In Euclid, Blight Becomes Might

Land banks exist to prevent blight and save neighborhoods, and one of their most effective tactics is buying multiple properties, thereby boosting a community’s stability.turney
That was the situation in Euclid last spring, when the Cuyahoga Land Bank acquired four properties for $1 each under agreements with Fannie Mae and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), then turned the properties over to the City of Euclid for rehabbing.
So far, one property located on North Street already has been transformed into a beautiful garden for the entire neighborhood to enjoy. “This is the property that worked out the best for us,” says Paul Beno, Euclid’s planning and zoning commissioner. “Freddie Harper, the new owner, was working the land even before he owned the property, which by then was a vacant lot.”
Harper asked the demolition contractor to leave behind the giant sandstone blocks, and Harper was able to incorporate them into his landscaping design.
“It’s yet another example of what a person with foresight and vision can accomplish,” Beno says. “We expect that this garden will be on the Euclid Pond and Garden Tour next June.” In the meantime, he adds, the other three abandoned properties will soon be demolished and “will eventually get good re-use.”

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