Park West Behind-the-Scenes Part 2: Demolition in OTR buildings can reveal costly surprises

CINCINNATI – Before Cleves-based Hudepohl Construction Company started work at 26 W. 13th St. in Over-the-Rhine, the apartment building looked dated but livable.

Less than a month into the company’s interior demolition work, apartment units on the lower floors were so strewn with debris that it looked like a bomb went off inside.See Photo


Crews smashed through four layers of brick to create openings between 26 W. 13th St. and its neighboring structure at 28 W. 13th St. They still had another layer or two to go. The hole in this brick shows where the floor of the building next door is located. That will require construction of stairs leading from the stairwell in the larger building to the apartment units in the smaller one.See Photo


Ceilings were torn down to the original framing.See Photo


And laborer Jason Davis was busy ripping out bathroom fixtures, tubs and toilets.See Photo


It’s all part of bringing both buildings back to life as a new development called Park West. Hyde Park-based Grandin Properties is redeveloping the buildings into 11 apartments.

To give the public a better idea of what it takes to redevelop an old building in Over-the-Rhine, Grandin has given WCPO access to the project from start to finish to document the work involved.

WCPO published the “before” story on March 9 , a couple weeks after touring the properties for the first time. These pictures were taken during a tour March 19, about three weeks after initial demolition had begun.

The entrance to 26 W. 13th St. serves as a temporary storage area for demolition debris.See Photo


Laborers keep bricks stacked inside after they're removed. Some will be used to patch holes on 28 W. 13th St. See Photo


It will take special care to repair some of the historic structures' original features. See Photo


So far, crews had discovered only one major surprise, said Steve Hudepohl of Hudepohl Construction. A missing downspout on the smaller building at 28 W. 13th St. allowed water to pour down the side of the structure and eat away at the foundation over many years, he said.

“It eroded the dirt,” he said. “And we have to do some underpinning.”

It’s something that can be fixed, but it’s labor intensive and can be expensive, Hudepohl said.

The project remains on track to be completed this fall, said Grandin’s Peter Frey. See Photo


For more stories by Lucy May, go to . Follow her on Twitter @LucyMayCincy.

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