Success Through Collaboration
Land Bank Partnerships Lead to Renovated Home in Shalersville Township
While grant availability has led the Portage County Land Bank to focus primarily upon demolition in its early days, the organization recently completed its very first single-family home rehabilitation project.
The Land Bank acquired the property, located on Polly Rd. in Shalersville Twp., through the tax foreclosure process in June 2017. Although the property was initially scheduled for demolition, its desirable location and structural soundness prompted the organization to reconsider its plans and, ultimately, invest its resources to rehabilitate the property as its first acquisition, rehabilitation, re-sale, or ARR, project. As a result, the Land Bank cleaned-up the property and performed extensive renovations in the property, including a new kitchen, bathroom, furnace, A/C, hot water tank, and more. Upon completion, the property was listed for sale with Sarah Taylor, who is Land Bank’s current realtor and will be sold on the open market.
Portage County Land Bank Chair, Vicki Kline said, “In an effort to return vacant, blighted, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties to productive use, the Portage County Land Bank continues to seek opportunities to expand our services and assist local communities. With the success of this project, the Board will have an opportunity to consider similar projects in the future. This project’s success is in large part due to the commitment of our partners: Shalersville Township, the Portage County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Portage County Treasurer’s Office, all of whom worked together to acquire, improve, and sell this property.”
Gregory Benner, Shalersville Township Zoning Inspector said, “Shalersville Township would like to send a huge thank you out to Portage County Land Bank for all their efforts in purchasing and rehabbing a home on Polly Road that sat delinquent for some time. It is now a beautiful property that someone can now take pride in. We look forward to partnering with Portage County Land Bank in the future.”
Frank R. Ruehr Jr. is a Shalersville Township Trustee who has been a constant driving force for the rehabilitation of the Polly Road house.
“After years of trying to clean up a distressed property in our Red Fox development, Portage County Land Bank came aboard and things started happening. After gaining possession of the property decisions needed to be made as how to proceed. Tear down the house and sell the property to a neighbor? Sell the property to someone who will hopefully proceed in a timely fashion cleaning up and rehabbing? A third option was decided on and we couldn’t be happier. The Portage County Land Bank decided they would oversee the cleanup and repairs to see it was done right and in a timely fashion. As you can see the results were remarkable. Thanks Portage County Land Bank for your help. The neighborhood looks a lot better thanks to all your hard work.”Frank R. Ruehr Jr.
Successful Partnership in Ravenna Township
A blighted property has been removed, and the cleared land will once again be useful to the community. The Portage County Land Bank acquired the parcel at 3567 Ohio 59 in Ravenna. The neighboring New Testament Baptist Church showed interest in purchasing the property and utilizing it for church activities.
Jim DiPaola, Ravenna Township Liaison & Zoning Inspector, expressed his support of the sale saying “This is a win-win-win situation for the church, Township and the land bank. This is first property done in Ravenna Township, and this is a day we have looked forward to from the start of the land bank. To Ravenna Township the land bank is a success that will only get better.”
“The Portage County Land Bank allowed me to purchase the lot next to my property so that I could expand my yard and increase my home’s value. Thank you Portage County Land Bank and staff for your prompt service.” Misty Henderson
Officials / Organizations
- Ravenna (county seat)
- Sugar Bush Knolls
- Chad Murdock, Attorney
- Vic Vigluicci, County Prosecutor
- Portage County Commissioners Office
- Portage County Treasurer’s Office
- Portage County Common Pleas Court
- Ohio Housing Finance Agency
- Western Reserve Land Conservancy & Thriving Communities Institute
- National Community Stabilization Trust
- Portage County Regional Planning Commission
- Chase Bank
- Wells Fargo
- Portage Community Bank