July 9, 2011 [Katherine Bulava, Colinwood Observer]
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Wells Fargo and Bank of America are donating foreclosed and abandoned property to the Cuyahoga Land Bank, to the delight of land bank President Gus Frangos.
“These donations are very important in regards to our mission,” Frangos said, “which is to preserve neighborhoods and eliminate immediate blights.
“What the two banks have done also sends a message to other financial institutions . . . that this is the right thing for them to do.”
Frangos said that such partnerships provide the Land Bank with more resources to tackle the issues of blight created by foreclosure and abandonment.
Wells Fargo has donated 26 properties — with more coming — and $127,000 to help the land bank demolish them.
Bank of America said it will donate up to 100 vacant properties.
Frangos said that while homes on many of the properties are likely to be demolished, some will be renovated or used differently.
“On the West Side of Cleveland, we gave land to certain churches to expand their parking,” he said. “In South Euclid, we created some urban gardens. In some cases, neighbors wanted to expand their properties. ”
The nonprofit Cuyahoga Land Bank was championed by former Cuyahoga County Treasurer Jim Rokakis as a means to help fight the decline of real estate prices in the county.
Frangos said the land bank, formally known as the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp., has now acquired nearly 1,200 properties since its inception in 2009.