Address: 1508 Race St., Over-the-Rhine
Owners: Alex Garnett
Year Built: Unknown
Comments: This aging building looks about the same as it did in the 1993 photo on the Hamilton County Auditor's Web site: vacant with broken windows. It has plenty of blighted company on this stretch of Race Street.
The building has changed hands several times in the past 10 years, most recently in June 2000, when Alex Garnett of Cincinnati acquired it.
Garnett says it will take $150,000 to do an average rehab on the building and $200,000 to do a "nice" one. His main problem has been a lack of city help, he says.
"The city would not loan me the money and give me the money they loan other people," Garnett says.
He couldn't immediately recall the names of the programs he applied for. However, Garnett has rehabbed property at 548 York St. and is working on a building at 1611 Race St.
The city condemned 1508 Race in December 2002 because of its condition, according to Don Mercer, assistant director of the Department of Buildings and Inspections. However there is a record of what appears to be a permit in June 2002 to block the street to clear garbage from the building, he says. Previous owners applied for construction permits as far back as 1996 but apparently didn't finish much of the work, according to Mercer.
BLIGHT OF THE WEEK is an effort to highlight the problem of abandoned buildings — and who's responsible for them.