Downtown Cincinnati’s Central Business District (CBD) is headquarters to seven Fortune 500 companies and home to more than 18 million SF of office space and about 61,000 full-time employees. It is also the site of world class arts, entertainment and shopping including the 21c Museum Hotel, Aronoff Center for the Arts, Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Taft Museum of Art, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany’s, Macy’s and of course the center of it all, Fountain Square. It is also adjacent to the city’s major league sports stadiums, home to the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals. 3CDC’s redevelopment work in the CBD is currently focused on the 6th and Walnut arts and entertainment district, and the site at 5th & Race Streets which recently became home to a 280,000 SF headquarters for 84.51°, a 1,000 space public parking garage, and 29,000 SF of street-level commercial space.
Cincinnati’s downtown CBD has been through a variety of transformations since the city was founded in 1788. Like many American cities, its vibrancy began to fade in the 20th century with the growth of the suburbs.
In 1995, the Cincinnati Equity Fund (CEF) was started by the City’s corporate community with a strategic focus on revitalizing economic development in Cincinnati’s Central Business District (CBD). To date, CEF and CEFII have made $242 million in loans resulting in $717 million in total development in the CBD and OTR directly spurred by the funds’ investments. CEF and CEF II funding has been invested in many downtown development projects including the Banks, Nicholson’s, Palomino, TJMaxx, Righteous Room, Boca, Igby’s, and 21c Museum Hotel.
In 2003, the City of Cincinnati along with the City’s corporate community created 3CDC to jumpstart economic development in the City’s urban core, agreeing that the economic future of Cincinnati depended first and foremost on a strong and vibrant downtown business and entertainment district.
3CDC’s renovation and revitalization of Fountain Square and the Fountain Square Garage has also sparked about $273 million in additional private investment in the Fountain Square District.