The Port starts construction in Bond Hill Business District

July 26, 2018 – The Port, Bond Hill Community Council, City of Cincinnati, Community Economic Advancement Initiative (CEAI) and Bond Hill & Roselawn (BH+R) Collaborative held an open house celebration to kick off the rehab of the Bond Hill Business District on July 25, 2018 at 4900 Reading Road.

The Port and CEAI have worked with the community of Bond Hill to create a plan to revitalize the business district; it was identified as a number one priority in the BH+R Plan. Since 2015, The Port has acquired 15 group parcels (21 unique parcels) totaling 3.018 acres in the Bond Hill Business District. Demolition of 34,493 square feet of blighted structures has been completed to make way for new development with the goal of attracting microenterprise and neighborhood-serving businesses.

“This community open house celebrates the construction of our first development in Bond Hill which consists of 5,500 square feet of retail space designed to house local businesses with a new surface parking lot,” said Robert Sanders, director of commercial development, The Port. “As a resident of Bond Hill and through the The Port’s work in the neighborhood, I know that its greatest strength is its legacy of civic engagement. Together, we can connect everyone to this opportunity that will result in a community that is beautiful, productive, equitable and diverse.”

Phase I of the Bond Hill Business District redevelopment includes:

  • 4930-4922 Reading Road – Building renovations & Façade Improvements, marketing to attract new neighborhood-serving businesses
  • 4914-4910 Reading Road – Building demolition, future parking.

The City of Cincinnati has made revitalization projects in Bond Hill and Roselawn a priority and provided capital funding for The Port’s redevelopment work in these neighborhoods. The Port has leveraged public funds with grants and private capital, as well as impact investment. Through a variety of funding and development agreements centered on transforming these neighborhoods’ disinvested properties, The Port has led acquisition and redevelopment of more than 80 acres.

“We are committed to development and progress in Bond Hill without displacement,” stated Gene Ellington, president and CEO of CEAI. “It has been a collaborative effort to achieve progress. It is a great day for transformation in the community.”

“The City of Cincinnati and Mayor Cranley are investing $1.85M to bring the Bond Hill community’s vision for a business district to life,” said Greg Koehler, senior economic development analyst, City of Cincinnati. “We’re excited about this investment and the businesses and jobs it will bring to the community.”

“Bond Hill is 20 minutes from almost anywhere in Greater Cincinnati, we are in a great location,” shared Rea Waldon, president, Bond Hill Community Council. “Our residents are committed to the community and I hope to see them shopping in a revitalized business district soon. Full steam ahead.”

“We have been working in Bond Hill and Roselawn for more than five years,” said Paul Kitzmiller, CEO, CORE Resources, Inc. “We are excited to partner with The Port, which is kickstarting development in this community.”

“With this renovation, two buildings will be ready for market investment,” added Sanders. “We believe that our DREAM loan fund, funded by the Kresge Foundation, will be used to build out tenant space to attract local entrepreneurs and businesses.”

The Port historical timeline in Bond Hill and Roselawn neighborhoods.

  • In 2012, under a development services partnership with the City of Cincinnati, The Port began to identify what needed to happen that would encourage growth and investment.
  • In 2012, with generous funding from Duke Energy and Kroger, The Port conducted a marketing analysis of the Seymour / Reading market area, which confirmed that there is about $100 million of unmet retail demand within 3 miles of the intersection.
  • In 2013, The Port focused on removing blight at two key sites – Jordan Crossing and the Seymour Plaza shopping center. Together, these sites are about 40 acres. With the City as the The Port’s funding partner, we cleared the sites of blight and encouraged the investment of Jet Machine and have a 25-acre shovel ready site at the MidPointe project.
  • In 2014, The Port was awarded $500,000 from the state of Ohio to fund community green space on 1.4 acres of the Midpointe site –the result is the 1-mile Swift Park trail that encourages connection and community.
  • In 2015, a vacant, blighted commercial property in Roselawn at 1811 Losantiville was demolished. Construction is under way there today. The Port has completed demolition of 34,493 square feet of blighted structures to make way for new development.
  • In 2016, Mayor Cranley announced $3 million for capital projects in Bond Hill and Roselawn to be jointly developed by the The Port and by Community Economic Advancement Initiative (CEAI), a nonprofit community development, finance and engagement organization.
  • Also in 2016, The Port made a significant purchase for its industrial redevelopment strategy – the Cincinnati Gardens site. This 19 acre property will be redeveloped to create good-paying industrial and manufacturing jobs.

Gene Ellington, CEO and President of CEAI. (above)

Rea Waldon, President, Bond Hill Community Council. (above)

Robert Sanders, Director of Commercial Development, The Port (above)

About The Port:

The Port is a public, mission-driven development finance agency focused on revitalizing Hamilton County, Ohio, neighborhoods and legacy urban industrial sites. A port authority under Ohio Revised Code 4582, our diverse suite of programs and initiatives are structured to make significant impact to improve our region in ways that reduce poverty, improve land value and create well-paying jobs. The agency is governed by a board of directors appointed in equal number by the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. More information at