In his fourth State of the City address, delivered last Wednesday at the Duke Energy Center
, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory said that the city is weathering the poor economy much better than most.
"At a time when other cities are seeing businesses move out, we are seeing businesses expand and new businesses move in," he said.
He credited the "aggressive and strategic" approach of City Manager Milton Dohoney and Economic Development Director Holly Childs for bringing 2,500 new jobs to Cincinnati last year, including commitments from such major players as Medpace
, and US Bank
Mallory also spoke of the need to empower small and minority-owned businesses, saying that four more Shop52
seminars will be held this year to link entrepreneurs with business experts, non-profit service providers, and lending professionals.
"We must also ensure that individuals have the opportunity to realize their dreams," he said. "Shop52 is all about small business growth and strengthening our neighborhoods."
In addition to job creation, Mallory noted that construction is underway on two major building projects – Great American Tower at Queen City Square
, a 41-story, $340 million office tower and The Banks
, a 2.8-million-square-foot mixed-use development on the city's riverfront.
But Mallory said that the most crucial component of Cincinnati's development plans is the streetcar system that would connect Downtown, Over-the-Rhine, and the Uptown neighborhoods.
"Now, we have done our homework and the benefits of a streetcar system are clear," Mallory said. "When a city puts rails in the ground, economic growth follows."
Mallory said that $1.4 billion in economic impact would result from the project's first phase, giving the city additional resources that it can use in neighborhoods throughout the city.
"The benefits of the streetcar system are too significant to allow the naysayers to derail our efforts," he said. "Streetcars must be a part of Cincinnati's future and we will fight to make it happen."
According to Mallory, the key to Cincinnati's future success is strong local, national, and global partnerships.
To achieve these partnerships, the city and its residents must be their own advocates.
"We have a great city and we must make it our priority to promote it here at home, across the nation and around the world," Mallory said.
Writer: Kevin LeMaster
Source: 2009 Cincinnati State of the City addressPhotography by Scott Beseler