Reinvestment Fund is financing the mixed-use redevelopment of nine buildings near the historic Findlay Market in Cincinnati. The project includes a job training program, rental housing, parking, and retail space for small business start-ups.
Known as Job’s Café at Findlay Market, the project will continue the development of the Over-the-Rhine (OTR) neighborhood adjacent to the historic public market. It will build on the food and community focused development in the neighborhood and includes “Job’s Café”, a social enterprise restaurant that is operated by the Corporation for Findlay Market (CFFM) and CityLink, a job-training social service provider.
The project also includes space for businesses that graduate from the nearby Findlay Market kitchen incubator, additional retail space, limited office space and 68 rental housing units affordable to families at 80% of the area median income (AMI).
Reinvestment Fund is financing two loans that will be a source of leverage debt for the $25 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) transaction. The first is a leverage loan and the second loan will bridge to Historic Tax Credits (HTC) that the project has secured. Cincinnati Development Fund, Partners for the Common Good, and Finance Fund are participating in the financing.
JPMorgan Chase is the NMTC investor and is providing some NMTC allocations. Remaining NMTC allocations for the project are coming from the Cincinnati Development Fund, UACD/Cross Street Partners and National Trust Community Investment Corporation. East West Bank is the federal HTC investor and Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing is the state HTC investor. Cross Street Partners and National Trust Community Investment Corporation are NMTC investors.
The LEED certified redevelopment includes the following:
- Residential Rental Units: Sixty eight rental properties, with annual rent affordable for up to 80% AMI and at least 25% of units are required to remain affordable over the project’s compliance period.
- Job’s Café: A 2,360-square-foot café and job training facility open to the public and provided at no cost to the operators. The Café will train and place 75-100 people annually into living wage culinary jobs in the restaurant scene throughout Cincinnati including a number of new restaurants
opening in the OTR neighborhood.
- Kitchen Incubator Graduate Space: In 2015, CFFM opened The Kitchen at Findlay Market a commercial kitchen for local food entrepreneurs . CFFM will now add 3,465 square feet in space to provide subsidized retail locations for up to three graduates of the Kitchen at Findlay Market program.
- Additional Office/Commercial Space: A total of 31,006 commercial and office square feet.
The neighborhood in Cincinnati has received national attention for both its years of extreme poverty and violence and more recently for its dramatic transformation and development. Despite Findley Market being a long standing anchor to the community since 1852, the neighborhood is highly distressed with a median income of 11% of the Area Median Income (AMI), 71% poverty rate, and a 24% unemployment rate. Racially, the census tract is majority (77%) black followed by 17% white.