If you think real estate development isn’t about politics, think again.

As reported by Chris Wetterich in the Cincinnati Business Courier in March, this is the list of John Cranley’s top political contributors that helped him to victory in 2013:

1.  Employees from John’s former law firm, Keating, Muething & klekamp

2.  Dan Neyer & Neyer Properties

3.  Chavezes and The Parking Company of America – parking lots are often used as place-holders for future development and the Chavezes also have a real estate development arm of their business.

4.  Developer Louis Beck who is most closely associated with his Mariemont Apartments Investments

5.  The Hamilton County Democratic Party

6.  the Daouds, John’s wife’s family

7.  the Ndukwe family (former Cincinnati Bengal)

8.  Tom Williams and North American Properties.  Mr. Williams is a grandson of the founder and board member of privately held Western & Southern Life, member of the Port Authority Board, 3CDC board, REDI board (regional development), board member of Cincinnati Equity Fund, and Chairman of the Cincinnati Business Committee

9.  Dan Schimberg of Uptown Rental Properties

10.  the Cranley family

11.  Anchor Properties/Hemberger family

12.  David & Alexander Bastor/Capital Investment Group (real estate)

13.  Castellinis (3CDC board)

14.  JTM Food Group/Maas family

15.  Lindner family (of Great American Insurance Group, the major tenant of the Great American Tower, developed by Western & Southern)

16.  Bortz family/Towne Properties (Neil Bortz, 3CDC board)

Cincinnati Magazine offers an interesting perspective from Council Member Wendell Young in their most recent cover story about John Cranley, “Why Isn’t this Man Smiling?”

“He supported me when I ran,” Young said, “which made it very difficult to say no to him when he wanted my support. But I didn’t like the people around him. It was never a case of not liking him. It was what I could see that he was going to owe—and who he was going to owe favors to—that was a problem for me.”

Now you tell me.  Real estate developers might not be the only people John Cranley owes, but it’s obvious they sure are pretty high-up on the list.

6 thoughts on “If you think real estate development isn’t about politics, think again.

    1. executivedreamer Post author

      Citizen journalism. That’s what I do! Thanks for giving it a name (and therefore, legitimacy). Now maybe Michele will have something to tell his friends when they ask, “What does your wife do?”

  1. Harry

    I have known for a long long time Politics heads everything they all get a.piece of the pie, they either.own the property, stock in the businesses etc. Tear all the Old Down fast fast. IS THEIR MOTO

    Now they want the tax payers to Pay for Music Hall & Unión Terminal. …NO. WAY


    1. executivedreamer Post author

      Politics IS power formalized and given the public seal of approval, isn’t it, Harry? As for Music Hall and Union Terminal, I don’t think there’s anybody in Cincinnati who believes we shouldn’t save those buildings. And there are more than 2 answers as to how we are going to pay for it: rich people or taxes (which hit the already struggling middle class). The political process is how we have that conversation as a community and it’s why a transparent process is crucial.

    2. Travis Estell

      I fail to see how Union Terminal and Music Hall are connected to the main point that this post is trying to make. As a Hamilton County taxpayer, I would gladly pay an extra 1/4 cent on my sales tax to support these two iconic buildings. I do not, however, want the city administration to bend over backwards and blindly approve anything that 3CDC, Towne Properties, Uptown Rental Properties, or other donor-developers want to build.

      1. executivedreamer Post author

        I totally agree with all points in your comment, Travis. I was being cute & wanted to use the WTF? reference that has come into play in the aftermath of the Music Hall decision. And I wanted to give Monzel opponents one more reason to work hard to get him out of office. I would be thrilled to pay the extra tax. The whole reason for me to devote myself to the research for this blog is to ask critical questions about the city’s relationship with real estate developers.

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