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801 Sixth St., West End

By April L. Martin · December 17th, 2003 · Blight of the Week
801 W. Sixth St.
April L. Martin

801 W. Sixth St.

Address: 801 W. Sixth St., West End

Owner: The Keene Group Inc.

Value: $195,400

Built: 1860

Comments: In 2001, the Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Co. ended its 116-year history in Cincinnati.

Hudepohl brands are now brewed at the Frederick Brewing Co. in Frederick, Md. The only remnants of the local brewery are the dilapidated 1.6-acre factory on West Sixth Street.

The city of Cincinnati Department of Buildings and Inspections has declared the building a safety and fire hazard. Two decayed truck trailers rest on the side of the building, surrounded by trash. Part of the upper wall is crumbling. Next to the building are the Queen City Correctional Facility and several businesses.

For about 10 years former owner Herman Cushman used the building to store equipment for rehabbing properties. At age 77, he became unable to pay for the repairs and $43,000 in taxes that accumulated. The Keene Group Inc. bought the property March 21 in a sheriff's sale. When a property is sold, the new owner inherits the repair orders from the city. On July 25 the city sent the new owners a letter ordering the building to be taken down or repaired.

"It's going to be a long arduous process to clean the place out," says Ronald Thomas, assistant director of the Department of Buildings and Inspections.

Thomas says the new owner has been responsive and plans to tear down several parts of the building and rehab the rest.

The owner was unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, Cushman is still being punished. On Nov. 30 he was arrested for failure to pay delinquent fines and comply with building orders.

"I sold my car to pay the $1,000 fine in February," he says. "It's ridiculous. I don't even own the property anymore."

Cushman is scheduled to appear Jan. 5 before Hamilton County Municipal Judge Guy Guckenberger.

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



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