Venture into downtown Toledo to take in a minor league baseball game these days and you’re likely to find there’s just as much activity going on outside the stadium as there is on the field.

Hensville is an entertainment district adjacent to the Toledo Mud Hens home stadium that features retail shops, restaurants, bars, and rooftop spaces overlooking the ballpark and the Maumee River. It’s a thriving development that has helped fuel momentum toward the revitalization of downtown Toledo. But only a few years ago, what is now Hensville consisted of three abandoned historic buildings that sat vacant and decaying for more than 30 years – until 2015, when a developer, in partnership with PNC, stepped in to bring them back to life.

It’s just one of many development projects that have led to a quiet Renaissance in downtown Toledo in recent years. PNC Tax Credit Solutions, part of PNC Real Estate, has played an important role in supporting the transformation, investing almost $52 million in tax credit equity to key local projects over the last 11 years. The bank’s Tax Credit Solutions business helps clients leverage the federal Historic Tax Credit (HTC) program, which offers subsidies to finance the rehabilitation of historic buildings. 

Innovative Renovation

Several of these projects have focused on renovating historic properties to repurpose them as market-rate apartments. The Tax Credit Solutions business provided $6.2 million in HTC equity investment to support converting the Berdan Building, a vacant warehouse near the downtown ballpark, into apartment units and retail space. The nearby Overmyer Lofts, another formerly vacant warehouse, provided a similar investment opportunity to create apartments and retail space. Fort Industry Square presented an even larger footprint for redevelopment, with PNC providing $7.9 million in HTC equity to convert ten masonry office buildings – an entire city block – into commercial and residential space.

Through partnerships like these, PNC has been involved in creating approximately 300 market-rate housing units in downtown Toledo since 2015. In addition to investment in the local economy, these residential projects have offered an opportunity for investment in the community, as they set aside apartments for low- to moderate-income individuals based on Area Median Income (AMI) thresholds. 

Ongoing Investment in Legacy Markets

The numbers are significant, particularly when considering other nearby markets. Regional President Bill McDonnell attributes much of PNC’s involvement in this growth to the relationships that the Tax Credit Solutions business has cultivated in the market. “Over time, this team has established itself as a leader in this space, as advisors and partners that bring the consultative expertise and tax credit equity capabilities needed to make these projects happen,” McDonnell said. 

Toledo Innovation Center

PNC Tax Credit Solutions continues to play an important part in Toledo’s ongoing revitalization. In March 2022, Tax Credit Solutions provided $18 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and Historic Tax Credit (HTC) equity investment to support the historic renovation and repurposing of the Jefferson Center (formerly a U.S. Post Office) into the Toledo Innovation Center. This state-of-the-art innovation and technology training facility will offer low-income residents technical training and paid apprenticeships in technology-focused careers. The innovation center will also provide an open workspace for entrepreneurs to launch or expand their businesses.

“The Toledo Innovation Center is a tremendous investment in Toledo’s future, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it,” said Kelly Clements, vice president and relationship manager for PNC Tax Credit Solutions. “Not only because it will create a lot of jobs and even new companies, but, more importantly, it also will create an environment where everyone can thrive and help the community succeed.”

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