Affordable housing in the Cincinnati suburb of Walnut Hills has expanded with the opening of Park Apartments at 2378 Park Avenue. The property features 35 apartment units – 10 two bedroom and 25 one bedroom – and represents an investment of $6.7 million in building and site improvements led by Urban Sites with significant funding support from Western & Southern Financial Group.
Urban Sites, a leading developer of residential properties, office and retail spaces, and affordable housing in Greater Cincinnati, today marked the official opening of the property. The Cincinnati Business Courier published an article featuring more about the new apartment building.
“Western & Southern is committed to doing our part to help make Cincinnati the best place to live, work and celebrate life,” said Paul Silva, president of Eagle Realty Group, a subsidiary of Western & Southern. “It is important that the Greater Cincinnati community have a wide range of options to deliver safe and affordable housing to those in need of it while attracting more residents and visitors to our region. We are pleased to partner with Urban Sites to help make this project happen.”
“Our community needs more stable, affordable housing options, and Western & Southern shares our commitment to expanding affordable housing in our city,” said Greg Olson, chief executive officer of Urban Sites. “Because we did not seek low-income housing tax credit funding for this project, Western & Southern’s partnership was critical to Park Apartments coming to fruition.”
The Park Apartments building was built in 1904 by Charles Mayer and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Previously, it was home to market-rate housing. It took about eight months for Urban Sites and its project team to complete extensive interior and exterior renovations.
Apartment renovations include new low-energy windows and luxury vinyl plank flooring; new kitchen cabinets, countertops and stainless steel appliances; new ceiling fans and light fixtures; new bathroom vanities, epoxy glazed tubs and tile flooring; and a fresh coat of paint throughout. While updates to much of the property’s exterior were minimal, building improvements included installation of a new roof (previous was 20 years old); installation of high efficiency water heaters, furnaces and condensing units; and new landscaping at building entrances and a common garden area.
There were no public funds outside of the City’s real estate tax abatement used as part of the financial package for the development of the project. Therefore, it will not be governed by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, a tool that almost all affordable housing projects utilize. However, maximum rents will be set in accordance with LIHTC program guidelines in order to keep rents affordable for residents in the 60% of area median income (AMI). AMI is an important benchmark when determining housing eligibility for affordable housing properties.
The Park Apartments is just one of many examples of Western & Southern’s ongoing commitment to supporting affordable housing in the Greater Cincinnati community.