Cleveland Motel, located at 22735 Lorain Road, will be demolished
and the property purchased by the city of Fairview Park. (West
Life photo by Larry Bennet)
to purchase Cleveland Motel site
By Kevin Kelley
Published Jan. 21, 2009
goodbye to the Cleveland Motel.
Fairview Park has reached an agreement to purchase
the property, located at 22735 Lorain Road, for $120,000. City Council
unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing the purchase at its
meeting Monday night.
Under the purchase agreement, which was completed
Thursday, owner Jitendra Kapasi must vacate the property within
45 days and pay for the demolition of the structure.
City officials have long complained that the motel
was a nuisance to the neighborhood. Mayor Eileen Patton said that
the city received constant complaints from neighbors over noise
and motel guests coming and going at all hours.
“The police were there all the time,” Patton said.
“It’s been a constant battle with (Kapasi) over the years over the
safety and health and welfare of the business he was running.”
The mayor said the purchase was made for the benefit
of the residents. She added that she believed the eventual redevelopment
of the site will result in a rebirth for the western section of
Lorain Road in Fairview Park.
Patton said the motel had outlived its usefulness
and become a burden to the city’s municipal departments.
“I say over and over again, this is a city that welcomes
all businesses as long as they abide by the codes and the laws,”
Patton said at Monday’s meeting. “But when they don’t, then the
city is there to make sure they’re enforced.“
In 2006, Cuyahoga County Board of Health inspectors
reported finding unsanitary conditions in several rooms. In December
of that year, the city’s building department found 52 code violations
at the property. In 2000, the building was condemned by the city
and its certificate of occupancy was withdrawn.
Funds to purchase the property will be borrowed from
the city’s permanent improvement fund and repaid once the property
is sold to private enterprise.
At Monday night’s council meeting, Development Director
Jim Kennedy said the city will market the land for redevelopment.
“We don’t have anything in mind (for the site) at
this point,” Kennedy said. He said he believed the best use for
the land would be office space.
The land is currently zoned for general business.
Both Patton and Kennedy said a bank had made an offer
of $250,000 for the property within the past two years, but Kapasi
turned down the offer.
The city plans to land bank the property until a buyer
is found, Kennedy said. The property qualifies for a state land
bank program under which the city will not have to pay property
taxes to the county, Finance Director Lisa Rocco said.
The city’s purchase of the property will coincide
with a global settlement of all criminal charges against Kapasi,
according to Law Director Sara Fagnilli.
Last year, Kapasi was cited six times with violating
a city law prohibiting guests from staying at a motel for more than
30 days. In 2007, Kapasi was convicted of violating that same law
in Rocky River Court and briefly served time in jail.
Calls by West Life to Kapasi’s attorney were not returned
by press time.