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NATIONAL CITY BANK APPLAUDS RENOVATION OF VILLAGE POINT BUILDING

NATIONAL CITY BANK APPLAUDS RENOVATION OF VILLAGE POINT BUILDING
    CLEVELAND, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The intersection of Broadway Avenue and East 71st Street boasts a new look: The Slavic Village Broadway Development Corporation (SVBDC) has completed a $561,000 commercial revitalization project, the Village Point Building (7100 Broadway).  In 1990, National City Bank sold the building to the SVBDC for $1 after announcing plans to construct a new branch on a site across the street.
    The project includes the renovation of a 12,000 square foot office building and the creation of an adjacent 30-car parking lot.  The first floor storefronts will house three professional/retail tenants--an ophthalmologist's office, doctors' office and a florist.  The second floor will contain private office tenants, including the new headquarters for the SVBDC.
    A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Nov. 22 at 3:30 p.m.  Expected attendees include Mayor Michael White; Councilman Edward Rybka (Ward 12); James Trzaska, chairman, and Mikelann Ward Rensel, executive director, SVBDC; William E. MacDonald III, vice chairman, David C. Fynn, vice president, and John V. White, Jr., senior vice president, National City Bank; Eric Hoddersen, vice president, and Daryl Rush, vice president, Neighborhood Progress, Inc.; and Rob Curry, program director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Numerous community leaders and local business owners have been invited to the event.
    Formerly known as the Landmark Building, the building was the home of the Bank of Cleveland, known as the "Polish Bank," from the turn of the century until 1976 when it was acquired by National City Bank as its 49th branch.  Known as the Broadway-71st branch, it had been an integral part of the community for 14 years at that location, serving both retail and business customers and providing a stabilizing presence in the neighborhood.
    When an old fire station directly across the street (7101 Broadway) was purchased by the bank and plans finalized for a new 4,900 square foot branch to be built in its place, National City Bank president David A. Daberko decided to sell the bank's former office building for $1 to the SVBDC.  The SVBDC was then able to move forward and restore the building, infusing new life into the corner of Broadway and East 71st.
    "By selling the building to the Slavic Village Broadway Development Corporation for the token sum of one dollar, we gained wonderful, new neighbors," said MacDonald.  "The community benefits by having new retailers and professionals set up shop in Slavic Village, and this intersection has become a showcase of the merits of investing in the neighborhood."
    Nearly $1 million was spent on the construction of the new National City branch and landscaping of the property.  The branch was designed to complement the renovated buildings in the neighborhood, echoing the ethnic flavor of the community.
    "National City's branch has strengthened the identification of Broadway and East 71st as a central hub in this neighborhood," said Rensel.  "Our Village Point project was needed to help protect the private investment that occurred at this intersection.  The Village Point Building is the most prominent structure in this area, but before our renovation, it was not marketable."  Rensel also noted that blighted properties adjacent to the building were acquired and razed to make way for the much-needed off-street parking area.
    The Village Point project involved a mix of public and private funding.  A first mortgage with National City Bank at four percent interest was matched with program-related investment funds from Neighborhood Progress, Inc., and a second mortgage was obtained through the Neighborhood Development Program of the Department of Economic Development.  Additional funds were received from the Community Development Block Grant from the councilman's ward allocation; grants from Neighborhood Progress, Inc., BP America, the Cleveland Foundation, the Gund Foundation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development; a rebate through the SVBDC's Storefront Renovation Program; and private equity.  A predevelopment loan was obtained through LISC.
    The SVBDC decided to shift their focus from Fleet Avenue to Broadway, which is the main commercial thoroughfare through Slavic Village.  Broadway is emerging as the principal retail strip for this low and moderate income neighborhood.  The recently completed master development plan by the City of Cleveland, Civic Vision 2000, targeted Broadway as the best site for a regional retail center in the southeast side of Cleveland, and the Village Point Building represents the first project under this new agenda.
    The Slavic Village neighborhoods, as many others with a declining population base, has watched as professionals and specialty retailers relocate to the suburbs.  Residents are often forced to travel outside of the neighborhood to meet specialized medical care needs or to shop. SVBDC worked with the neighborhood medical center, St. Alexis Hospital, to recruit the physicians who will be opening offices in the building. The florist, card and gift shop will be the only full-service store of its type in the Broadway trade area.
    The renovation involved revamping the entire first floor into three separate units, each with its own entrance.  Two storefronts have entrances through a new facade constructed on the wall exposed by the razing of adjacent buildings.  The exterior was refurbished with awnings, window repairs, tuck-pointing and painting.
    National City Bank is the lead bank of National City Corporation (NYSE:1NCC), a $24 billion diversified financial services company headquartered in Cleveland.
    -0-                      11/21/91
    /CONTACT:  Sharon A. Lamcha of National City Communications, 216-575-2316/ CO:  National City Corporation ST:  Ohio IN: SU: KK -- CL007 -- 5802 11/21/91 10:36 EST
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Date:Nov 21, 1991
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