CH-UH School Board To Consider Tax Abatement for Meadowbrook and Lee Tonight

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School Board will meet Monday, Nov. 5 instead of Tuesday due to elections.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School Board will meet today, Monday, Nov. 5 at the Board of Education building instead of Tuesday due to the elections.

The board is expected to consider a resolution for a tax abatement for developers who want to build a mix of retail or commercial and residential space on the now vacant Meadowbrook and Lee property.

Superintendent Doug Heuer and Chief Financial Officer Scott Gainer are recommending that the board approve the resolution for a tax abatement for the Meadowbrook and Lee property.

Vice Mayor Dennis Wilcox said in October that he will provide the board with more information tonight before they vote.

"We're just crunching numbers and making sure we explain to the board why this would be necessary to complete the project," he said.

Cleveland Heights City Council and developer The Orlean Company are requesting an 11-year, 80 percent tax abatement for modern apartments and retail or commercial space.

The more than $11.4 million project would bring in about $300,000 annually in property taxes abatement-free. If the school board approves the abatement, that number would go down to an average of $70,000 per year.

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Orlean Company president David Orlean said he hopes to start the project in the spring of 2013.

"We’re just really hoping that the abatement is approved because we need it in order to make this feasible, and I think it would be a great enhancement to the Cedar Lee neighborhood," Orlean said.

After the 11 years is up, the building would bring in an average of $440,000 in property taxes each year. The developer also said more residents would help the local economy and presented figures about how much revenue they'd bring in through income taxes, parking fees and other means.

Mayor Ed Kelley, Vice Mayor Dennis Wilcox and Orlean first presented the idea to the school board in July.

For more details about the development, browse related articles and blogs below:


CH-UH School Board Will Likely Review Meadowbrook and Lee Tax Abatement Request at November Meeting

Updated: Council Will Request Tax Abatement For Lee and Meadowbrook

Developer Proposes Modern Apartments At Meadowbrook and Lee

A Plan For Meadowbrook And Lee Could Be Finalized By Summer

Cleveland Heights Seeks Ideas From Developers for Lee Road Lot


Why "Yes" On The Tax Abatement & Unappraised Land Give-Away?

Garry Kanter November 05, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Here's my earlier blog post showing that the project is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. The $2.3 [two point three] million of "Benefits" (reduced from $53 FIFTY THREE] million in the initial presentation described in the article) to the city & BOE are about equally split between tenant income taxes and from the developer paying property taxes. Neither of those taxes are likely to happen according to the developers' projections, as the rents are 100% higher than the surrounding market, and 50% higher than even the University Circle area gets. ---------------------- Here's the rent schedule for the proposed apartment building at Lee-Meadowbrook. The one where city council is basically giving the unappraised land away ($125,000), and the developer *still* needs nearly $4 MILLION in tax abatements over 11 years, or the project won't go forward: Studio (0 Bedrooms, 513 - 545 sq. ft.): $950 - $1,035 per month 1 Bedroom (657 sq. ft.): $1,183 - $1,233 1 Bedroom Plus (727 - 787 sq. ft.) $1,286 - $1,352 2 Bedroom (880 - 1,138 sq. ft.) $1,586 - $1,980 That's in the neighborhood of $2 per square foot per month. The executive director of University Circle Inc. says his brand new properties along Euclid Avenue get between $1.00 - $1.40 per sq. ft. continued...
Garry Kanter November 05, 2012 at 05:49 PM
continued... -------- From page 2 of the developers' revised Economic Impact Study, here's how the developer "explains" why Cedar-Lee rents will be 50% - 100% higher than University Circle rents: "With respect to the rental rates, please note there are no directly comparable properties to which the developer can look to for history. Other buildings that somewhat approximate the conditions and type of this proposed development were analyzed and extrapolated to calculate the rental rates for this property. However, until Meadowbrook-Lee is built there is no way to know what we can actually get in terms of rental rates." Lemme tell you, there's nothing anywhere in Cleveland Heights that gets anything like those rents. If there was, they would have mentioned it, right? And what happens when they can't get those rents? Either empty units, or discounted units, or both! And that's when the project, already relying on the city's generous subsidies, would probably crash and burn. And it wouldn't take long. Right there, prominently in the heart of the Cedar-Lee business district. Count me out. Please, contact all 5 BOE members, and implore them to vote NO on the 80% for 11 year tax abatement request from the CH city council.
Garry Kanter November 05, 2012 at 06:01 PM
"Superintendent Doug Heuer and Chief Financial Officer Scott Gainer are recommending that the board approve the resolution for a tax abatement for the Meadowbrook and Lee property." For two reasons, as per the document the Treasurer and Superintendent sent the BOE, which I have uploaded to this article: It's Better'n Nuthin' If we do favors for the CH city council, they'll do favors for us No consideration given to: The state required documents and deadlines have been violated The "Benefits" are a pipe dream That an empty building is a likely result - See Bluestone from the same guys, or the two diners on Lee Road What better projects *could* happen at that site, if the city council would look for them I encourage everybody to come to tonight's BOE meeting at 7:00, and sign up to speak against this cynical giveaway of taxpayer and student assets. We deserve a whole lot better than "Gimme my pennies. Now. I can't wait for a proper project that benefits all the stakeholders."


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