An update of the happenings at Cuyahoga Land Bank
Ohio Land Banks | Glenwillow - 2015.7.2

Thriving Communities:  And Then There Were Twenty-Five!

Incredibly, the smallest mustard seed can grow into one of the largest and most sturdy trees at full growth.  In 2009, legislation was passed in the State of Ohio for the creation of county land banks. This legislation planted the seed in Cuyahoga County and led to the growth of the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  Six years later, that seed has turned into a powerful and effective countLand Bank Staff y land bank movement throughout the State of Ohio thanks to the work of Thriving Communities Institute (TCI).  The Thriving Communities Institute, directed by the former Cuyahoga County Treasurer James Rokakis, has  helped counties establish their own county land banks, and facilitates training throughout Ohio.  There are now twenty-five land banks and four more on the way thanks to TCI's work.   
TCI is the convener of quarterly meetings held in different parts of the State where all county land banks come together, share best practices, address new issues and share success stories.
“The beauty of land banking is that one size does not fit all,” said Trumbull County Treasurer and Board Chairman Sam Lamancusa.  “We board-up, renovate, demolish and improve properties throughout the County in ways never before possible thanks to the creation of county land banks.”  That was the message at the most recent TCI land bank quarterly conference in Columbus in mid-June of this year. 
Cuyahoga Land Bank President and General Counsel, Gus Frangos, Chief Operating Officer, Bill Whitney and Staff Attorney, Doug Sawyer, attended this quarterly meeting.  They discussed proposed legislative changes  to the tax foreclosure process and land banking statutes.  Doug Sawyer outlined some of the more important changes that were on the horizon.Land Bank Staff
Speakers talked about new greening techniques and progress with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s (OHFA) Hardest Hit Funds designed to assist with  blighted and vacant properties in communities.  Clark County Executive Director, Tom Hale, explained how the Clark County Land Bank is taking the lead on securing an Internal Revenue Ruling establishing special non-profit status for county land banks in Ohio.
Robin Thomas, Land Bank Program Director for TCI facilitated the meeting and reminded all those present of the upcoming Ohio Land Bank Conference this October.  Thomas explained that “the conference allows all land banks, city officials, elected officials and community development non-profits to come together and learn about some of the newest tools available for engaging in neighborhood stabilization and community development work.”  Just six years since county land banks first formed in Ohio, there are now twenty-five in total and Rokakis believes that by the summer of next year, nearly half of Ohio’s counties will have their own county land bank.

Village of Glenwillow Acquires Vacant Lot for Future Park Site

Thanks to the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 172 (SB 172) in June of 2014, local government agencies now have the option to conduct important environmental surveys before they acquire a vacant property that has been forfeited to the State of Ohio.Land Bank Staff
SB 172, co-written by Cuyahoga Land Bank President Gus Frangos and Cuyahoga Land Bank Staff Attorney Doug Sawyer.  It helps local government agencies remove and repurpose blighted, vacant and abandoned properties more efficiently.
The Cuyahoga Land Bank was able to practice the new legislation recently on a property with the Village of Glenwillow that is being planned for a new park trail and a park service center to the community.
“Under SB 172, Glenwillow was able to conduct environmental testing before they acquired the property through the Cuyahoga Land Bank,” said Sawyer. “It’s gratifying to see the Village easily re-purpose once vacant land for its residents.”Land Bank Staff
Together, Glenwillow and the Cuyahoga Land Bank successfully acquired a ten acre site that had been forfeited to the State of Ohio, and then transferred it to Glenwillow.  The property will enhance Glenwillow’s park system through the potential addition of a trailhead for a proposed multi-purpose trail along Tinkers Creek and allow for a Service Department building to house park maintenance equipment and vehicles.
“Even though both of these exciting projects are still in the planning stages, the acquisition of this property gave us the incentive to move forward on these improvements for our community,” said Mayor Mark Cegelka. “We are grateful for the professional assistance and cooperation from the staff at the Cuyahoga Land Bank in seeing this project to fruition.”
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Land Bank Properties

Did You Know

The Cuyahoga Land Bank was recently awarded the Community Impact Award by the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) and American Institute of Architects Cleveland (AIA). The award was given to the Cuyahoga Land Bank for their work with Famicos Foundation Historic Homes project. CRS and AIA Cleveland recognize organizations annually to celebrate local historic preservation projects that have made a significant investment in revitalizing Northeast Ohio. 

Bid on this Home before July 31st!

This home at 731 East 236th 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 Oakwood

This ranch home at 26110 Pettibone Rd in Oakwood requires renovation and is now available through our Deed-In-Escrow Program.

Renovated Home For Sale in Bedford

This 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.

Larchmere Community Award

The Cuyahoga Land Bank was recently recognized by Larchmere Merchants Association, Larchmere Community Association, Shaker Square Development Corporation, and Shaker Square Alliance for their work with the Larchmere community in the redevelopment and acquisition of the Sedlak Building on Larchmere Boulevard.  Bill Whitney, Chief Operating Officer and Doug Sawyer, Special Projects and Policy Counsel were recognized for their efforts.

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.

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