Enquirer Story: ‘Avondale Rising’

The Cincinnati Enquirer posted an article highlighting a few of TCB’s core efforts and those of our community partners in the revitalization of Avondale.  In journalist Mark Curnutte’s Avondale rising: Makeover finally gets start, five current projects in the neighborhood are highlighted with “the potential to energize” Avondale.

Among them:

Avondale Choice Neighborhoods phases I and II

The Choice Neighborhoods grant is the single biggest project of the five, and it is considered the most transformational. Not long after winning the federal grant, the Community Builders bought four apartment houses to add to the five it already owned. In all, the nine buildings contain 200 apartment units that will be renovated, brought up to code and rented out.

Two vacant buildings, the Commodore at 3639 Reading Road and the Ambassador around the corner at 722 Gholson Ave., are almost completely gutted. Those two buildings are less than two blocks from Crescent Court, one of the two occupied buildings that the Community Builders plans to rehab first. The other is the Poinciana at 3522 Reading.

On Maple Avenue, 631 and 615 will be razed, and seven townhouses will be built along the south side of Maple. A vacant three-story house across the street, at 610 Maple, will be converted into four apartments.

“We are now mobilizing,” said Jeff Beam, Community Builders’ director of development in Ohio and Kentucky.

A vacant apartment building on Gholson Ave that TCB is rehabilitating under Avondale Choice Neighborhoods

A vacant apartment building on Gholson Ave that TCB is rehabilitating under Avondale Choice Neighborhoods

Avondale Choice Neighborhoods phase III, including the potential to create a new grocery store in Avondale, a documented food desert for access to fresh and healthy options.

In addition to housing, a goal is to build a new grocery at the corner of Reading and Forest Avenue, across from the proposed Lincoln statue park.

The IGA was in the Avondale Town Center, which sits far off the street.

In September, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley went on record with his support for a full-service grocery in the city’s black community in his state-of-the-city address.

Along with the Avondale Community Council, Avondale Community Development Corp., City Food Access Taskforce, Avondale Comprehensive Development Corp., the Coalition of Pastors and the Community Builders, work has begun to build a mixed-use development on that corner – which would include 60 units of mixed-income housing and a new grocery store.

The revitalization of Lincoln Park, among the “critical community investments” proposed to be partially supported by Choice funds.

To the south of the Abraham Lincoln statue at Reading and Rockdale sits an unused plot of green space that Davis and other community leaders envision as a scaled-down version of Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park.

Designs, complete with amenities such as a children’s water park and performance stage, are being collected.

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