Axios Cleveland

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February 16, 2024

🎷 The No. 1 song on this day in 1985 was George Michael's "Careless Whisper."

  • πŸ˜‰ You have a saxophone playing in your head now, don't you?

☁️ Today's weather: Mostly cloudy with a high of 33.

🎧 Sounds like: "Cash In Your Face" by Stevie Wonder

πŸ›€οΈ Situational awareness: President Biden will be in East Palestine today to ensure, he says, that state and local officials "hold Norfolk Southern accountable" for the derailment a year ago.

Today's newsletter is 941 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Cleveland's homeownership gap

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The gap between Black and white homeowners in Cleveland has decreased slightly over the past decade, but there's much progress still to be made.

Why it matters: Homeownership remains the biggest driver of the wealth gap, per the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, writes Axios' Brianna Crane.

Driving the news: Nearly 40% of Black people in Cleveland own homes β€” an increase of 2.3% since 2012 β€” compared with the nearly 76% of white people who own homes, per data that Zillow shared with Axios.

Zoom in: Black residents make up 47% of Cleveland's population, according to 2022 census numbers, the most of any race or ethnicity in the city.

Between the lines: In 2021, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge visited her native Cleveland to introduce the 3by30 initiative.

  • The program is aimed at helping Black homeowners and provides down payment assistance, incentives for affordable housing production and more.

Yes, but: Even if Black people can buy a home, appraising the value of that property remains an issue, especially in Cleveland.

Difference in the typical value of homes owned by Black and white people, by metro area
Data: Zillow; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

What's happening: The typical home value of Cleveland area homes with Black owners is nearly 41% less than homes with white owners, per data Zillow shared with Axios.

The big picture: Nationally, the typical value of homes with Black owners ($291,000) is 18% less than the typical value of homes with white owners ($354,000).

What they're saying: Black owners seeing their homes appraising for less than those of their white counterparts isn't new. "It's no longer a myth or legend that this happens," HUD chief of staff Julienne Joseph tells Axios.

  • The appraiser workforce is majority white, and it's often difficult to report appraisal discrimination, though new policies are aimed at addressing both hurdles.

Meanwhile, in 2022, the Biden administration announced the Action Plan to Advance Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) task force to fight appraisal bias.

  • In June 2023, PAVE announced requirements for financial institutions to adopt non-discrimination quality control standards and ensure appraisal algorithms are not racially biased.

The bottom line: There's still a long way to go in closing the homeownership wealth gap.

2. Pointy View: Adventures in Brook Park

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

πŸ‘‹ Sam here, spelunking through the latest and greatest on the Browns Stadium saga.

Catch up quick: If you were living under a rock last week β€” or only read Cleveland.com β€” you may have missed that Jimmy and Dee Haslam reportedly have their eyes on a 176-acre tract of land in Brook Park, adjacent to Hopkins.

Why it matters: The news invited feverish speculation that this would be the site of a new domed stadium for the Browns, with ample acreage for development nearby.

The intrigue: 3News spoke this week with Brook Park Mayor Ed Orcutt, who said he was unaware of the land being purchased by the Haslams or their affiliates.

  • "There's nothing imminent about the Browns coming to the city of Brook Park," Orcutt said.

Yes, but: Google Maps believes otherwise.

  • It's already christened the tract "Future Cleveland Browns Stadium."
A Google Maps screenshot with a red rectangle around "Future Cleveland Browns Stadium"
Screenshot: Google Maps

Between the lines: Jason Lloyd, writing for the Athletic, said the Brook Park site was "hardly a guaranteed purchase" and cited FAA height restrictions that could complicate construction.

  • But Lloyd, veteran Browns reporter Tony Grossi and Crain's Cleveland Business all said the Browns' potential acquisition in Brook Park was more than just a "leverage play" to wring more subsidies from the City of Cleveland for the renovation of their existing lakefront facility.
  • "The Browns have bristled at those comments," Crain's reported, "both because it implies they have a bad relationship with the city (they say they don't), and because it means they're not seriously considering other sites (they say they are)."

3. The Terminal: When the news seems fishy

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🐟 Bookmark this: Your guide to Northeast Ohio fish fries. (Cleveland Magazine)

πŸ—οΈ Mayor Justin Bibb and Cleveland City Council president Blaine Griffin are now aligned on Bibb's proposed "Shore to Core to Shore" tax increment financing proposal. (Ideastream)

  • Griffin previously wanted 50% of the tax district's proceeds to go to Cleveland neighborhoods. He has reduced the request to 35%.

πŸ€‘ The Ohio Supreme Court ruled this week that cities like Cleveland don't owe money to people who worked from home outside city limits in 2020 but paid city income taxes. (Axios)

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin appeared in Cleveland yesterday as he considers a third-party presidential bid. (NBC News)

4. πŸ’ƒπŸΌ Can't get enough of J.Lo

This is J.Lo. Photo: Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Luisaviaroma

Add another superstar to the list of music acts coming to Cleveland in 2024.

Driving the news: Jennifer Lopez announced her "This Is Me… Now" tour, which stops at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Aug. 20.

  • It marks the first time Lopez, who doesn't tour often, will bring a concert to Cleveland.

The intrigue: The tour is in support of Lopez's new album of the same name released today.

If you go: Tickets go on sale at 10am Feb. 23.

5. πŸ‘Έ Dinner + a show: "The Princess Bride"

"Inconceivable!" Photo: Justin Baker/WireImage

Want the entire musical score of "The Princess Bride" performed right in front of you?

  • As you wish.

What's happening: The Cleveland Orchestra, led by conductor Sarah Hicks, will perform music from the beloved 1987 movie at 7:30pm tonight at Severance Music Center.

The intrigue: The orchestra has been on a roll when it comes to performing film scores, tackling the music of movies including "Jurassic Park," "The Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" in recent years.

If you go: It's recommended you call Severance's box office at 216-231-1111 for ticket availability.

  • That means you're lucky if a seat or two opens up.

Worthy of your time: It's the perfect time to visit Cent'Anni, Little Italy's newest cocktail lounge.

  • You can pair one of its upscale cocktails with a deluxe charcuterie board.

Thanks to our editor Lindsey Erdody and copy editors Rob Reinalda and Yasmeen Altaji.

Our picks:

🐊 Sam is heading to Florida with his in-laws for the long Presidents Day weekend.

πŸ¦Έβ€β™€οΈ Troy is digging the new "Fantastic Four" movie cast of Pedro Pascal, Vanessa Kirby, Ebon Moss-Bachrach and "Stranger Things'" Joseph Quinn.

πŸ—“οΈ Programming note: We're off Monday for Presidents Day, but look out for a special edition newsletter that morning from the larger Axios newsroom.