On Friday, October 28th, 2022, the Cuyahoga Land Bank successfully secured a $9.4 million grant award from the Ohio Department of Development’s new Building Demolition & Site Revitalization Program. The program is designed to help communities in nearly every Ohio county turn blighted properties into cleared land that can attract investment, business, and jobs.
In early July, the Land Bank was awarded a $500,000 grant, and it received the second $8.9 million award last week. Coupled with $3 million of matching funds, including up to $2 million of funds provided by Cuyahoga County, the Cuyahoga Land Bank plans to demolish more than 400 specific blighted properties throughout the county, including approximately 300 nuisance abatements for the City of Cleveland. These strategic demolitions help stabilize property values of nearby homes, increase neighborhood safety, and expand community revitalization opportunities.
“There are still many vacant and abandoned properties that are deteriorated beyond repair throughout Cuyahoga County,” said Cuyahoga Land Bank CEO and General Counsel Gus Frangos. “We are pleased that the state of Ohio is investing in tearing down a portion of these dangerous, eyesore properties and paving the way to development and reinvestment in our neighborhoods. County land banks are best equipped to handle this enormous task.” The State of Ohio has specifically deployed county land banks to serve as lead entities to administer the program.
Beyond the Land Bank’s direct demolition efforts, a portion of the funds will be passed through to sub-recipients who will demolish another 15 properties. Subrecipients include the cities of Brooklyn, Cuyahoga Heights, Parma Heights and Seven Hills. Other sub-recipients include CCH Development Corporation and Cleveland Metroparks. Plans for the funding include:
- The City of Brooklyn plans to demolish its City Hall/Police Station with plans to build a new Cuyahoga County Public Library on the cleared site.
- Cuyahoga Heights plans to carry out phase two of demolishing the former Benjamin Moore manufacturing plant on East 71st Street and then marketing the site for redevelopment.
- Parma Heights is demolishing a vacant former ice rink that was most recently used as the NEO Soccer Facility. The cleared site will add greenspace to the Greenbrier Commons civic complex.
- Seven Hills will use the funds to complete the demolition of obsolete structures in Calvin and Meijer Parks.
- CCH Development Corporation (CCH), a nonprofit created by MetroHealth to spur community development that supports its mission, will demolish six buildings located across from MetroHealth’s main campus. CCH plans to develop an 80-unit mixed-use senior housing project on the cleared site.
- The Cleveland Metroparks will raze three blighted homes in Middleburg Heights, Brecksville and North Royalton that lie adjacent to other parklands.
“Blighted properties, even one, can bring down an entire neighborhood,” says Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “We previously spent $50 million to demolish blighted properties and have just committed another $2 million to the Cuyahoga Land Bank to support the demolition of 57 obsolete buildings in 9 different suburban communities. This includes two former warehouse buildings in Cuyahoga Heights, 19 vacant apartment buildings in East Cleveland, and several municipal buildings that have passed their useful life. This is another example of our successful partnership with the Cuyahoga Land Bank.”