The Ridge Market

6142 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH

Submitted by: Doug Newberry

This community-organized fresh-food market saved the neighborhood from a big-box retailer.

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Why It Works

The Market is the first of its type and size in Cincinnati, outside of historic Findlay Market in downtown’s Over-The-Rhine neighborhood. It is unique in its formation as a community business. After the IGA grocery store closed in 2001, neighborhood residents banded together to keep the building from being left empty or being leased to a business that didn’t fit the needs of the surrounding population.

What Makes The Ridge Market a Great Place?

When the IGA closed, elderly and transit dependent residents lost their only source of food within walking distance. The Ridge Market has brought that back. The entrance to the market was moved to the side of the building to allow customers easier entry into the newly- constructed atrium. The loading dock was demolished to allow auto traffic to exit on to a side street. The city just completed a multi-million dollar streetscape improvement that gave the business district new sidewalks, brick pavers, unique crosswalks and pedestrian-level street lamps.

The former IGA grocery store was largely gutted and replaced with vendor spaces separated by 6-foot-high partitions. When shoppers enter, they can look over all the vendor stalls to the other end of the Market. The new atrium with clerestory windows gives the feeling of an open-air market at an indoor space. Both men and women shop equally. There is open bench seating in the common area. It is kept clean by a janitorial staff and by the vendors, during business hours.

Cooking and food demonstrations have been held, and a Montessori School fundraiser is planned in November.

A recent study by the Cincinnati Board of Realtors showed that homes in the neighborhood of Pleasant Ridge had a 21% jump in sale prices in the past year - while the community was renovating the Market. This was the highest increase in all of Greater Cincinnati. Homeowner’s newspaper ads tout "within walking distance of new market". The customer base is a cross-section of the ethnicity of the neighborhood.

History & Background

Pleasant Ridge is a 200-year-old neighborhood within the city of Cincinnati. After the IGA grocery store closed, residents were concerned that the location would attract undesirable businesses: a big-box retailer, or a 99-cent store. Improve Pleasant Ridge, along with the Pleasant Ridge Community Council, three churches and other local businesses and residents, developed a plan to create a market patterned after Findlay Market. The project was funded entirely by private investment and doesn't include any public money. IPR bought the vacant store with low-interest loans from individuals and churches in the community.

Contact Info:

Doug Newberry: 513-631-3273

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