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Here are 13 neighborhood projects Cincinnati officials want to boost with nearly $2 million

The YWCA is renovating a building on Van Antwerp Pl in Avondale into a new shelter for survivors of domestic violence.
City of Cincinnati
The YWCA is renovating a building on Van Antwerp Place in Avondale into a new shelter for survivors of domestic violence.

Cincinnati City Council is expected to allocate nearly $2 million to various neighborhood projects next week.

City administration is recommending 13 projects in eight neighborhoods through the newly established Neighborhood Catalytic Capital Improvement Program. See a full list below.

Department of Community and Economic Development Director Markieya Carter says 27 applicants asked for nearly $9 million in funding.

"The applications were evaluated based on a number of factors including the neighborhood impact, the benefit to strategic investment areas, community support, project scope and budget, private leverage, the organization's capacity, as well as the completeness of the application," Carter told Council's Budget and Finance Committee Monday.

The largest award is $500,000 for the YWCA to open a new domestic violence shelter.

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The recommended awards are split into two categories: Early Action (pre-development) and Project Implementation (for projects that could realistically be under construction within 18 months).

Early Action:

  • Imperial Theatre renovation — Over-the-Rhine ($100,000)
  • Price Hill Will for stabilization of 3509 Warsaw Ave — East Price Hill ($100,000)
  • ROMAC+Katalyst at The Regal Project — West End ($100,000)
  • Uptown Consortium Inc for public greenspace — Avondale ($100,000)
  • Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses for First German Reformed Church — West End ($100,000)
  • Camp Washington Urban Redevelopment Corporation for 2965 Colerain Ave ($100,000)
  • Clifton Heights CURC for 495 Riddle Rd/496 Sandheger Pl ($100,000)

Project Implementation:

  • American Sign Museum expansion — Camp Washington ($100,000)
  • Village Development Corporation for Pocket Park in Spring Grove Village ($20,200)
  • West End Sports Bar & Grill ($320,000)
  • ArtWorks for creative campus — Walnut Hills ($150,000)
  • YWCA domestic violence shelter in Avondale — ($500,000)
  • OTR A.D.O.P.T. ($50,000)

The Early Action projects are in very early stages, and it's not certain they'll secure other funding necessary to make it across the finish line.
"At some point, [for] some of these projects in the future, there's many difficult decisions that have to be made," said Council Member Jeff Cramerding. "Even after an investment from the city of $100,000, that doesn't mean all these projects are gonna be funded."

The money is left over from the last city budget, which ended in June 2022. In the past, Council has spent the money in the fall in what's called the carryover budget, which often involved organizations lobbying council members for direct funding.

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This time, however, council opted to establish a new system where organizations formally apply for funding and a panel of judges would work with city administration to recommend which projects should get funding.

Council Member Liz Keating praised the new process.

"It takes the politics out of this and really lets the experts — who can see the viability of these projects and where the investments needed — lead," Keating said.

The move wasn't unanimous, with three of nine council members voting against the change: Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, Scotty Johnson and Victoria Parks. Their opposition centered on changing the process at the last minute after working with several organizations on their funding requests.

Learn more about the projects recommended for funding below:

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.