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2438 W. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine

By April L. Martin · July 23rd, 2003 · Blight of the Week
  2438 W. McMicken Ave.
Jymi Bolden

2438 W. McMicken Ave.

Owner: Navneet Sachdev

Address: 2438 W. McMicken Ave., Over-the-Rhine

Built: 1880

Value: $59,800

Owner: Navneet Sachdev

Address: 1914 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine

Built: 1860

Value: $3,100

Owner: Navneet Sachdev

Address: 1910 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine

Built: 1840

Value: $6,300

Comments: Navneet Sachdev owns 12 properties in the city of Cincinnati with a list of building code violations, past and present, too long to print. Despite his track record in caring for his property, he's quick to defend himself against the allegations of city building inspectors.

"The city is trying to sully a citizen who doesn't have a lot of money to do the work they wanted," he says.

Dave Schneider, a city building inspector for 23 years, says Sachdev's properties have been a problem for more than two decades.

"He just doesn't get it," Schneider says. "He keeps screwing around. Instead of hiring someone to do the work, he insists on doing it himself."

Sachdev's buildings on Vine Street have a combined total of 15 code violations against them and orders to keep the properties vacant. The old white Victorian house on West McMicken Street has eight code violations pending. The house is boarded and barely visible from the street because of high weeds and bushes.

Most of the complaints lodged against Sachdev have come from his own tenants. Sean Minihan, a city building inspector, says he has heard trifling excuses from Sachdev.

"He has been given a lot of leeway and there is always the presumption that he will begin to comply," Minihan says.

In the past 10 to 12 years, Sachdev went to jail three times for building violations, according to Minihan.

Sachdev is a defendant in several active court cases. On May 9, he appeared before Hamilton County Municipal Judge Cheryl Grant concerning a property at 495 Riddle Road, whose wall had been deteriorating since July 2000. After years of continuances and chances to make repairs, Sachdev was convicted of failure to comply with orders to fix the wall. He served 56 days in the Hamilton County Justice Center. On July 3 he was released early after he hired a contractor to repair the wall. The structure still needs a roof, front wall and door.

"He's not new to this," Grant says. "He's been around for a while."

Sachdev's latest reason for unfinished work is the time lost due to his incarceration.

"I'm more behind on work because of jail," he says.

The building violations didn't warrant time in jail, where he was assaulted, Sachdev says.

Sachdev appeared July 21 in front of Hamilton County Housing Court Judge Guy Guckenberger for three building code violations at 489 Sandheger Place. Court records show the case was continued because Sachdev said he isn't a U.S. citizen and wanted to check his immigration status.

"Navneet's mother has pleaded with her son to sell the property or rethink what he does with the property," Schneider says.

Mrs. Sachdev even asked a reporter if she were interested in buying a piece of property. The answer was no.

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


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