Real Estate

Major development planned for Cedar Lee district

The Cedar Lee commercial district, the largest of the traditional neighborhood commercial districts that Cleveland Heights is known for, may soon add a new anchor to its collection. The Orlean Company, already active in the city as a partner in the Bluestone and Kenilworth Mews residential developments, is planning a four-story, mixed-use building containing 77 market-rate rental apartments and nearly 15,000 square feet of commercial space on the long-vacant, city-owned parcel on the northeast corner of Lee Road and Meadowbrook Boulevard.

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 11:32 AM, 08.28.2012

It's official: Walmart will move to Oakwood

In a March 22 press release, First Interstate Properties announced that Oakwood Commons will feature a Walmart Supercenter. According to the press release, Mitchell Schneider, president of First Interstate Properties, "has signed an agreement to bring a Walmart Supercenter to the new Oakwood Commons development in South Euclid."

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Volume 5, Issue 4, Posted 5:07 PM, 03.22.2012

First Interstate exercises Oakwood option

First Interstate Properties Ltd announced that it has exercised its option to acquire the Cleveland Heights portion of the Oakwood Country Club. "We exercised this option on March 1, so we now control the entire parcel," said Mitchell C. Schneider, president of First Interstate, headquartered in Lyndhurst. "We do have some flexibility regarding the actual date to take title, but I expect that will happen within the next several months," he added.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 2:19 PM, 03.10.2011

Oakwood development plan draws large crowd to CH council meeting

The following was sent via e-mail at about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday Jan. 4 by the Severance Neighborhood Organizaiton – which has taken a leading interest in use of the the former Oakwood Country Club property. The developer of Legacy VIllage and other such developments has plans to use the property for a combination of "value-oriented" retail, high-density residential development and greenspace. This e-mail is provided in its entirety without editing.

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Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 7:48 AM, 01.05.2011

Residents frustrated in effort to discuss Oakwood at South Euclid city council

The following was sent to the e-mail list of the Severance Neighborhood Organization, which is spearheading opposition to development of the former Oakwood Club. It is presented in its entirety with no editing.

Thanks to everyone who attended the [Jan. 10] South Euclid City Council meeting. We made a powerful statement by having a big crowd of about 35-40 people turn out to hear the first reading of the ordinance to change the zoning on the South Euclid part of the Oakwood property.

We are sad to report that the process left much to be desired. Although we remain dedicated to having this be a model process of discussion between residents, government and the business sector, in order to come to the best conclusion for all concerned, we did not get off to a good start in South Euclid on Monday night.

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Volume 4, Issue 1, Posted 10:49 PM, 01.11.2011

Escrow waivers get review

In January, a story by Channel 3’s investigative reporter Tom Meyer indicated that Cleveland Heights Housing Commissioner Rick Wagner, at the urging of the FBI, may have exacerbated the impact of an alleged mortgage scam on Cleveland Heights. Specifically, Meyer’s report said Wagner waived escrow requirements to repair housing violations, allowing homes to change hands before repairs were made.

In the context of the alleged mortgage fraud—the subject of a 266-page indictment announced last August—escrow waivers allowed the homes to sell faster, ultimately ending up in the hands of unqualified buyers, and later to fall into foreclosure or abandonment.

After the story broke, City Manager Robert Downey asked Cleveland Heights Law Director John Gibbon to review the matter and report on the city’s role in the FBI investigation and its impact on the city.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 12:05 PM, 02.23.2010

Mortgage fraud's impact in CH may be worse due to city's effort to help FBI

Thirty-six-year-old Uri Gofman, of Beachwood, was indicted last summer by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury "in a conspiracy that prosecutors say involved 453 homes in Cuyahoga County and $44 million in fraudulent loans," according to a report at the time by The Plain Dealer.

Now, a more recent report by WKYC-TV3, indicates that for roughly three years before the indictment, Gofman was getting help from Cleveland Heights Housing Manager Rick Wagner – exacerbating the impact of Gofman's alleged mortgage fraud to the city and its residents.

According to the WKYC-TV3 report, Wagner isn't accused of doing anything illegal; he claims he was helping the FBI in its investigation of Gofman. But in so doing, he allowed Gofman to purchase more homes here than otherwise would have been possible. The FBI didn't comment.

Here, according to the report by WKYC investigative reporter Tom Meyer is what happened:

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Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 8:10 AM, 01.13.2010

Condition Outsells Price Sub: In a tough market, buyers will pay a premium for a house in top condition

In the spring of 2005 we put our Cleveland Heights house on the market. No part of the consultation with our realtor prepared us for the market slowdown that was just beginning in Cleveland, or gave us any hint that we might have trouble selling. By the end of summer we had less than a handful of showings. Eventually, three years of few showings, two more realtors, and a bad experience with renters (who stopped paying rent and trashed the place before we could evict them) convinced us that we needed a new approach.
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Volume 2, Issue 3, Posted 8:52 PM, 01.20.2009

Foreclosure and hope in the Heights

Whether local, regional or national, it seems there are but five topics that dominate the news these days: the 2008 presidential election, the war in Iraq, the high price of gasoline, global warming, and the foreclosure crisis.

This may be one of the few times in history when national issues feel extremely local. With the exception of an actual home invasion, a homeowner is unlikely to feel more vulnerable then when a house nearby is under foreclosure and, subsequently, boarded up.

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Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 6:49 PM, 06.18.2008