Madisonville is undergoing a renaissance with new development springing up along busy roads. But as new businesses and neighbors move in, others are being pushed out.
The signs of development are all over Madisonville, with mixed-use buildings replacing storefronts. One of the storefronts that have been replaced is Lala’s Blissful Bites. Owner Terri Henry says she was priced out of the neighborhood.
“If you’re there and you can’t afford to live there, then you have to move somewhere else, so it’s displacement and gentrification,” said Henry.
Construction cranes are now where her bakery used to be on Madison Road. Henry says her rent went from $900 a month to $3,000 a month.
“It didn’t make me feel good only because there should be space for everyone,” said Henry.
Madisonville Community Council President Kate Botos agrees.
“There should be certain clauses that are grandfathered into new benefits agreements to any development agreements with the city so that we’re not displacing businesses and tenants that want to be here and want to be here for the long haul,” said Botos.
Cincinnati City Councilmembers Tamaya Dennard, Wendell Young, and Greg Landsman submitted a motion asking the city administration to take a closer look at balanced development. The goal is to update the city’s development subsidies and incentive programs to ensure Cincinnati can attract new business while ensuring old businesses aren’t pushed out.
“Look at the plans, look at how it’s going to affect the neighborhood,” said Botos. “These are things that as we look at City Council to change legislation to make sure the neighborhoods are protected and that we’re not just doing things for the almighty dollar.”
While it’s too late for Henry’s bakery, she hopes city leaders can save someone else.
“I am excited for the growth. I just wish the growth was more equitable,” said Henry.
Henry says she’s close to signing a new lease for her bakery in Avondale. As for City Council, a 60-page report on those development deals and incentives will be presented to councilmembers next week.