Foundation invests $500,000 in Northern Kentucky's urban renaissance

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is significantly expanding its support of an economic development group that helps drive the renaissance of urban sites in Northern Kentucky.

The Foundation said it is making a $500,000 investment in the Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky. Part of that is the renewal of a three-year, $150,000 grant to support the operations of the Catalytic Fund.

In addition, the Foundation is making a $350,000, 10-year investment in the Catalytic Fund’s Equity Fund to provide additional capital to acquire property that can be strategically developed in the region’s urban core.

The Catalytic Fund is a private sector, not-for-profit company, that, as the name suggests, catalyzes or jump starts development by providing financing assistance and technical expertise for residential and commercial real estate projects that have the potential to spark further development in Northern Kentucky’s urban cities.

The revitalization projects the fund has had a hand in include the transformation of an early 20th century multi-story department store building into the Hotel Covington, the reuse of the long vacant, yet historic Bradford Building in Covington into condominiums and commercial space, and the redevelopment of a sprawling, decaying warehouse in Bellevue into loft-style apartments.

Jeanne Schroer, president and CEO of the Catalytic Fund, says the Fund’s investments and development services have leveraged more than $200 million in new investment in Northern Kentucky.

The Foundation was a founding investor in the Catalytic Fund, which was born from the Vision 2015 regional strategic planning effort.

“The urban renaissance that they are fueling strengthens our entire region,” says Ellen M. Katz, GCF president and CEO.

“Without GCF, we would not have developed the organizational capacity or the investment resources to do this community development work,” Schroer says.


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David Holthaus is the managing editor of NKY Thrives, an award-winning journalist, and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.