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Plan Lays Out Vision for the Hilltop

Brent Warren Brent Warren Plan Lays Out Vision for the HilltopA rendering shows what a mixed-use development at the eastern edge of the Hilltop could look like.
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An event at the Glenwood Community Center earlier this week served as the official unveiling of the Envision Hilltop Plan, the latest attempt from Mayor Andrew Ginther’s administration to shine a light on the neighborhood’s needs and to encourage further investment in its future.

Much like the One Linden plan released in 2018, the Hilltop plan features information on the history and current state of the neighborhood, as well as several ideas for larger-scale projects that could have a big impact on the area if implemented.

One of those “visionary concepts” is to turn a portion of Rhodes Park – the 51-acre green space that sits at the northwest corner of Broad Street and I-70 – into a mixed-use development.

With good visibility and access from both Broad Street and the freeway (the land is currently leased by the city from the State of Ohio), the plan argues that “the site is uniquely suited for transit-oriented development.”

Also ripe for new development is the Broad Street frontage due west of Rhodes Park; specifically, the state-owned, grass-covered lots between the street and the large parking lots that serve the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Both potential development sites would be enhanced if another concept from the plan – a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line along Broad Street – was implemented. Called “a key component to the long-term revitalization of the Hilltop community,” the idea calls for two lanes in the center of the street (complete with raised platforms for faster boarding) to be dedicated to buses.

West Broad Street was one of five corridors highlighted in last year’s Corridor Concepts study as ripe for “high-capacity transit” investments.

Some other initiatives highlighted in the plan are already under way, like an effort to raise money to build a new preschool next to Highland Elementary School. The city has committed funds toward that project, but most of the initiatives and ideas described in the plan do not yet have a dedicated source of funding.

For more information, see www.envisionhilltop.com.

A chart from the plan highlights the population loss and increase in vacant houses in the neighborhood since 1950.
A site plan shows the potential for development along West Broad Street, near the complex of Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio Department of Public Safety buildings.
A cross-section showing what West Broad Street would look like with two dedicated bus lanes .
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