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Development Up, Crime Down in Walnut Hills

WALNUT HILLS, Ohio (Deb Dixon) -- Crime in Walnut Hills dropped dramatically last year.

It's the most recent Cincinnati neighborhood to be designated an "entertainment district."

To longtime Cincinnatians, Walnut Hills is Peebles Corner, Gilbert and McMillan.  Where the Joseph Peebles grocery store once was.  The oldest city firehouse is in Walnut Hills, where Fireside Pizza is going to open.

The restaurant will be a part of a future development called Firehouse Row.  Change, one reason newlyweds Lily and Mark Mcewan moved here.

"Already up on McMillan, there are business going in that are fun to go to.  There's a retail shop, antiques and  stuff like that.  There is a pizza place going in too that's really exciting.   It would give people a reason to come here that they didn't have before."

Fireside Pizza, served at the Mcewans wedding when it was a food truck.  For this couple it's about more than development.  Walnut Hills brand is diversity.  They like that.

"You're not able to build real community, a real diverse community, unless you're willing to go somewhere where people like you are not."

People who care about family and neighborhood has the Mcewans looking for their first house here.  Part of the reason why Katheryn Gardette and husband Charles Miller have lived here for decades.

"Charles will say there is no other neighborhood that I would live in other than Walnut Hills."

The fiber artist and musician just bought this building on McMillan.  It will be a cultural arts center.  Investing with power and lives sends a powerful message.

Capt. Mike Neville of the Cincinnati Police said, "Those of the negative life style, they see that.  They are not comfortable here when there are people coming in to invest.  There's foot traffic and I think over a period of time the development overrides the crime."

The developer hopes to open the Fireside Pizza by April and plans call for an apartment on the second floors.




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