View along famous Euclid Avenue in Cleveland. Cleveland is the 2nd largest urban area in Ohio with 2+ million people.

“There’s parts of Cleveland I won’t even consider … with bad neighborhoods and crime,” he said. Demo Doesn’t Solve Deeper Issues Rokakis and Ford believe the demolition of the 7,500 homes in some of the highly distressed neighborhoods will create a foundation for those neighborhoods to bounce back, but Rokakis noted that demolition won’t remove some of the root issues contributing to the distress. “I’m upbeat because we’ve dealt with blight … but it doesn’t solve all our problems. We have societal issues, we have racism that affects the market,” Rokakis said. “If you give a carpenter a hammer, the whole world is a nail. I don’t think taking down these houses will address some of the deeper societal and economic issues we face.”

Stark, the real estate financier, sees evidence that some of the deeper societal issues are healing in Cleveland. “Cleveland is an amazing melting pot of virtually every cultural heritage. … We have Arabs and Jews and Muslims and Bahai … we have all kinds of people here and generally people get along very well,” he said, adding that he also has hope that some of the deeper economic issues facing the city will be addressed if incoming president Donald Trump follows through on his campaign rhetoric. “From a real estate perspective, Donald Trump said many times in his campaign … we’re going to fix our inner cities. I’m very excited to see what President Trump will do to fix our inner cities. Our inner cities hold some of our greatest promise and some of our greatest potential because

they have fallen so far that any rebirth would represent a great resurrection,” he said. “If President Trump’s economic policies provide American companies more latitude to produce … ultimately jobs, it will be great for Northeast Ohio and for the real estate market here.”.

ATTOM Data Solutions • P24

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