Neuroscience Facility Receives $41 Million in New Markets Tax Credits

Four community development entities (CDEs) have allocated $41 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to leverage philanthropic support and UC Health’s investment in the construction of the new home for the University of Cincinnati (UC) Gardner Neuroscience Institute at 223 Piedmont Ave.

Construction site of 223 Piedmont Ave., new facility for the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute

Construction site of 223 Piedmont Ave., new facility for the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute

NMTCs, administered by the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, incentivize community development and economic growth through the use of tax credits that attract private investment to distressed communities.

The four CDEs and the amount of their allocations to the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute are:

  • Uptown Consortium, Inc., Cincinnati, $20 million;
  • Cincinnati Development Fund, Inc., Cincinnati, $8 million;
  • Ohio Community Development Finance Fund, Columbus, $8 million; and
  • Capital One Community Renewal Fund, New Orleans, $5 million. (Capital One played a dual role both as a CDE and as an investor.)

Approximately 25 percent of the $41 million in allocations to UC Health will directly impact the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute building’s construction. These funds will offset a portion of UC Health’s overall $79.6 million commitment to the $134 million project. The additional funding to support the project and programmatic costs ($54.5 million) is being raised through community philanthropy.

“We are grateful to the CDEs for their support through the New Markets Tax Credit allocations,” said Richard Lofgren, MD, president and CEO of UC Health. “Our access to the NMTC allocations to help build a new patient-centered, world-class home for the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute will result in an impact that will be felt by our patients every day.”

“This transaction of New Markets Tax Credits is one of the largest this year anywhere in the country,” Lofgren added. “This tangible show of support is an incredible statement about the great work of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute and it will have both an immediate and prolonged impact on the local and state economies.”

The Structured Finance Group at Ross, Sinclaire & Associates, LLC advised UC Health throughout the process. The firm provided technical expertise related to financial structuring and benefit analysis, sourced and arranged the allocations and equity investment, and managed the entire closing process.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley has strongly endorsed the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute project and its use of NMTC.

“My administration and I absolutely support what will be a major addition to Cincinnati’s economy. The new facility will heighten our ability to attract the best and brightest clinicians, researchers and educators to the region. It will advance health care and enable us to better support those suffering from a neurological disorder,” he said.

The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute expects to retain approximately 627 full-time equivalent permanent jobs and create approximately 27 new full-time equivalent jobs within the first full year of operation. The institute expects that 67 permanent jobs will be created within 10 years. Construction will create approximately 100 predevelopment or construction jobs. UC Health, in conjunction with Uptown Consortium, is working with a diversity consultant to support inclusion and diversity efforts in the workforce.

“We expect that the New Markets Tax Credit funding will ultimately spur additional private investment and development for the area,” said Beth Robinson, president and CEO of Uptown Consortium. “This facility and its associated direct and indirect economic and community impact joins the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive/I-71 interchange and the UC 1819 Innovation Hub on Reading Road to kick off the surge of innovation and growth that is burgeoning in what is becoming known as the Cincinnati Uptown clinical, research and education corridor.”

Perkins+Will of Chicago designed the unique four-story building with direct input from UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute patients. Construction began in early June with Messer Construction Company of Cincinnati serving as the general contractor. Expected to be completed in spring 2019, the building will be located along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive East between Eden and Bellevue avenues on UC’s medical campus.

The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute provides comprehensive care across 12 centers and two specialty programs, including treatments for Parkinson’s, epilepsy, brain tumors, mood disorders, stroke care and rehabilitation and Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, UC Health clinicians within the neurosciences saw more than 56,000 patients. The new central location will allow the institute to better serve the growing patient population and will help attract and retain the top health care professionals working in the neuroscience field.

“We’ve relied heavily on our patients to assist in the design of this building. It is for them and truly is created by them,” said Joseph Broderick, MD, director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute and professor of neurology and rehabilitation medicine at the UC College of Medicine. “The building is designed to promote multidisciplinary interactions between patients and teams of clinicians and support staff and will facilitate expanded research and education activities.”

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