Roh’s, Smitty’s. I welcome these recent changes, but the renaming and theming in my neighborhood seems silly and contrived. OTR has an identity that’s already embedded in this place, and which is OF this place. 3CDC, your Quesdays make me Queasy.

  • anon

    As soon as the streetcar moves in, so will I. It’s the one piece that will put my decision (and I feel most others) over the top.