19th Century Homes Restored in Over-the-Rhine

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor In Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine, local builders, together with Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), are rehabilitating nine grand old houses. The project is called Park Haus and its goal is to remake 19th century, single-family homes in [...]

In Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine, local builders, together with Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), are rehabilitating nine grand old houses. The project is called Park Haus and its goal is to remake 19th century, single-family homes in one of the city’s oldest and poorest neighborhoods.

In the last hundred years, most of the Park Haus properties were abandoned, their roofs and interiors left to decay. Many of them were reconfigured into multi-family rental units, and  their upkeep was sub par. The restoration of these century-old relics costs a lot of money – the biggest problem the project faces. Finding funds to finance renovation of these properties is difficult because banks are reluctant to provide such large mortgages. As a result, some properties are taking as long as a year to renovate. 3CDC will help speed the process, assisting prospective buyers by either lining up a construction loan through one of its in-house financing programs or referring them to the Cincinnati Development Fund.

The high price tags are a direct result of these investments. Prices range from $500,000 to more than $700,000. The Park Haus single-family homes are among the most expensive residential real estate in the city. However, three of the properties have already been sold or are under contract.

The properties attract people who want to live in the city and those who want something larger than a condo. The single-family homes are around 3,000 square feet. Buyers also like the location and the rich architecture.

3CDC is a private, non-profit corporation based in Cincinnati. It was formed in 2003 by the former mayor of Cincinnati, Charlie Luken, and has had much success renovating Over-the-Rhine’s aging buildings, which make up the largest collection of 19th-century Italianate homes in the country. 3CDC began remaking Over-the-Rhine more than five years ago. Park Haus is expected to help revitalize the community.