Richmond Heights Council gives Boland Place 6-month extension

Richmond Heights officials Tuesday night approved an extension for Joseph Cyr’s development plan for his Boland Place apartments at Boland and Dale.

The council approved Cyr’s development on March 3, 2016. By ordinance he had a year to start work. In a letter to the city council he asked for a extension, to May 9, to for time to obtain an abatement permit and mobilize on the site. He also said in the letter: “moving forward is subject to lender clearance…” He said he has raised $8 million  for the project.

City manager, Amy Hamilton, told the council it was best to give Cyr the longest extension allowable — six months — so he doesn’t need to come back for more.

Former Richmond Heights councilman, Paul Lore, told the council he was disappointed the council gave Cyr the extension with no questions asked before the vote.

The council had a closed session following the open meeting. City Manager Amy Hamilton said Cyr was in the meeting for a short period, also that no votes were taken.

12 thoughts on “Richmond Heights Council gives Boland Place 6-month extension

  1. If you asked home owners that are neighbor to this project why they chose to live in the area, they would probably give you answers that included – the heights, near a park, nice area to walk around, Mai Lee, metro link, good access to the highways, part of a good school system. Just as there is competition for the neighbors to live in other parts of the city, you and your neighbors saw the value in living in this area and chose to do so. I don’t see how that would differ for renters who would live in this structure. I’m sure they see value in a similar light.

    As for this project failing and dooming the area, it is a bit melodramatic. If nothing else, at least your attitude on that has remained consistent. From some of the earliest articles on this project you have acted like you were going to move. But you’re presumably still there. And it is not because the housing market in this area is poor and you can’t sell (the market in this area shows many listings going for asking price). I would guess that part of the reason is, even if the project was not successful, these attractions previously mentioned still exist. They are not going to go away based on the success (or lack-there-of) of this project.

    Probably most importantly to note, this project is not replacing some prized gem of the neighborhood. It is replacing abandoned buildings. Not just that, buildings that people have looked at trying to re-purpose and can not find a cost effect solution of doing so. It has been a long time and no one is currently saying this neighborhood is doomed because you have a lot that is not utilized.

    • Joe S. there are way more community-centric uses for this land. I’m sorry but having a huge building full of problematic tenants is not melodramatic. It will be bad for the neighborhood, the services of Richmond Heights, and surrounding home values. You can try to hedge around that reality but the potential for it still exists. You go ahead and continue to “sell” it Joe S. (Cyr) that’s all you seem to be good at. It’s amazing that you excel at anything because building things when promised doesn’t seem to be in your wheelhouse. Since you have this issue with keeping your word, you better believe we are prepared to make sure you comply with every ordinance you are supposed to when it comes to removing the asbestos from those structures. Even with that, the end result of your project is going to ultimately be a building that looks and feels a lot like it’s builder, half-assed and cheaply done. People who support your massive flophouse will come to yearn for the good old days of an abandoned school.

      • Derek, is it fair to say you consider your personal interests to be identical with the community’s interests and everyone else’s interests to be illegitimate? I have noticed you frequently insinuate (if not outright say) anyone who is less than vehemently opposed to this multi-use development is either the developer himself or financially allied with the developer. Is it possible, in your view, to be in favor of adding residents to RH without having nefarious motives?

        • Joe S. I know that a MAJORITY of those who live in the immediate vicinity of this “project”were overwhelmingly against this development. The numbers that showed up in protest prove that out. Support for this development was mostly from folks who live several blocks if not miles away. The City Council of RH didn’t bother to listen to the majority of dissenting voices and chose to side with a few allies of Cyr’s. However there was enough resentment for this that it tipped the scale in the Mayor’s race and gave a relative unknown as myself 30% of the vote for my district.

          So Joe S. you know who I am, who are you and where DO you live in RH? Don’t be a troll and hide behind internet anonymity, man up!

          • It is pretty clear you are upset and angry. I’m sorry that you feel strongly about an issue but don’t feel like you are being heard. Having been in that situation before, it is frustrating. But it doesn’t make it morally acceptable to try to bully people. I hope you continue to be passionate with local government but can find peace along the way. From the two previous posts, there seems little room for fruitful discussion at this point. – Joe S (frequent commentator on 40South; not Joe Cyr)

          • No one is bullying you Joe. S. Don’t try to throw stink bombs from over the fence and not own up to them. Trolling is trolling.

  2. Thanks Doug for keeping us all informed on this, the situation is still so incredibly maddening. I don’t understand how this is going forward with a budget that is only a portion of the originally proposed 30+million. What corners are going to be cut here? It is unbelievable to me why the city doesn’t seem to understand that their disregard for resident concerns, particularly those of us that live closest to this proposed building is still a very sore spot. If anything you would think they would want to over communicate what is going on with the project every step of the way. The slow dribble of information just leaves most of us feeling like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop on our heads.

    • I could be misinterpretting, but I believe this project owner is in the process of securing a loan. Sounds like with $8 million of equity he has around 25% downpayment which is acceptable to most lenders. I dont think commercial real estate is different in this regard. Please correct if inaccurate.

      • Thanks for the reply. The 8 million dollar amount is for a down payment, that does make sense. Joe S. how does Mr. Cyr acquire this financing without being employed? Even with 25% that seems like substantial risk on the part of any lender. I don’t think I know of too many that could get a mortgage with no employment even with a 25% downpayment. Is this a common practice in the commercial real estate world to make loans to people with little or no income stream?

        • I don’t work in this line of business but would assume that a person’s income has little bearing on the loan being taken out. It’s not like a house loan where someone is expected to personally pay the money back. The bank, presumably, would look at his company’s assets. Potentially the business has $8 million or there is a group of wealthy people backing it to get it started. But even more importantly the bank would decide to lend money on the basis of whether or not they deem the project will be successful. A successful project will make the return on the money which is ultimately what they care about. It is a risk reward analysis. The risk in this case is the amount of apartments within a 3 mile radius. The project itself is a good design in a good location so some would consider it justifiable for the potential reward.

          • I think that the risk to the banks is one thing but the risk to the surrounding area is even greater. There are huge downsides to having this building in place and it fails to attract quality tenants (which is a high probability given the intense competition within the 3 mile radius). It could ruin the entire neighborhood.

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