Cincinnati Museum Center Union Terminal secures financing for restoration project

PNC Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Fifth Third helping to fund restoration of National Historic Landmark

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC), Union Terminal LLC (UT) and Union Terminal Corporation (UTC) have secured historic tax credit investment and bridge financing from PNC Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Fifth Third Bank that will help fund the restoration of Union Terminal. The historic tax credits are a significant source of funding for the project.

PNC is providing $56.5 million in financing to bridge sales tax proceeds, philanthropic pledges and a State of Ohio capital grant. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has made a $40.3 million equity investment in the project in connection with federal historic tax credits. Fifth Third is lending $28.5 million to provide bridge financing for the historic tax credit investment.

“The community preservation of Union Terminal brings together public and private partners who recognize the rich history this grand building brought to our city’s past, while also appreciating the economic value its restoration brings to Cincinnati’s future,” said Kay Geiger, regional president of PNC Bank, Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. “The renewed landmark will offer educational, cultural and economic development benefits to our community for generations to come.”

“Bank of America Merrill Lynch is pleased to invest approximately $40 million in historic tax credit equity to help preserve and restore the iconic Union Terminal, home to Cincinnati Museum Center,” said John Panno, senior vice president of community development banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Participating in such an important project demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to creating safe and strong communities by promoting economic development and supporting the local arts community.”

“We are proud to be a part of the revitalization of this important part of Cincinnati’s history,” said Tim Elsbrock, regional president of Fifth Third Bank, Greater Cincinnati. “The renovation of Union Terminal not only celebrates our city’s culture and our past, but it lights a spark of possibility for our future.”

In addition to historic tax credits, the restoration of Union Terminal is funded by a Hamilton County sales tax, a $5 million capital grant from the State of Ohio and $7.5 million in private philanthropy, which has already been raised for the project. The five-year, one-quarter of one percent Hamilton County sales tax was approved by 62% of Hamilton County voters in November 2014 and is expected to yield $175.7 million to the project.

“What we’re seeing with the restoration of Union Terminal is more than just securing the future of a National Historic Landmark and the home of an award-winning multi-museum complex,” says Wick Ach, president and treasurer of Union Terminal Corporation. “This is the collaboration of funders, local government and businesses making an investment in our community to enrich our families, friends, neighbors and visitors.”

Originally built in 1933, Union Terminal has suffered over eight decades of water damage. Following the review of the Cultural Facilities Task Force in 2014 and an additional year of planning and analysis, construction and historic preservation crews began work in earnest in July 2016. Experienced workers are in the process of meticulously repairing damaged masonry and historic glass and metalwork on the building exterior. Outdated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems will also be updated, making the building more efficient to operate. Inside, historic spaces are being rehabilitated and architecture and artwork are in the process of being restored.

“Union Terminal is a National Historic Landmark, architectural icon and a cultural leader of our city,” says Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “We’re so thankful for the investment of PNC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Fifth Third and that they are committed to securing Union Terminal’s long-term future.”

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