Bordering Downtown, Cincinnati’s West End was once one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. The character of the West End was profoundly altered between 1937 and 1943 when large tracts of land were claimed for the construction of over 2,000 units of ill-fated public housing at Lincoln Court and Laurel Homes. Lincoln Court and Laurel Homes epitomized the problems of the neighborhood until 1998 and 1999 when Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) received two HOPE VI grants.
The Community Builders worked with the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, HUD, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the City of Cincinnati and other partners to redevelop the area into City West. The team has completed more than 700 residential units with total development cost of more than $73 million. The development also includes new retail activity, community facilities, streetscapes and open spaces. As the master planner, owner, developer and management agent for City West, TCB is committed to the long term success of this Cincinnati neighborhood.
City West has won several awards, including a 2005 Grand Award from Builder magazine’s 25th annual Builder’s Choice Awards, a 2004 American Institute of Architects (AIA)/Housing PIA award for Community by Design, and a 2003 The New Face of America’s Public Housing Award for general excellence from the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU).
City West has recently undergone a dramatic reinvestment. On October 15th TCB closed on a restructuring of the Laurel Homes phases of City West, wherein Hudson Housing Capital, Fifth Third Bank CDC, National Equity Fund and TCB brought over $6 million of new resources to the development that funded $2.7 million of reserves and paid down $2.4 million of debt owed to Cincinnati Development Fund on the Laurel Homes phases. These new investments will benefit City West residents and the West End neighborhood for years to come.
Current occupancy for Public Housing Agency (PHA) units is 99 percent. Market-rate occupancy is 93 percent – an increase of 13 percent since 2009. And, in 2011, the year of the most recent U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspections, City West had an average score above 90 of the possible 100 points.