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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

more on hud properties

HUD properties are still off the market (see previous post). There is going to be a change regarding the listing broker when these come back. In the past, Michael Rath, out of Akron, was the listing broker and his office received a 1% commission on the sale.
The new scheme is to allow the listing broker to place their sign on the properties and they will no longer receive the commission. The number of buyers the listing office acquires through calls to the phone number on the sign is supposed to more than compensate for the loss of the 1% commission. The 5% commission on the buyer's side will stay the same. I understand that Michael Rath is out of the game now, and I'm curious to see what office has picked up the listings for Richland County.

Friday, May 25, 2007

king statue

The Martin Luther King statue is being installed. His "three times life sized" waist-up bust is covered with the unveiling cloth. I'll get a picture in the morning. It's not as huge as I imagined it would be. But the rocks that line the pathway are much larger than advertised. They were supposed to be about the size of a man's head, but are more like about 5 times that size.

sweet basil eatery closes

Sweet Basil Eatery has a sign on its door tonight announcing that this was their last day of business. They were open two years.
Their business plan must have depended on a strong catering and reception trade, but I'm not sure how well that was developed. Park Avenue Catering does a tremendous amount of that business but I'm sure it has taken a long time to build up, and they operate out of a much smaller space. Sweet Basil tried to be a lot more, with the retail cookery tools, cooking classes, lunch take-out and sit-down meals, and fine-dining. I'm curious whether the issue of sprinklers on the upper floors prevented them from holding the receptions and events? The appeal of that court ruling against Fernyak, the building's owner, was in the paper today. Judge Henson is going to rule on it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

hud properties

HUD properties for sale in Ohio and Michigan after May 16 have been removed from the market due to transferring the account from MCBREO to the Chapman Law Firm. The listings are currently off our MLS until Chapman gets the process back up and running. The website for Chapman is
The current notice on the site says
"There are no [HUD] listings at this time. Property listings are pending and you will soon be able to search HUD properties available for sale in the States of Michigan and Ohio on this site."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

susan sturges house

Newly listed: 317 Park Avenue West, "The Susan Sturges House"
Video Tour at

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


It's that time of year again! I got about a dozen morels tonight including this one I spotted about 20 yards away.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

ohio's smoking ban

Ohio's smoking ban has me breathing more second-hand smoke than ever. My bookshop is sandwiched between Tobacco Road, the only type of indoor business where smoking is allowed, and Uncle John's Restaurant and Jimmy's Bar.
To begin with, Tobacco Road moved next door before the smoking ban took effect. After the new ordinance took effect they would not have been allowed smoking if they had relocated there because it's not a freestanding building. But because they moved prior to the ban, smoking is allowed. Uncle John's is a notoriously smoky place, and I worked many hours plugging the penetrations of the party wall at floor joist voids to eliminate the stale smoke smell coming through the wall, only to have to repeat the process on the Tobacco Road side of my building with only limited success.
The streescape planters out front have long been treated as benches for idlers who smoke away day after day, littering the sidewalk with their cigarette butts. Now Uncle John's and Jimmy's have started enforcing the indoor smoking ban, and their customers and staff now join the idlers outside on the planters throughout the day, adding to the smoke and litter.
Having my shop door propped open for ventilation on these nice spring days has become a thing of the past because it brings in second-hand smoke no matter which way the wind is blowing. I don't mind tolerating Tobacco Road, because eventually the owners of that building will have to solve the ventilation issue there if they ever want any other tenants, especially on the second floor. But I am going to start raising the issue of these planters being used as park benches. Cutting some of the trees and bushes two years ago did discourage the idlers for a time, but they are back more today and joined by the smokers displaced by the indoor smoking ban.