12-29-99 Jacobs Up to Bat
1-19-00 Letter to the Editor: NO THANKS!
1-26-00 Peddling Indians easier than malls?
3-1-00 No comment from Jacobs Group on Vista
3-23-00Grendell and Phillips still must pay
4-8-00Phillips re-files assualt complaint against Avon Commons developer
4-20-00 Groundhog Day?
4-26-00Case against Jacobs Group sent to Franklin County Prosecutor
CITY CHATTER, Cleveland Free Times, 12-23-99
"Word has it that PD editor Doug Clifton recently tweaked once-powerful publisher Alex Machaskee and editorial page director Brent "his days are numbered" Larkin for their lack of ethics (shocker!).
Seems a box of prime rib steaks was delivered to Clifton's home, courtesy of Dick Jacobs. Rather than keeping quiet and chowing down (as PD custom would seem to dictate), Clifton wrote an email to staffers saying the gift was unacceptable and that he had donated it to the Food Bank in Jacobs' name. As reporters in the newsroom got the message, a cheer went up, and someone called out: "What are Machaskee and Larkin going to do with theirs?"
While the two have remained silent on the issue (too polite to speak with their mouths full), our sources say there's no doubt they were on Jacobs' Christmas list."
NEWS ARTICLE from THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 12-11-99, By Joe Hallett and Jim Woods, Dispatch Staff Reporters
"... In the so-called "mall wars'' battle, Issue 33 on the November ballot, Northland Mall owner Richard E. Jacobs of Cleveland spent nearly $1.4 million on his losing bid ...
In the name of Northland Joint Venture, which he owns, Jacobs contributed $572,212 since Oct. 13  to the Issue 33 campaign, including $345,223 to bankroll Citizens to Save Northland, the group that sought passage of the ballot issue.
Previously, Jacobs had spent $807,072 on the ballot issue, bringing his total expenditure to $1.4 million ..."
FEATURE ARTICLE from THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 7-25-99, By Barnet D. Wolf
"MALL WARRIORS: Richard E. Jacobs
...Make no mistake: Jacobs is a fighter, a man who doesn't like to lose.
...Jacobs isn't afraid to spend money on his political leanings. According to the Ohio secretary of state's office and the Campaign Finance Information Center, he has given candidates hundreds of thousands of dollars during the 1990s alone.
The biggest recipient was Republican George V. Voinovich. Jacobs gave more than $100,000 to the former Cleveland mayor's successful gubernatorial race in 1990 and $50,000 to help Voinovich win a second term ..."
COMMUNITY PULSE AND OPINION, By R.J. Hemmer, THE PRESS, 12-29-99
"... Assuming, of course, that we all survive the Y2K crisis, there are a couple of real issues facing area communities in the year 2000.
... Avon has done an outstanding job attracting new industry. Mayor Jim Smith and council have done their community a huge service by working to attract light, clean air companies. That hard work will make it even harder for Avon Lake to attract new industry. New industry has choices and Avon is one of them.
Avon's biggest problem in 2000 and beyond will have to do with Avon Vista, the mega acreage community, parkland and commercial center brought forth by the Richard E. Jacobs Group. Will this become a reality or fade away? According to Jacobs, the project is very much a go.
Jacobs already owns a portion of the property and has options on other pieces. In order for the Vista to become a part of Avon, many acres need to be rezoned. Looking back to Avon Commons, many would guess this would be a hard sell. Or would it.
At this point, council would probably not consider rezoning. This would put the issue back to Jacobs giving them two options. One, walk away or two, take out petitions and put the rezoning issue on the ballot. Just like Avon Commons - give the voters of Avon the opportunity to decide whether they want Vista or not.
My guess is the voters would give this mega development a thumbs down. That is if all things were equal.
Let me speculate here for a moment. What could the Jacobs group do to entice the voters or Avon Council to approve the rezoning of land for Avon Vista? I mean, they have already projected that when completed, Vista will generate over $12 million in local taxes for schools and city services in Avon.
What could the Richard E. Jacobs Group offer to swing this issue?
How about a $10 million dollar Community Recreation Center. Either council approves the rezoning or the voters do the same and Jacobs, in turn, builds the community a first rate facility. Or say a new fire station with a couple of new fire trucks, or high tech paramedic units; hey, the list could be endless.
Now you're an Avon resident - what are you thinking right now? Does this sound a bit more interesting? Are you suddenly saying - "hmmm", wait a minute here. I'll bet enough Avon residents would think a little harder before giving the rezoning issue that thumbs down I mentioned.
Again, I am only speculating here. Regardless, when big money sits down at the table, anything can happen. I believe it's a forgone conclusion The Jacobs Group is big money.
What can I say - its something to think about ..."
LETTER to the EDITOR of THE PRESS, 1-19-00, By Susan Obral
No to Vista Project
"Happy New Year to you and NO to your idea that Avon can be swayed to ok the Vista project.
You think that Jacobs could offer this city a rec. center or nice fire trucks and we will let them have what they want? We don't need that kind of help.
Avon Commons is all we need; I am sure the money it will generate will help Avon improve city services. When we want a rec. center, we will find the way to build it, all on our own thank you.
Susan Obral, Avon
NEWS ARTICLE from THE PLAIN DEALER, January 26, 2000, By BILL LUBINGER, PLAIN DEALER REPORTER
"Next on the block: 32 Jacobs malls
... In August, the Westlake developer and outgoing Indians owner hired Goldman Sachs & Co. to liquidate most of his 45-year-old firm's assets. The New York investment banker also handled the Indians' sale, which took about five months.
On the block are 32 of the Jacobs Group's 38 shopping malls, including seven of the 11 the company owns in Ohio.
Among them are SouthPark Center in Strongsville, Westgate Mall in Fairview Park, Midway Mall in Elyria, Belden Village Mall in Canton and Richland Mall in Mansfield.
Not included are the Galleria at Erieview in downtown Cleveland, which is attached to an office tower, and three older Columbus malls ...
Jacobs, who had cited estate-planning reasons for the sale, figured it would take six to 12 months to close a deal.
"I think that's still a good number," Martin J. Cleary, Jacobs Group president, said ...
While Cleary said buyer interest has been strong, industry sentiment is that peddling a championship baseball team may prove easier.
"Who can get the financing to do it?" asked Malachy Kavanagh, spokesman for the International Council of Shopping Centers in New York.
Mall-based real estate investment trusts, generally hurt by lagging stock prices and heavy debt from recent acquisitions, have the capacity neither to raise money nor to borrow more.
Insurance companies, pension funds and other institutional investors have been reluctant to buy shopping malls because they don't have the management experience to run them. While some funds have engaged in joint ventures with mall operators, many prefer not to do that.
The growth of online shopping also has had a dampening effect on the market for bricks-and-mortar malls.
Jacobs prefers to sell the properties to a single buyer rather than break up the portfolio. But given market conditions, buyers looking to pluck the aces and pass on the weaker malls may have an edge.
"They're picky; they only want the best," said Peter F. Korpacz, director of real estate research for Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP in Bethesda, Md.
How do Jacobs' malls stack up?
Mall values are based partly on how much the property generates in sales. Centers doing at least $300 in sales per square foot are in demand, Korpacz said.
"I'd say anything below $250 [per square foot] is probably pretty junky stuff," said Jay Lask, principal of Lend Lease Real Estate Investments Inc. of Atlanta, a real estate investment company.
Based on those standards, Jacobs isn't fielding an all-star lineup.
Seventeen of the 32 centers had sales of less than $300 per foot in 1998, the most recent sales numbers used in the Goldman Sachs package; five had sales of less than $250 per foot.
The average sales for all 32 malls is $306 per square foot, ranging from $487 a foot at Southcenter Mall in Seattle to $187 per foot at Eastridge Mall in Gastonia, N.C.
Locally, Belden Village, at $334 per foot, was strongest. But the 3½-year-old SouthPark Center in Strongsville, Jacobs' newest Ohio mall, is generating the highest net operating income, more than $12 million a year -- [$328 / square foot, 90% occupancy in 1998].
[Westgate: $252 / square foot, 92% occupancy in 1998]
[Midway Mall: $304 / square foot, 83% occupancy in 1998]
The most profitable Jacobs mall nationally was Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem, N.C., with $15.6 million in net operating income last year.
Overall occupancy at the 32 centers was 86 percent, about the industry average, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Mall sales, net income and occupancy tell half the story. Potential buyers are also weighing property condition and location, especially whether the centers are in areas where populations and incomes are rising ..."
NEWS ARTICLE from THE PRESS, March 1, 2000, By Kim T. Dudek
"One year later... No comment from Jacobs Group on Vista Project
AVON -- It's been one year since the "development team" of The Richard E. Jacobs Group and Robert L Stark Enterprises announced their plans to develop nearly 500 acres of land in Avon, which would be known as Vista ...
The plan was met with apprehension from the community, who feared that a proposed interchange at Lear Road would create a traffic situation similar to the Crocker Bassett exit to the east ...
Soon after introducing the idea, Stark dropped off as a co-developer, without explanation to the media or the city.
Later in 1999, The Jacobs Group announced it would be selling many of its other retail shopping centers and malls in Ohio. Avon officials began to wonder what impact those sales would have on the 230 acres of land owned by Jacobs and the future of Vista.
One year later, they are still wondering, and representatives from The Jacobs Group aren't talking.
Avon Planning Commission Chairman Jim Piazza said he has heard nothing from the Jacobs Group for several months.
Tom Henneberry, vice-president of development for The Jacobs Group, told The PRESS last fall that the group intended to meet with Planning Commission in October. The group never made the agenda for that meeting, nor did it make the agendas for meetings in November and December, although Henneberry repeatedly told The PRESS that the group would be returning to the Commission "next month."
"I have heard nothing." Piazza said last week "They are owners of 230 acres of land in Avon and I treat them like any other land owners. They need to come in with a plan. We don't know what they are doing."
The Jacobs Group still has an option on another 200 acres of land in Avon.
Avon Mayor Jim Smith said he has not heard from the group for quite some time ...
"I remember when they first came to me about this project, and I had some concerns about the future of a project that large. A Jacobs representative told me that The Jacobs Group would be around forever. I asked 'how long is forever?' It wasn't long after that I started hearing about them selling off some of their other properties."
Henneberry has not returned calls to The PRESS in the last two weeks. However, Jeffrey LeBarron, The Jacobs Group Director of Retail Real Estate, did call The PRESS on Feb. 22.
LeBarron requested that any story about the Vista development be held for one week, so that he could gather more information about its progress, stating, "this is a sensitive issue with The Jacobs Group."
When contacted again on Monday, LeBarron had little to say.
"After my conversations with various people here, our conclusion is that at this point, we have no further comment with respect to land we currently hold in Avon. We are continuing to work on it internally, but we are not in a position to release anything publicly," LeBarron said.
Piazza said that The Jacobs Group has been conducting its own, independent traffic study, which would or would not deem a new interchange necessary. LeBarron would neither confirm nor deny that the study was underway, saying only he could not comment.
"We don't know what they're doing," Piazza said ..."
NEWS ARTICLE from THE PLAIN DEALER, 3-23-00, By THOMAS SUDDES
"Grendell penalty stays, says top court
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday refused to reverse an order penalizing lawyer Timothy Grendell [and Gerald Phillips] for filing a frivolous lawsuit on behalf of his wife, State Rep. Diane Grendell, a Chester Township Republican.
Timothy Grendell said the court action was no surprise and cleared the way for a U.S. Supreme Court appeal of the penalty.
In the March 7 primary, GOP voters in the 68th District, which includes all of Geauga County and parts of Trumbull County, nominated Grendell to run for his wife's Ohio House seat.
State Rep. Grendell, who must leave the House due to term limits, is running instead for an 11th District Ohio Court of Appeals seat.
The Ohio Supreme Court last month ordered Timothy Grendell and fellow lawyer Gerald W. Phillips to pay the state $6,366 because of State Rep. Grendell's 1999 lawsuit.
She sued several state officials after her General Assembly colleagues stripped from a pending budget bill a $30,000 Geauga County Airport Authority grant. She said the grant was removed to punish her for voting "no" on the bill.
But the Supreme Court refused to second-guess the legislature. And the GOP-run court scolded Timothy Grendell and Phillips for what justices said was a frivolous lawsuit and ordered them to reimburse the state for its costs ..."
CHEERS & JEERS from THE PLAIN DEALER, 3-24-00
... "CHEERS ... to the Ohio Supreme Court, which, like the rest of Ohio, doesn't want to hear anymore about Rep. Diane Grendell's lawsuit against her legislative colleagues. Grendell sued because a $30,000 project she had sought for the Geauga County Airport was dropped from the state budget. She lost in the trial court and on appeal. The high court, wisely, declined to hear it."
NEWS ARTICLE from THE CHRONICLE-TELEGRAM, 4-8-00, By DAN HARKINS
"ELYRIA ... Gerald Phillips re-filed an assault complaint Friday [4-7-00] in county Common Pleas Court against the builder of Avon Commons [Mitchell Schneider] ...
This time, Phillips asked for a jury trial because a judge dismissed an earlier claim last year ...
He asked that a jury consider an award of at least $50,000 in damages ...
Phillips was unavailable for comment Friday ...
Schneider said a judge already had dismissed Phillips' complaint ... ''All I can say is there are many untruths that have been documented, and everyone from the county prosecutor to the state Supreme Court thinks so,'' ..."
COLUMN from THE FREE TIMES, 4-20-00, by Roldo Bartimole
"BACK TO THE FUTURE ...
What is this, Groundhog Day in Cleveland?
George Voinovich for mayor? Is this city a ... movie?
Some Cleveland elites, accustomed to calling the shots, are tired of their latest 10-year puppet, Mayor Michael White.
What a bunch of ingrates. White has done about as much for them in 10 years as a mayor possibly could do. He gave them all the stadiums they wanted, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, tax abatements, and more attention to their needs than will prove good for his political health ...
And they're even suggesting that Voinovich, whom they've financed for years, forget about his Senate seat and come back to Cleveland and run for mayor ...
George also has paid his debt to them over and over, with interest. For 10 years he did everything the elite wanted ...
It's not surprising that Dick Jacobs, who filled his pockets with White's help, has joined the new intrigue. Jacobs, a Voinovich favorite, was pictured smiling broadly in the Fortune magazine article, the mogul holding a model of his Key Center building.
Voinovich ... bestowed $21,058,000 in Urban Development Action Grants, with no interest, to help Jacobs build the Galleria, the Public Square Office Tower (Key Center) and the Marriott. More generously, Voinovich tax-abated the latter two 100 percent for 20 years. Value to Jacobs: an additional $100 million-plus ...
All those goodies were a mere prelude to what Mayor White would produce for Jacobs, ... Gateway, a key to vast riches for Jacobs. The land for Gateway was purchased in Voinovich's time. White put icing on the cake with tax revenue for Gateway ..."
ARTICLE from THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 4-26-00, By Mark Ferenchik, Dispatch City Hall Reporter
Case against Jacobs Group sent to Franklin County Prosecutor
"Charges proposed over anti-Polaris ad
The Ohio Elections Commission has hammered the Richard E. Jacobs Group and the Citizens to Save Northland for an Issue 33 television advertisement the commission said was filled with false statements.
The commission yesterday sent the case against the organizations to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien and recommended he pursue first-degree misdemeanor charges, which carry a maximum fine of $5,000 ...
Ruling after two days of testimony, the commission yesterday decided that Jacobs' company, which owns Northland Mall, and the Jacobs-funded Citizens to Save Northland were responsible for the ad ...
That wasn't all.
The commission issued a written reprimand to Peggy McElroy, chairwoman of the Citizens to Save Northlande ...
The commission cleared Jacobs, the former owner of the Cleveland Indians, and the Jacobs Group president, Martin J. Cleary, by voting 3-3. Four votes are needed to find someone responsible for violations.
Commissioners Dale W. Bayer, Norton Webster and William D. West voted to hold them responsible. Chairman William M. Connelly and Commissioners Alphonse Cincione and Robert D. Nettle voted against ...
[Connelly said] Jacobs and Cleary should be cleared because they relied on reports from advisers and weren't as involved in the campaign as the others. Both Jacobs and Cleary reviewed and signed off on the ad.
Attorney Kevin Cogan, who represented McElroy and the Citizens to Save Northland, argued that McElroy shouldn't be held responsible because she didn't clear the ad.
Cogan said he might appeal.
Attorney Donald Brey, representing the Polaris Owners Association, which filed the complaint, said he was pleased with the ruling because it showed the commission believed "the Richard E. Jacobs Group lied to the citizens of Columbus.''
Jacobs attorney Gerald Messerman ... said he will probably appeal the case for the Jacobs group ...
This is the second time the commission has ruled Issue 33 ads were misleading. On Oct. 31,  the commission found that Citizens to Save Northland ran a false television and radio ad. The text in those ads was similar to the one in this case. That case was also referred to a prosecutor and is on appeal ..."
Newspaper Record of XXXXX/Jacobs in Avon
More Documents Relating to the June 8, 1998, Decision Against Avon