WALNUT HILLS - Lillie Taylor watched on as the auctioneer spouted off his quick bid-announcing skills from the podium. She sat hoping for the rehabilitation, the revitalization, and the change her neighborhood so desperately needs.
“If you have empty houses, crime is sure to come,” she said about the area of Walnut Hills she resides in.
Taylor has seen the changes come and go around her over the past 43 years—some, not for the best.
"Prostitutes, drug dealers, that's what it's built on and I've lived there a long time. It's been a long, hard struggle keeping it going, you know, trying to keep the neighborhood good, trying to keep the drug dealers out, running after the prostitutes, calling the police, acting as a police," said Taylor.
But she said that she is hopeful,that all of that will change.
The City of Cincinnati held an auction of city-owned residential properties in the Walnut Woods development Saturday morning at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
"It's gonna move up, now that those houses are getting sold. It's gonna really move up," said a hopeful Taylor.
She's referring to the four homes and two pieces of land that went to the highest bidders.
The auctioneer continued.
"Sold!" he said pointing toward two men in the front row.
Mohammed and Rasheed Shamma with Global Wealth Investments scooped up all but one piece of land for around $200,000 from the City of Cincinnati’s auction block.
"They have a huge potential, a lot of old world charm and character, which is one thing we enjoy in our properties," said Rasheed, who grew up in Cincinnati.
It's that charm this father-son duo hopes to preserve.
"You cannot replicate a piece of history so if you can restore it as much as you can. To make it livable 100 years after it's built, that's a great contribution, not only to the city, but to the history itself because people can just walk in and see part of the history inside but at the same time enjoying the modern life,” said Mohammed, who rehabs properties with his son.
Between Melrose and Gilbert avenues, the multi-family homes on Lincoln Avenue are referred to as Walnut Woods.
Taylor has lived across the street from those vacant homes since 1969—raising her family and watching over the neighborhood.
"Everybody around know me, even the drug dealers they help me carry my groceries. I knew them from kindergarten, so they're no threat to me, but I sure hope it gets better and better for new neighbors that come in."
The Hamilton County Auditor’s Annual Forfeited Land Sale will be Monday, June 11, at 8:30 a.m., at the County Administration Building downtown, room 605. Parcels for sale will be parcels that did not sell in the recent Sheriff’s Sales and previous Forfeited Land Sales.
The number of available parcels is long; therefore they recommend that you pre-register. You can do so, or for more information about the sale and the foreclosure unit, call (513) 946-4133.
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