Port files 2 more eminent domain suits: (Cleveland OH) Plain Dealer, 5/27/06

By Sarah Hollander

Two more eminent domain cases were filed against Flats property owners Friday, bringing the week's total to four.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority filed suit in Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court against Tony George, who owns an Old River Road building with relatives, and Isabella Basile, who owns the Beach Club building across the street.

The port is working on behalf of developer Scott Wolstein, who wants to build a residential and retail project on the east bank of the Flats with government support.

Since making the original bids to property owners two to three months ago, the port has cut a deal with only one owner. Negotiations continue with two others.

George said he owes the bank more on his property than the port's $400,000 offer.

He bought the building at 1059 Old River Road in 1999 and said it was appraised for more than $1 million at the time. It now houses the Heaven & Earth nightclub.

Basile owns riverfront property at 1064 and 1078 Old River Road. The port offered her $1.1 million.

On Tuesday, the port filed cases against brothers Richard and William Droe, who own the Beachcomber and Cleveland Coyote, and DéjaVu, a Michigan company that owns the old Circus in the Flats and an adjoining building, which the company is renovating into a Hustler Club.

Cleveland Plain Dealer: http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer