The Park Hills Economic Development Committee met with The Catalytic Fund in Covington this week to explore a potential future partnership for revitalizing parts of the Park Hills business district on Dixie Highway.
The meeting was part of an initiative to develop relationships with businesses and urban revitalization organizations. They aim to strategize for sustainable business development and economic growth.
The Catalytic Fund is a local nonprofit focusing on real estate development projects that significantly influence a community’s economic vitality and connection with surrounding cities.
How and if The Catalytic Fund can help Park Hills is yet to be determined.
Park Hills council member Sarah Froelich spoke of a desire by citizens to have a more cohesive-looking business district that is pedestrian-friendly and draws in new business.
Jeanne Schroer, president and CEO of The Catalytic Fund, agreed that walkability is key to a thriving business district. She suggested the usefulness of things like a road median or tree lawns that help control traffic.
“Slow traffic tends to attract more business because people can actually see what’s around them,” Schroer said. “[You could add] things like bike lanes to make that area more accessible to people that live farther from that area.”
Close to the heart of the Park Hills business district, Schroer pointed out, is the new Tapestry Ridge Apartments in Covington, a walking distance to Park Hills right on Dixie Highway.
“They have spending power and they’re going to want to walk someplace,” Schoer said.
Amplifying a pedestrian friendly, vibrant business district in Park Hills would be a boon to the city and is something council member Sarah Froelich says she wants to capitalize on.
Park Hills continues refining its development priorities, such as drawing in new businesses, increasing tax revenue, or providing better amenities and upgrading current buildings.
The Catalytic Fund could then assist with structuring a team approach with other organizations to strategize for next steps in funding and finding any disconnects between a project idea and making it a reality.
Park Hills is already in collaboration with the Planning and Development Services on defining community needs and standards.
Next steps for the city include conducting more community outreach for feedback on what local business owners and citizens want for their community.
They will also continue conversations with surrounding organizations like The Catalytic Fund to broaden and strengthen their development goals.