Rebuilding a Neighbourhood, Block-by-Block: New report shows benefit of holistic approach in Cleveland

January 27, 2015

The Greater Ohio Policy Center released an independent analysis of an innovative model for neighborhood recovery being piloted in a Cleveland neighborhood, finding promising results for this block-by-block holistic approach to revitalization that combines demolition and rehabilitation.

Slavic Village Recovery (SVR), a for-profit entity consisting of four partners, was created for the purpose of revitalizing the neighborhood of Slavic Village. Through a targeted investment strategy, the SVR partners intend to take a holistic approach to community redevelopment, aligning demolition and rehabilitation to eradicate blight one block at a time and supplementing its efforts with community engagement. It is focused on gaining access to a critical mass of real-estate owned (REO) properties and bank walkaways with the intention of either demolishing or rehabilitating the vacant structures.

The report summarizes preliminary results for the Slavic Village Recovery Project, including:

  • Sales prices of the initial homes reached the targeted amount necessary to cover rehab costs and make a small $5,000-$10,000 profit; received an appraisal value above the listed $60,000 sale price; and sold quickly.
  • Neighborhood morale is high and neighbors are positive about the project.
  • Investment is taking place in the neighborhood apart from direct involvement with SVR, suggesting, perhaps, that SVR’s private sector partners created market confidence for new businesses and city and regional governments.

The report also noted several keys to SVR’s early successes:

  • A holistic approach to community development and a clear comprehensive plan, strategically linking demolition and rehabilitation.
  • A focus on properties with value and the strong relationships needed to acquire properties from REO lists and banks
  • A philanthropic mission paired with a for-profit approach in executing the mission

Download the report