CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -A condemned building sits right next to millions of dollars of investment poured in to the Buckeye neighborhood and stakeholders in the community are tired of waiting for it to be torn down.
“Our public officials need to act on this. They should have acted yesterday but they need to act now," said Brandon Chrostowski, Founder and CEO of Edwin’s Leadership & Restaurant Institute.
The building, condemned after a fire in 2013, sits at one of the neighborhood’s most prominent corners.
The property is next to the Edwin’s campus where nearly $3 million has been invested in their campus, including housing and a butcher shop to train and employ ex-offenders.
Chrostowski says they’re worried about the building being right next to the institute’s family housing, and the location where they’re going to be putting in a new park in the coming weeks.
“It’s miserable to know that if something changed right next door, it could be the catalyst to more investment for our neighborhood. It could be the catalyst to our community believing more in improvement around them," he said.
In a statement the Cleveland Municipal Housing Court Communications director, Jayah Watters-Clark said no plan has been developed and no owner has taken serious responsibility for the restoration of this building in the 7 years since the condemnation.
“The city has pledged $1.2 million of improvements to Buckeye Road. Every bit of the community is seeing new life. Except,13000 Buckeye continues to languish and hold back the community,” Watters-Clark said.
The building, at 13000 Buckeye Road, has had several owners since it’s condemnation. It’s currently owned by G1G6 LLC.
Attorney for the owner, Bradley Hull says the community is upset at the wrong owner.
“GIG6 LLC bought 13000 Buckeye Avenue on August 2, 2019 with the property in a condemned state after two former owners had let the property deteriorate for years, with a plan to quickly refurbish it. GIG6 LLC has fixed all exterior conditions and removed all safety hazards to the public. The City Inspector has found all outstanding code violations to be cured,” he said.
Hull says the owners have commissioned blueprints for further renovations and that all work has been performed at the fastest possible timelines, under the circumstances.
“Delays in the process caused by Coronavirus, the City permitting process, weather and reduced available revenue have not deterred GIG 6 LLC from carrying out its plans. It is a shame that several neighbors apparently do not recognize the progress that has been made or GIG6 LLC’s efforts. GIG6 LLC has been, and remains committed to being, a responsible owner of this property for the foreseeable future and to doing its share to revitalize the neighborhood,” Hull said.
He says the eventual plan is not to tear it down but to rent out units to commercial tenants.
There is a petition circulating both on paper and online looking for timely action from the housing court and the city. Click here if you’d like to sign it.