Cleveland’s attractive, family-friendly West Park neighborhood continues to experience increases in home sale prices. However, West Park is not immune to tax delinquent blighted houses.
“In West Park, a vacant or abandoned house on a street sticks out,” says Steve Lorenz, Executive Director of the Kamm’s Corners Development Corporation (KCDC). “It is not only an eyesore, but greatly deflates neighboring housing values.”
Since 2012, KCDC has acquired 18 properties from the Cuyahoga Land Bank. KCDC serves as the developer and oversees the renovations of these properties – from interior design to project estimating – and then bids out the work to qualified contractors. All renovated homes have modern amenities like granite countertops and restored hardwood floors, updated kitchens and baths, and updated major systems. Once renovations are complete, the property is sold on the open market. “Our market primarily consists of owner-occupants,” says Lorenz.
“The Cuyahoga Land Bank is a powerful tool for community development corporations,” says Lorenz. “Because we acquire homes from the Cuyahoga Land Bank inexpensively, we can invest the necessary amount into the home renovation and still sell it at a market price. Before the Cuyahoga Land Bank, these houses would languish.”