Midtown Brews: Essential Footing: Our County-Wide Land Bank

Submitted by Betsey Merkel on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 12:42.

Essential Footing: Our County-Wide Land Bank With Meet The Bloggers

Conversation topics:

  • The County-Wide Land Bank
  • Housing Foreclosures
  • Vacant Properties


  • Cuyahoga County Treasurer, Jim Rokakis
  • Nathanael Hoelzel, Brownfield Programs Manager, Department of Economic Development, Cleveland City Hall
  • And You...
  • Date: Thursday, June 5, 2008 (the first Thursday of every month, except July and January)
  • Time: 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.
  • Donation: Optional $5.00 (or more to help provide for those who can't) and to help defray the costs of munchies, and if you like, bring your favorite six pack of brew

Conversation starts at 6:00PM - 7:00PM (EST).
Register: http://www.upcoming.org
Location: Insivia - Software & Design, a Midtown technology company, just down the street (west) from Webtego, 1900 Superior Avenue, Suite 105, Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Phone: 216-373-1080
E-mail: info [at] insivia [dot] com
Parking: Available on the street (front) and behind the building.

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yesterday at The City Club

We saw Jim roll this out yesterday at The City Club. This is an essential dialogue for all of us, in Ward 15, in Cleveland, in Ohio, in this country. It all starts here; we were the epicenter, although I understand now that we've lost this dubious distinction to Las Vegas.

Roll what out?

Please give us your take, Tim.  Thanks :)

the county-wide land bank

Roll out the county-wide land bank, that Betsey posted about. My take is that we are on the brink of doing something good, and we all need to help out to make sure the idea isn't compromised. With Rokakis, community dialogue counts; he listens and then tries to implement what's most appropriate.

Cleveland Polka

And around we go...


The “land bank” idea is an “after the cow has left the barn”  idea.   Right?   Banks abandoning their “collateral” in Cleveland was entirely predictable – even back in 1999 when the Cleveland City Counsel debated implementing point of sale inspections.


So a land bank isn’t the first/best idea for combating vacant, dilapidating housing pulling the remaining community down.  


Before, or at least concurrent, with a “land bank” being created, every community in Cuyahoga County must pass legislation to establish  “point of sale” inspections like Shaker Heights has now.    Point of sale inspections - which only allow deed transfer of property which is fully up to code (building and zoning) - keep out the scum banks, scum mortgages, scum flippers, flimsy investors, and other carpet bagging folk.  


So, until a city has legislated point of sale inspections, the land bank idea is an ineffective, after the damage is done, excuse of a solution.


The next issue with a land bank is how the land will be “withdrawn” from the bank.

Will the land bank become a cookie jar for developers?   Sure it will.   Forest City will have it’s hand in the jar.    The jar will become an “aggregator” of the small residential lots which go into the bank, and out of the jar will come big plots (read “urban renew-all”) with eminent domain used against the few loyal citizen hold outs remaining in between the foreclosed lots in the big plot.   Eminent Domain for the sake of "economic development" will be the cry...


This is what Toby Cosgrove and the Cleveland Clinic and Brent Larkin from the Dirty Dealer are trying to do in the “Disadvantaged Triangle Highway” (Clark Freeway re-incarnation)


How’s Mr. Rokakis’ land bank going to have it’s land assets withdrawn any differently than Toby and Brent are hypocritically and fraudulently promoting to do with land in their "opportunity" (Opportunity for the Clinic only) speedway between E55 and  the almost completed 5000 car Clinic parking garage?


Until it is demonstrated that the land which goes into the land bank will not be aggregated into large parcels – ie economical single family house lots will still be available for new homeowners to buy – I will not support the idea of any centrally held land depository.   


Please suggest a “deposit withdrawal” system which will equitably recognize/reward the loyal citizens who have remained residents in the areas affected by foreclosure and vacancy.   I believe it is those who remained steadfast - living and working - in the community while it went to hell around them -  who should benefit from any government operated land acquisition – not some developer from outside who has the cash to be “high bidder” on a package of abandoned home parcels conveniently put together for his shopping pleasure and ease.

see you June 5th?

good points, all--do you think we'll be seeing you June 5th?


also, the podcast will come through soon from The City Club--perhaps you can get a preview of the preview--


personally, I'm recommending taking from the vile perpetrators of the current mess and giving to the deserving at bargain rates--real values--there's no reason the lenders and investment bankers should be allowed to play again--this "hurt and rescue" routine is bogus, and expensive for all the rest of us.

You said it!

Spanky :) This little rascal agrees.  And, Tim, you have painted the picture at Save Our Land.

Street View

Yes, and today, Street View is there to help. My cousin, a commercial real-estate broker, has been able to use it recently to look at potential transactions. It is very, very useful, for any number of things.