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Music Hall renovation secures more funding, nearing goal

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Sarah Ramsey
/
WVXU

Music Hall supporters are another step closer to their fundraising goal to renovate the aging performance center.

Thursday the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded the project $25 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits. The normal credit is $5 million but the agency is allowed to award one "catalytic project" every two years. To qualify, projects must be large-scale rehabilitation efforts "that will foster significant economic development within a 2,500 foot radius of the building." This cycle, the agency chose Music Hall.

"Today, Christmas came early for Cincinnati Music Hall." - Oh. Sen Bill Seitz
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Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
Ohio Development Services Agency Director David Goodman announces $25 million in state historic tax credits for the Music Hall renovation project.

Agency director David Goodman says, "The work that you're doing investing in this (Over-the-Rhine) community... and making it what it is and what it can be, is something that isn't going to be recognized just here in Ohio or in the United States. This is a destination that is global in its impact."

Where the Numbers Stand

The financing is complicated but fundraising council Scott Provancher says the project is about $20 - $25 million shy of the projected total cost.

Here's the breakdown:

  • Approximately $43 million in state and federal historic tax credits
  • $40 million in private giving
  • $5 million from the State Capital Budget
  • $10 million from the City of Cincinnati

Roughly $5 million might also be coming from the city. That leaves about $20 million left to raise. The preservation task force puts the project cost at $123 million. The state is including some planning funds that have already been spent to put the total at $127.5 million.
Music Hall Revitalization Company president (and Cincinnati Public Radio board member) Otto Budig says he anticipates raising the remaining $20 million during the next six months. If that is indeed what happens, he says the project could be "shovel ready" by Fall 2015. By that timeline, a renovated Music Hall could be ready for the 2017-2018 season.