YMCA Redux - Land Bank collusion with Cleveland Housing Network - media won't touch #CORRUPTION

Submitted by lmcshane on Sun, 05/01/2016 - 16:34.


 I learned today that Cummins and Brancatelli are attempting to fool some of the older members of the community into the idea that the ONLY way to demo the vacant YMCA on Pearl Rd. is to cut a deal with fake "philanthropy" Cleveland Housing Network - Cummins has lied so many times to residents, I can not fathom WHY anyone would EVER vote for him. He LIED about Aldis, he LIED about WC Reed Field, he lied about the NRP project (which is now plagued with drug dealing and prostitution).


I don't know what it takes for folks to realize that Brian Cummins and Anthony Brancatelli are in BED with mobsters - the duo behind the Cuyahoga County Land Bank and the same folks who sold off property tax liens of black families in East Cleveland while allowing big tax lien scofflaws like Gus Frangos' family members to skate. Cummins KNOWS that two "investors" on West 25th-Pearl (one the son of a former CLE councilman) are not paying taxes on the Masonic Building and a building housing a daycare (look up Ginmark and White Gold). Enough is enough - put these two crooks out of business - and shut down the Land Bank and WRLC. 

NEXT STEP is to engage Cuyahoga County Council.  At least I am not the only one opposed to this unvetted land transfer in the works.  County Council rep Yvonne Conwell HAS been responsive:

From: Gus Frangos <gfrangos [at] cuyahogalandbank [dot] org>

Sent: Monday, January 11, 2016 2:01 PM

To: Yvonne Conwell

Cc: Tony Brancatelli

Subject: RE: 3881 Pearl Rd., Cleveland (records request)
OK, we should talk first by phone. Councilman Brancatelli is aware of these citizens and has been dealing with them on a community level. They do now want this project to be housing for what they perceive are “incompatible” uses and residents. CHN is the party that has expressed interest in redeveloping the site, but there is no firm project as yet. This request can be viewed as a request to the county, and the extent of the County’s response can be what the county demolition funding program is; or we can (and I would suggest) steering this as a public request to the Cuyahoga Land Bank since we have a healthy amount of info about this project. When we talk, I can fill you in on this project and what is being proposed. I think the highlighted language is what we would consider a public records request. Stand by and I will get back. I am copying Tony Brancatelli on this email. Thanks, and regards to you and Kevin! Gus
Gus Frangos
President and General Counsel
Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp.
323 West Lakeside Avenue, Suite 160
Cleveland, Ohio  44113
(216) 698-8616 (ph)
(216) 698-8972 (fax)
gfrangos [at] cuyahogalandbank [dot] org


 EXPECT Cummins and Brancatelli to convene another special task force - Cummins MO on Wirth House (which he still can not destroy because of Section 106)


Councilman Brian Cummins

Nov 26, 2012 — For clarification:

1) No decision has been made or announced to close the ALDI store 3787 Pearl Road in Brooklyn Centre. In discussing the issue with ALDI Regional Executives, they confirm that a new ALDI store will be opened in Steelyard Commons by the end of 2013, but that no plans or announcements to close the Brooklyn Centre store have been made. This information was provide to Laura McShane late last week when rumors began. We'll maintain communications with ALDI and assist in anyway we can in justifying maintaining the very successful operations ALDI has in Brooklyn Centre.

2) A recent recommendation has been made to the Art House Inc. Board by an Art House Property Task Force Committee - "Based on the research done by the Property Task Force on the possible redevelopment of 3119 and 3201Denison Avenue for alternative productive uses, the Task Force recommends the demolition of both properties and the development of the land to enhance programming at Art House." This is the most recent action taken in what has been many years in which Art House has sought re-use opportunities for these structures. The recommendation to demo the structures was made in order to ensure Art House programming and Arts Education. To see the recommendation letter to the board, please see the following document at this link: 


If anyone has any questions about wither one of these issues, please feel free to contact me using the information below.


Brian J. Cummins

Cleveland City Council, Ward 14


216 - six six four - 4238 


(Archived County Land Bank site 5/1/2016

The Cuyahoga Land Bank seeks to create collaborations and partners to assist in the fulfillment of our mission 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. We work collaboratively with each of the municipalities where we own property to ensure that these properties are brought back to productive life in a way that aligns with that municipality’s vision for its future.

The Land Bank also maintains partnerships where the use of our properties benefits the community, such as in the instance of community gardening or Urban Search and Rescue team training.

Some of our partners include: 
Court Community Service
City of Cleveland
Cuyahoga County
North East Ohio Regional Sewer District
Neighborhood Progress, Inc
City of East Cleveland
Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority
Cleveland Restoration Society
Cleveland Housing Network
Cleveland Clinic
City of Berea
Polish American Cultural Center
University Circle, Incorporated
First Suburbs Consortium
City of South Euclid
HELP Foundation
International Service Center
Koinonia Homes
City of Garfield Heights
Purple Heart Homes
Village of Newburgh Heights
ESOP-Concerned Citizens of Mt. Pleasant
Eden Inc.

We have established groundbreaking partnerships with HUD and Fannie Mae to capture their vacant and abandoned housing stock for either rehabilitation or demolition, preventing hundreds of severely neglected properties from being sold to negligent speculators and further causing our neighborhoods to decay. At the end of 2009, Fannie Mae signed an agreement with the Cuyahoga Land Bank to sell their homes to the Land Bank for $1 and contribute $3,500 toward the cost of demolition. In July 2010, the Cuyahoga Land Bank signed an agreement with HUD that allows the Land Bank to purchase HUD homes for $100 each during a first-look period if the homes are valued at $20,000 or less. Likewise, we can purchase HUD homes valued between $20,001 and $100,000 at a 30% discount before the homes are offered to the public. If the homes go on the market and don’t sell within 60 days, the Land Bank can purchase them at a 50% discount. Each of these agreements was unprecedented and has set the stage for other land banks throughout the country.

They also laid the groundwork for agreements with Wells Fargo and Bank of America in the summer of 2011. Both banks agreed to donate low asset properties to the Cuyahoga Land Bank and provide $3,500 per property in NSP 2 target areas and $7,500.00 per property in the rest of Cuyahoga County toward demolition. Bank of America capped their donations at 100 properties.

Asbestos Survey for YMCA dated before transfer to Cuy Land Bank

From: snorman@cuyahogalandb

CC: dsawyer [at] cuyahogalandbank [dot] org, gfrangos [at] cuyahogalandbank [dot] org, rrink [at] cuyahogalandbank [dot] org

Sent: 1/29/2016 9:37:56 A.M. Eastern Standard Time

Subj: Public records request on 009-01-006 et seq


I have assembled all of the documents which will answer your public records request related to the property at 3881 W 25th St., permanent parcel numbers 009-01-006, -007, and -052.  Most of the documents are less than 10 pages with one exception.  The asbestos survey is about 50 pages long.  I am going to attempt to transmit it by attaching the electronic file to this email.  Please confirm that you have received the document satisfactorily.  I will be scanning and emailing the rest of the information to you this morning.


Thank you and please let me know if I can be of further assistance.




Sarah Norman

Document Support Assistant

Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp.

323 West Lakeside Avenue, Suite 160

Cleveland, Ohio  44113

(216) 698-2445 (ph)

(216) 698-8972 (fax)

snorman [at] cuyahogalandbank [dot] org

Thank you Mr. Puri -Testimony today RE Cuyahoga County Land Bank

Mr Puri gave me the low-down on how to present to the Cuyahoga County Council - this morning was Community Development Committee meeting getting update about the "demolition fund."

Here's my transcript:

Good Morning - My name is Laura McShane and I live in Ward 14 in Cleveland. I come before this body today to request an Inspector General investigation of demolitions and and property transfers by the Cuyahoga County Land Bank.  The bulk transfer of multiple properties through CDCs as planned in the "Dream Neighborhood" and, in particular, the transfer of large, vacant, commercial properties like the abandoned YMCA building at 3881 West 25th St. should be cause for immediate concern.
There is no layer of protection that allows vested community members to approve or disapprove of property transfers as in the case of the vacant YMCA property (009-01-006).  Residents lost a significant community amenity and now the Cuyahoga County Land Bank proposes transfer of the highly commercial lot to the Cleveland Housing Network (CHN) with the assumption that somehow Cleveland Housing Network is a good player.  They are not a good player.  Please look at their inventory.
Also, there has been a highly suspicious pattern of multiple transfers on the West 3881 West 25th parcel, including a mysterious backlog of unpaid taxes, now wited out by the Land Bank. The Land Bank estimates demolition costs at $300K, but only has $100K committed to the demolition.  $4,500 of taxpayer monies has also been spent to assess asbestos hazards.  Councilman Brancatelli has indicated that CHN could demo this property as part of the planned development of permanent supportive housing.  
There are higher uses for this property that should engage adjacent stakeholders at the Cleveland Metroparks and Metrohealth. CHN works with the contractor Marous Construction, who it is assumed would demo the YMCA at reduced cost for a guaranteed development fee obtained with the construction of the proposed permanent supportive housing.  This is a bad deal for Cuyahoga County and taxpayers.  Please fully investigate this transaction through the Inspector General Office.

YMCA - Old Brooklyn-BC residents are being sold out

The CDC is pushing a meeting at South Pointe on Thurs, May 26 at 6 pm. in the "commons" room of South Pointe http://www.edeninc.org/south-pointe-comm... which is another facility run by CHN. This is not a neutral meeting - this is intended to sell the project to residents. I plan on contacting the media and encourage everyone else to do so - for coverage. 
***The "CDC" Stockyard Clark Fulton Broooklyn Centre - is in process of "rebranding" itself. It wants this project and doesn't have an interest in a market value development of the YMCA, because then they do not receive development fees. The CDC is a subsidiary of mega CDC Detroit Shoreway - the project is being staged similarly to the Templin and NRP project.

In full transparency - the CDC should bring a similar memorandum outlining this project. They can not say that they are not running the numbers on this project, because to support it, the CDC has to prove it is profitable to them. This all they really care about - they don't care about anything once the building is built - like NRP Foster Pointe - it's a money game.

NRP residents are already plagued by lack of maintenance, lease fraud (<55 year olds living in the building and attracting bad elements- drugs, prostitution) Ms. Small yesterday reported a drug overdose in the building. This is the legacy of Brian Cummins and now Anthony Brancatelli. Residents must know that they should oppose this at all costs.

CHN has morphed into a drug addict holding facility - no attempt to get folks off drugs - just a holding cell, while CHN-EDEN collects a $$hitload of money from people's SSI checks.  


Former Bridgeway 8301 Detroit now morphing into an EDEN-CHN facility. Detroit Shoreway service area - so how much $$ for DSCDO??







Nonprofit Bridgeway to close by end of next month

TIMOTHY MAGAW  Bridgeway Inc., a local network of mental health services, announced plans to shutter by the end of next month due to mounting financial troubles brought on by what the organization’s leaders say were drastic cuts in government funding. 

“Unfortunately, our recent financial review has shown that the agency is no longer viable,” Bridgeway CEO David J. Lundeen said in a news release. “Our goal now is to do everything we can to help Bridgeway clients transition to other agencies and to help staff find re-employment.”

Bridgeway employs 82 people, owns 22 properties and serves 565 clients each day throughout its network in Cuyahoga County. Mr. Lundeen noted in the release the organization is working on the on its transition plan.

“Today is a sad day for our community,” Bridgeway board chair Andres Gonzalez added in the release. “Bridgeway has been a lifeline for tens of thousands of some of our community’s most valuable citizens. We thank the staff for their dedicated service and salute our clients in their continued recovery.”








CHN-Eden-Frontline-DSCDO meeting recap

At last night's 5/26 South Pointe meeting - I asked how the demolition of YMCA building will take place.  It was confirmed that Cuyahoga County Land Bank plans to transfer the YMCA to the Cleveland Housing Network (CHN) - to make up the balance of funds needed for demolition (with 100K cap from Hardest Hit funds) The 350K demo is contingent on CHN submitting a successful $12M Ohio Finance Agency application for Permanent Supportive Housing at 3881 West 25th. Residents will oppose the application and petition against a transfer of the YMCA property from the Cuyahoga County Land Bank to the Cleveland Housing Network.


Where is the PROOF that this same amazing deal has been offered to developers of market-rate housing or any other commercial projects?  Jeff Ramsey of DSCDO claims that no one has shown an interest in this property for over 10 years - but also fails to clarify that before the property transferred to the Cuyahoga County Land Bank - any developer would have had to deal with over 100K in tax liens on the property and no assistance with the demolition of the asbestos-laden YMCA building. DSCDO is also pushing this deal because the OHFA application would mean at least 900K+ in developer feeds for DSCDO.


NOW- this highly commercial property** has $0 dollars in taxes owed (wited out by Land Bank), and it comes with $100K in demolition assistance and can be developed by any private entity with wherewithal to reuse the foundation and stage the demo work needed.


Surely - there are developers, not only in Northeast Ohio, but nation-wide, who have the ability to develop this property for a market-rate, tax-generating project.


**(within walk-bike distance to Cleveland Metropark Zoo, Metrohealth Main Campus, Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.)