The Real Estate HOLDING game

Submitted by lmcshane on Sat, 06/26/2010 - 07:59.

Civil war era Victorian demolished by City of Cleveland and dumped into basement on Scranton in Ward 14

It used to be--if you were the average, soulless land developer, you bought land as far out as the mind could travel--the land zoned agricultural, the bad farmland, the gullies, the washed out wetlands, the stripped mines--and you held it. 

Perhaps, you built a sprawling golf course for the entertainment value, lower or non-existent property tax rate, and because, if you wanted to attract residential development, everyone knows, retirees are lulled into paradise by the sound of sprinklers and F-O-R-E!

Now, the game is to buy up land after buildings are torn down with your tax dollar.  Land banked by the euphemistically titled Cuyahoga Land Reutilization Corp.


Are you a soulless land developer?  Test yourself.


What are some other good properties to go after? 

How about churchs, schools and other non-profit hand-offs?? 

Spaces gallery in Cleveland wants out of the landlord business and plans to sell its building at Superior Viaduct

Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, 2:53 PM 

Cleveland needs to learn from Chicago's lessons: Kevin Conwell and T.J. Dow

Published: Friday, June 18, 2010, 3:00 AM

Are you a soulless land developer???!

If so, put your money into buying schools, churches and non-profit hand-offs!

PRIME real estate!

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Scranton Ave. Historic District


The photo was taken on Scranton Ave. in the area designated for a historic district.  City of Cleveland demolished a fire damaged Victorian (civil war era?) and plowed entire house into the basement.  This makes this land unsuitable for future development.  Or does it?

County Land Bank

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ended a program that allowed the city and nonprofits to take control of the homes, and instead is offering them in a market where buyers -- responsible or not -- can get them.

Wonder if this is why........


The program with Cleveland began in 2009. In February, The Plain Dealer raised questions about Westown Community Development Corp., a neighborhood development agency that sold two of the former HUD homes to relatives of employees, in violation of city and federal conflict of interest rules.



lmcshane I don't believe


I don't believe this time it was the city.  As I understand it, the property owner made the choice and was responsible for the demolition.  A number of individuals, including Councilman Cummins attempted to save the house, but it was the owner's property and he could do with it as he wished.


historic district

Has this little stretch of Scranton Road been designated a historic district? There are not any signs up saying that it is. 

The heavy equipment was in the front yard for a few weeks.  It looked to be a private demolition, though it is not ok to knock a house into the basement. Maybe that is a figure of speech.

No Historic District yet. 

No Historic District yet.  All the info I have received, it was the property owner who knocked down the house.

How do Kevin Conwell and T.J. Dow write an op/ed?

How do Kevin Conwell and T.J. Dow write an op/ed together?

Who is the expert on what? I didn't know either knew anything about education and Chicago.

Wonder what they know about pollution, lead poisoning and education, as they preside over parts of town with the worst outcomes for all.

Especially interesting is their line of wisdom "it appears Cleveland school officials failed to travel to Chicago and hear firsthand the lessons learned from city officials".

Are we to understand that Conwell and Dow are experts in school restructuring and have been active studying strengths and weaknesses of Chicago schools vs. the Sanders plan - they've been spending time in Chicago learning firsthand - as that is the clear impression from this editorial - this expert viewpoint - and such first-hand experience and expertise would make them astoundingly valuable resources for this community. I'd love to know more - they should host a City Club forum on the strengths and weaknesses of Chicago schools vs. the Sanders plan as I'd love to drill down further.

I would assume some PRstitute wrote this editorial for these two councilpeople, for mind control of the citizens (and ask yourself what outcome they want to control), and that Conwell and Dow are not experts in these matters at all, but I am intrigued by their claims otherwise. Such experts may save our schools and neighborhoods - our region - if they may lead our community well... and these councilpeople are paid to lead our community.

Perhaps they should get to work on Sanders.

Seems like these councilmembers now have real jobs, being to slap Sanders into line and save our schools. They have three years to get the job done or get sent down the river, one and all.

Disrupt IT

T.J.Dow and Kevin Conwell

  Norm--T.J. Dow is an attorney and Kevin Conwell is probably the most media savvy member of council...I wonder, too...why they waited so long to spill the beans on the "tranformation plan?"  Too little, too late.  They should have joined Gerald Henley in the federal lawsuit against the district.

Like Sex, Transformation needs definition


Thank you for posting the OpEd piece by Dow and Conwell, it was one that for some reason I missed. It's good seeing Council speak up on an issue of concern for their constituents and neighborhoods.

There is much I don't know about the work of blog's and this site, but I'll assume that Norm will be reading this also.
From my perspective I don't expect the views of these councilmen or anyone else to be that of an expert. It isn't what we should expect.
One of the problems in change is that the view of experts roll around in one detached universe without much insight into the on the ground reality of life in neighborhoods and organizations. And at the same time people in the communities don't realize how important it is to speak from their own reality, often trying to compete with experts, sometimes raging, and too often disconnecting from public comment.
I'm not sure if the Councilmen are right about Cleveland adopting the Chicago strategy. There is a great deal of research on Chicago school reforms. A few years ago the Cleveland Education Committee put on a public forum at CSU on education. One of the groups we brought in to speak was from Morgan Square a place and an organization in Chicago. The organization has been effective in linking community, immigrant parents and schools in programs serving the need of parents, neighborhoods and schools.
Last Fall I was at a conference at the University of Chicago focused on innovations in providing social services to schools in Chicago. I have a Master is Social Service Administration from Chicago, but hadn't in fact been back to the school itself since I left with a degree.
This conference attracted me because one of the organizers, Charles Payne is an African American Sociologist from U of C and author of "So Much Reform, So Little Change" a book on education reform with lots of focus on Chicago, and more walking the walk than one normally finds. What I came away with from the conference that is relevant to the OpEd piece, is that Chicago appears to we willing and able to learn in the midst of their change and mistakes. That is a real plus, but not a good fit for the Cleveland way of reform.
Whenever I hear the Mayor (talk last Thursday), civic deciders and promoters, or the District tell everyone to get behind Transformation and to stop resisting change, my mind gets stuck trying to process all the contradictions.
First as I have written a number of times, the plan before us isn't based on a complete set of objective data; it deals mostly with teaching and schools, and doesn't look seriously at Management and Governance. In addition, the District Administration's record on implementation is questionable; and the dead bodies piling up on the road to this so-called transformation" in terms of broken relations (union, community groups, etc) is significant.
So those opposed to the Plan aren't necessarily opposed to change, as the Established Voice and Narrative of the Deciders will spin it, and many have significant and valid reasons for their reservations.
Related to the Councilmen OpEd piece and origins of the Districts Plan, I was reading the New York Times (June 24) story on the NYC application of the "transformation model" and wondered if the Premier Professor had made his mark on Bloomberg or if there was another source(s) of a education transformation model.
So I did what we do today and goggled to find lots on "transformation model" in public education. It seems the union has a version, as do a variety of associations, states, and school systems (public, community, private). I hope Prof Premier doesn't get caught having plagiarized; it wouldn't look good for the city and set a terrible example for the kids.
It isn't clear to me what the District took from where and I haven't had the time to look at the Boston Consulting Group stuff to see if they provide any context. I don't think they did, or rather they did only in a general way without specifics. But I think it is a fair question to ask; and in asking it so far I think everyone trying to pitch the plan should be called to explain the genealogy of the ideas we see in the Power Point on Transformation and their Editorial page comments.
Most important in all these words is the fact the real change in our schools won't be achieved without the community. That presents a real challenge and call for a more serious effort on the part of both Deciders and Deriders.

Maybe so...

Thanks Jerleen--I first called in the condition of the property to the councilman.  It's all mighty suspicious.  The rush to demolish.  Do you have the owner's name and the address?  2932 Scranton?? Can't find it on the Auditor's site. 
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Laura the address of the

Laura the address of the demolished house on Scranton Road is actually 2933 and the property is owned by Mario Ferrando.

CMSD Transformation = FRAUD

  ... real change in our schools won't be achieved without the community.

Everything you say Jim deserves REAL thought--here's more to  think about from my neighbor:

Are you a soulless land developer??

Have you used arson, selective code enforcement, condemnation and no-bid city contractors to demolish a structure at tax payer expense??? 

Did you pick up the land mysteriously cleared of all tax liens through the land bank for pennies? 

Congratulations!  You are a soulless developer!