Hamilton County Landbank issues development RFP for single-family home parcels in Evanston

Development opportunity supports neighborhood’s housing strategy to “create a sustainable, mixed-income neighborhood without displacement.”

Hewitt Corridor Proposal due date: September 13, 2019

CINCINNATI – The Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation (Landbank) announced today it has issued a Request for Proposal for the purchase and redevelopment of a collection of vacant properties located in Cincinnati’s Evanston neighborhood. All 12 parcels included in the RFP are owned by the Hamilton County Landbank, a public entity that fosters equitable growth in neighborhoods by transforming vacant, abandoned and blighted properties into productive assets, aligned with the neighborhood’s goals. The parcels, all buildable single-family lots located on or near Hewitt Avenue, total about 1.5 acres and have a current estimated value of more than $120,000. Hewitt Avenue is a key corridor in Evanston that leads to the Academy of World Languages.

The Landbank is initially releasing the invitation to submit proposals to about 50 developers, but also welcomes proposals from any qualified developer.

“Ideally, we would like to have a multitude of proposals to consider for this opportunity,” according to Bill Fischer, Vice President of Community Development for The Port. “It’s great to build the bench of developers who have a passion for urban infill projects. We welcome ideas for the Hewitt corridor properties that reflect the neighborhood’s character and commitment to creating a broad spectrum of housing choices.” He said that three of the 12 homes must be built to sell at an affordable rate.

Evanston community residents will be part of the project developer selection committee. Since 2018, Evanston Community Council has been leading the process to update its ten-year plan, which represents neighborhood priorities and collective vision for the future. More than 175 people have participated in some part of the Evanston work plan process, including members of The Port’s neighborhood team.

Mr. Fischer said the Hewitt Corridor Proposal has been endorsed by the community council’s housing committee and members of the work plan teams. “The neighborhood identified Hewitt as a development priority because of its proximity to the Academy of World Languages – we are delighted to have these properties under Landbank ownership and are now able to offer them as an attractive development opportunity.”

Housing demand is strong in Evanston, an historic neighborhood that is attracting new residents who want to take advantage of the community’s central location and assets. According to Community Building Institute, in 2018, there were 58 single-family home sales in Evanston with a median sale price of $102,450. In the four years between 2014 and 2018, the median sale price has increased by $86,312.

Questions about the RFP can be directed to Michael Golden, Residential Development Associate, at (513) 621-3000. The RFP documents are also available online.

All proposals should be submitted by September 13, 2019, to info@cincinnatiport.org with the subject line “Hewitt Corridor Proposal” with hard copies delivered to The Port offices at 3 E. Fourth Street, Suite 300, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202.

The Port shares development opportunities in its seven focus neighborhoods and throughout Hamilton County with members of the African American Chamber during quarterly Real Estate Forums focused on wealth and business-building.


Since 2013, The Port has been working in Evanston to help it recover from blight and vacancy resulting from the Great Recession and housing crisis. In response to the neighborhood’s 2012 Housing Strategy, Evanston became The Port’s first neighborhood of focus. The Port acquired vacant, blighted single-family homes and rehabbed and sold them in a program named “REACH Evanston.”  Since REACH began in 2013, The Port has rehabbed 24 homes and built 6 new homes, in the area surrounding Walnut Hills High School. Since the REACH program began, other homes on the streets with REACH homes have on average sold for a price that is 36.5% higher than their 2008 value. Through the Homesteading & Urban Redevelopment Corporation (HURC), also managed by The Port, six vacant Evanston homes were acquired and are being rehabbed and offered for sale to buyers who fall within the program income parameters. The first two HURC rehabs completed in 2019 on Jonathan Avenue sold quickly for $145,000 and $147,000.

The Port’s neighborhood revitalization strategy for Evanston also includes redevelopment of commercial business districts with a focus on attracting black business owners and entrepreneurs.

About Hamilton County Landbank

The Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation (Landbank) was established in 2012 and is managed by The Port. The Port and Landbank work collaboratively to revitalize neighborhoods, such as Evanston, where the tools of the Landbank can be utilized to assist with property acquisition, disposition, removing blight and holding properties until development is identified by the community. More information is available at www.hamiltoncountylandbank.org and cincinnatiport.org.

About Evanston Community Council

The Evanston Community Council is dedicated to the well-being of all residents and to the development of community through education, business and spirituality. It meets the third Tuesday of each month at the Evanston Recreation Center. In partnership with the Xavier University Community Building Institute (CBI) and The Port, the Evanston Community Council updated and approved the Evanston Work Plan in August 2019. More information is available at www.evanstoncinci.org.


August 16, 2019


Bill Fischer

Vice President of Community Development

The Port