Otter To Flounder: ‘You (messed) up, you trusted us!’

“Walmart Supercenter may be headed to Oakwood Commons in South Euclid”  Plain Dealer, February 22, 2012

As you can see from this headline and the linked article, there’s a new branch of science: South Euclidean Geometry.
Test yourself on how well you know this all-too-important subject matter. Each question is worth 10 points. You can tabulate your results when you are finished, or you can just make up numbers, like 700 jobs or $0 costs. That’s part of the beauty of South Euclidean Geometry!

No. 2 pencils only and, as always, please, NO WAGERING!

Question #1- Arithmetic:
The developer spends $450,000 on literature, DVDs, mailings, brochures, and TV ads, which can be seen everywhere, and they all say, “CREATES 700 JOBS”.

Q. How many new jobs will there be?
A. There will be only 85 jobs.

Question #2 – Economics:
Q. What is the value of the loss of 144 acres of green space and replacing it with “Walmarts Village featuring Goodman Pahhk @ Oakwood”destroying the quality of life and property values of countless East Siders?

Answer: This is a trick question. According to South Euclidean Geometry, this “COSTS US NOTHING”.

Question #3 is a story problem requiring Einsteinian Physics. You are expected to provide an essay in response:

What did he know, and when did he know it?
When did First Interstate have a pretty reasonable idea that “CREATES 700 JOBS” was unlikely to be the case?
In other words, when did Walmart become the leading, or only, store likely to occupy that space?
Because deals to buy a property, sub-divide it to exact specifications, sell it to the anchor tenant (Walmart), and create promotional material featuring that anchor tenant (Walmart) don’t happen overnight.

Yet, his response is unchanged from day one:

“Mitchell Schneider, president of First Interstate Properties Ltd., which owns and is developing the property, said via email that the deal with Walmart is still not finalized.

“”What I can confirm to you is that we are in fact still in negotiation with Walmart (and others) and if and when we have a final, formal agreement, I will definitely provide you with an announcement.””

You may now attempt to know the unknowable.

Question #4 – I’m taking it easy on you after that tough one, here’s your multiple guess question. Don’t say I never did anything nice for you:
Even in South Euclidean Geometry, only one of these statements can be true.

Select one:
1. “Walmart spokesman Daniel Morales confirmed that a Supercenter is in the works.

“Our customers have told us that they want more convenient access to affordable groceries, and we think a new store at Oakwood Commons can be a part of the solution for local families,” he said. “We hope to have more details to share soon.”
2. “Mitchell Schneider, president of First Interstate Properties Ltd., which owns and is developing the property, said via email that the deal with Walmart is still not finalized.

“What I can confirm to you is that we are in fact still in negotiation with Walmart (and others) and if and when we have a final, formal agreement, I will definitely provide you with an announcement.”

Answer: Another trick question! BOTH can be true, because we’re being misinformed via semantics, rather than informed via facts.

Question #5 – Logic(?):
You are an “environmentalist” and city councilperson that has voted with the 7 – 0 majority in favor of a controversial rezoning that will replace a 144 acre golf course in a 100% residential area with the “Walmarts Village featuring Goodman Pahhk @Oakwood”. The opposition has successfully placed a referendum on this rezoning onto the ballot.

During your active participation in the following referendum, you observe the following:
1. $450,000 spent by the developer to promote “COSTS US NOTHING”.

2. An analysis by the grass roots green opposition, done using similar methods as the developers reports, that concludes the job & tax benefits being touted by the developer seem rather exaggerated.

Which of the following actions will you take in this regard:
A. Do nothing, of course. They’re both merely forecasts that are to be taken with a grain of salt. In fact, that’s exactly what the Ohio Election Commission (OEC) determined, 4 – 0.

B. Complain to the OEC about the developer’s obviously false advertisements that impossibly say, “COSTS US NOTHING”. (Losing the best remaining green space, a diminished quality of life, and devastated property values is “NOTHING”? Maybe to the developer who doesn’t live in or really close to South Euclid it’s “NOTHING”. I guess “US” could refer to him and his business partners.)

C. Using the developer’s lawyers, file a complaint with the OEC about the green grass roots opposition’s thoughtful analysis because it’s contrary to the developer’s best interests.
Answer: Somehow the correct answer is “C”. But I sure as Hell don’t understand it.

How to score your results:
Unless this rezoning is overturned, and this development stopped, everybody fails.

About Garry Kanter

Attended CH-UH School System from K - 12, graduating from CHHS in 1975. Currently lives in Coventry Village. Owns property in South Euclid.
This entry was posted in Development, Government, GUEST BLOGGERS, Quality of Life, Shop Local. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Otter To Flounder: ‘You (messed) up, you trusted us!’

  1. Garry Kanter says:

    Oh, yeah. Thanks for nothing, PD!!!

    Voters in South Euclid are being asked to approve a zoning change — Issue 96 on the Nov. 8 ballot — that would allow development of part of the former Oakwood Country Club into a major retail center and 21-acre park. It’s an opportunity they should embrace, while also insisting that their elected leaders hold First Interstate Properties to its promised high standards for the project.

  2. Garry Kanter says:


    “YES”, or “YES”…

    “Schneider said he is receiving positive input from South Euclid residents about the project. First Interstate recently sent out mailings to all South Euclid residents, as well as Cleveland Heights residents living within one mile of the site, asking if they supported the proposed development.”

    “Just over 200 were returned as of March 8 and, South Euclid Community Services Director Keith Benjamin said, 92 percent of the responses were positive. Residents were asked to send back an enclosed postcard if they supported the project.”
    Check out the 2nd link.

    There wasn’t any box to indicate “NO!”, just “YES”!

    Apparently, despite receiving over 200 of them, out of over 13,000 mailed out, South Euclid Community Services Director Keith Benjamin didn’t notice this design flaw in the “survey”s design.

    The “survey” card:

  3. Garry Kanter says:

    Al Norman, of Sprawl-Busters renown, has posted a new article about this “Walmart Village featuring Goodman Pahhk @ Oakwood” fiasco.

  4. 50william says:

    1. There will be a 20 acre park in South Euclid of which 7 acres will be a detension basin for the South Euclid development.
    2. The developed site in South Euclid is ONLY about 40 to 45 acres.
    3. THE REST is in Cleveland Heights!!! The residents of Cleveland Heights will be given a voice on how the 90 acres are/are not developed!!!

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