Port approves financing for major West Side project

Port approves financing for major West Side project

The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority approved an assistance package that will help the $17.6 million Warsaw Creative Campus in East Price Hill become a reality.

The Port’s board agreed Wednesday to assume ownership of the 0.76-acre, seven-parcel site from 3108 to 3120 Warsaw Ave., which will be home to 13 affordable housing units and the MyCincinnati Youth Orchestra, a free daily youth orchestra program with 130 students, 80% of them being Black or Latino. The Port will lease the project back to developers the Model Group and Price Hill Will.

That ownership structure allows the developers to avoid paying sales taxes on building materials, reducing the cost of the project. Model Construction will be the general contractor.

The project includes buildings that are mostly unoccupied. In addition to the orchestra and the apartments, it will include art space and a restaurant. The apartments will be aimed at people making 60% to 80% of the area median income.

It also received an Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit of $1.7 million earlier this year. The city of Cincinnati has committed $700,000 to the project.

The project is expected to result in the creation of 41 full-time jobs and a $1.2 million annual payroll.

The Hamilton County Landbank, which is managed by the Port, previously stabilized the properties.

“It’s a catalytic project,” said Todd Castellini, the Port’s vice president for public finance.

The project will build on other nearby public investments, including a public library expansion, renovation of Dempsey Park and the recreation center, and a $10 million renovation of the historic Masonic Lodge into a community events facility.