Ten buildings in OTR, Avondale have long history of code violations

Data shows crime around decaying properties

This is part of a two-part series. Coming tomorrow: Does Cincinnati need a housing court?

Ten buildings now owned by Washington, D.C.-based 2414 Morgan Development have a long history of building code violations. Read below to understand more about each property based on a WCPO analysis of building records and city crime data.

This gallery and history of the properties accompanies the related story: City takes aim at absentee owner as Over-the-Rhine properties crumble

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100 E. McMicken Ave.

Building condition: A fire escape on the front of the building is attached to bricks that are so water-damaged that the fire escape is in danger of pulling away, building inspector Mike Fehn said at a July 1, 2013 hearing. “I’m worried the whole front of the building will collapse,” he said.

Code enforcement history: The first complaint came in 2005 because of litter on the property. In 2006, a complaint that a ceiling had collapsed in one of the apartments led to a violation for blocked exits in the building. The previous owner got a citation for litter in 2011. By May 1, 2012, the building was vacant and open to trespassers. The structure is now listed as “dangerous and unsafe.”

Fines and fees associated with the property: $3,300

Crime within 500 feet: Cincinnati police records show 43 crimes reported within 500 feet of this property in the 12 months ending May 12, including one homicide, 12 aggravated assaults and nine robberies.

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1614 Walnut St.

Building condition: The roof was blown off this building and has been missing for years. There are holes in the floor and the stairs. The building has a loose cornice; and the floor joists, bearing walls and chimneys all need repairs, building inspector Mike Fehn said at a July 1, 2013 hearing. “The rear porch is almost un-walkable,” he said.

Code enforcement history: Violations date back to 2002 when inspectors ordered a prior owner to repair “worn and broken flooring.” In 2006, inspectors ordered repairs for leaky plumbing, a lack of smoke detectors and defective plaster and drywall throughout the building. The building was ordered vacated in 2008 due to “serious hazards in the electric system, water leaks throughout.” Inspectors described “major roof damage” on March 1, 2014.

Fines and fees associated with the property: $5,000

Crime: Cincinnati police records show 63 crimes reported within 500 feet of this property in the 12 months ending May 12, including one sexual assault, five aggravated assaults, 15 robberies and 30 thefts.

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20 Findlay St.

Building condition: Some debris has been cleaned out of the building, but the floors are so rotten that they “can’t support the weight of a human being,” building inspector Mike Fehn said at a July 1, 2013 hearing. Plaster is falling, and rear porches are deteriorating, too.

Code enforcement history: Complaints started in 2004 and 2005 related to tall grass and weeds. By 2008, the previous owner was ordered to keep the building vacant and barricade it. The structure is now listed as “dangerous and unsafe.”

Fines and fees associated with the property: $5,000

Crime within 500 feet: Cincinnati police records show 39 crimes reported within 500 feet of this property in the 12 months ending May 12, including one homicide, four aggravated assaults and 20 thefts.

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201 E. Clifton Ave.

Building condition: This vacant, two-family building has broken and missing downspouts and siding that is broken and missing, building inspector Mike Fehn said at a July 1, 2013 hearing. The owner hired a contractor to clear some debris from the building, but a leaking roof is creating more debris.

Code enforcement history: Complaints started with this building in 2006 when a city building inspector found exits were being obstructed, the building lacked smoke detectors and there was damaged plumbing. The city ordered an apartment vacated March 28, 2006. By the next year, there were complaints of high grass and weeds on the side of the building. In 2009, the building was cited for being “vacant and open” and was listed as “dangerous and unsafe.” A complaint dated Nov. 7, 2012, noted “rear metal porch is rusted, deteriorated, and in danger of collapse.” It appears the porch has since been removed.

Fines and fees associated with the property: $5,500

Crime: Cincinnati police records show three thefts were reported within 500 feet of this property in the 12 months ending May 12.

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3585 Bogart St.

Building condition: This two-family building is not weather-tight. The soffits are rotted, and there is leakage that is causing damage to ceilings, building inspector Terry James said at a July 1, 2013, hearing. “It’s becoming a really bad blight problem,” he said at the hearing.

Code enforcement history: This home in Avondale was the subject of several litter and tall-grass complaints dating back to 2007. A condemnation order was issued in November 2012. Inspectors noted "no evidence of repairs, nor any evidence of a development plan" in April

2013. It remained empty in April 2014 with rotting soffits and a trash-filled back yard.

Fines and fees associated with the property: $8,800

Crime: Cincinnati police records show nine crimes reported within 500 feet of this property in the 12 months ending May 12, including six burglaries and two thefts.

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1624 Pleasant St.

Building condition: The building’s stair landings and floors are rotten and deteriorated, and the stairs are “perilous to walk,” building inspector Mike Fehn said at a July 1, 2013, hearing.

Code enforcement history: After a series of housing code violations dating back to 2007, the building was ordered vacated in 2009 “because of unsafe and unsanitary conditions - no heat - broken windows.” In June 2013, inspectors noted further deterioration: “Stair landing floors are rotten and deteriorated with holes and water damaged, deteriorated joists.” The city started a new round of enforcement against the property in February, when owners failed to renew its Vacant Building Maintenance License.

Fines and fees associated with the property: $4,200

Crime: Cincinnati police records show 36 crimes reported within 500 feet of this property in the 12 months ending May 12, including two homicides, three aggravated assaults and nine robberies.

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1613 Walnut St.

Building condition: Nearly every window on the north side of the building was broken or open for more than six months last year, building inspector Mike Fehn said at a July 1, 2013 hearing. The building also has roof leaks and loose plaster that must be removed, he said.

Code enforcement history: Inspectors were called to the property by tenants who reported the “ceiling is falling” in 2006. Residents reported “rodents were running in and out” of “holes in the walls” in 2007. The building was deemed “unfit for human habitation” in 2012. In March 2014, inspectors noted several problems: “Repair roof leaks and damage; repair holes in floors; paint all exterior wood and metal including fire escape; remove exterior weeds and litter; repair stairs attic guard rail … remove loose plaster.”

Fines and fees associated with the property: $7,000

Crime within 500 feet: Cincinnati police records show 66 crimes reported within 500 feet of this property in the 12 months ending May 12, including one sexual assault, 16 robberies and 34 thefts.

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22 Findlay St.

Building condition: Some debris has been cleaned out of this apartment building, which is on the left in the  photo above, but the building continues to deteriorate. The roof is leaking, windows are open or broken, and there is loose plaster on ceilings and walls, building inspector Mike Fehn said at a July 1, 2013, hearing. There are holes in the floors throughout the building, and the stairs need repairs and handrails.

Code enforcement history: The first recorded complaint for this building was in 2004, when a previous owner was ordered to make a lengthy list of repairs, including to replace broken flooring, put locks on doors, fix electric fixtures, fix a toilet, repair a fire escape and provide smoke detectors. By November 2005, the building had changed ownership and was ordered to be kept vacant and barricaded. The city barricaded a door on the rear of the building in February 2014. The structure is now listed as “dangerous and unsafe.”

Fines and fees associated with the property: $5,000

Crime: Cincinnati police records show 39 crimes reported within 500 feet of this property in the 12 months ending May 12, including one homicide, one sexual assault, nine burglaries and 19 thefts.

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1618 Walnut St.

Building condition: The building’s upper floors are filled with rubbish and debris. The building also has several roof leaks that are damaging the structure of the building and loose plaster that must be removed, building inspector Mike Fehn said during a July 1, 2013 hearing.

Code enforcement history: A prior owner was cited in 2003 after a “tenant’s child was shocked” by an “unsafe light fixtures and wiring.” In June 2007, a tenant reported no working stove, loose plaster and tiles and doors that were “broken, missing or defective.” In November 2012, inspectors found the building “open, vacant and being vandalized.” The city initiated new enforcement activity in February, after owners failed to renew a Vacant Building Maintenance License.

Fines and fees associated with the property: $5,000

Crime: Cincinnati police records show 63 crimes reported within 500 feet of this property in the 12 months ending May 12, including one sexual assault, five aggravated assaults, 15 robberies and 30 thefts.

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118 Findlay St.

Building condition: Fire damaged a second-floor apartment in this building, and some damage remains evident. The roof leaks in several places and the building has loose plaster and holes in the floors. The masonry needs repair, and a hole in a fence behind the building has been providing access to an area that’s been used for drug use and prostitution, building inspector

Mike Fehn said at a July 1, 2013 hearing. “I had occasion to get right in the middle of a drug deal there that was going on during one inspection,” he said.

Code enforcement history: The first complaint for this building was filed in 2003 by someone who said a carpet was left on the side of the building. By 2008, the structure was vacant, and the city ordered a previous owner to barricade the property. In September 2009, the building was deemed “dangerous and unsafe.” A code enforcement report dated Nov. 7, 2012, noted that the “building continues to deteriorate unabated.”

Fines and fees associated with the property: $5,000

Crime: Cincinnati police records show 42 crimes reported within 500 feet of this property in the 12 months ending May 12, including 29 thefts and nine burglaries.

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