Economic Development

Madison & Whetsel – It seems hard to believe to newcomers that just a few years ago, three of the four corners at Madison & Whetsel were mostly vacant land. MCURC’s decades-long mission—and mandate—from the neighborhood was and is to drive the economic revitalization of the business district. The City of Cincinnati began to acquire land in 2008 and after updating our zoning to a Form-Based Code in 2012 and selecting the Ackermann Group as developer, construction in December 2018 began on the first of three phases at Madison & Whetsel on the southwest block. In April 2020, 104 mixed-income apartments (20% affordable at 80% AMI) were completed and the first residents began to move in. Phase 2, on the northeast block, has 116 apartments, and he final phase opened in the Fall of 2022 with 92 apartments (20% affordable at 80% AMI). The business district now has 312 apartments and 33,400 sf of commercial space on what was vacant land as recently as 2019.  

The redevelopment of the four blocks included significant community engagement, from changing the zoning code to allow for buildings built to the street to revising architectural plans based on community feedback. The project also included the renovation and expansion of the Braxton Cann Memorial Health Center, the only public health center on the East side of Cincinnati. As part of the expansion, a dental clinic was added, providing a much-needed service in the neighborhood. In the Phase 3 building, the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library opened a brand-new, first-floor location, doubling the size of the former branch, and adding much-requested amenities like a maker space, study pods, meeting rooms, and increased technology. The project was a catalyst to other development taking place in the neighborhood, as was intended.

The Metz House – Dr. Charles Louis Metz was an obstetrician, archeologist, school board member and so many other things to our community, earning him the nickname, “Mr. Madisonville.”  In 2016 MCURC stepped in to prevent the foreclosure on his home and office, and with the help of the City of Cincinnati, The Port, the Finance Fund and other contributors, we rehabilitated the building and brought it back to life. MCURC occupies the first floor and the second and third floors are rented to small businesses. For information on renting an office at the Metz House, please email Click here to learn more about how MCURC partnered with The Port and others to help this project come to life.

The Bank Building – 5900 Madisonville is known to many in our community as the Fifth Third Bank Building or just the Bank Building.  MCURC purchased the building and renovated the space, maintaining the historic character. With the help of the City of Cincinnati, the Finance Fund and several foundations, we cut the ribbon in April of 2016 on two 2-bedroom apartments on the second floor as well as a white-boxed first floor commercial space.  Bad Tom Smith relocated from Linwood to Madisonville in 2019, occupying the first floor.

Façade Grants – Through the Cincinnati Neighborhood Business Districts United funding pool known as the Neighborhood Business District Improvement Program, MCURC has received three Façade Improvement Grants for businesses located within the City’s officially designated Neighborhood Business District.  This matching grant has allowed neighborhood businesses to leverage thousands of dollars toward upgrading their commercial space. In addition to the City grants, MCURC contributed $80,000 towards this program. Businesses and properties that have benefitted from the facade grants include:

  • Mazunte Mercado, Madison Road (painting)
  • Red Sesame, Whetsel Avenue (painting)
  • 4901-4905 Whetsel (Stylish Lenese and The Cheesecakery)
  • 6011 Madison Road (windows)
  • School of Rock (signage)
  • Artsville (signage)
  • Waldorf School (painting)
  • Sunny Mart (painting)
  • Bramble & Whetsel (building that houses Agape Cafe, Madison Lounge, and other businesses)–painting, new lighting

6012 Madison Road — In 2022, in partnership with The Port, MCURC began stabilizing this property to prepare for its future rehabilitation. We are actively working with a buyer who will transform the property into a much-needed and much-desired neighborhood destination.