Thursday, June 01, 2006

City of Cleveland to purchase Midland Steel property

Whenever I have posted meeting minutes from the Cleveland Planning Commission, there has almost always been action taken that would gather land for Cleveland's Industrial/Commercial Land Bank. Well, Mayor's office approved the purchase of the former Midland Steel Company on Madison and West 106th Street.

Image from Decaying-Industries

The press release follows:

City of Cleveland to purchase Midland Steel property
Purchase shows progress in Mayor Frank G. Jackson's development strategy

May 30, 2006 - The City of Cleveland announced today the purchase of the 21-acre Midland Steel property located at 10615 Madison Avenue. The City worked with Ward 18 Councilman Jay Westbrook, WIRE-Net (Westside Industrial Retention and Expansion Network) and Cudell Improvement, Inc.

"One of Cleveland's economic development challenges is the lack of ready-to-build land that is attractive to developers," said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. "The remediation of brownfields, like Midland Steel, is an essential part of our economic development strategy for Cleveland. We're making this valuable property ready for development."

Cleveland will purchase the property, valued at $1.5 million, as a part of Cleveland's Industrial/ Commercial Land Bank that prepares shovel-ready sites for development and makes it easier and cost effective for businesses to relocate to or expand in Cleveland. The City's Department of Economic Development will market and sell parcels, to spur economic growth and job creation in the region. Revenue generated by the Land Bank will be invested in future acquisitions and development.

"This is an example of the kind of role government needs to play to help business grow bringing land, labor and capital to the table," said Director of Economic Development Brian Reilly.

The Midland Steel site has contiguous parcels, excellent infrastructure, highway and railroad access, and a tradition of industrial use.

"It is essential that we extend our capability to retain and expand industry in Cleveland," stated Councilman Westbrook. "Our community partners, Cudell Improvement, Inc. and WIRE-Net, have worked diligently with the City to obtain the Midland Steel site. We welcome this announcement by the Mayor and look forward to working together to broaden manufacturing job opportunities for the future."

"The redevelopment engine has been tuned up, and manufacturing is ready to move ahead," said John Colm, President and Executive Director for WIRE-Net, in reference to the Midland Steel deal.

"This site has been on our radar screen as an important economic opportunity since it became vacant a few years ago. The community's desire to see this site redeveloped for businesses is moving closer to reality," added Paul Vernon, President of Cudell Improvement, Inc.

In May 2004, Councilman Westbrook identified Midland Steel as a prime economic development opportunity for Ward 18 in Cleveland City Council Economic Challenges and Opportunities, a booklet highlighting problems and potentials in each ward. Mayor Jackson, who was City Council President at the time, directed the Council to produce the document to help advance development throughout the City. The book was also used on a tour of the City that Council Members took to get a first hand look at the challenges and opportunities citywide.