Troubled Apartment Building in Evanston Makes Way for New Homes
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
Developer The Model Group demolished the century-old St. Leger apartment building in Evanston on July 17, making way for development of a new building and helping to revitalize the Cincinnati neighborhood. Hundreds of people were present at the event and cheered as machines belonging to the O’Rourke Wrecking Co. brought down the mammoth building. Anzora Adkins, president of the Evanston Community Council, Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. and Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls were among them.
The 81-unit St. Leger was constructed in 1905. It was located at a place known as the Five Points because of the five streets that intersect there, right in the center of Evanston. Over time, it attracted crime. The building was eventually closed, and its residents were relocated. According to a press release, Adkins had been looking forward to this project for some time now. She called the demolition a “huge step toward our vision of growing Evanston into a thriving, healthy community once again.”
“Demolition of the St. Leger is the end of an era of crime, violence and disorder,” Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls added in the release. “We’re finally closing the door on that past and opening the door to revitalization and investment in the great neighborhood of Evanston.”
The demolition was funded in part by the Moving Ohio Forward program. Working in partnership with the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, the city of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and the state of Ohio, the program is dedicated to helping stabilize and improve communities by demolishing blighted buildings and making way for reinvestment.
A new building will be developed on the site of the old St. Leger. Named the St. Ambrose Apartments after the Patron Saint of Learning and to honor Evanston’s reputation as an educating community, it will include 26 new townhouses and flats and will be LEED certified. The one-, two- and three-bedroom units will be affordable to families.
The Model Group expects to complete the new apartments in the summer of 2014.
Photo credit: Google Maps