The CLE Flip 2015 prediction

Submitted by lmcshane on Thu, 01/01/2015 - 09:39.



Straw buyers - it's a Cleveland tradition.  Who are the real folks behind land deals here in CLE?  Back in the day, Robert McCall (think Fred Finley) picked up the YMCA building on Pearl Rd. with some foggy proposal to have a hydroponic growing facility.  McCall was a straw buyer - I can guarantee you that this property will filip this year and that back taxes will magically disappear.  Pure profit.

I posted the prediction on in response to the Donovan story and the comment was promptedly removed. Donovan currently sits on the Board of Zoning Appeals - but he needs to be removed ASAP.


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Why CLE loves - Rokakis-Frangos Magic Wand *POOF*

As treasurer and deputy treasurer - Rokakis and Frangos could make tax liens mysteriously disappear - pre-Social Media-Internet days it was especially easy with Frangos and friends controlling Board of Revision.  

Now, the magic wand is the "Land Bank" - What's not to love PEOPLE ??? - Why pay taxes !!!  Certainly, Donovan knew this - so what's the big deal? Right??!!!

The Cleveland Land Bank said efforts began two years ago, when Heinen's asked the city for help buying the adjacent property to expand its warehouses. "I immediately reached out to the Cuyahoga County Department of Development and the Cuyahoga Land Bank for assistance," said Warrensville Heights Economic Development Director Pequita Hansberry. The county development department and the Land Bank helped track down the owner of the vacant building and helped Heinens, the city and other parties acquire it.


The Cuyahoga Land Bank found out that the property had a $1 million lien on it, and was significantly behind on its taxes. It reached out to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office to foreclose on the property, and the Land Bank took over the title earlier this year. The county also gave Heinen's a $500,000 loan toward the cost of the demolition.

Donovan, Cummins BOZA - conflict of interest - anyone care???

The below info is on the January 5, 2015 Board of Zoning Appeals Agenda.
Calendar No. 14-236:
3401 Denison Avenue
Ward 12
Anthony Brancatelli
19 Notices
George Sevastos, owner, proposes to re-establish use as motor vehicle sales in a C1 Multi-Family Residential District. The owner appeals for relief from the following sections of the Cleveland Codified Ordinances:
1. Section 337.07 which states that in a Multi-Family Residential District motor vehicle sales facility is not permitted.
2. Section 352.09 which states that an 8’ wide transition strip is required along all sides where the lot abuts a Multi-Family Residential District.
3. Section 349.04(f) which states that the customer parking area must be equal to 25% of the total lot area and none is shown.
4. Section 359.02(a) which states that a nonconforming use that has been discontinued shall not thereafter be returned to such a nonconforming use (filed November 21, 2014).
Update by lmcshane: I couldn't keep track of all the demos ordered under Cummins during 2009 -  it seemed driven by his insanely ambitious assistant Johanna Hamm - but  I did record this (did Lightning get the demo?):

2401 Denison

Submitted by lmcshane on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 10:34.
  A dilapidated workman's cottage with charming trim was demolished on the QT, just off Denison.  It is now a vacant lot behind 2401 Denison.  3862 West 24th St.? Any explanations?

View Larger Map
PARCEL ID 009-01-030
ZIP 44109
 Auto lot...Rainbow Motors...
Ward 12 Council Rep Brancatelli*inherited this situation from Ward 14 Council Rep Brian Cummins, who had to know FOR YEARS that old George Sevastos (~80 yrs old) was leasing his property to an auto dealership in violation of city zoning and permitting processes (Cummins' office also approved demo of the church that took place next to the 3403 Denison Sevastos property much like he took care of the demo adjacent to the Sevastos 2401 Denison property).  
This looks stinkingly similar to a similar non-compliance zoning scam Cummins tried to mastermind on West 25th St. (REMEMBER Donovan - who contributed to Cummins reelection sits on BOZA! Remember Council person who proceeded Brian Cummins was Emily Lipovan, preceeded by Merle Gordon, preceeded by JIM ROKAKIS!)
Senor Cummins is looking LESS and LESS like the green wonderboy and more and more like someone on the take.

3403 Denison Ave,

Cleveland, OH 44109

 * Brancatelli is dirty, too - why did he allow this to go on BOZA without vetting?? The appeal has been "postponed" indefinitely - but does that shut down then non-compliant auto dealership???  

STRAWBUYERS - CLE $ easy money


So Shorey paid $100,000 for the property?  And, Land Bank cleared millions in tax liens - and City spent $39,000.  Wow - that's a great ROI.  This is NUTS.  This is a speculative buy by an attorney who is essentially a straw buyer who will hold the property - (probably after buildings are demo'd at taxpayer expense) for investors.

 UNREALNEO - when does NEO get off this nightmare carousel ride started by Rokakis-Frangos with their sale of third party tax liens and now tax cleansed property acquisition for investors who not only buy real estate at rock-bottom  prices - they get MILLIONS of public monies to boot?!  How do I get some of this fun money?

What a SURPRISE!!! YMCA building will transfer to Land Bank!!

On good authority, I have just learned that the YMCA building will transfer to the Cuyahoga Land Reutilization Corp aka "Land Bank" - all past liens will be "CLEANSED" away - taxpayers are to pay $300,000 to demo the building and WHAT A COINCIDENCE (!), Western Reserve Land Conservancy just finalized acquisition of large chuck of land adjacent to the building.

More DEMOS for Developers!!

Racketeers at Land Bank now control old YMCA building as if 8/24

It's confirmed - Racketeers at the Land Bank now control the YMCA building...and Brancatelli-Cummins' FAKE non-representative CDC wants to transfer the property to Cleveland Housing Network AFTER we Taxpayers demo- and tax cleanse -clear the property so they can build permanent "homeless" housing...or some other such HUD funded operation  - forget anything POSITIVE  (like a Courtyard Marriott) that might capitalize on the National Park, the Metroparks, Metrohealth - this is federal $$$ beggar capital of the world... poverty pimps rule here...


Jeff Ramsey at the Detroit Shoreway CDC stands to make out in development fees (aka kickbacks) with this potential CHN deal - it's just more FUN Money for the overpaid NON-Profit sector in Northeast Ohio...though hard to say this is "non-profit" when Cleveland Housing Network works with over $30 million dollars of federal monies and pays their top folks some nice six figure salaries to take home to their mansions away from all of us POOR folk...

Who wants Brookyn Centre??



Tracy Nichols confirms CHN deal for YMCA

So I sent the information to PD Real Estate Reporter Michelle Jarboe McFee, who asks me if I am "anti-homeless":


Thank you for taking note. I am not opposed to the project because it is permanent supportive housing. 
I AM opposed to Cleveland Housing Network - picking up this site from the City of Cleveland - tax cleansed of significant debt by the Cuyahoga County Land Bank.  AND, that Cummin's and Brancatelli's fake CDC (in violation of federal law because there are no voting residents as board members) - Stockyard, Clark-Fulton, Brooklyn Centre - a spin-off of Detroit Shoreway - has apparently brokered this deal EXCLUSIVELY to CHN - a housing organization that will benefit from the influx of federal and state monies from a project of this nature, but an entity that will generate little to minimal tax revenue for the City of Cleveland-removing a significant commercial real estate property from the tax rolls. From CHN's Kate Monter's bio "Established in 1981, CHN creates affordable housing and homeownership options for low and moderate-income Cleveland families. CHN is now the largest private landowner in the city, and its programs have generated over $285 million of capital investments in Cleveland's neighborhoods."  (truly sad... LOOK at the salaries for this non-profit helping the "homeless")
I am opposed, because the City of Cleveland and our council reps have done NOTHING to improve the West 25th corridor - and this will add further decay to a corridor blighted by the friend of Detroit Shoreway -Coral (Peter Rubin) Development Brooklyn Plaza, vacant Aldis (move brokered by Council and Chris Warren w/First Insterstate), and other blighted properties from Clark to Brookpark Rd.
I am opposed, because both councilmen let the previous owner (Robert McCall-fake ministry non-profit--see attached) get away with NOT paying taxes on this commercial property FOR YEARS.  Cummins' is similarly allowing August Garfoli (son of a former Cle city council member) of Ginmark to do the same thing with the Masonic Building.  Also, the former YMCA would have to be demo'd for this project (at taxpayer expense) - Tony Bango told residents it is estimated to cost $300,000 to demo it.
I could go on and on, but I won't bore you.  Please put this information in your story.  It's not the same as the situation in Midtown (which they were right to oppose -also NOT paying taxes) - it's far worse.
Thanks for listening!

Call Joe Pagonakis

If you are homeowner in Ward 14 and have received letters from SCFBC regarding violations or housing court notices - and feel it is unjust, please call NewsNet5 Troubleshooter Joe Pagonakis. 

The above story ran last night - also everyone is pretty much aware that the Coral Group Plaza on W. 25th, vacant Aldis, and vacant YMCA have been given a pass for years. The fake CDC has been secretly working with the former YMCA building - and it recently transferred to the Cuyahoga County Land Bank with more plans being hatched by the SCFBC (no voting residents board members). Please add comments, if as a resident - you have received ANY news about any of the West 25th St. corridor properties. Also - the entire W. 25th route from I-71 to Brookpark Rd. is slated for resurfacing and streetscape improvements, but residents and businesses have received no information detailing how the construction will be staged.

Sent to Metrohealth and Metroparks -BTW listen to transcript

  All -

I attended the 9/9 Metropark Board meeting and shared the pdfs for both the YMCA building/transferred to the Cuyahoga County Land Bank and the Coral Group Plaza - currently in foreclosure.  Here is a transcript from the meeting:
There are so many options other than transferring the YMCA property to Cleveland Housing Network. It would make much more sense for the Cuyahoga County Land Bank to transfer the property to the Cleveland Metroparks.
Before the meeting, I suggested to Park Commissioner Dan Moore that the Metroparks could naturalize the slope. I believe all of the commissioners with their extensive real estate experience - know that the YMCA property will appreciate in value once the building is removed.  
I did contact The Snavely Group and they confirmed that they were contacted for the option - of building a hotel in the area, but that now, the time is not right. But, Pete Snavely did not rule out the potential of the location.
The demographic in NEO is rapidly shifting away from cars.   And, if transferred to the Park District, the Metroparks and the City of Cleveland WILL benefit when the market improves and becomes attractive to a hotel, like Courtyard Marriott. 
The best possible use of the YMCA property is as a gateway location for the Cleveland Metroparks and for the Metrohealth Mile. I hope you will all look at ways to immediately transfer the property from the Cuyahoga County Land Bank to the Cleveland Metroparks.
Laura McShane
(the towpath info at end of the transcript shows how much leadership in NEO is out of touch)

Unmarked mystery trucks at YMCA 12/1




Here's the sign - an 8x11" flyer stapled to the old YMCA sign - can you find it!




Brooklyn YMCA's graffiti is scrubbed, but the building is still wide open for vandals - and junkies - what's another dead body in CLE?

 Watch very closely ....

Cleveland housing inspector gets land city had paid to clear in 'massive screw-up

By Gabriel Baird, The Plain Dealer 

Follow on Twitter 

on July 02, 2009 at 8:23 PM, updated October 16, 2010 at 12:57 PM

A Cleveland housing inspector last year paid $1,500 at a public auction for about four acres that his employers wanted for public parking and had spent $669,000 in tax dollars to clear.

The deal by Robert J. Barnes III, in possible violation of rules forbidding inspectors from making unauthorized real estate deals, might cost city taxpayers their six-figure investment in the land. It also has a city councilman demanding answers.

"I find it a problem that the city invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in this property and now an individual owns it," said Councilman Eugene Miller after being told of the deal this week by The Plain Dealer.

Barnes' lawyer, Clement Kollin, said Thursday that the inspector's investment in the East 152nd Street property was legal and above board. "He bought it fair and square," Kollin said.

The newspaper discovered the deal in reporting last month that Barnes and another inspector independently invested in a total of six parcels that had been inspected by colleagues in the city's scandal-ridden Building and Housing Department.


As part of a wide-ranging investigation of public corruption, federal prosecutors have charged six other city inspectors with bribery or extortion charges. Five of the six have pleaded guilty.

Building Department Director Ed Rybka referred the newspaper's findings to city police last month to determine whether the men violated city rules. Those rules require inspectors to obtain permission from bosses before investing in property in the city and forbids them from using their public positions for personal gain.

Rybka and Safety Director Martin Flask have since declined to say whether Barnes and the other inspector obtained permission for their land deals, citing the ongoing investigation by the Police Department's internal affairs unit.

This week, Rybka and other city officials declined to explain how they got beat out by one of their own employees for the East 152nd Street property after paying to demolish and clear a burned-out warehouse from the lot.

But Roosevelt Coats, who until May served as the councilman for the neighborhood and had lobbied for the land to be used as parking for the nearby Collinwood High School stadium, offered this explanation: "A massive screw-up."

In 2005, two years before the fire at the warehouse, the county asked for a judgment against the owner, Midtown Industrial Warehouse, Inc., for $207,000 in unpaid property taxes and other assessments, according to records with the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

A city development official formally notified the county treasurer of the city's interest in acquiring the land for redevelopment in December 2006, court records show.

But instead of placing the property in the city's land bank, records show, the county prosecutor's office put up the parcel for a sheriff's sale in February 2008. The county treasurer attempted to notify the city of the sale, but sent the notice to the wrong address.

Records show the notice went to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

The sheriff's sale attracted no bidders, so the land was turned over to the state for another public auction in August 2008, when Barnes placed the winning bid of $1,500. As part of the deal, the county waived $207,000 in back taxes and other assessments.

Robin Thomas, chief deputy to Treasurer Jim Rokakis, referred questions about the handling of the case to the prosecutor's office, which did not respond to a request for comment.

The former owner of the land and the prosecutor's office now have asked a judge to nullify the sale to Barnes. The housing inspector opposes the move.

Regardless of how the case is resolved, city taxpayers probably have lost their $660,000 investment in the land.

"I don't think the city is going to get any of the demolition costs," said Nina Hannum, supervisor of the Cuyahoga County auditor's real property department.

But Andrea Taylor, press secretary to Mayor Frank Jackson, said Thursday that the city will try to collect from Midtown for the demolition.

Councilman Miller said the case illustrates that a need for tougher laws governing land deals by city inspectors. He said he will ask city lawyers to draft legislation banning inspectors and their relatives from investing in any land other than their homes within the city.



 Oh ...lots of activity on 12/1 - swarms of these little unmarked yellow trucks...what does it mean for us ???!!



This editorial says $60 million more for demolition is necessary, and asks where it will come from. However, if a structure truly needs demolition, it can be ordered by the City and the costs become a lien on the property. The amount is recovered when the property sells, and if the sale doesn't yield enough to cover the demo costs, the owner may be sued directly in court.
This is the way it is supposed it work. Why is it that the neglectful property owners who caused this problem are being given a pass? Why should taxpayers foot the bill after the landlords made money on these properties for years and then walked away? Is it because our elected official are just too lazy to do their jobs in the manner specified by the law? Is it because these landlords are just too well-connected?
Waiting for an editorial on these issues. Thank you.


lmcshane1 day ago

@clevdiaspora Good point clevediaspora - taxpayers are soon to pick up the tap for $300,000+ demo of the old YMCA on West 25th - and the straw buyer Robert McCall gets to take a walk on the over $100,000 owed in back taxes, too.  All part of the brilliant swindle made possible by the Cuyahoga County Land Bank!

can someone run the license plate #?

 The front plate of the lower yellow truck is legible.....look at it in the full size image file and post it here.

Frangos and County Land Bank evasive on Open Records request

Emerald Alliance IX will be the ninth Permanent Supportive Housing development that is co-developed by Cleveland Housing Network (CHN) and Emerald Development and Economic Network (EDEN) under Cuyahoga County’s Housing First Initiative. Emerald Alliance IX utilizes the Housing First model as defined by the National Association to End Homelessness. CHN and EDEN are committed to operating and maintaining the new building for the purpose of housing formerly homeless and low-to-moderateincome households for thirty (30) years. 

Is vacant YMCA being primed for more of the same??  With Marous picking up the demo costs?



At a public meeting - Councilman Brancatelli said that the demolition of the vacant YMCA is slated to happen AND that the cost to demo would not be picked up by taxpayers. I requested clarification from Brancatelli on who would be paying for the demo.


In a message dated 12/14/2015 6:33:55 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, lmcshane writes:
Hello Councilman,
Please clarify who will be demo'ing the YMCA building. Is it the Land Bank or Cleveland Housing Network?


 He ignored me (I suppose he is allowed to ignore my request, since I am not his constituent) so another resident requested the information by going up the ladder to our County Council rep- the person making the request IS in Brancatelli's ward.


January 11, 2016


Yvonne M. Conwell

Cuyahoga County Council, District 7

2079 East 9th Street – 8th Floor

Cleveland, Ohio   44115

yconwell [at] cuyahogacounty [dot] us


Dear Council Representative Conwell:


                As a lifelong resident and with a family that has been living here in this community since 1924.  I am writing to you as my Cuyahoga County Council Representative in the need of assistance and help.


                Please accept this letter as a formal request to release public records concerning the following community matter.


                On August 24, 2015, a business property located at 3881 W. 25th St. (Pearl Rd.) P. # 009-01-006 was transferred to the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation (Land Bank).


                Members of this community have been told that this building will soon be demolished for future development.  This is written with no objections concerning the demo.


                Members of this community as well have been told that the costs of this demo will not be paid by the County Land Bank.  Costs for the demo will be paid by another source.


                Information and release of the public records relating to the demolition is requested, including records concerning the party, agency or concern paying for this property demolition.


                Since my Cleveland Councilman, Anthony Brancatelli is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation.  Another member of this community recently issued a request by Email for information concerning the demo party.  To date such request has gone unanswered by the Councilman.


                Members of this community seek this information.  Active members of this community agree.  As stated within your Bio listed in the County Web Site.  “the inclusion of a vigorous business environment that promotes sustainable economic growth and equitable job development” Is as well what we wish for, including the best desired needs of this community with development for this real estate location.


                Your assistance and cooperation is greatly appreciated.  I look forward to this release of this public information and hearing from you very soon.  Thank you.


                Since this letter has been issued to you by E-mail, this correspondence is being issued to you with my signature included by mail as well.

Sent: 1/21/2016 12:26:20 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: Re: 3881 Pearl Rd., Cleveland (records request)
Dear Council Representative Conwell:
I wanted to thank you for the phone call early Wednesday afternoon.  Your communication is a true sign of caring.  Allowing me to state my concerns relating to this issue was appreciated.  Your act of openness represents an excellent policy of positive public relations.
I have reviewed all E-mail correspondence.  Since the link given to you within my letter, did have status referencing this property is scheduled for demolition.  As you instructed.  I will be in contact with your suggested point person in Land Bank.
Once again thank you.  I hope that it will not be necessary to contact you further concerning this request for public records release.
Some of the active members of our community wish to further reach out to Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish as well.  I have asked them to hold off until information is given to us by Land Bank. 




Consequently, County Council representative Yvonne Conwell has been open and transparent - she included her correspondance with Gus Frangos in her communications with the resident.  The ball is now in Frangos court.  



To date 1/22- the resident has not revealed information as to who will be paying for this demolition.  The back taxes on the YMCA properties have been cleared.  It is anticipated that Marous or perhaps another construction company that works with Cleveland Housing Network WILL pick up the $300,000 demolition costs in anticipation of receiving the YMCA properties and, in turn, making millions to construct the next "permanent supportive housing" project.



Shady CLE use of OHFA funding

 Douglas A. Garver

Executive Director

Ohio Housing Finance Agency

57 E. Main St.

Columbus, OH 43215


Dear Mr. Garver ,


For the record, I am writing on my day off to vehemently oppose funding for two recent applicants to the Ohio Housing Fund Agency-specifically:


Archives Apartments (Welcome House Inc) -

Archives Apartments consists of the historic rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the Cuyahoga County Archives building located at 2905 Franklin Boulevard in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland. The property includes the historic Robert Russell Rhodes House, a Victorian Italianate mansion built in 1874, and its Annex built in 1917. The development will meet green building standards by reusing and redeveloping the existing building into energy efficient, healthy and affordable housing which will include housing, office space, community space and programmatic space. The Rhodes House and its Annex will be developed into 24 independent apartment units for people with a developmental disability who are transitioning from the Cuyahoga County foster care system. Rehabilitation of the building contributes to the revitalization of the Ohio City Historic District, and is consistent with the City of Cleveland’s Mission Statement. Welcome House, Inc., a local 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals with developmental disabilities, will be providing supportive services to the residents and will have staff located on site. Welcome House, Inc. has purchased the building, and is dedicated to restoring this landmark to its original splendor while using the space to serve Street Address: City, State, Zip: Address: 2905Franklin Boulevard City, State Zip: Cleveland, Ohio 44113 Census Tract: Majority Member: Archives Apartments Housing Corp. Minority Member: Syndicator or Investor: Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing Non-Profit: Welcome House, Inc. Testa Enterprises, Inc. 2335 Second Street restoring this landmark to its original splendor, while using the space to serve the very needy population, who are at-risk for homelessness, as existing residential options do not serve their many needs.


Emerald Alliance X (Eden and Cleveland Housing Network)

Emerald Alliance X will be located at 7609 Euclid Avenue in the MidTown neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. The site was selected because of its proximity to community amenities and supportive services; excellent access to public transit; and its economic contribution to the neighborhood. The new building will be adjoined to the existing Greenbridge Commons PSH project developed in 2011, allowing for sharing of common spaces and staffing resulting in cost savings on the operating and construction side. Emerald Alliance X will be the tenth Permanent Supportive Housing building developed through the partnership of Cleveland Housing Network (CHN) and Emerald Development and Economic Network (EDEN) under Cuyahoga County’s Housing First Initiative. EDEN is committed to operating and maintaining the new building for the purpose of housing formerly homeless and low-to-moderate-income households for thirty (30) years. The building will provide sixty (60) one-bedroom apartments for individuals who have experienced chronic, long-term homelessness with onsite supportive services available exclusively for residents. FrontLine Service will provide and coordinate the onsite supportive services and also link residents to services and amenities in the community. All residential suites will have one bedroom, one full bathroom, a kitchen, storage, and will be fully furnished. The site will have secured vehicular and pedestrian access and as property manager EDEN will provide 24 hour/day front desk security staffing


My concern with the first application, Archives Apartments, relates to the improper transfer of Cuyahoga County public-owned property to an unvetted non-profit agency in collusion with the Ohio City Development Corporation.  


In addition, I would like to know if, awarded, whether this funding is transferable or can be modified for any OHFA funded project?


This query pertains to my second complaint against all Cleveland Housing Network projects in the City of Cleveland.  Cleveland Housing Network has been in collusive discussions with a non-representative CDC (Stockyard Clark Fulton Brooklyn Centre) and the Cuyahoga County Land Bank to transfer the property to CHN for permanent supportive housing at 3881 Pearl Rd. (listed as parcels 009-01-006 and 009-01-007.

SEE: Cuyahoga Land Bank - ( , )