The Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) is a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt, private, non-profit corporation. Its mission and strategic focus is to strengthen the core assets of downtown by revitalizing and connecting the Central Business District and Over-the-Rhine (OTR).
3CDC was formed in July 2003, recommended by a City of Cincinnati Economic Development Task Force as part of an overall system to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of development activities in the City of Cincinnati. Then Mayor Charlie Luken and members of the Cincinnati corporate community joined together to create 3CDC, agreeing that the economic future of Cincinnati depended first and foremost on a strong and vibrant downtown business and entertainment district.
Its operations are funded privately, through a combination of corporate contributions, management fees, and below-market developer fees. In November 2004, the staff of 3CDC accepted the daily, operating responsibilities for two private investment funds, the Cincinnati New Markets Fund (CNMF) and the Cincinnati Equity Fund (CEF). These loan funds are geared toward downtown redevelopment and spurring economic development in distressed and struggling neighborhoods.
3CDC works collaboratively with the City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio. Also among 3CDC’s partners are members of the Cincinnati corporate community. Cincinnati is fortunate to have a very strong and engaged base of corporate leadership. Nearly 30 corporate leaders make up 3CDC’s Board of Directors, and are vital to 3CDC's existence and success.
3CDC'S Goals and Objectives
- Create and Manage Great Civic Spaces
- Create High Density/Mixed-Use Development
- Preserve Historic Structures and Improve Streetscapes
- Create Diverse, Mixed-Income Neighborhoods Supported by Local Business
3CDC Historic Milestones
July 2003: 3CDC Founded.
April 2004: Steve Leeper, then the executive director of Pittsburgh’s Sports and Exhibition Authority, is hired by the 3CDC Board of Directors to serve as President & CEO.
November 2004: 3CDC accepts responsibility for overseeing management of CNMF and CEF, two private loan funds targeted for downtown and urban redevelopment.
March 2005: 3CDC begins land banking abandoned, vacant, dilapidated and problem properties in Over-the-Rhine for future redevelopment.
October 2006: The $48.9 million renovation of Fountain Square is completed. The newly redesigned Fountain Square Garage and Plaza is rededicated and reopened to the public.
March 2007: Approximately 100 new condo units and more than 23,000 square feet of commercial space comes on line as part of 3CDC’s first two phases of mixed-use development in OTR.
May 2008: PNC Bank sponsors the Fountain Square Summer Music Series, bringing live music to the Square five nights per week and establishing it as an entertainment destination for the region.
February 2011: Saengerhalle, three historic buildings transformed into a 32,750-square-foot office and restaurant complex, becomes 3CDC’s new home.
July 2012: The $48 million renovation and expansion of Washington Park is completed. The park is re-opened to the public with a new 450 space parking garage, which had opened in March 2012.
October 2012: 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati opens the doors on a 156-room boutique hotel and public art museum.
June 2014: Construction on the first two phases of Mercer Commons is completed, yielding a total of 67 apartments (30 of which are affordable units), 23 condominiums, 5 townhomes, 14,500 square feet of commercial space, and a 340-space parking garage.
December 2014: As the demand for office space in OTR grows, 3CDC relocates once again, after backfilling its former space and renovating the former Pabst Bedding Warehouse at 1201 Walnut Street into 28,000 square feet of office and restaurant space.
May 2015: Following Kroger’s purchase of dunnhumbyUSA, the new organization is renamed 84.51° and initiates occupancy of its new offices at the corner of Fifth and Race streets. The 84.51° building provides the CBD with a new 1,100 space garage and more than 300,000 square feet of office and retail space.
October 2015: The David & Rebecca Barron Center for Men opens, the third brand new shelter built as part of the five-facility Homeless to Homes Plan, joining the Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women and City Gospel Mission, completed in June and July, respectively.
July 2016: The historic Central Parkway YMCA reopens to the public after undergoing a 19-month, $29 million renovation spearheaded by the YMCA, 3CDC, and The Model Group.
August 2016: The 500-space 8th & Sycamore Garage officially opens to the public. 3CDC developed the seven-story, above-grade garage as part of a larger $52 million mixed-use development.
December 2016: Following an $11 million, year-long renovation, historic Memorial Hall reopens to the public. 3CDC begins overseeing the day-to-day operations and programming of the Hall.
June 2017: The renovated Ziegler Park is officially opened to the public, with the new Ziegler Pool welcoming more visitors in its first three days than the old pool welcomed during the entire 2015 season. The $32 million overhaul expands the park from 1.5 to 4.5 acres and adds a 450-space underground parking garage.
September 2017: After 15 months of construction, the $143 million renovation of historic Music Hall is completed.
October 2017: Employees of Empower, an advertising and marketing agency, relocate to their new, 64,000-square-foot headquarters in OTR. The project serves as the fourth (and final) phase of 3CDC's Mercer Commons project.
March 2018: 3CDC, the Model Group and Cornerstone Renter Equity complete the $17 million Abington Race & Pleasant project, which includes 50 new affordable residential units.
April 2018: 3CDC celebrates the completion of its $19.5 million 15th & Vine project, bringing 55,000 square feet of commercial and office space to Over-the-Rhine.
July 2018: Together with City Gospel Mission, Downtown Cincinnati Inc., Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, and the City of Cincinnati, 3CDC launches the GeneroCity 513 initiative in an effort to reduce panhandling on city streets, connect panhandlers with needed services and give them a paid day of work if they so desire.
December 2018: 3CDC and Downtown Cincinnati, Inc., two organizations focused on making Cincinnati’s urban core a vibrant, dynamic metropolitan center, joined forces to continue, and further maximize, the City’s current momentum.
January 2019: 3CDC purchases the former downtown Macy’s store to ensure the building is transferred to an organization that has the best interest of the city in mind.
February 2019: The Court & Walnut parking garage opens to the public, bringing 560 additional parking spaces to Downtown Cincinnati.
September 2019: Kroger on the Rhine opens to the public. The 45,000-square-foot, two-story store is the first full-service grocery in Downtown Cincinnati in 50 years and is part of a mixed-use development that includes a 139-unit residential tower and 560-space parking garage.
May 2020: Construction begins on Willkommen, a scattered-site, mixed-use, mixed-income project that will create 163 residential units—including 69 affordable apartments—along with 19,500 square feet of commercial space in OTR.
May 2020: 3CDC generates $650,000 for Downtown businesses through a gift card matching program, which is designed to alleviate some of the strain businesses are facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally through a combination of rent forgiveness, abatements, and deferments, 3CDC either forgives or defers a total of $2.5 million in rent payments for its 78 street-level commercial tenants to help them survive the pandemic shutdowns.
June 2020: 3CDC purchases Chong Building, located at 616 Race Street. Façade removal of the 50,000 square-foot building reveals a Victorian-era storefront.
March 2021: A new Fifth Third LED Board is installed atop The Foundry, across the street from Fountain Square. The 52-by-23-foot screen follows the unveiling of the Fifth Third Center Stage, Fountain Square’s first permanent stage, a $2 million gift from Fifth Third Bank to the City of Cincinnati that was completed in August 2020.
June 2021: Construction is completed on Perseverance opens, a partnership between 3CDC and Over-the-Rhine Community Housing that yields 32 affordable apartments and 6,700 square feet of street-level commercial space.
June 2021: The City of Cincinnati, Kroger, and 3CDC unveil the new pedestrian-friendly Court Street Plaza. The plaza brings a festival-style street with widened sidewalks, providing an outdoor promenade for visitors and helps create a greater connection between the CBD and OTR.