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University Circle sees residential potential in East Cleveland; city, county backing $5 million project

Posted September 13, 2011 in Articles

Author: Michelle Jarboe McFee, Plain Dealer Reporter

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Apartments in East Cleveland are the opening salvo in a push to blur lines between the region's poorest city and the humming employment hub next door. The Finch Group and University Circle Inc. are planning a 20-unit, townhouse-style project on Euclid Avenue. Just into East Cleveland, the $5 million development would bring rare new construction to a strapped city. It would test geographic and psychological boundaries, built up during decades of distrust and disparity. And it could provide a growth path for University Circle, a fast-growing district struggling to make room for residents amid hospitals, schools and cultural institutions. "Everybody knows East Cleveland," said Gary Norton, the city's mayor since January 2010. "Everybody knows the bad, but we're focusing on the good. One of the advantages that I can claim no credit for, whatsoever, is our location." That location, near a landlocked job center, has long been the subject of spillover speculation. Community Housing Solutions, a development agency based in Cleveland, once hoped to build homes and a park east of Lake View Cemetery. Those plans dissolved when former Mayor Eric Brewer accused the agency of mismanaging federal funds and foundation money. Community Housing Solutions disputed those claims. Now a CircleEast plan has re-emerged, starting with 20 apartments on 1.5 acres between Lakeview Road and Auburndale Avenue.

Original Article: http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2011/09/university_circle_reaches_into.html

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