The Community Builders, Inc. has been awarded a $29.5 million 2012 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Cincinnati’s Avondale neighborhood. The funding will support a sweeping neighborhood transformation plan developed by TCB, in partnership with the City of Cincinnati, Avondale Community Council (ACC), Avondale Community Development Corporation (ACDC), Cincinnati Public Schools and Urban League of Greater Cincinnati. The partnership received the only 2012 grant awarded to a private or nonprofit sponsor.
“Comprehensive and sustainable revitalization is coming to Avondale,” said Terri Hamilton Brown TCB Midwest regional director. “Together with our partners, TCB will leverage the Choice Implementation Neighborhoods grant to reestablish this neighborhood as a community of choice to live, work, and raise a family.”
Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants support communities that have already undergone a comprehensive local planning process and are prepared to implement a transformation plan to redevelop the neighborhood. The transformation plan is structured in four parts: housing, neighborhood, people and education. The core of the plan is the rehabilitation of five multifamily properties located along Avondale’s Reading Road thoroughfare and the infill of new mixed-income housing on vacant lots in the area. A total of 318 units of housing will be constructed or substantially rehabilitated.
The plan also includes neighborhood investments in the Avondale business district and strengthened connections to the nearby Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the Uptown District. New resident programs will address needs identified in a 2012 resident survey by the Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation, including healthy living programs at Gabriel’s Place and Urban League employment training. The Cincinnati Public Schools will implement the plan’s youth education programs.
“Our plan will bring a healthy mix of residential and commercial development,” Brown continued. “We will also introduce initiatives that sustain communities, such as safety programs, neighborhood gardens, expanded K-8 arts education and connections to nearby employment centers.”
The City of Cincinnati has been a champion and advocate for the transformation plan, which builds on years of planning by ACC and ACDC, with assistance from Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The plan includes a community-based steering committee, chaired by an ACC representative, to monitor progress and recommend adjustments.
“We are so excited to work with TCB in the transformation of Avondale,” said Ozie Davis III, ACDC executive director. “TCB cares about more than buildings, they care about people.”
The Choice Neighborhoods grant award follows TCB’s recent acquisition of 19 multifamily properties in Cincinnati, including the five Avondale sites targeted in the transformation plan. The company also owns and manages the City West, an award-winning mixed-income development in Cincinnati’s West End, with 686 units and over 1,400 residents. Recently, City West received $6 million from new investors and lenders to reinvest in this development.