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Avondale's La Ventura apartment building granted local historic landmark status

The 1928 La Ventura building is at 700 Chalfonte Place in Avondale/North Avondale.
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The 1928 La Ventura building is at 700 Chalfonte Place in Avondale/North Avondale.

The newest local historic landmark is a century-old apartment building that sits astride Avondale and North Avondale's community council boundaries.

Cincinnati Council voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the designation for the La Ventura building at 700 Chalfonte Place. Noted architects S.S. Godley and his son George Godley designed the apartments in 1928.

Senior City Planner Caroline Kellam says it qualifies for designation under two categories: architectural significance and historic significance.

"The building is a reflection of the transformation from a neighborhood of large estates to multifamily housing, accessible to new residents via street cars and automobiles, and the movement of the city's Jewish population from the West End to Avondale," Kellam said.

The building has been vacant for about 15 years. Kellam says the exterior is in fairly good condition. The inside is in worse condition, but the original floor plan is intact.

Owner and developer Nadav Livne says he wants to apply for state historic tax credits to help with renovations, and the local landmark designation makes him eligible to apply.

"We are happy and excited to take part in bringing vacant buildings and properties in Cincinnati back to life," Livne told Council in a committee meeting Tuesday.

The renovation plan for La Ventura would preserve its original 23 apartment unit layout, Livne says. The units will be priced at market rate, affordable to households making between 80% and 120% of the Area Median Income.

Current zoning on the property allows up to 36 units. Zoning requires 35 parking spaces and an parking lot will accommodate up to 36 cars.

Council's vote is the final step in local designation, preceded by unanimous approval from the Historic Conservation Board and the City Planning Commission. Renovation will now have to follow the approved historic conservation guidelines, like ensuring new fences and walls are compatible with the character of the building.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.