New study drops OTR from top-25 most dangerous neighborhood list - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

New study drops OTR from dangerous neighborhoods list

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

The Over-The-Rhine neighborhood has gotten its share of bad press over the last few years. 

But now, a new study is giving them a little love.

NeighborhoodScout.com ranks the top-25 dangerous neighborhoods in America, which OTR has topped in the past.

But this year, they don't make the cut.

Not long ago, there were boards covering windows, and properties abandoned throughout OTR.  At the same time, it was being called one of the worst places in the country.  But if you look around now, things are changing.

"10 years ago, many of these buildings, and many of the storefronts were vacant.  That has drastically changed, and with that development, we've seen an increase in safety," said city council member, Chris Seelbach.

Since dropping off NeighborhoodScout.com's list of top-25 dangerous neighborhoods this year, city leaders say it's, in part, because of revitalization efforts.

That's one reason why one business chose to move in.

We want to be part of that, and I think that was something that we really jumped on and why we're out here and not out somewhere else, is being part of the community," said Jake Baker, who's a partner at frameshop.

Baker and his business partner, Jacob Gerth, run frameshop on Main Street in OTR.  They've only been around since February, but one reason they chose OTR is simply because of the location.

"We are here not because there was an opening, because it was inexpensive or it was available, we wanted to be here," said Jacob Gerth, partner at frameshop.

Seelbach says the city's violent crimes are down 17% over the last two years.  Combine that with new businesses, and public and private dollars coming into OTR, he says this can work elsewhere.

"We know the model for transforming one of the most unsafe parts of the country, into one of the most cool, hip places to be.  And so, we have to use that model in other parts of our city," Seelbach told FOX19.

Frameshop wants to be part of that future.

"If you're not progressing, then you're falling behind, and we're part of that progress, and we're part of the excitement, and you don't want it to stop," added Baker.

The city also has what's called a Focus 52 fund to help with projects like revitalization.  Seelbach says a project the city is considering is building a square in Westwood, much like what you'd find in Hyde Park or Oakley.  To learn more about the fund, visit http://choosecincy.com/services/Focus52.

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