Reggie and Brian—
We are not contesting at all the efficacy of tax credits, the need for subsidized housing, or the market potential. These are other discussions. There are two very salient points here that you’re missing, one concerning the specific site in the context of the specific community, the other concerning the intermediaries:
1. The site itself is the wrong site because of—
a. The burden additional units place on the infrastructure; much research in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s pointed out the reasons why the sewer systems can’t handle additional single-site housing, let alone the density of 61 units. Where’s the study done then? Who is sitting on it?
b. The ruining of the scale of that part of Denison, and the streetscape.
c. Historical interests—the rowhouses in the right hands, and the strip center, can be very attractive.
d. Excess housing units already in the area—you just don’t use government money and tax credits to beggar your neighbors—this development competes unfairly with people who are trying to sell homes or rent units in Brooklyn Centre—you need to put this sort of housing where
e. We already have done our part in this regard—the 1967 Fodor project at 4016 Denison, when it reached the end of its holding period, was sold off to CMHA—and that is most likely the fate of these proposed 61 units. Nobody else will buy them because they are going to be built on a landfill and have the concomitant problems. Ziegler has a responsibility to investors to perform due diligence, and in this case Ziegler would probably back away from the deal on this site if all the factors were fully disclosed and easily known, factors that make this a substandard property and will eat into the ultimate return to investors. Just because the city got itself into a jam here with the land sinking into the valley is no reason to foist the mess off on Ziegler and on the tax-credit programs.
f. Green space concerns, which we still haven’t addressed
g. Using the demolitions program to benefit private interests—let’s have a closer look at this—some more sunshine, please.
h. This thing should not be in the area called Brooklyn Centre—we already have the site in Ohio City, the new site on Pearl near Metro, the new atrocity on East 55th in North Broadway, and the older Fodor sites that transferred to CMHA. There’s too much saturation already of this quasi-public housing in this area, and it will force out
2. The intermediary, NRP, seems to be conniving, along with City Central Planning, the newly authorized tool of the Near West Design Review, and the Old Brooklyn CDC, to place this project on lower Denison as surreptitiously as possible
a. We still don’t know why this project isn’t being placed up at Memphis School’s vacant site, as originally advertised
b. We still aren’t comfortable with the insider dealings of Abe Bruckman in promoting NRP solely—let’s have a really close look at why Abe is their champion, to the exclusion of all else, and also examine his multiple conflicts of interest, those of his employers, and those of the entities on whose boards he served or serves
c. We aren’t comfortable with the absence of competition
d. We aren’t comfortable with ignoring the substandard performance of existing NRP properties
e. It seems that making the initial deal here is the only goal, and the longer-range impact on the neighborhood is of no concern
f. We still have not vetted NRP’s ethically flawed track record in doing business
g. Just because this sort of money—earmarked for low-income senior housing or chronically homeless money-- is one of the few games left is no reason why we have to have “development” for development’s sake—you don’t look at the pool of available dollars and then try to shoehorn projects in wherever you can. The projects on East 55th Street are an abomination and a neighborhood-killer, as are these on lower Denison. Quite frankly, we’re tired of being sold down the river by our own city and secular nonprofit employees, just to make development deals to justify their existence and bring in revenues
h. We still haven’t found out how much this helps the income of Near West and OBCDC
i. Reggie, while we’re at it, let’s talk about Ziegler’s recent relocation and expansion in a bad market, and let’s talk about your personal need to make this deal as well. Does Ziegler already have the money for these NRP deals, or does it still have to raise most of it? What is the status of the qualification for the tax credits, because there seemed to be great haste in ramming this Denison portion through in April
j. I think everybody in the government and in the secular nonprofit sector and in the politically-dependent real-estate-development business is desperate to slide a few more public deals like this into the mix before the bottom falls out. I see we’re just demolishing that failed project up in Old Brooklyn, the one that came out of the blocks too quickly, without adequate planning, without disinterested oversight, and without adequate financing. Let’s review this lower Denison project in the full light of day. At this point, I feel as though we have not done our own due diligence as residents, and I feel that the city and the nonprofits have impeded us rather than served us, and I feel this is just sort of backwards.
k. We have had a recent swipe at the integrity of Brooklyn Centre with the ward re-divisions. Then there was the introduction of the Near West Design Review, for what reasons we still can’t enunciate. It’s almost as though we’re being subjected to a form of block-busting, and those doing the block-busting are our own government and our secular nonprofit agencies.
l. The short-term benefit here accrues to NRP, Reggie, Ziegler, the Mayor, Central Planning, and the secular nonprofits as their interests may appear. I see no demonstrated short-term or long-term benefit for the rest of us. Actually, I see it as pernicious, detracting from what we have been trying to accomplish with restoration over the years, reducing our home values, forcing our rents down even further, and sticking us with infrastructure repair and improvement costs we would not otherwise have.
Thanks for the link. The visual mapping is helpful relative to the perspective of senior housing sites in the “Cleveland South Central” area.
Click on lick
click on Cuyahoga/South Central
I’m sharing this with Tim Gloria and Laura as they are generally opposed to the project for various reasons regarding the generous subsidies and concerns relative to the project site location as related to hydrology and infrastructure issues.
We are trying to ramp-up the information we are providing them pertaining to the property and this info you’ve shared I think helps indicate the information you and others use to help determine investment opportunities for these types of projects.
From: Reginald Clark [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 01:55 PM
To: BrianJCummins@earthlink.net; Johanna V. Hamm
Subject: Stats on Elderly in Ohio
Click on the link below. On the right hand side under ‘State of Ohio Facilities’, scroll down and look at ‘Population 75+’, ‘Renter-Occupied Housing Units’ and ‘Median Household Income’…these number prove there’s a need for elderly housing and the reason why tax credit deals work perfect for elderly developments because of their income levels.
Urban Living Homes, LLC - President
Ziegler Properties - Director of Land Acquisitions