As development has spread through Over-the-Rhine, rehabbers and those looking for a more urban lifestlye have been seeking the next hot neighborhood. Arguably the most opportunity is in the West End.
The area known as the Dayton Street Historic District or Millionaire’s Row once featured streets lined with swanky Italianates owned by prominent businessmen like John Hauck, heralded as the investor who saved the Cincinnati Zoo. As the hillsides became more accessible, those businessmen homeowners slowly relocated out of the area. Over many years, the neighborhood changed, and the gorgeous old homes were converted to multi-family units. As historic center-city neighborhoods experienced popularity over the years, Dayton Street would draw a few pioneering residents in fits and starts. Most recently, interest has grown since development increased in Over-the-Rhine. Now, with the FC Cincinnati’s stadium under construction nearby, another wave of interest is cresting.
Home renovator Russell Johnson currently has his Baymiller flip on the market and says time will tell the impact the stadium will have. “Everyone is like, Oh, what’s the West End,” Johnson says. “Obviously the stadium calls attention to it. Just from an awareness perspective, it was absolutely critical. People see the opportunity: businesses and bars and restaurants.”
“There are lots of people in the West End who are working hard to change it,” says Russell Johnson. “In reality, coming into this neighborhood and revitalizing some of these old beautiful structures is important to the revitalization of the neighborhood. It’s a whole neighborhood effort.”
Slated to open in 2021, the $250 million stadium between Central Ave. and John St. near Music Hall grows by the day. “[It’s] really an up-and-coming neighborhood in Cincinnati—OTR has really started to price itself out,” Johnson says. “[The West End’s] got all the hallmarks of a great neighborhood in terms of location alone—how close it is to downtown, proximity to entertainment and dining in OTR, and the potential for really great housing stock.” Johnson says there are still homes that have been long abandoned and boarded up in the area—and you’ll see that at the Baymiller property. “There are lots of people in the West End who are working hard to change it. In reality, coming into this neighborhood and revitalizing some of these old beautiful structures is important to the revitalization of the neighborhood. It’s a whole neighborhood effort.” Snag a piece of history with one of these two homes in the Dayton Street Historic District currently on the market.
With many of the original features preserved, luxurious details make this reno a home run. “The fireplace stands out right when you walk in,” Johnson says. “It just looks amazing in that room.” (It does, but this is a fireplace in name only—there is no firebox opening, just the mantel serving as a focal point.) Just beyond the dining area, the bright kitchen features stainless appliances, an eat-in bar with quartz counters, and sleek white cabinets. Plus, the master bathroom’s heated floors and crazy-cool clawfoot tub make it a sleek retreat. There’s also a cozy third-floor space with skylights.
Reminiscent of the coveted New York brownstone, this 1893 limestone Second Empire row house has the coolest original staircase. The three-bedroom, four-bath home features original fireplaces, high ceilings, and other historic elements that serve as counterpoint to the home’s modern updates. The first floor offers a sitting or living room as you walk in with an exposed-brick fireplace and a tall window that lets in abundant natural light. The kitchen also exposes original brick, natural woodblock counters, a tile backsplash, and clean white cabinets. Other amenities in the home include a skylight, hardwood throughout, and a separate in-law suite.