CLEVELAND - The final details were finally worked out on a plan that will hopefully put 50 vacant Cleveland homes back into use and dramatically help their neighborhoods.
The group that will get the job done is Slavic Village Recovery LLC, a group that is anchored by real estate developer Forest City Enterprises Inc., Valley View property management company, Safeguard Properties, Slavic Village Development and Neighborhood Progress.
Justin Fleming with Neighborhood Progress provided much of the data for the project, a target area that covers some 520 acres of Cleveland's Slavic Village Neighborhood.
"We believe nearly 30 percent of the homes in this neighborhood are vacant, and this project that will help improve the value of homes near each house we recover," said Fleming. "Property values in Slavic Village will go up, and we hope crime will go down as a result of this project."
Fleming told NewsChannel5 the project will utilize private dollars as opposed to waiting for public funding.
"We believe this business model will create a profit for the companies involved, but at the same time serve the public good in an area hit hard by the housing crisis," explained Fleming.
Slavic Village Recovery LLC is in the process of picking the vacant homes that will be saved by the project, and will be responsible for obtaining the properties from their current owners to move them to progress.
Fleming told NewsChannel5 the group is hoping to completely renovate each home for about $40,000 and then be able turn around and sell the homes for a small profit over the next six months.
"We hope this project is successful," said Fleming. "We could then use that success as a model in other neighborhoods, in an effort to recover a large number of homes that can be saved."
RIK Enterprises will provide contractors for the home renovations through Safeguard Properties, to bring the homes back up to code.
"The importance of having Slavic Village Development, Forest City, Neighborhood Progress, and RIK Enterprises, is that you have the for profit and non-profit partnering," said RIK CEO Mitch Wolfe. "Each entity is able to bring to the table what they do best."
Slavic Village Executive Director Marie Kittredge believes the renovated homes will reduce crime, increase property values, and more.
"The more people living here, the more businesses we can support, the better off our schools, our institutions, and our churches," said Kittredge.
Cleveland Councilman Anthony Brancatelli played a big part in the development of this home revitalization plan.
"You're talking about Forest City, Albert Ratner, when you talk about Safeguard Properties, and Robert Klein, and you're talking about a foundation like Neighborhood Progress Inc. bringing all their resources together," said Brancatelli. "It's all under the umbrella of one of the best community development corporations, Slavic Village Development, you are looking at a model that can be replicated across the United States."
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