The groundbreaking ceremony for Avondale Center was held on October 30th, 2017. Mayor John Cranley joined The Community Builders, Inc. and the Avondale Coalition of Churches, partners and community members to break ground at the New Avondale Center site today. The new mixed-use development creates two new mixed use buildings and the rehabilitation of a third commercial building, including 76,000 square feet of commercial space with a vibrant mix of new and existing tenants on the ground floors and 119 units of mixed-income housing. In addition, construction of the new center includes robust commitments to economic inclusion and hiring from the Avondale community.
Located in the heart of the neighborhood, the center is close to public transportation and will provide Avondale families access to a health center sponsored by UC Health and the City of Cincinnati’s Health Department, a grocery store, laundromat and other retailers.
“Over the last five years TCB has gotten to know the needs and aspirations of the Avondale community. The New Avondale Center aims to address both,” said Terri Hamilton Brown, regional vice president of development, Midwest, at TCB. “We are delighted to work with local partners to demonstrate the market potential that exists in the heart of Avondale.”
The New Avondale Center is the third and final phase of the years-long Avondale Choice Neighborhoods transformation supported by a $29.5 million Choice Neighborhoods grant which was received in December 2012 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Over the last five years, the grant has supported the revitalization or the construction of 319 apartment homes at The Pointes at Avondale for families with a range of incomes along the Reading Road corridor, along with neighborhood investments in commercial development, in the new Avondale Business Center, and broad services supporting resident and family success.
Neighborhood transformation takes time and requires more than just housing and retail. To strengthen the community even further, TCB and local partner, Avondale Community Development Corporation joined forces with Powernet to bring Avondale Community Wi-Fi to residents and businesses. Completed this fall, Phase one establishes a Wi-Fi network between Blair Avenue extending to South Shuttlesworth Circle, creating access for thousands of community residents and businesses to use free Wi-Fi to connect with their neighborhood news, complete assignments, apply for jobs and more.
Funding for the New Avondale Center was made possible through a mix of HUD Choice grant funds, New Markets Tax Credit equity from JPMorgan Chase Bank, LISC debt financing, City of Cincinnati grant funds, Housing Tax Credit equity from US Bank, TCB program investments, a Children’s Hospital Avondale Community Partnership & Investment Community Development Grant, and construction financing from US Bank. Critical New Markets Tax Credit allocation is provided by Cincinnati Development Fund, New Markets Support Company (an affiliate of LISC), JPMorgan Chase Bank, RBC Capital Markets, and Uptown Consortium. Housing Tax Credits allocated by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.