Urban Development Fund provided the financing for the complete renovation of three contiguous, historic buildings located at 3301 Colerain in Camp Washington, Ohio. The buildings consist of 138,000 square feet of retail, light industrial, office and condominium space.
Camp Washington is a manufacturing area that is home to Kahn’s Meats, the Andrew Jergens Company and to 1,763 residents. In recent years, the neighborhood has suffered greatly from the closing or relocation of several manufacturing facilities, which had provided a bulk of the employment opportunities in the neighborhood.
The rehabilitation of these buildings resulted in 46,120 square feet of commercial space, 60 units of housing that is being targeted to local residents who work at the factories in the area, a 48-unit parking garage facility, and 72 surface parking spaces. The commercial component consists of office space and The American Sign Museum. The purpose of the American Sign Museum is to preserve, archive and display a historical collection of signs in their many types and forms. The Museum will also document and survey the products and equipment utilized in the design and manufacture of signs, and offer biographical information of the people who have contributed to the industry. The Museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and was founded in 1999 as the National Signs of the Times Museum.
Machine Flats had a total cost of $6,895,000 with UDF investing 100% of this amount. UDF’s investment included approximately $3,800,000 in debt and $3,100,000 in equity. This investment, in conjunction with historic tax credits, will cover all costs associated with rehabilitating the structures. The project has received broad local community support and benefits from a property tax abatement for eight years under the City of Cincinnati’s Community Reinvestment Area Tax Exemption. This is an estimated $8.6 million benefit to the project according to the City of Cincinnati.
Machine Flats is located in a census tract with a 35% poverty rate and the median income is 47% of area median income. This project is expected to bring 50 construction jobs and 60 new, full time jobs to the community, as well as renovating a group of vacant buildings that are in desperate need of rehabilitation. The addition of residential space in this area will help to curb the accelerated population decline due to the recent loss of employment opportunities in the area. Through the NMTC program, this project received more flexible borrower credit standards than it would have received from conventional lenders, an equity contribution, and an interest only loan.