$8.3M Saengerhalle development to spark Race Street transformation through OTR

The Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) has focused their attention along Vine Street and parts of Main Street through Over-the-Rhine for the better part of the last five years.  Their goals have been to target some of the most troubled areas of the neighborhood and turn them around.  Now, the development corporation has shifted its focus west to Race Street and will move its offices into a new $8.3 million project taking shape along Race Street just north of Washington Park.

The Saengerhalle development, named for the "Saenger Halle" music venue that preceded Music Hall, is to 14th and Race streets as the Duncanson Lofts development was to 12th and Vine streets years ago.  Following the completion of Duncanson, a handful of projects immediately followed suit which have led to hundreds of new residents, dozens of new businesses, dramatic declines in criminal activity, and a heartbeat to a part of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood which has not been felt in a generation.

3CDC has tapped NorthPointe Group to oversee the redevelopment project that will introduce more than 32,000 square feet of office space to the neighborhood by spring 2011.  But like Duncanson, once Saengerhalle is complete, several other projects will fall in line.  Four such projects will create even more residential units and retail space, redevelop and expand the historic Washington Park, redevelop a historic church, and introduce a new underground parking garage underneath the northern most section of the park.

"We wanted to bring business into the area and make the area vibrant during the day outside of the park," said Christy Samad, Communications Assistant, 3CDC.  "The Saengerhalle project is in the heart of the redevelopment taking place in the area and it will be great to be there with the merchants and new Washington Park."

3CDC plans to relocate their offices to the street-level office space in the redeveloped structures along with NorthPointe Group.

"We're hoping that the first premier commercial space in this part of the neighborhood will serve as a catalyst for other investment nearby," Samad explained.  "We're taking the first-floor space so that the two upper floors are preserved for tenants looking to take advantage of the great views of Washington Park."

While 3CDC will be occupying approximately one-third of the total commercial space, there will also be room for a restaurant at the corner of 14th and Race that will include outdoor seating.

According to 3CDC officials, the $8.3 million project was funded through an innovative partnership with Fifth Third Bank that helped secure $4.2 million in tax credits and $4.1 million from the Cincinnati Equity Fund.

"We believe in the renaissance taking place in our urban core.  The positive results are evident," said Catherine Cawthon, president of Fifth Third Bank Community Development Corporation.  "People are coming back to the central business district and Over-the-Rhine for entertainment, to buy homes and to start businesses.  Along with construction jobs, the Saengerhalle project is projected to bring at least 100 permanent jobs to Over-the-Rhine, and we're proud to offer our support."

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Rendering Provided
Stay connected by following Randy on Twitter @UrbanCincy
Signup for Email Alerts