College Hill's mid-business district getting a facelift

Over the next year, 17 businesses in College Hill will receive storefront updates thanks to the neighborhood’s facade improvement program that’s funded through a $175,000 Neighborhood Business District Improvement Program grant from the city and a $10,000 grant from the PNC Foundation. The grant money will also be met with private investment from the building owners and an 80/20 match from storefront owners.
College Hill saw $400,000 worth of facade improvements in 2006, when many of the well-established businesses received new windows and doors, updated signage and lights. But now that a number of years have passed, new businesses have moved in and properties have changed hands.
“With other neighborhood residents becoming property owners, it’s time for another round of improvements,” says Mike Cappel, president of the College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC).
All of the businesses in Phase II of the program are located on Hamilton Avenue in the neighborhood’s mid-business district. College Hill Coffee Company will soon have new awnings, Marty’s Hops and Vines will get a new sign and Silk Road Textiles will receive new windows and doors, just to name a few.
“You would be amazed at what new signage and lighting can do,” Cappel says. “It really helps to let people know the businesses are there.”
CHCURC has built a new parking lot at the corner of Marlowe and Hamilton Avenues, tearing down two dilapidated buildings in order to create about 90 parking spaces as well as new entrances, lights and landscaping. The organization had previously announced a $10.5 million mixed-use project for the area that’s dependent on receiving federal tax credits, which should be announced soon.

Read more articles by Caitlin Koenig.

Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.  
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