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Sloane Avenue Properties Approved as a 'Community Reinvestment Area'

The distinction could mean tax abatements aimed at luring potential developers — including one proposal to build 19 luxury townhomes along the Rocky River.

If a on three Sloane Avenue properties moves forward, the new homeowners could be eligible for some assistance from the city.

paved the way Monday to make 13 parcels of land along the Rocky River a “community reinvestment area.”

means that potential developments could qualify for tax abatements.

That would include recent plans from Abode Living, a development team interested in demolishing three homes in the 1300 block of Sloane Avenue to make way for the .

The plans were given the green light at last week's Architectural Board of Review meeting.

But in order to designate an area as a CRA, the city would need the OK from the Ohio Department of Development, as well as the . 

“We’ve still got a bunch of steps to through, but we’re working on it,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development. “But we think it’s important — it’s an important development tool for that area along the river. Those are coveted properties.”

Ward 3 city councilman Shawn Juris said the incentive is aimed at benefiting future residents of the area, who could be eligible for tax abatements should they qualify.

The decision will ultimately be left to the city administration.

"I suppose that the developer is the first in line as these projects begin, however the developer doesn't really receive any direct benefit from the city — our new or relocated resident does," Juris said.

Most recently, the city designated both the and Rosewood developments as CRAs.

The CRA would include 13 parcels of land on the Lakewood side of the Rocky River, including the stalled Cliffs Project.

 “It’s a having an expanded and creative tool kit,” Siley said. “We’re willing to at least investigate. The city doesn’t have to give tax abatements in the CRA, but it means we can if the project is right.

“The idea behind establishing the CRA was to position ourselves should the right development come our way.” 

Andrew Brickman from Abode Living — the developer responsible for the upscale Eleven River homes in Rocky River — said recently that if all goes according to plan, work could begin on the Metro Townhomes project in the spring of 2012.

Alex Vandehoff July 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Love the designs, I can actually envision these there. Just hope the engineering of the river bank/cliff doesn't prove too difficult. I must say though, it would be nice if any tax abatement (on all new properties) could be rounded up and spread out amongst the current landowners in town...
Pat Ballasch September 28, 2011 at 02:24 PM
Good question Alex. Building on a cliff can be tricky. (And expensive) A good part of that hill would really prefer being part of the river bank. Gravity is a cruel force to deal with. I think the cost of securing the cliff may have been a critical factor in moving ahead with the Cliff Side (slide) project. We haven't gotten an update on that for some time. Anyone have news?
Pat Ballasch March 04, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Ward 3 city councilman Shawn Juris "I suppose that the developer is the first in line as these projects begin, however the developer doesn't really receive any direct benefit from the city — our new or relocated resident does," Actually the developer does have a direct benefit. The low real estate tax to the new owner becomes a purchasing incentive & allows the developer to sell the property for a higher price. The tax break has an actual dollar value. Keep in mind the new property owner isn't paying their portion of city, county,school, park & library costs. Other residents are picking up that tab. That's why the city decision makers need to be cautious in granting any of these incentives. The necessity of an incentive tells me a project can't be built on its own merit. Keep in mind developers will usually look for any incentive that's available. City decision makers need a model to judge actual benefits to the city. Question: Where can the citizens see that model & the math behind those decisions? Without transparency the incentive for high quality decision making can be compromised. Solid oversight is a key to good public management.

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