Since its opening in 1855, Findlay Market has grown to bring over 1.2 million visitors to Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood annually. The rest of the community near the market, however, has struggled to keep up. With 56 percent of residents living in poverty and a 25 percent unemployment rate, Over-the-Rhine is searching for ways to revitalize its economy and its people. One developer’s vision is helping.
The Model Group acquired and renovated 12 blighted, vacant buildings to create a mixed-use office, retail, and housing space across the street from Findlay Market. “Market Square at Findlay Market” features 47,000 square-feet of retail space that includes a local coffee shop, a local café, a bakery, and more. Each retail tenant is either a new business or an expansion of a small, local business. Most tenants will be opening throughout the second half of this year, but the anchor tenant – an independent, healthy foods store – opened for business in late May.
The 23 units of housing are almost fully leased, bringing much-needed quality, affordable housing options into the neighborhood. In addition, an estimated 150 permanent jobs will be created through the development.
The $18.8 million project was completed with a complicated financial structure that includes New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), historic tax credits, and leveraged financing. IFF provided $7 million in NMTC allocation and an additional $3.3 million in direct financing in partnership with the Cincinnati Development Fund.