By many measures, Ohio City and Downtown Cleveland are two neighborhoods in Cleveland that have “made it.” Since 2009, Downtown has witnessed a staggering $5.5 billion in investment and an apartment occupancy rate of 97 percent with numerous additional significant developments on the way.
Similarly, Ohio City has thrived. Home to a bustling restaurant and craft beer scene and anchored by the beloved historic West Side Market, the average home price in Ohio City has risen astronomically, averaging between 190 to 220 percent of what is was in 2000. And the development has spread further west with real estate projects totaling $350 million stretching from West 25th to West 117th Streets.
But despite what appears to be major successes, challenges still exist. In Downtown, renters outnumber owners six to one and those interested in remaining in the neighborhood long-term have limited, affordable housing options. While the occupancy rate remains high, most renters live in Downtown for a brief time and, therefore, have little investment in creating a sustainable neighborhood. In Ohio City, many argue the sheer amount of investment and development threatens to tarnish the existing character and vibe of the neighborhood. Both neighborhoods also struggle with balancing the needs of their residents with those of visitors who are attracted to the entertainment and dining options.
How do these neighborhoods continue their upward trajectory of success? Will the incoming new residents remain in these neighborhoods for the long-term or retreat outside the city in pursuit of better schools and services? As Cleveland neighborhoods look to model themselves after Downtown and Ohio City, how do we ensure the creation of sustainable, equitable neighborhoods where residents’ voices are heard?
Join us for a free discussion in Cleveland Public Square.