It’s hard to ignore the ongoing transformation of Over-the-Rhine these days. It seems almost every day a new restaurant, business or development project is announced to open in the once struggling neighborhood. Of course, the key player leading the neighborhoods redevelopment efforts is the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation, better known as 3CDC.
3cDC’s latest phase includes tackling one of its largest redevelopment projects in the neighborhood, Mercer Commons, which includes almost two blocks worth of buildings between Vine Street and Walnut Street.
The $60 million project is divided into three phases. Phase one, which is currently underway, includes the construction of a new four-story condo building along Vine Street, five town houses, the redevelopment of a couple historic buildings and a 340-space parking garage that opened to the public last week.
According to 3CDC spokesperson Anastasia Mileham, preparations for phase two are already underway and construction is officially slated to kick off at the end of the month.
“The groundbreaking event for Mercer Phase 2 is scheduled for 1pm on May 31, but we haven’t closed on Phase 2 yet ,” Mileham explained, “We are starting construction already to try to keep up with demand and stay on schedule.”
The second phase of the project will include rehabilitation of 15 historic buildings into mixed income apartments. The development team says that 30 out of the 67 apartments will for people who make 50-60% of the average median income.
To help provide the affordable housing units, 3CDC relied on a $4.6 million Low Income Housing Tax Credit from the federal government, and marks the non-profits first foray into mixed income housing.
Mileham told UrbanCincy that receiving the tax credit was the most rewarding aspect of the project to date, ” There is a need for this type of mixed income development.”
Since the newly opened Mercer Commons Garage is large enough to serve the entire development, and then some, the developers were able to preserve space in the development plan behind newly built structures in phases two and three. This space, 3CDC says, will be preserved for interior courtyards similar to the one found at Parvis Lofts across the street.
Once fully built out, Mercer Commons will add 156 residential units, in both apartments and condos, and 17,600 square feet of street-level commercial space.
While no tenants have been signed, Mileham says that there has been “substantial” interest in the 3,900 square feet of retail space in phase one.