A Look Back at 2012

It’s been a great year for our organization and the neighborhood of Walnut Hills! As we prepare to launch into an even more fruitful 2013, we wanted to highlight some of the milestones and achievements of the past year:
Form-based Code Charrette, October 2012Neighborhood Developments: 2012 brought exciting new projects and developments into Walnut Hills on several fronts:

  • Entered pre-development on the Rhodes Buildings renovation, an $8-9 million project resulting in 30 new market-rate residential units and 3-5 new first floor store fronts. A major first step in this project was our success in partnering with the Model Group to apply for and receive State Historic Preservation Tax Credits, bringing in over $1.7 million in financing! Read our post for more details.
  • Helped facilitate the transfer of ownership of 5-10 buildings to positive and engaged ownership.
  • Facilitated the structural stabilization of the oldest firehouse in the city on E. McMillan St., with usable square footage of about 3,100 sf
  • Worked with the City of Cincinnati and the Walnut Hills Area Council to get Taft and McMillan converted to two-way streets
  • 30 new flower pots were added along the sidewalks of the business district

  • Created a grocery program that boosted the store’s revenue by over $10,000 a month and helped create an organic and natural foods section in the store.
  • Committed to be among the first neighborhoods in the City’s form-based code implementation, including a multi-day design charette in which dozens of Walnut Hills residents participated
  • Received a Duke Energy Revitalization Grant to fund facade improvements to buildings within the business district. This grant has helped to launch our Facade Improvement Program which is already leveraging significant private investment from business and building owners.
Neighborhood Outreach: One of our primary goals over the past year was to increase outreach efforts and community events in Walnut Hills. In 2012 we planned the Cincinnati Street Food Festival. This event attracted over 1,500 people to Peeble’s Corner! We planned monthly neighborhood meet-up events throughout the year. We also created a website, Facebook page,  Twitter account, Vimeo account, and Instagram account for the WHRF.


Organizational Growth: In 2012 we established a new mission, strategy and branding for the WHRF and hired a full-time employee (Business District Coordinator). The Business District Coordinator, funded through a LISC Community Safety Initiative grant, will prioritize making the business district and neighborhood both cleaner and safer.

Cincinnati Street Food Festival, October 2012

We can’t wait to get back to work in 2013, and are looking forward to continued success. Join us in improving the quality of life for all residents of Walnut Hills!

Walnut Hills Projects Awarded Historic Tax Credits

975 East McMillan St., Walnut Hills.

The Ohio Development Services Agency announced today that two Walnut Hills projects have been awarded Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits, paving the way for these milestone neighborhood renovation projects to move forward. According to Christiane Schmenk, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, “the Historic Preservation Tax Credit puts empty buildings back into the economic cycle, creating jobs through construction activities and reoccupation of the buildings. This program has saved some of the state’s most significant historic structures.”

The project that Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation successfully applied for, located at 961, 965 and 975 East McMillan St. and with a total project cost of $7,994,857, was granted $1,772,054 in tax credits. Partnering with developer Model Group, we will convert these historic buildings into 30 market-rate residential units and 7,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space.

Another Walnut Hills project, the Eden Park Pump Station renovation (with a total project cost of $5.2 million), received a tax credit of $1 million. The Pump Station was originally built in 1894 but has been vacant since the 1990’s. Cincinnati Beer Company plans to open a brewery and tap room in this preserved structure.

Six Cincinnati projects, located in Walnut Hills, Over-the-Rhine, Pendelton, and Downtown, received tax credits through Gov. Kasich’s Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget allocation. With a total combined cost of $42,711,069, these Cincinnati projects received $7,952,367 in tax credits, helping to ensure the continued preservation and reuse of valuable historic structures in the City. For more information about the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit, visit the program website.