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Dayton makes another mess of “economic development”

Eric Segalewitz isn’t a bad guy. In fact, he’s a good guy, who invested a lot of his money, time and labor buying almost the entire block of houses across from the former DMHA shithole Cliburn Manor. He did this without any assistance from the city, CityWide or anyone else. Most people thought he was crazy- why would you want to invest or live across from a drug infested, crime den public housing project?

He did it- because he had the foresight to know that eventually Miami Valley Hospital and UD would surgically remove the neighborhood cancer- [1]and then his real estate would be valuable.

He’s not the only one who had some vision of profiting from their grand plans. Jimmy Brandeis of Jimmie’s Ladder 11 held out for his sweetheart deal to move Jimmie’s Cornerstone across the street, with a parking lot, a huge patio, and double the space.

Fred Allen, a local slumlord, sold two of his shit-hole houses for $150K each, way above market value.

There are still a few holdouts- the antique store at Oak and Warren, which was at one time owned by South Park Social Capital won’t sell out. Neither will the Krafts who own the last two remaining homes on Warren’s West side.

Some people think Segalewitz is trying to fleece the city for their incompetence. But, if we look at the cast of characters revealed in today’s Dayton Daily news article- it’s the same incompetent crew that’s driven the cart off the road before with impunity:

Aaron Sorrell, Dayton’s director of planning and community development, admitted the city erred but questioned Segalewitz’s legal right to the land.

He said the city has no plan to fork over a big payout for administrative oversight.

“We’re not going to unduly enrich somebody for a mistake,” he said.Segalewitz, 50, who owns the company Upscale Realty, a few years ago applied to purchase a vacant lot next to his home at 32 Alberta St.

Segalewitz applied for the land through Dayton’s Lot Links program, which allows people to buy abandoned, tax-delinquent properties for a relatively small fee.

Segalewitz’s request was approved, and he paid about $650 for the property, which was transferred in March 2012.

The lot belonged to the city of Dayton, which had purchased it from Greater Dayton Premier Management in December 2011, as part of a larger land deal.

The city acquired the side lot and 5 acres across Alberta Street for about $340,000, or its appraised value, city officials said. The two parcels were part of the same deed.

The five acres was the former site of the Cliburn Manor housing projects, which were demolished in 2008. The city wanted the land to support redevelopment efforts near South Park and Miami Valley Hospital.

But when the deed was written to transfer the vacant lot to Upscale Realty, it also unintentionally contained the Cliburn real estate, Sorrell said.“We made a mistake with the deed and inadvertently put both pieces of property on the deed, and not just the one he wanted,” Sorrell said.

The quit claim deed was signed on Feb. 27, 2012, by Assistant City Manager Shelley Dickstein and Assistant City Attorney Jonathan Croft.

Segalewitz said he only learned he owned the deed to the Cliburn property about six weeks ago while preparing to sell his Alberta Street home and the adjoining lot.

Source: City redevelopment tract mistakenly sold [2]

Sorrell was the one who also said “Oops” when Rauch Demolition mistakenly tore down the back part of the historic Cox building at [3] Fourth and Ludlow. He’s also the one who signed off on tearing down the Schwind building for the “Student Suites” deal which isn’t happening due to a deed restriction that was well known.

Shelly Dickstein was the braintrust in charge of the development deal for the Wayne Avenue Kroger [4] where the city jumped through hoops for over 4 years- with no contract in place, which was well documented on this site. The city had no problem paying over $800K for the burned out Ecki building and then demolishing it to make an empty lot, despite the building being an eyesore and owing taxes.

The real question is why does the city insist on buying real estate at all? Why did they spend over $100,000 long ago to buy the lot now known as Garden Station? Why did they buy the building behind it (which I did a FOIA request on – and got no answer). Why did they buy the old Supply One building and 601 E. Third for $450K each? [5]

And the “We’re not going to unduly enrich somebody for a mistake,” line sure is funny. Go back to when a group including the family of the former County Administrator Deb Feldman purchased the Sears building downtown for a mere $200K. [6]When the Riverscape fountain plan was released, the County hadn’t secured the tiny outlot attached to the Sears property. In a battle of testosterone and threats of using eminent domain, the price escalated from the initial offer of $3.2 million to over $8 million for that piece of land. Segalewitz just isn’t related to the right people apparently.

The fact that Segalewitz didn’t get a tax bill for his windfall- is because CityWide and MVH don’t pay taxes- nor does the city. And the city will grant a sweetheart tax break to Oberer/Greater Dayton Construction for building whatever they come up with on the property. Segalewitz is one of the little people- he’s expected to pay taxes unlike the connected few.

It’s time to do a full investigation of city land purchases, real estate investment, and money to CityWide development. A full detailing of the investment in Tech Town and the “Entrepreneurs Center”- and the actual returns might be a good starting point.

While we don’t have money to cut the grass in City parks, but do have the money to buy swath’s of land for our friends is a criminal diversion of tax dollars. Segalewitz is not the bad guy. The bad guys are on our payroll.


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You are spot on with this post, David. Thanks for taking the time to gather the facts and present them in a way that highlights the problems with the city and land ownership. It’s a very shady practice and definitely financially beneficial to the chosen few.

jay madewell

David- this is EXCELLENT work- thank you!


I still doesn’t understand exactly what Citywide Development is supposed to DO. Where does the money come from to pay the 16 employees shown on their “about us” page? Is there a source that details their accomplishments over time? I’ve heard them referred to as a “quasi-governmental agency,” but I don’t understand what that means. Their website says they were created in 1972 “…jointly by the city government, local business leaders and neighborhood representatives. The organization was charged with helping businesses create jobs and helping to strengthen the city’s neighborhoods.” And why do the Neighborhood Police officers, who are reportedly funded by Premier Health Partners, actually report to someone at Citywide?

I’m so confused…


you flat nailed it here!

Benjamin Jones

The employees in Montgomery County need to be held accountable fo every action they take. Do not hesitate to call them out. Here is a bunch of email addresses I have accumulated for county and city employees, people they do business with, associations, councils and quasi-government agencies. Use them freely to communicate with your employees and the bureaucrats they do business with. I may not live in Dayton but I own property and pay some taxes there. Montgomery County Email List: Confidential Montgomery County Government Email Directory [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], 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new government

Thank you David for the well informative researched information regarding these kinds of issues to bring to ours and the public’s attention. Very informative and once again this is another angle of crimes involving land for money or land deals and the shady practices and malfeasance do indeed need to be looked into;glad to see some individuals are concerned about this as this has become common practice and taken for granted as well as other crimes.

Thank you for the great work in your time researching these and other similar matters of this pattern of behavior that has become all too common today and these past years.


Salute Esrati on this one!!! Of the cast of fools at City Hall young Mr Sorrell heads the list. This snide horn rimmed shave tail has been given the keys to mis-development and has proven his incompetence time and time again. This fool is the new face of bumbling. Not that a Dayton hasn’t proven itself sucker over and over again with telegraphing their every development malfeasance but the combination of arrogance and incompetence Aaron Sorrell delivers takes that sixth floor of City Hall to the next level.

Personally, I’ve know of the plan for his area for eight years and I’ve seen it time and time again working with the city from seeing the painfully slow development of state route 35 (while former Mayor McGee and his cronies bought up property in the right of way), to numerous “citirama” non-clandestine real estate blunders, to the entire faux pas known as Wright Dunbar. Of course we can’t forget the county’s role in wreaking deals.

So we see privateers porking the city again. At least this time it appears that no politicians or staffers appear to be participating directly (they’re not smart enough to figure an incognito way to do so).


People who are paid to pay attention were not doing so in this case. The taxes on the 5 acres are over $12,000 a year. Had that bill been sent to Eric Segalewitz this would have been caught in 2012 or at least by 2013. The City has been cutting the grass most likely and never had it on record that they were no longer the legal owner of the land. The tall grass alone would have had someone asking questions. One of the major problems, both with the City and County government employees at all levels is that they envision themselves working for local government and NOT the half billion and 3/4 billion dollar corporations that actually employ them. Corporations that service 145,000 and 525,000 customers respectively. If they could see through the veil and realize that they are employed by the largest corporations in the region servicing huge numbers of customers and take pride in their work, the level of professionalism would rise to a higher standard and their accountability for these errors would be swift and decisive. The good news here is that those accountable are willing say that mistakes are made. In 2009 they were pointing fingers at everyone else to hide their errors. That is progress I guess.

Dave C.

Good post!

At one point you spelled it “shithole” then later it was “shit-hole”…..?

What does the Chicago Style Manual say about this? How about the MLA folks, or the New York Times? Maybe just consult an old-fashioned Funk and Wagnalls.

It’s important that we swear correctly, Dave. Frankly, I am a little disappointed in you.


It was very interesting to read some of the comments on the South Park Face Book page. Even those without Facebook, are privy to the comments made there. There was an analogy made on Facebook that if a cashier mistakenly gave the change for $100 bill opposed to a 20 that one would be morally obligated to return the overpayment. Hogwash! The cashier in question (government) has ultimate and unlimited power. The run of the mill cashier can be fired and is paid minimum wage. City and county government have millions of dollars, legions of lawyers, judges and police forces. Make an enemy of government, any government, and they will destroy you. They will take your property, seize your bank accounts and tie up your assets for years in court. No, government is not a cashier. Considering the power and scope of government and it’s multitude of screw ups, why are we even talking about Eric Seaglewitz? Eric can’t arrest me or take away my property but government can. Will Aaron Sorrell be held accountable? Will anybody in government be held accountable? No. It’s about time people start seeing government for the worthless and inefficient entity that it is. For that to happen, we will have to stop fighting amongst ourselves.


[…] spent over $100,000 for the plot of land that is now known as Garden Station 20 years or so ago). The latest fiasco at the Cliburn Manor site is only another example of tax dollars diverted from public uses to benefit private parties. At […]

new government

You are right Nug, That is why we need to ban together take our differences pool resources together to stop these kinds of acts done to the citizens and reclaim the checks and balances the founding fathers did to protect us from this far overreaching power and corruption that is run unchecked and taken for granted which we cannot become complacent in the endeaver and counter what has happened with counrt claims and set up a panel, townhall commission comprised of us the people will be the only way to stop it and reverse the damage already done to the republic.

Bubba Jones

[…] 2014, of course this came with an operating business included. Down the street on Warren, you have a 5 acre property the city mistakenly sold for $650. Then CityWide, the quasi-public slush fund selected Oberer Development to do […]