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837 Bank St., West End

By Maria Rogers · November 27th, 2002 · Blight of the Week
Jymi Bolden

Address: 837 Bank St., West End

Year Built: 1875

Owner: David Daniels

Value: $8,100, according to the Hamilton County Auditor's Office

Comments: When David Daniels Jr. bought this house, he says, his family was trying to pick something that could be developed.

"I bought this thing as a bright-eyed, eager person," he says.

But Daniels says he knows he can't do it alone, because if the houses near it weren't cared for, his building would be susceptible.

He says he started work on the building, but stopped when it seemed his work would just be destroyed.

"When I would come back, the house was broken into," he says

Daniels says he has been trying to reach some of the other property owners in the area to find a way to fix up their section of the street.

"It's only four houses in that group area and it's on the backside of the better half of Dayton Street," he says. "It has tremendous potential."

Daniels, who grew up in the West End, says he has to pick certain times to clean the property because the area is dangerous, surrounded by vacant houses and plagued by prostitution. In the past, the buildings had drug activity in them.

Daniels says he wouldn't be comfortable renting the house until conditions in the neighborhood improve.

"It wouldn't even be safe," he says. "I don't do a project that I wouldn't live in myself."

It's difficult to get bank loans to rehab houses such as this, because the investment to rehab it would cost more than the property's market value, according to Daniels.

He hopes the city takes a renewed interest in helping property in the area be rehabilitated by small groups and private individuals.

Richard Hubbell, an inspector with the city of Cincinnati Department of Buildings and Inspections, says vandals have broken into the building and taken plumbing and electrical systems.

"You can't get it torn down because it's not in danger of collapsing," he says. "Structurally it's still a solid building."

The building has been vacant since 1995, Hubbell says.

"I've cited (Daniels) civilly," Hubbell says. "We've had to barricade his building a number of times."

BLIGHT OF THE WEEK is an effort to highlight the problem of abandoned buildings -- and who's responsible for them.


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