Owner: F&R Developers & Contractors, Cincinnati
Year Built: 1998
Comments: North Fairmount has an abundance of what might, in another neighborhood, be called green space.
For more than three decades, woodlands have been steadily reclaiming, lot by lot, what was once a populous, if modest, working-class community.
When the stockyards and factories that lined the Mill Creek in the early 20th century closed, most homeowners fled to the expanding suburbs. In their wake came investors and speculators. Today, a scattering of aging houses stands guard over the crumbling foundations of its neighbors as well as the remains of ill-fated attempts at development.
In 1994, the current owner of this property bought the lot for $2,000, according to the Hamilton County Auditor's office. The partially-completed structure, built in 1998, was to be a low-rise multiple residence apartment building. By 1999, construction had ceased but the market value of the property had risen sharply. The land was reassessed at $14,000, and the building was now worth $19,900. The owner owes more than $2,500 in back taxes, which accumulate at the rate of $785 yearly.
Despite the building's apparent advanced state of deterioration and overgrown grounds, Cincinnati's Department of Buildings and Inspections has no record of any housing code violations on the property. Attempts to contact the owner were unsuccessful. According to the Ohio Secretary of State's Web site, the charter for F&R Developers & Contractors was cancelled on Dec. 2, 1996.
The future of the property seems to depend on who gets there first -- another speculator or the forest.
BLIGHT OF THE WEEK is an effort to highlight the problem of abandoned buildings -- and who's responsible for them.