Cleveland Pumping $25 Million Into Neighborhoods To Spur Development

May 10, 2017

The press conference for the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative took place at the Doan Classroom Apartments, which re-purposed a former east side school building using $1.4 million in funds from the city.
Credit KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The City of Cleveland has announced the $25 million Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, designed to spur development in throughout the city.

The money is part of “Healthy Neighborhoods,” an initiative announced last week by Mayor Frank Jackson. He says the funds will spur development and bring in about $40 million in additional, private funds in areas like Hough and Fairfax on the east side, and Clark-Fulton on the west side.

Community Development Director Michael Cosgrove says one goal of the initiative is to help neighborhoods where homeowners have little to no equity in their homes.

“While blocks away, you may have homes selling for $200,00 to $300,000, due to the legacy of disinvestment, predatory lending and overly conservative appraisals, home values in the areas we are talking about are well under $50,000.”

The targeted areas were chosen after a one-year study found that the east side corridor between downtown and University Circle is where home values are low -- yet job growth has been high – compared to the rest of Cuyahoga County.

Jackson says, by this summer, they hope to begin constructing or rehabbing 100 homes in the Hough, Glenville and Fairfax neighborhoods. “We are creating new tools where traditional investment models don’t work. These go beyond the current tools and they invest our resources in a tightly and clearly defined neighborhoods corridor that will ultimately stop decline, stabilize those neighborhoods and ensure growth into the future.”

Jackson has been criticized for concentrating development downtown, such as the recently approved $140 million deal to renovate Quicken Loans Arena. During the press conference announcing the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, he refuted that, saying the city has funded $450 million in capital improvements in the targeted neighborhoods since he took office, with $195 million in additional funds for economic development.