Redevelopment of Slavic Village in Cleveland
and celebration of its 25th homebuyer May 6, 2015
Slavic Village, a historical neighborhood located outside of downtown Cleveland, was devastated by the national housing crisis and continues to struggle in the aftermath of economic decline. A once vibrant neighborhood rich in history and culture has been plagued by blight, vacant homes and financial hardships.
Slavic Village Recovery, LLC (SVR), a collaborative partnership of public, private and non-profit entities was formed to implement programs and services to reverse the devastating effects of the foreclosure crisis. The first of its kind, this strategic partnership was forged through a diverse alliance: Forest City Enterprises, Community Blight Solutions, Slavic Village Development and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. Each entity came to the table bringing decades of experience in their respective fields (real estate acquisition, home renovation, urban development and home sales).
Through this collaboration, the goal of SVR is to acquire and rehabilitate 200 single family homes in a concentrated area to create affordable housing and bring large scale change to Slavic Village. By collaborating in such a way, the Slavic Village Recovery Project aims to steady market volatility, stabilize the larger community and match home-buyers with a remodeled home at a good price.
A press conference was held to celebrate the 25th homebuyer in the program. The homeowners are a young couple from rural Ohio. Jeremy graduated from college with a teaching certificate and decided to teach at a Cleveland Public High School. Along with his bride, Heather, they decided to buy a home in Slavic Village. The project has led to an increase of interest in the neighborhood and a surge of community confidence among residents. Neighbors are feeling hopeful and taking pride in their community, and are opting to begin fixing up their own homes.
Cleveland Councilman Tony Brancatelli spoke at the Slavic Village press conference about the continuing redevelopment of Slavic Village and celebration of its 25th homebuyer. He introduced Robert Klein, Chairman of Community Blight Solutions.
Albert Ratner, Chairman Emeritus, Forest City Enterprises, spoke next. Mr. Ratner said the young couple who moved in reminded him of his parents when they were young.
Albert Ratner and Tony Brancatelli
Robert Klein, Albert Ratner and Tony Brancatelli
Joel Ratner, President and CEO, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress said he is excited about the potential of the neighborhood.
Renee Csuhran, interim President of Huntington Bank, spoke and mentioned the partners that worked with Huntington. Councilman Tony Brancatelli said that in 2007 when they had the highest foreclosure rate in the US, nobody was looking to help but Huntington and the other partners are helping in the recovery.
Al Ratner, Renee Csuhran and Tony Brancatelli
Robert Klein, Chairman of Community Blight Solutions, said to thank the
Mortgage Service Industry for the progress against foreclosures. Councilman Tony Brancatelli told about the community and city partners who are helping make this work.
Councilman Tony Brancatelli said our strongest partner is our development team, Slavic Village Development. Chris Alvarado, Executive Director, Slavic Village Development said what really makes a community is neighbors.
Chris Alvarado introduced ladies from the Forest City Park Civic Association to welcome them to the neighborhood.
Finally, the young homeowners spoke.
As Councilman Brancatelli said, "It is a wonderful day in the neighborhood."