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Neighborhood of Focus since 2013

Neighborhood of Focus: Evanston

The Port leads transformational real estate development projects in neighborhoods where the market will not invest. This was the case in Evanston in 2014, where there had not been a market home sale in over nine years. The Evanston Community Council (ECC) welcomed us in to jump start the housing market. Through focused investment in Evanston, The Port has built or rehabbed 30 homes, re-setting the market and attracting private capital. We are now seeing private investment and rehab of properties on the streets where The Port has invested. There are four private rehabs taking place on St. Leger – a street where The Port focused its early efforts.

In 2018, the Hamilton County Landbank funded and assisted in the facilitation of a neighborhood plan update with the ECC. The new plan is in its final stages. An updated plan will help inform The Port’s disposition of and/or redevelopment of existing property inventory and the types of businesses to focus on attracting to commercial districts. The plan will also serve as a guide for the ECC as it reviews proposed investment by private developers.

The Port’s holistic housing strategy also brings an affordable housing product through the HURC, which began rehabbing two homes on Jonathan in 2018. The HURC has a goal of bringing six affordably priced rehabbed homes to the neighborhood by the end of 2019. The Port holds 112 properties in Evanston for future redevelopment and has put 75 formerly blighted and unsafe properties back to productive use.

The Port continues to make strategic acquisition of blighted commercial properties in the Five Points and Northern Business Districts in order to create a developable assemblage and revive the community’s business districts – a clear priority identified in the planning process.

Additionally, in the Northern Business District, The Port’s Neighborhood team partnered with the ECC and the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation (WHRF) on an application for funding through the City of Cincinnati’s Neighborhood Business District Improvement Program (NBDIP) in 2018. Through a competitive process, the project was awarded $236,000 in funding for asbestos abatement and Phase I stabilization to prepare three vacant, historic properties along Montgomery Rd for future redevelopment: 3604-08 Montgomery Road & 3570 Montgomery Road, properties acquired by the Landbank, as well as 1740 Brewster, acquired by the WHRF. The Landbank has committed an additional $40,000. A funding contract with the city is being finalized at this time – the project will be publicly bid out in the near future with hopes to commence construction in 2019.

A – Easterseals

1710 Brewster & 1985 Kinney | Partnership

The Landbank helped Easterseals acquire the homes to be rehabbed by YouthBuild apprentices. The training program helps youth acquire construction skills and provide affordable housing throughout the country.


B – Commercial Development

3604 Montgomery | For Sale / Lease


C – HURC Home Rehab

Affordable Housing | 2002; 2018

Through the City of Cincinnati’s NOFA program, HURC received $300,000 to rehab six homes in Evanston – 3212 and 3221 Wold; 1640, 1650 and 1654 Jonathan; 3476 Woodburn


D – Hilton Garden Inn

2145 Dana Avenue | Public Finance

The Port issued lease revenue bonds to fund construction and owns the hotel through ground lease of air rights above a City of Cincinnati owned parking garage.


E – Commercial Property

3341 Montgomery Road | 2016

Through an agency agreement with the City of Cincinnati, The Port performed stabilization work on this property. This 6,000 SF commercial structure is now available for lease.


F – REACH Evanston

Market-Rate Housing | 2015

To date, we have rehabbed or built 29 homes in Evanston. Our focus in Evanston on St. Leger Place has resulted in six new-build homes on the street and several others have been rehabbed.


G – St. Ambrose Apartments

Woodburn and St. Leger Place | Moving Ohio Forward | 2013

The Port acquired the crime-ridden apartment complex through the Landbank and funded its demolition under Moving Ohio Forward state demolition grant program paving the way for redevelopment of the 1.6-acre site by private developer Model Group in partnership with the City of Cincinnati. St. Ambrose apartments opened in 2014.


H – Findlay Market Farmstand

1614 Hewitt Avenue | 2016

Once home to a carryout / drive thru crime hotspot, The Port and the City of Cincinnati teamed up on acquisition, remediation, removal of underground storage tank, and demolition resulting in a clean, development-ready 0.5-acre site. The Findlay Market Farmstand brings fresh produce to this site every summer.


I – Commercial development

3248 Gilbert Avenue | For Sale / Lease



Lawn Life | 2015 – CURRENT

Lawn Life has been passionately involved with the REACH program since February of 2015. Lawn Life has been responsible for the clean-out and/or maintenance of more than 30 homes in the Evanston community.

Building Value | 2013 – CURRENT

The Port has become Building Value’s biggest client. “We probably do more demolitions for them than any entity around,” says Program Director David Rich. These projects provide ample opportunities for participants to receive valuable industry training. Participants were involved in 19 projects in 2016 alone.


  • 36 Single-family homes completed or underway
  • 75 properties sold or disposed
  • $13.8MM total investment through 2018

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