St. Ambrose Apartments

The Challenge

St. Leger Apartments had long been a source of crime and negative influence in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Evanston.  Eighty-one units were crammed onto a lot on the main intersection in the heart of the community.  The challenge of this redevelopment was to meet the community’s desire to replace a highly visible building with updated, safe housing for local residents that contributed to, not detracted from, the health of the neighborhood.  Coordination between stakeholders in Evanston, the Community Council, and the Cincinnati Police Department was vital, as each played an important role in the success of the new St. Ambrose Apartments.

Project Objectives

The objective of this new development was to work with the community and its vision to create a positive icon at the heart of the Evanston Five Points area and replace a former apartment building that had become a source of blight and crime in the neighborhood.   To accomplish this, Model Group drastically reduced the density from the former St. Leger Apartments and designed the new building to create a safe and defensible living environment with high-quality, accessible, visitable, and energy-efficient units.

The Development and Construction Solutions

Diverse sources of financing were utilized to demolish the old St. Leger Apartments and construct the new St. Ambrose. Because the bulk of construction would need to occur during the dead of winter, Model Construction decided to utilize modular construction.  This would allow progress to continue without weather delays during what proved to be one of the coldest winters – polar vortexes and all -  in recent memory.  This decision aligned with the project objectives and resulted in St. Ambrose being the first affordable, multi-family, modular LEED-certified building in this part of the country!  The design included 26 units comprised of eight three-bedroom townhomes and 18 one- and two-bedroom flats.  Ample parking was accommodated on site.  The building is three stories at its tallest and incorporated an elevator into the design to ensure that units could be accessible and visitable. The decision to proceed with modular construction proved to be a good one, as the development was completed an entire month ahead of schedule.