While many Tristate shoppers canvass Kenwood Towne Centre or Norwood's Rookwood Commons and Pavilion on the weekends, young professionals are making Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine a new destination for shopping.

"There's something different about the energy of the neighborhood now than there has been in any other time period," says Dan Korman, owner of Park + Vine and a long-time OTR resident. "(OTR) is probably the most dynamic neighborhood in the city."
 
Park + Vine is located on the Main Street strip, featuring eco-friendly products and events, local and organic food products and a café. Nearby, Atomic Number Ten offers vintage clothing and housewares sure to satisfy the green-conscious shopper. High-end fashion at Couture Couture Women's Boutique can be found right across the street, and hip, unique attire is a short walk down 12th Street at 4U Urban Fashion Boutique.
 
"Downtown doesn't have the traditional retail that it used to, which was centered around Race and Fourth and Fifth (Streets); most of it has disappeared," Korman says. "What we seem to have mostly now are niche stores that tend to attract people from other neighborhoods."
 
About nine out of 10 of Korman's customers are coming from the neighborhoods surrounding downtown, such as Northside, Newport, Covington and Clifton. And about 40 percent of those customers are between the ages of 25 and 34. Foot traffic from young professionals working downtown and visiting one of the hip neighborhood bars only helps the business.
 
"Even though we're not a bar, we still have a relationship with our neighbors," Korman says.
 
The Gateway Quarter on Vine Street has become a spot for fine dining and shopping as well, largely due to the efforts of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, 3CDC.
 
Final Friday gallery walks, Ensemble Theatre and KnowTheatre performances, Music Hall shows, and Bengals and Reds games are drawing more and more people to the area.
 
People like to grab a bite to eat and stroll through the shops before heading to entertainment events and venues, according to Mike Deininger, co-owner of MiCA 12/v, a fine art and gift boutique on the corner of 12th and Vine.
 
"OTR is such a great walkable neighborhood at this point," he says. 
 
Urban Site Property Management owns or manages more than 50 properties in OTR, and every single one of their spaces on Main Street was fully leased in June, according to Alaina Laumer, commercial property manager for Urban Sites.
 
"It shows that there's a major redevelopment that's occurring in OTR," Laumer says.
 
Development is continuing in high gear as business owners try to get a foothold in the area before the opening of Horseshoe Casino, slated to open in 2013 in Broadway Commons on the northeast side.
 
"I wish I had more places, because the calls keep coming," Laumer says with a laugh.
 
While a trip to the suburbs is still a good bet for shopping and entertainment, discerning young professionals are drawn to the community feel and unique items available in OTR.
 
"Individual owners are starting a passionate idea of their own and it's very authentic to what they believe in," Laumer says. "I think that you can find a lot of galleries and items for sale that you can't find in a strip mall and you can't find in a suburb."
 
 
CHOICES APLENTY
Great shopping is not limited to one place in the Tristate "” home to Macy's, Nordstrom, Off-5th and Tiffany & Co.
 
Crestview Hills Town Center in Northern Kentucky offers great stores, including Dillard's, Borders, DSW Shoe Warehouse and New York & Company. There are more than 60 prime retailers and restaurants.
www.shopcrestviewhillstowncenter.com.

Florence Mall prides itself on being family friendly, offering plenty of fun at a double-decker carousel and Woolly Mammoth Playland. Sears, Macy's and JCPenney department stores anchor the mall along with a plethora of stores featuring clothing, jewelry, books and music. Handcrafted Amish furniture is a great option for home items or special gifts.
www.florencemall.com
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The Streets of West Chester, just off the Union Center exit, is a new premier mall. The site is home to well-known stores such as Barnes & Noble, Jos. A. Bank and Chico's, as well as specialty stores like Smari Designs, which offers unique handcrafted beaded jewelry. Nearby, visit the only area IKEA store for a tour of their massive showroom, filled with affordable, stylish home furnishing.
www.streetsofwestchester.com, www.ikea.com/us/en/store/west_chester.

Hyde Park Square, one of Cincinnati's oldest, trendiest destinations, has plenty of specialty boutiques and shops, including the new XY Knickers shop for men. Plus, the Hyde Park Sunday Farmer's Market is in full swing from May to October. The annual Hyde Park Square Art Show is slated for Oct. 2.
www.hydeparksquare.org.

Kenwood Towne Centre is anchored by three leading department stores: Nordstrom, Dillard's and Macy's. The shopping hot spot also features almost 200 specialty retailers.
www.kenwoodtownecentre.com.

Rookwood Commons and Pavilion in Norwood offers high-end and luxury shopping with more than 70 fine stores and restaurants.
www.shoprookwood.com.
 
Newport on the Levee is a great family destination with the Newport Aquarium, but there is plenty of retail as well, including StoneBrook Winery, a wine store featuring locally-made spirits.