About the Cuyahoga Land Bank

The Cuyahoga Land Bank is an innovative community development catalyst engaged in neighborhood and economic development. Every day, we work hard to live up to our reputation as the most progressive land bank in the country dedicated to eliminating vacant and blighted properties and returning them to productive use.

OVERVIEW

Innovative ideas at work.

The Cuyahoga Land Bank reactivates and repurposes vacant, abandoned, underutilized, and tax-delinquent properties to support our vision that Cuyahoga County’s land is optimally used to make our communities vibrant, prosperous, and sustainable. We do this by acquiring these properties, stabilizing them, and returning them to productive use through in-house renovations, new home construction, sale to private owners, demolition, and preparation for short and long-range economic development. We also foster creative re-use of properties for greenspace, gardening, stormwater management and other innovative and ecological purposes.

Understanding that there is power in partnerships, we work closely with agencies and public officials county-wide, a thriving network of community development corporations, and faith-based and social service organizations to transform our neighborhoods.

Responsible, well-planned redevelopment of these properties spur local housing markets, increase surrounding property values, and improve the quality of life for Cuyahoga County residents.

OUR CORE PRINCIPLES

Our values guide everything we do.

  • Advance Our Community’s Goals

    The Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, also known as the Cuyahoga Land Bank, is a non-profit corporation. We work to advance the community’s broad policy goals within the prescribed perimeters of the State statute that established county land banks in Ohio. These goals include the revitalization of neighborhoods, the promotion of economic growth, and the creation of job and workforce development opportunities.

  • Promote a Healthy, Sustainable Community

    The Cuyahoga Land Bank is committed to healthy, sustainable community redevelopment within our County. The Land Bank exhibits this by undertaking strategic blight clearance, the appropriate and innovative re-use of vacant land, and the use of energy-efficient rehabilitation and new construction standards.

  • Work Efficiently & Strategically

    The Land Bank is uniquely empowered to help local governments foster effective land re-use. Put simply, the Land Bank has many of the same powers as traditional municipal land banks, yet as a non-profit is, by design, unhindered from bureaucratic impediments enabling us to be efficient and strategic.

  • Promote Regionalism & Leverage Resources

    Through maximum collaboration with local governments, the Land Bank promotes and
    lifts the profile of individual community priorities. Our ability to work across political boundaries promotes regionalism and helps collectively leverage and focus precious resources on critical land re-use challenges.

  • Independent Governance & Oversight

    The Board of Directors promotes our mission, our purpose and our autonomy. In accordance with State statute, the Board consists of nine members: the Cuyahoga County Executive (or designee), the Cuyahoga County Treasurer (or designee), a County Council appointment, two representatives from the largest city (Cleveland), and the remaining members selected unanimously by the County Executive, the County Treasurer and the County Council representative.

  • Operate Transparently & Ethically

    The Cuyahoga Land Bank is an open and transparent organization with quarterly Board meetings that are open to the public. Our organizational documents, meeting agendas, resolutions, and property inventory list are a matter of public record. The Cuyahoga Land Bank adheres to a board-adopted ethics policy and files an annual public records report with the State of Ohio. Our annual audited financial statements, as accepted by the Ohio Auditor of State, are posted on our website.

DOCUMENTS & RESOURCES

Knowledge is power.

Gain insight and access resources to facilitate your Land Bank experience.

Organizational Documents

View written records and reports of our operations.

Publications
& Reports

Keep up with the latest news, happenings, and projects big and small that are making a positive impact in our community.

Newsroom

Check out our latest press releases and media reports to discover how the Land Bank is making headlines.

Public Notices & Board Meetings

See public notices of upcoming board meetings, agendas and reports.

Forms & Other Resources

Find applications and criteria for Land Bank properties, programs and grants.

STAFF & BOARD

Meet the leadership team behind the Land Bank’s success.

The Board of Directors of the Cuyahoga Land Bank is required to consist of nine members: the Cuyahoga County Executive (or designee), the Cuyahoga County Treasurer (or designee), a County Council appointment, two representatives from the largest city (Cleveland), and the remaining members selected by the County Executive, the County Treasurer and the County Council representative.

In addition, the Cuyahoga Land Bank team is led and staffed by a dedicated group of creative, technical, and professional staff who contribute to reshaping the destiny of our region.

Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel

Gus Frangos was the primary drafter of Ohio’s legislation establishing enhanced-capacity county land banks and expedited tax foreclosure policy. Gus graduated with honors from Cleveland Marshall College of Law and served as an associate attorney at the law firm of Ulmer & Berne, concentrating in business law and litigation. He then served as City Councilman of Cleveland’s 13th Ward, where he sponsored and passed an array of community development legislation. In the early ’90s, Gus was appointed as a Magistrate Judge in the Cleveland Municipal Court, where he served with distinction. In 2004, he was retained by the Cuyahoga County Treasurer to craft legislation to help expedite the tax foreclosure process, specifically for vacant and abandoned properties. These efforts resulted in the passage of House Bill 294. He was also the primary drafter of Senate Bill 353, which established the first “County Land Reutilization Corporation” of its kind.  House Bill 294 authorized expedited administrative tax foreclosures of abandoned land through the County Boards of Revision, and Senate Bill 353 enables the establishment of County Land Reutilization Corporations throughout Ohio with enhanced capabilities for the reclamation of distressed properties. Gus’s areas of legal concentration include land-related issues, Constitutional, commercial real estate, zoning, administrative and business transactional law.

[email protected] 

216-698-8616

Ricardo León, Chief Operating Officer

Ricardo Leon Cuyahoga Land BankRicardo León has most recently served as Executive Director of the Metro West Community Development Organization, where he led a multifaceted team of community development practitioners offering a suite of services to three Cleveland near-west neighborhoods; Stockyards, Clark-Fulton, and Brooklyn Centre. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Baldwin Wallace University and a Master of Science in Urban Studies with a concentration in Economic Development from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. Ricardo’s career has spanned the startup, corporate, and consulting industries prior to joining the nonprofit sector. He extends his leadership and community focus outside of the office through his participation on the MetroHealth Foundation Board of Directors, Fund for Our Economic Future Board of Directors, Front Steps Housing and Services Board of Directors, Neighborhood Family Practice Board of Directors, Hebrew Free Loan Association Board of Directors, CHN Housing Capital Advisory Board, and numerous other community focused committees.

[email protected]

216-698-8636

Kim Kimlin, Director of Community Stabilization

Kim Kimlin currently serves as the Director of Community Stabilization for the Cuyahoga Land Bank. She brings twenty-nine years of community development experience. Previous she worked as Program Director for The Trust for Public Land, Executive Director of Neighborhood Capital Corporation, and Vice President of Finance for Neighborhood Progress, Inc. Ms. Kimlin has also delivered community development consulting services to CHN Housing Partners, Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners, The Northeast Ohio First Suburbs Consortium, and others. She earned her MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in urban planning from Slippery Rock University. Ms. Kimlin has served on the Boards of Green Energy Ohio, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, New Village Corporation, the Cleveland Green Building Coalition, and the Cleveland chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women.

[email protected]

216-698-8658

Robert Rink, Board Secretary

Robert Rink is an attorney and the co-author of the Ohio legislation (State Bill 353) authorizing the creation and operation of county land banks. He is a retired partner with Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP, who practiced in the areas of public law and public finance during his 20-year tenure. During that time, he served as legal counsel for cities, counties, and the State of Ohio in connection with their issuance of various types of public bonds, as well as special counsel in connection with the levy of special assessments and the enactment of income tax ordinances and investment policy ordinances. Robert also authored state legislation authorizing county treasurers to negotiate the sale of delinquent real property tax liens. Before his admission to the Ohio bar, he served as the Chief Deputy County Auditor for the Cuyahoga County Auditor and as the Finance Director for Cleveland Heights. Robert received a B.A. in Classical Languages from the University of Detroit, his J.D. from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law, and the Appreciative Inquiry Certificate in Positive Business and Society Change from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

[email protected] 

216-698-8754

Dennis Roberts, Director of Real Estate Development

Dennis Roberts is an attorney and a real estate agent and heads the Land Bank’s Real Estate Development Department. In that role, Dennis and his team have facilitated the renovation and disposition of over 2,200 single-family homes throughout Cuyahoga County over the last 10 years. In addition, under his leadership, the Land Bank has built/sold several newly built homes valued at more than $2 million. Dennis works to add new housing products to expanding market segments, focusing on helping more challenged neighborhoods prosper. He uses his unique blend of creative expertise, knowledge of the local real estate market, and thorough understanding of the acquisition, renovation and sales process to help municipal governments, non-profit organizations and citizens solve vexing real estate challenges and generate wealth.

[email protected]

216-698-8653

Michael Schramm, Director of Information Technology and Research

Michael Schramm is the Director of Information Technology and Research at the Cuyahoga Land Bank and Researcher at Case Western Reserve University. Michael develops tools that use data to make acquisition decisions and has also developed the Property Profile System (PPS), a property management system used by numerous land banks to manage their portfolios. Recognized as a national expert, he is also involved in the development of the NEO CANDO neighborhood data system. He is active in the local vacant property dialogue through VAPAC and has presented at national meetings and conferences. Michael has Bachelor of Science degrees in Geography and Meteorology from Penn State University and a Master of Arts in Geography from Syracuse University. 

[email protected]

216-698-8777

Ronald Pavlovich, CPA Director of Finance

Ronald Pavlovich worked in the for-profit public accounting and private business arena for more than 25 years, serving in such functions as CFO, Director of Outsourced CFO Services, and Sr. Manager of Accounting and Auditing Services. He worked for such companies as Cohen & Company, CBIZ and B-Dry System, Inc. Ron was also a partner in a commercial and residential property reconstruction and restoration business for several years. He served as Treasurer on the Board of South Street Ministries in Akron. Ron has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from The University of Akron and attained his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in 1991.

[email protected]

216-698-5801

Douglas Sawyer, Assistant General Counsel

Douglas Sawyer is Assistant General Counsel where he has worked since 2010. He manages the day-to-day legal affairs of the Land Bank and provides legal counsel to Land Bank management and staff. Doug graduated with dual degrees from Cleveland State University by simultaneously earning a Master of Arts in Environmental Studies at the Maxine Levin College of Urban Affairs and a law degree at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

[email protected]

216-698-3543

Executive Leadership

First NameLast NameTitleEmailPhone
GusFrangosPresident and General Counsel[email protected](216) 698-8616
RicardoLeónChief Operating Officer[email protected] (216) 698-8636
RobertRinkBoard Secretary[email protected](216) 698-8754
JacquiKnettelExecutive Assistant[email protected] (216) 698-8772
DouglasSawyerAssistant General Counsel[email protected](216) 698-3543
KimberlySteigerwaldAcquisitions Manager[email protected](216) 698-8802
MarcelinaŚladewskaSpecial Projects Manager[email protected](216) 698-3022

Real Estate Development

First NameLast nameTitleEmailPhone
Dennis L.RobertsDirector of Real Estate Development[email protected]ndbank.org(216) 698-8653
JenniferVazquez-NormanPrograms Operations Manager [email protected](216) 698-4608
AustinBloomProgram Liaison[email protected](216) 698-4107
LashunDuckworthProgram Assistant[email protected](216) 698-8843
RonByrdChief Housing Specialist[email protected](216) 698-8926
RichShafferHousing Specialist[email protected]
(216) 698-2195
JasonKnauerHousing and Land Reuse Program Manager[email protected](216) 698-8336
KamlaLewisSenior Housing Development Project Manager[email protected](216) 698-2319
MichelleThomasHousing Development Project Manager[email protected](216) 698-2311
CaylenPayneHousing & Land Reuse Specialist[email protected](216) 698-4278

Community Stabilization

First NameLast NameTitleEmailPhone
KimKimlinDirector of Community Stabilization[email protected] (216) 698-8658
JamesMaherCommercial Demolition Officer[email protected](216) 698-8791
JenniferO'KonskiAcquisitions Assistant[email protected](216) 698-6691
JaneLarsonSenior Financial Analyst[email protected](216) 698-8729
DeidreLightning-WhittedSenior Demolition Inspector & Housing Assistant[email protected](216) 698-2576
StevenBillingtonProperties Specialist[email protected](216) 698-2472
AngelaDupayAccounts Payable Assistant[email protected](216) 698-2182
SarahDrabEnvironmental Properties Specialist[email protected](216) 698-8938

Information Technology and Research

First NameLast NameTitleEmailPhone
MichaelSchrammDirector of Information Technology and Research[email protected](216) 698-8777
MatthewThomasGIS and Research Manager[email protected](216) 698-2816
IsaacNicholasInformation Technology and Software Engineer[email protected](216) 698-6607

Finance

First NameLast NameTitleEmailPhone
RonaldPavlovichDirector of Finance[email protected](216) 698-5801
Gina FinneyJohnsonAccounts Payable Manager[email protected](216) 698-8778
JosephBarrStaff Accountant
[email protected](216) 698-8865

Administration and Compliance

First NameLast NameTitleEmailPhone
SarahNormanDocument Support Staff Records Custodian[email protected](216) 698-2445
MichelleGomez Office Assistant[email protected](216) 698-2204
Brad Sellers

Board Chair | Mayor, City of Warrensville Heights

Pernel Jones, Jr.

Board Vice Chair | Council President, Cuyahoga County

Armond Budish

County Executive, Cuyahoga County

W. Christopher Murray, II

Treasurer, Cuyahoga County

Anthony D. Biasiotta

Mayor, City of Seven Hills

Nate Kelly

Managing Director, Cushman and Wakefield | Cresco Real Estate

Sally Martin

Director of Building and Housing, City of Cleveland

Jasmin Santana

Council Member, City of Cleveland

April Urban

Director of Research and Impact, Signal Cleveland

COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS & PARTNERSHIPS

Housing Solutions for Community Impact

The Cuyahoga Land Bank has provided hundreds of properties to local community development corporations (CDCs) which have restored them into attractive, affordable homes that strengthen the fabric of the neighborhoods they serve. We also partner with the region’s larger-scale housing non-profits and CDCs on strategic land assembly, demolition and transformative large-scale new housing developments to meet the growing need for affordable housing.

The Cuyahoga Land Bank also serves underserved and at-risk populations across our communities by partnering with dozens of social service, faith-based and non-profit organizations that offer affordable housing, community stabilization, and skilled-training opportunities, not otherwise supportable by the market. The Land Bank identifies suitable vacant homes and donates them to such mission-based organizations and churches. The homes are then renovated with funds raised through their philanthropic networks to meet the housing needs of veterans, persons in recovery, single mothers, those aging out of foster care, and individuals re-entering the community after incarceration among others.

Some of Our Recent Collaborators and Partners Include:

Insterested in Partnering with the Cuyahoga Land Bank?
Our TOP 10 FAQs

Need some help or have a burning question?

We are often asked about the day-to-day work of the Cuyahoga Land Bank from curious residents and community leaders. Here, we address our most frequently asked questions.

What is the Cuyahoga Land Bank?

The Cuyahoga Land Bank is a private, non-profit, government-purposed entity formed in 2009 following the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 353, which granted county land banks the special community development powers needed to improve communities. The Land Bank’s mission 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.

Where does the Land Bank obtain the properties in its inventory?

The primary sources of properties obtained by the Cuyahoga Land Bank are: 1) tax foreclosures, 2) State of Ohio forfeiture list, 3) privatelyforeclosed properties from banks and other lenders, such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD REO properties, 4) Housing Court referrals, and 5) occasional donations.

What is the Land Bank’s next step once it acquires a property?

When the Cuyahoga Land Bank acquires a property, we assess it taking into consideration the condition of electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and structural systems including the roof, walls, and foundation. Our evaluation of what to do with the property is based on the assessment, local input and other criteria. If we determine that a property could be rehabilitated, specifications are prepared, and, if deemed feasible, the property is either renovated by the Cuyahoga Land Bank or made available for renovation by individuals or investors through our Deed-in-Escrow Program. Properties are scheduled for demolition only when the assessment shows that they are deteriorated beyond the point of even considering rehabilitation, or the cost to renovate based on the spec is deemed to be too high.

How do you determine which houses will be demolished?

When the Cuyahoga Land Bank acquires a property, we assess it taking into consideration the condition of electrical, plumbing, HVAC and structural systems including the roof, walls and foundation. Our evaluation of what to do with the property is based on the assessment, local input and other criteria. If we determine that a property could be rehabilitated, specifications are prepared, and, if deemed feasible, the property is either renovated by the Cuyahoga Land Bank or made available for renovation by individuals or investors through our Deed-in-Escrow Program. Properties are scheduled for demolition only when the assessment shows that they are deteriorated beyond the point of even considering rehabilitation, or the cost to renovate based on the spec is deemed to be too high. These properties then undergo an asbestos survey and any necessary remediation before demolition. Once a home is demolished, a neighbor can acquire the land to expand their side yard.

How can I purchase and renovate a Cuyahoga Land Bank home?

We offer several programs to purchase and renovate properties in our inventory. Our Deed-in-Escrow Program is our most popular program, allowing qualified buyers – whether owner-occupants or investors – to buy and renovate Cuyahoga Land Bank properties. The Land Bank’s Real Estate Development team prepares professional renovation specifications (“the spec”). The buyer has approximately four months to complete renovations according to the spec after their offer is accepted. The deed to the property is held “in escrow” by the Land Bank until all renovations are complete and have passed a final inspection.

How much do properties available for renovation typically cost?

The purchase price for each parcel is unique, select Deed-in-Escrow homes can be purchased for renovation for as low as $5,000 or less.

Can I buy the lot next door, across or down the street from me?

Our residential Side Yard Program offers these lots only to the adjacent neighbors on either side of our properties. Guidelines are occasionally waived or modified to accommodate unique circumstances.

Do you have a list of all your vacant lots?

Our property inventory changes frequently. You can search the list of available vacant lots we currently own. You may also call (216) 698-8853 to ask about the availability of a particular lot. If you are interested in one of our vacant lots located on either side of your home, please call or e-mail [email protected].

How can I become a service provider for the Cuyahoga Land Bank?

The Land Bank works with a diverse group of local contractors in undertaking our real estate development, demolition, vacant lot maintenance activities. We seek quality contractors that specialize in rehabilitation, new construction, board up and security, debris removal, asbestos survey and abatement, demolition, landscaping and lawn maintenance. We also work with realty, title and appraisal professionals. If your company would like to be considered for work with the Cuyahoga Land Bank, please complete and submit our pre-qualification form.

Does the Cuyahoga Land Bank partner with other organizations?

The Cuyahoga Land Bank often collaborates with outside agencies and municipalities and community development organizations to achieve their redevelopment goals. In addition, we partner with many mission-based organizations who serve at-risk populations in our community. Since 2014, the Land Bank has partnered with dozens of social service, faith-based and non-profit organizations that offer affordable housing, community stabilization, and skilled training opportunities to those most in need.

Still have questions? Visit Our FAQs page to learn more, or send us an email.