Hamilton County Landbank Top 10 Dispositions 2019

Many counties throughout Ohio have created land banks to return vacant, blighted properties back to life and return them to productive use. The 54 land banks established in Ohio are dedicated to the public purpose of reclaiming, rehabilitating and reutilizing economically non-productive land. In Hamilton County, vacant and abandoned properties are finding new life as homes, gardens, multi-family developments, and more after being disposed of by the Hamilton County Landbank. In 2019, the Landbank sold 175 properties through its various programs in Hamilton County.

The top 10 property sales highlighted below were selected by Landbank staff because they represent a wide range of project types, geographies, and Landbank programs. Each property has a compelling story about how it will be transformed from being blighted and abandoned real estate into a home, yard, business, or community asset. The people and organizations behind these stories are what make them especially uplifting and inspiring.

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1. Lower Price Hill nonprofits come together to create an outdoor, afterschool programming space and community orchard

2320 Glenway Avenue | Lower Price Hill

Future/New Purpose: Outdoor learning space for afterschool programming and community orchard

Landbank Program: Lot-to-Yard

The Landbank's typical Lot-to-Yard (LTY) program is for homeowners who want to incorporate an adjacent empty lot into their current residence. This allows for a previously vacant lot to be legally maintained by the new owner who, in most cases, was already maintaining it, and before that, was victimized by having a blighted structure next door that was eventually demolished.

2320 Glenway is a unique exception to the Landbank's typical LTY disposition. The previously blighted and dangerous structure on this property was demolished under the State of Ohio's Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP). This allowed for its next-door neighbor, Community Matters to acquire and activate the lot into a community-oriented space. Community Matters and The Joe Williams Family Center (which is operated by Santa Maria Community Services), are anchor nonprofits that are located in Lower Price Hill and serve 50-70 youth there with afterschool programming. They will be using their newly acquired lot as an outdoor learning area and community orchard, developed in partnership with the Common Orchard Project.

2. Historic structure on the brink of demolition stabilized by the Landbank and will be rehabbed by local developer

1706 Lang Street | Over-the-Rhine

Future/New Purpose: Three market-rate condominiums rehabbed by local MBE and WBE developer

Landbank Programs: Historic Structure Stabilization; Multi-Unit, Multi-Property and Commercial Development

This Over-the-Rhine property partially collapsed following a cold snap in 2015. The brick building, built in 1855, was facing demolition, but with the support of residents and the City of Cincinnati,  the Landbank was able to intervene to repair and stabilize the structure. The Landbank was able to hold and maintain this structure until the market in the area could support redevelopment. The end-user, Levalley Group LLC, a local Minority/Women Business Enterprise (W/MBE), recently acquired the property and will redevelop it into 3 market-rate condos.

3. Landbank-stabilized structure will contribute to Walnut Hills' East McMillan Corridor business district

722 East McMillan Street | Walnut Hills

Future/New Purpose: Mixed-use commercial and residential building

Landbank Programs: Historic Structure Stabilization; Multi-Unit, Multi-Property and Commercial Development

722 E. McMillan was declared a public nuisance by the City of Cincinnati in 2017 when the Landbank stepped in to stabilize it at the City's request.  A lien was placed on the vacant property in the amount of the stabilization – and when the owner failed to pay the costs of stabilization – the property went through tax foreclosure and was acquired by the Landbank.

Investing for Good, LLC / Paramount Redevelopment Group is a local developer that is already working in Walnut Hills. It acquired the property and will be repositioning it as a mixed-use structure with multiple commercial storefronts on the street level and residential units above.

4. Rehab of architecturally unique home in Evanston will allow new owner to relocate closer to family

3051 Hackberry Street | Evanston

Future/New Purpose: Rehabbed structure will become single-family, owner-occupied home

Landbank Program: Single-Family Home Development

3051 Hackberry is a stunning home with great architectural features that has been long-vacant with the Landbank seeking out the right owner. This property will now be rehabbed by 3051 Hackberry, LLC, who is partnering with CW Development & Construction, a local City of Cincinnati registered minority construction management firm, to turn the property into a new home. Notable features include a butterfly staircase, wood ceiling design and wood trim throughout the home. The developer has legacy resident family members situated in close proximity to the home. The rehab of this property is in line with the Evanston Plan's goal to increase homeownership in the neighborhood

5. Local builder providing homes for those seeking accessible residences and the ability to age in place

3233,3235, & 3237 Fairfield Avenue | Evanston

Future/New Purpose: Five new-build, accessible single-family homes

Landbank Program: Single-Family Home Development

This set of three contiguous properties was disposed of to Roost Builders in summer 2019. This trusted builder specializes in building LEED Certified modular homes and has also renovated several homes in the Evanston community. On the Fairfield parcels, Roost will be building 5 new modular homes that are specifically designed to help families to “age-in-place” and which will incorporate accessibility features to meet the needs of our country’s aging population. Roost has already begun the necessary site work, including lot consolidations and splits. The modular units – being constructed by Unibilt Industries – will be delivered and installed this spring.

6. Avondale nonprofit expands its offices to better serve seniors in the community, offers day beds for the homeless

3655 Reading Road | Avondale

Future/New Purpose: Expansion of a local, neighborhood-serving nonprofit's offices

Landbank Program: Community Partner Program

3655 Reading was donated to the Landbank in 2017 with significant liens and a complicated ownership history. Under normal circumstances, this property would have continued to sit vacant and undevelopable because of its complex title issues. However, because of the tools available to the Landbank, it is uniquely positioned to unlock properties like this for redevelopment – in this case, for a community-serving use.

Cincinnati Christian Adult Ministries Center (CCAMC) has served the community of Avondale since 2009 by providing support services to the elderly. CCAMC acquired this property to expand its existing office space to better serve its current clients and families and will also be offering daybeds for people experiencing homelessness.

The rehab work will be completed by Vantage Workforce, which provides job training for low-income adults 55 and older as well as volunteers from CCAMC.

CCAMC is an excellent end-user for this property because of its current proximity to the property as well as its investment in Avondale. Keeping strong stakeholders in neighborhoods is a net benefit to the communities in which the Landbank works.

7. Long-vacant Bond Hill property will become headquarters for internationally renowned design firm

2081 Seymour Avenue | Bond Hill

Future/New Purpose: Headquarters for José García Design

Landbank Program: Multi-Unit, Multi-Property and Commercial Development

The Landbank acquired 2081 Seymour with funding from the City of Cincinnati in 2015. Shortly thereafter, as a blight remediation measure, it demolished the structure on the parcel using funds from the State of Ohio's Moving Ohio Forward Grant Program. Four years later, in late 2019, local architect José García approached us seeking a location to build headquarters for his architecture firm, José García Design. The Landbank team helped García identify this parcel as an ideal location for his new office. Investing in the Cincinnati region was a must for García, and the site in Bond Hill is a great fit. García has been a partner of The Port for several years and designed ten single-family homes for REACH Avondale, which are nearing construction on Forest Avenue.

8. Multi-family structure's rehab will provide hands-on workforce education through local nonprofit's training program

1597 Summit Avenue | Roselawn

Future/New Purpose: Multi-family building will be rehabbed by local workforce development program

Landbank Program: Community Partner; Multi-Unit, Multi-Property and Commercial Development

1597 Summit was sold to local organization, The D.A.D. (Directing Adolescent Development) Initiative for use in its C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Real Employment) Program. This program is a collaborative effort between The D.A.D. Initiative and RWB Properties and Construction, a local MBE and EDGE construction management firm, to create a viable and sustainable workforce education model. Students get hands-on construction experience rehabbing vacant, blighted buildings that are later sold to continue to fund the program. Students are also educated on topics such as financial literacy, interviewing, character development, and resume writing to provide a well-rounded educational experience that will be useful for a lifetime.

9. South Cumminsville contractor rehabbing homes, providing work and training opportunities for his neighbors

3755 Borden Street | South Cumminville


Future/New Purpose: Rehabbed single-family residence

Landbank Program: Single-Family Home Development

Tim Canady is a long-time South Cumminsville resident and a local contractor who is passionate about two things: construction and his community. He is currently rehabbing 3755 Borden with the hired help of other residents from the community who are interested in learning trade-skills. Canady is highly active in his community, often helping neighbors with home repairs that they are incapable of handling on their own. This project was a collaborative effort between the Landbank, the Beekman Corridor Group, and Working in Neighborhoods (WIN).

10. Long-time South Cumminsville resident who has been caring for adjacent lot is able to purchase to expand her property

1779 Townsend Place | South Cumminsville

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Future/New Purpose: Expansion of a long-time resident's lot

Landbank Program: Lot-to-Yard

1779 Townsend was sold to Ida Clark, a longtime resident in South Cumminsville. This property next to her home had fallen into disrepair – the blighted structure on it was demolished several years ago, and the lot has been overgrown and strewn with garbage. Clark reached out to the Landbank in 2018, requesting that we acquire it. While the property was not available at the time, we eventually acquired it off of the forfeited land list a year later. Clark had been caring for the vacant lot and immediately applied for the property through the Landbank's Lot-to-Yard Program, which allows homeowners in Hamilton County to purchase lots adjacent to their homes. At the time of her application, Clark had several outstanding maintenance issues with her residence. The Landbank was able to connect Clark with our partners at Working in Neighborhoods (WIN) who helped her utilize different resources to repair her home and set up her acquisition of the side lot for success.