An update of the happenings at Cuyahoga Land Bank
Moving Ohio Forward | CLB Services | Dogtropolis - 2015.4.1

Attorney General's Moving Ohio Forward Program Supports 3,500 Demolitions

On February 27th, Ohio General Attorney Mike DeWine held a press conference in Columbus to announce the results of his Moving Ohio Forward (MOF) demolition program. From 2012 through 2014, this important statewide programLand Bank Staff resulted in 3,500 demolitions in Cuyahoga County. The Cuyahoga Land Bank received $12.8 million in MOF grant funds and this $12.8 million was matched with an additional $11.3 million provided through the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s normal operating budget and a $5 million grant from then County Prosecutor Bill Mason. The Cuyahoga Land Bank, in turn, granted $8.4 million of these funds to the City of Cleveland to support their demolition efforts.
Cuyahoga Land Bank’s Chairman Tony Brancatelli participated in the press conference, praising this much needed effort. “This program, coming when it did, was extremely vital to our communities,” said Brancatelli. The funds used for the MOF program were secured by the Attorney General from 
leLand Bank Staff gal settlements with five major national lenders. Through the strong advocacy of the
Thriving Communities Institute’s Director, Jim Rokakis, the Attorney General earmarked $75 million of the settlement dollars for demolition. The Thriving Communities Institute is an effort spearheaded by the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.
It is estimated that 12,000 abandoned structures not including larger multi-family and commercial properties in Cuyahoga County are still in need of demolition. While all the MOF dollars have been expended, much needed demolition activity continues, made possible through the continued strong  advocacy of Mr. Rokakis, along with the professional, efficient demolition work undertaken by both the Cuyahoga Land Bank and the City of Cleveland.
In the words of Cuyahoga Land Bank President and General Counsel, Gus Frangos, “To rebuild our healthy communities, we first need to perform some painful root canal work. This important work helped increase housing values and the growth of strong communities throughout Cuyahoga County.”

Clearing Away Asbestos-Not As Easy As You Think!

When Kenneth Tyson left his job as Property Specialist at the Cuyahoga Land
Bank, he wasn’t leaving demolition work—in fact, he’s now working with demolitions more than ever.
This past fall the Cuyahoga Land Bank founded CLB Services, an environmental services company. Kenneth Tyson became Co-Founder and Executive Director of CLB Services. And for both Tyson and the Cuyahoga Land Bank, this new enterprise is a win-win situation.Land Bank Staff
“I’m an entrepreneur at heart,” he says.  Tyson was a business entrepreneur before coming to work at the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  The decision to start a new company was twofold – one part cost savings, one part problem solving. 
Prior to creating CLB Services, the Cuyahoga Land Bank contracted with a dozen or so environmental services companies for asbestos survey work.  “They all did business a little differently, each having a different reporting format and varying turnaround times for completing surveys,” says Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel. “It raised the question: what if we (Cuyahoga Land Bank) worked with less companies? It would boost production and efficiency, and reduce costs for the Cuyahoga Land Bank. And that thought process led to conversations about creating CLB Services.” According to Frangos, the brain-child of CLB Services, this was a way to professionally do survey work and permit a residual profit from these services to flow back to the Cuyahoga Land Bank mission.
But starting a new company doesn’t happen overnight. Tyson had to undergo several weeks of field training, 40 hours of in-class training, and then pass an exam to obtain state certification, before he could complete his first asbestos survey.  Mr. Tyson first hired another former Cuyahoga Land Bank staff member, Matt Bobel, an asbestos analyst, who “spendLand Bank Staffs the majority of his time in the field,” Tyson says.
“Matt surveys each property by identifying all homogenous materials at the site.  He then collects samples of each material based on its condition and quantity.  Once all samples have been collected, they are sent to a lab for analysis.” says Tyson.
If the lab finds more than a one percent asbestos, he adds, “asbestos containing material must be removed prior to demolition.”
Later this year, CLB will begin offering asbestos removal services, streamlining the demolition process further.
The Cuyahoga Land Bank is CLB’s biggest client, and Tyson sees only room for growth. The City of Cleveland is also a CLB Services client. “The Cuyahoga Land Bank will partner with municipalities all over Cuyahoga County,” he says. “CLB Services would like to provide abatement services to all Cuyahoga Land Bank partner communities—and we know that cities in neighboring counties have similar challenges.”
“For now, our focus is on completing surveys and getting them to the City of Cleveland and the Cuyahoga Land Bank in a timely manner. That’s why this is a good marriage,” says Tyson.
If your organization or community is in need of asbestos surveys, please reach out to Kenneth Tyson, Executive Director, at 216-307-6001 or for more details.

Dogs Need a Nice Home, Too

Just hearing the name of Frank Kuhar’s housing development firm—“Revived Housing Inc.”—tells you his philosophy about run-down properties. He knows some have to be demolished, but he would much rather give them new life if he can, letting them “age in place,” he says.
So when he heard of an abandoned building in an industrial section of South Euclid, he staLand Bank Staffrted thinking of how it could be reborn.
“This building had been vacant for at least ten years,” says Michael Love, Economic Development Director for the City of South Euclid. “It was tax delinquent, the owner wasn’t maintaining it and it was in foreclosure.”  That’s when the Cuyahoga Land Bank stepped in to help acquire the building.
Kuhar looked at the building and saw its potential but, he says, “It was in pretty bad shape. It had been neglected, squatters had been inside—it could have been a demo—but I had a notion it could be a good home for DogTropolis.” He knew DogTropolis very well; he’d been taking his Yellow Lab, Haley, to DogTropolis Doggy Daycare (formerly DogTopia) for years. Kuhar mentioned the space to the DogTropolis owner Connie Karlowicz (a.k.a. “Top Dog”) and they visited the building that same afternoon.Land Bank Staff
“It’s double the size of our old location in Cleveland Heights a total of, 8,000 square feet,” she says. “I went home and sketched a layout that night in my kitchen. Frank let me design the whole thing so that it fit my businesses needs” said Connie.  Her doggy guests are thrilled with their new digs; they have a 3,500-square-foot playroom, a huge fenced outdoor play area and oversized kennels for overnight stays.
It’s been an exciting project for Kuhar as well. “It has a vaulted ceiling, steel roof trusses, 14-foot-high walls—kind of retro, a cool industrial look,” he says. The work, he adds, was “pretty much an overhaul” which included new heating and cooling systems, windows, garage doors, flooring and plumbing. He laid a concrete pad behind the building for the play area and built offices and a reception space. Soon he will install energy-efficient lighting because, he says, “I try to be responsible about conserving energy.”
“The new space is convenient,” he adds, chuckling: “There’s a veterinarian right next door.”
For Karlowicz, even the location is a huge bonus.  â€œIt’s just 1.3 miles down the road,” she says.  â€œI lost no clients, and gained some new ones!”
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Fun Fact!

Every year the Broadway-Slavic Village neighborhood hosts their annual Neighborhood Summit that brings together dedicated community stakeholders, and awards residents and organizations for their hard work.  This year the Cuyahoga Land Bank was acknowledged at the event and awarded Outstanding Service and Commitment to Slavic Village. There were numerous residents, organizations, and city partners that attended who made an impact on improving Broadway Slavic Village neighborhood focused on "Historic Foundation: Buildings Blocks for the Future".

Bid on this Home before May 1st!

This home at 740 East 254th in Euclid requires minimal renovation and is now available under the Advantage Plus Loan Program. Minimum bid starts at $5,000!

Home for Sale in Cleveland

This Colonial home at 9902 Marietta Ave in Cleveland requires renovation and is now available through our Deed-In-Escrow Program.

Move-in Ready Home For Sale in Bedford

This Ranch style home at 565 Westview Rd in Bedford was renovated in-house by the Cuyahoga Land Bank and is listed for sale.  For details on this property, please call 216-698-8853 and for a list of other homes currently under renovation, visit our website.

Cuyahoga Land Bank Homeowner Feature

Willie Bethune recently participated in the Deed-In-Escrow Program and purchased a three bedroom home in the Broadway-Slavic Village neighborhood. Willie shared about his successful purchase and says "It was a really good experience and a great learning experience to be able to see all phases of the renovation project to completion.  Everything was very straight forward in working with the Cuyahoga Land Bank and I am happy to be a first time homeowner." The Cuyahoga Land Bank wishes Willie best of luck with his new home!

Did You Know

Spring is here and the Cuyahoga Land Bank NIP Greening Program is now in full force!  The program is made possible by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency's Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP).  The program works along with the Cuyahoga Land Bank Side Yard Program to beautify the vacant lots adjacent to residents' homes. The lots eligible for the program will be improved through additional landscaping, trees and fencing. The program will not only beautify vacant lots but also add to the aesthetics of the street, stabilize surrounding properties, and offer neighbors healthy green space for passive and active recreation.  The Cuyahoga Land Bank is excited that the NIP Greening Program is underway.  The program is a great opportunity to transform vacant lots into vibrant places! For any questions on the program please reach out to Lilah Zautner, Manager of Special Projects and Land Reuse, at 216-698-8853 or lzautner@

The mission of the Cuyahoga Land Bank is to strategically acquire properties, return them to productive use, reduce blight, increase property values, support community goals and improve the quality of life for county residents.

Copyright © 2015 Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, All rights reserved.
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