|New Year, New Newsletter!
Happy New Year and may 2013 bring more success to our revitalization and neighborhood stabilization efforts! May our wonderful collaborations with our many partners continue to grow and may we find new partners willing to engage with us to come up with creative land reuse strategies!
With success and partnerships in mind, we are ringing in 2013 with a new format for our newsletter! You will definitely notice some big changes! In order to make our news timelier and to keep you posted on the latest Land Bank stories and events, you will receive fewer and shorter stories more frequently than once a month. In the right hand column, properties in our inventory that are either for sale through our Deed in Escrow program, Owner Occupant Buyer Advantage Program or In-House Rehab program are featured. The featured properties section changes with every newsletter edition and provides prospective buyers another opportunity to view what is in our inventory. Be sure to also check out our “Did You Know” and “Fun Fact” corner to get an inside look at our day-to-day operations and some exciting stats about our efforts towards revitalization and stabilization. We believe these changes better emphasize the Land Bank’s impact and successes across Cuyahoga County!
Happy New Year and Happy Reading!
President and General Counsel
The Way Government is Supposed to Work
Party politics wasn’t on anyone’s agenda on December 7th, when Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine visited a Slavic Village demolition site with elected officials from both sides of the political aisle. They came to put the spotlight on Cleveland’s impressive progress in recovering from the foreclosure crisis, thanks in part to the Attorney General’s Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Grant Program, which brought more than $11.8 million in grants to Cuyahoga County—our share of $75 million granted across the State. DeWine was joined by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Ward 12 Councilman and Cuyahoga Land Bank Board Chair Tony Brancatelli, and officials from State, county and local municipalities, including Cuyahoga Land Bank and Neighborhood Progress, Inc. (NPI) staff.
"The event was not to focus on that day’s demolition," DeWine said. “It’s about carving the cancers out of our neighborhoods, which are not going to be what we want them to be as long as houses like this one [at 6179 Morton Avenue] are left standing.”
Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga Land Bank, agreed. “What you see here today is the way government is supposed to work,” he said. “It’s the sort of thing that government at all levels has to execute, in ways that help people—but it’s not just about demolition. The Land Bank, because of the way we’re set up and the cooperation between everyone here, also has been able to rehab more than 500 homes throughout the county—and demolitions bring value on a strategic level to those homes that are renovated.”
The Slavic Village demo site wasn’t the group’s only stop. But according to Councilman Tony Brancatelli, "it was significant because of where it stands. During the crisis, this neighborhood saw more foreclosures than any place in the country. This is not about celebrating demolition—it’s about the blight elimination that set the table for development that is going on. We are doing strategic demos in all of our neighborhoods.”
Officials also visited Rid-All Green Partnership in the Kinsman neighborhood, a street in Shaker Heights, the Buckeye area, and a section along the East Cleveland/Cleveland Heights border that’s targeted for future demolitions. Staff from the Attorney General’s office plan to visit several more times over the coming year to observe and monitor how the grant is utilized.
Cuyahoga Land Bank Featured on Cleveland Stories
Cuyahoga Land Bank President Gus Frangos and Cleveland City Councilman Tony Brancatelli, who is the Land Bank's Board Chair, sat down recently with Cleveland Stories, a local access television program to discuss the operations of the Cuyahoga Land Bank, their vision for reimagining our communities and the partnership between the Cuyahoga Land Bank and the City of Cleveland. Be sure to watch this and other videos on the Cuyahoga Land Bank YouTube channel!