Friday, May 22, 2009

RE: Stats on Elderly in Ohio

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.


Tim Ferris
writing to you from an electronic cottage nestled in the heart of historic Brooklyn Centre . . .

. . . a park neighborhood of the City of Cleveland
4022 Denison Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44109

Work: 216.255.6640
Mobile: 216.351.0254
Fax: 216.373.4955


From: Brian J. Cummins  
Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 6:59 PM
To: 'Reginald Clark'
Subject: RE: Stats on Elderly in Ohio




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.







-----Original Message-----
From: Reginald Clark []
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 01:55 PM
To:; Johanna V. Hamm
Subject: Stats on Elderly in Ohio
Importance: High


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.


Reggie Clark

Urban Living Homes, LLC - President

Ziegler Properties - Director of Land Acquisitions

216-396-2789 cell

216-351-2371 fax




  1. As Chris points out--from the NYT--NRP is operating on this principle:
    In effect, American banks operated not unlike the Chinese banks they were supposed to modernize. They extracted profits by following a variation of the principle long pursued by their Chinese counterparts: lend without hesitation while extracting your cut, confident that the government is on the hook for the losses
    Lessons the Teacher Forgot; [Week in Review Desk]
    Peter S. Goodman. New York Times. (Late Edition (East Coast)). New York, N.Y.: May 17, 2009. pg. WK.1

  2. From the same article:Developers, for example, construct vacant office buildings as an excuse to borrow from state banks. They rake off a cut for themselves, pay bribes to the party officials who deliver the land and reward bank functionaries with sumptuous banquets and trips to Macao. Soon enough, the trophy skyscraper descends into financial disaster, but the developers, bankers and party officials have already extracted their riches, and for long afterward they will still enjoy them. In the case of lower Denison--NRP is benefiting from state and federal funds, call them "banks," if you will, where there is no recourse or accountability for the funds used or the final outcome.

  3. Because "government," aka the taxpayers, are on the hook for the losses.

  4. Good points, all. Are Chris and you getting daily delivery on the NYT at the house? We've been thinking of getting that by subscription now that Gloria has more time to read and clip for both of us.

  5. Brooklyn Centre gets the Sunday NYT at the library--I just contacted the Natural Resource Defense Council for assistance with this matter. I am hoping that this case receives national attention as I am sure that we are not the only community in this country subjected to this form of environmental injustice. I linked the NRDC to this site and I am restating here--I live and work here. Laura McShane

  6. I also contacted environmental activist Wilma Subra. This situation is a clear case of environmental injustice. I hope to see it stopped before homeowners paid up on their mortgages lose their homes to the developer or to the damages wrought by sanitary sewage.