Address: 1111 Broadway St., Over-the-Rhine
Owner: Bob and Debra Desgrange
Current Property Value: $33,700
Year Built: 1874
Comments: Surrounded on two sides by surface parking lots, somehow this two-part building has survived for 128 years.
Being in a local historic district and on the National Register of Historic Places helps, according to Dave Edwards, inspections supervisor in the Cincinnati Department of Buildings and Inspections. The city condemned the building, but it can't be demolished without evidence of serious structural problems because the building is protected by those designations, Edwards says.
Owner Bob Desgrange thought he could make a little extra income when he bought this building and the one at 1115 Broadway seven years ago. Desgrange, the owner of a cleaning service, thought he would put his employees to work during his company's slow times in the heart of the summer and winter to renovate both buildings, he says.
This was his first venture as a landlord and he didn't exactly know what he was getting into. His first tenants at 1111 Broadway — a couple — eventually allowed seven or eight drug users to live in the apartment. When he finally was able to kick them out by boarding up the apartment and removing their belongings, someone else broke into the building and stole all the copper pipes five days later. He had one good tenant in the rear building, but she eventually moved to Arizona.
Desgrange is thinking about getting a couple of the apartments at 1111 Broadway ready to make the building more marketable. But he's not sure what the future holds.
"I don't even know what direction we're heading," he says.
Have an idea for him? Desgrange says he'll accept suggestions and calls from potential buyers at 513-965-8300.
BLIGHT OF THE WEEK is an effort to highlight the problem of abandoned buildings — and who's responsible for them.