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New apartments help transform neighborhood

EVANSTON, Ohio (Deb Dixon) -- It was just a building, but the new Saint Ambrose Apartments in Evanston symbolized much more.
   
The $6 million complex replaced the old Saint Leger Apartments which were linked to everything from an open air drug market to murder.
   
The old St. Leger was where Cincinnati's first drive-by, gang related murder happened.  A 13-year-old was shot to death standing outside the complex.  There would be more murders linked to St. Leger.  The people of Evanston knew it had to be demolished.  It took years to get all the partners together.

When the Port Authority used Moving Ohio Forward funds to demolish St. Leger last summer crime dropped 35 percent.  The Model Group specializes in urban projects and developed the new 26 unit  Ambrose Apartments that were dedicated Friday.

There were new rules, especially about loitering, that will be enforced by private security.  The community committed to being St. Ambrose's guardians.  Pastor Mingo even wanted to change the street sign from St. Leger to St. Ambrose.

"This gives the community a chance to put things behind and look forward to the future," said Mingo.

There were public and private funding partners for the project.  The city provided a tax abatement.

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