The fate of one of the largest neighborhoods in all of Cincinnati could change with $40 million in redevelopment. Like no other offer known, a team of local organizations hope to save Avondale Town Center.
Three Phase Development
This development project is actually the last of three phases in Avondale. To date, $30 million in grant money from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been provided and leveraged it into $100 million. To date, the money has been used for implementation of choice neighborhoods within the community but also rehabilitating a total of nine properties in all. Now as part of the final phase, Reading Road will experience new construction.
As explained by Jeffrey Beam, director of development for Community Builders regarding plans for the seventh largest neighborhood in Cincinnati, since first conceiving Avondale Town Center, incredible discussions have taken place within the community about completing the entire project.
Following these discussions, the original concept of the community was expanded. Currently, the plan includes a $40 million vision broken down into two parks for the northwest corner of Rockdale/Forest Avenue and Reading Road. From what the community says, included in the development would be both residential and commercial properties, as well as a local grocery store.
Even the mayor of Cincinnati is excited that by doing the development all at once, other financing such as New Market Tax Credits could be leveraged. For years, builders within the community have worked closely with the Avondale Community Development Corporation and the Avondale Community Council as a way to improve one of the proudest and most historically relevant neighborhoods in Cincinnati.
Avondale Town Center is centrally located and consists of beautiful and large wooded lots on what is called Avondale Town Center North. If the money comes through, this would be the first part developed. In addition, a 47,000 square foot strip mall with surface parking would be built. With development of this area, three new structures would be erected to the street in a pedestrian-friendly fashion to include 80,000 square feet of retail space and 118 residential units.
Officials working on the project believe there are still quite a few details to work out but of the community overall, Avondale Town Center North is by far the most complete. Of the 72 residential units to be developed, 51 would be set aside specifically for lower income tenants, as indicated by Cincinnati.com.
As stated by Beam, the ultimate goal is to have all design documents finalized yet this spring, which would provide the group to approach possible retail tenants but also secure financing. If everything comes together as anticipated, ground could be broken sometime in early 2016.
The city of Cincinnati owns the land and has a land lease with several local churches and individual leases that include tenants for the strip mall. When completed, Avondale Town Center would provide people with easy access, affordable living, close proximity to Xavier, the Zoo, and Children’s Hospital, and a convenient location to an IGA grocery store for a much healthier and fresher selection of foods.