Q&A: Northside and OTR Developer Michael Fischer of 8K Partners

1523 Chase Avenue, Northside

Photograph provided by Comey & Shepherd

Development company 8K Partners is known for reviving buildings in Cincinnati’s most historic areas. Co-founder Michael Fischer talks high-demand neighborhoods, repurposed building materials, and projects old and new:

What is your focus?
The rehabilitation of neglected and dilapidated single-family homes. Our primary areas are Northside and Over-the-Rhine. On a limited basis we work “for hire” with clients on buildings that they own. However, we mostly like to take the building through the entire redevelopment process from acquisition to renovation to reoccupancy. Our renovations tend to be comprehensive gut remodels.

1430 Main - Northern Row fnl.3dm
The Northern Row, Over-the-Rhine

Rendering provided by 8K Partners

Where is the highest demand for this type of project?
As far as Over-the-Rhine goes, demand is obviously off the charts. We’re starting to see the effects of the limited supply in the city center trickle into some other neighborhoods like Northside or Walnut Hills.

How do you choose a home to renovate?
We’re always looking; [we follow] auctions, MLS Listings, and word of mouth. We consider each opportunity on a case-by-case basis. We’re definitely not afraid to work in areas that haven’t seen much improvement to date.

The Northern Row, Over-the-Rhine
The Northern Row, Over-the-Rhine

Photographs provided by 8K Partners

The Northern Row, Over-the-Rhine
The Northern Row, Over-the-Rhine

Rendering provided by 8K Partners

Is there a certain style that you stick to when designing a rehab?
Our style varies a bit from project to project. Generally, we try to be simple, thoughtful, and appropriate. We use salvaged materials when we find a good fit and we strive to maintain a high level of craftsmanship.

The Orchard & Main project—how did it start and what are the plans for those homes?
The townhome project at 1426–1430 Main Street is known as “The Northern Row.” The buildings were in terrible condition when we purchased them. 1430 Main Street’s rear portion needed to rebuilt from the ground up. [Previously] each building featured a storefront at street level with six residential units behind and above. Each address will be converted to a single-family home. When complete, The Northern Row will feature three two-bedroom, 2.5-bath, 1,800 square-foot townhomes. There will be parking off beautiful Orchard Street for each unit as well as a deck to cover the parking spot. [The] homes are listed pre-construction [and] future owners would be able to work with [us] to customize nearly every fixture and finish throughout the homes.

What else is in the works?
We just wrapped up a single-family home in Northside on Chase Avenue.

We’re currently working on a two-unit townhome project on Fergus in Northside near the American Can building. Those two-bedroom homes will be available for rent towards the end of the summer. We own a three-unit building just off the Northside Business District on Apple Street that’s currently in the planning stages and should be under construction later this year.

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