Thursday, April 16, 2015

ReClaiming Home - A community partnership of faith and caring

ReClaiming Home

A project of SCFBC [Stockyard, Clark Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office] in partnership with ioby [in our back yard - a crowd-resourcing platform for citizen-led neighbor-funded projects] and World Changers [an organization that serves churches in their mission of providing experiences for serving others and sharing the gospel so they can change the city…change the world.]

The project goal is to improve 5-homes in 8-days.  Staff of SCFBC have worked previously with World Changers and this summer's project has an ioby twist - to raise locally the funding needed for supplies and materials.  Previously World Changers volunteers helped out painting and repairing local resident's homes but the materials and supplies were purchased by home owners with help from SCFBC and donations from local companies.  This year's project is larger helping five families and homes and SCFBC is attempting to raise awareness and funding from within the Greater Cleveland Community using the ioby crowd-sourcing site.

The total estimated cost for supplies and materials is $6,151.  You can help by donating to the project here - DONATE to SCFBC ReClaiming Home

All five households that are receiving assistance are made up of Seniors who are living on fixed-incomes and several are multi-generational families.  All are long time residents of 20 years or more. The project began in October of 2014 and will be carried out between June and July 2015.  The organizing and housing staff of SCFBC surveyed their service area, selected several locations where there is a great need for exterior home improvements and then door knocked and spoke to area residents to identify some of the neighborhood residents most in need.

ReClaiming Home is yet another project of SCFBC aimed at building community, bringing people and organizations together and collaborating to help some of our most needy and long-time established residents. The project follows previous an ongoing efforts to help residents help themselves and each other. Other projects include the Cleveland Time Bank, Network Nights, NeighborCircles and Skill Share Workshops.  These programs and projects activities can be found on the SCFBC calander and facebookpage.

Cleveland Habitat Launches Multi-Faceted Stockyard Initiative

In addition to ReClaiming Home, SCFBC is also partnering this summer on another non-profit community partnership that will involve Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity and Safeguard Properties.  

For additional information about ReClaiming Homes or the other programs and projects mentioned here, please contact Keisha Gonzalez, Bilingual Community Organizer,

Please share the word on this important community project and be generous and invest/DONATE today.  And, as World Changers says, change the city…change the world!

[click on images to open a larger size]

SCFBC ReClaiming Home map, locations of five homes.

the project

Reclaiming Home is designed to help residents of the near-westside neighborhoods of Cleveland re-build pride in their home and surroundings through exterior home improvements in partnership with World Changers- Student Construction Trips and the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton, & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office (SCFBC). World Changers will be assisting these residents by organizing a group of young adults to repair their homes, while the SCFBC facilitates the conversation with residents on needs and visions for their homes.

the steps

Reclaiming Home will take place between July 13-16 and July 20-23, 2015. Achieving the goal of Reclaiming Home will involve 3 key elements: 1. Neighborhood and institution participation to welcome & host World Changer volunteers (5/15/15) 2. Open conversation with resident homeowners about the vision and goals for their home (12/20/14) 3. Financial support for construction materials, dumpsters, facilities, etc. (6/1/15) These steps will bring the community together with volunteers to help instill pride and ownership in the Clark-Fulton & Stockyards neighborhoods

why we're doing it

Living on a low or fixed income makes maintaining a home safe and secure difficult for many residents of the Clark-Fulton and Stockyards neighborhoods. Acknowledging the fundamental human right to housing, security, peace, and dignity, SCFBC and World Changers partnered in this effort to set a catalyst for community pride and ownership. The project will grant 5 homeowners the opportunity to have exterior repairs that would normally be out of their financial means completed.

the homes

It's happening now!

You can help by contributing funds for materials and supplies:

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

3105 Woodbridge, Historic Jones Home District - celebrating a great renovation and a new Historic District

Join us if you can this Friday for a celebration of the saving and rehabilitation of a beautiful century home located in the newly designated Jones Home Historic District at 3105 Woodbridge Avenue.

3105 Woodbridge Ave., Jones Home Historic District, Brooklyn Centre, Cleveland Ohio

The renovation is the result of some great partnerships. In addition to the Jones Home District the community will also be celebrating shortly the designation of the Scranton Road Historic District.

Both districts are adjacent to MetroHealth Hospital's main campus and Friday's event will highlight just one of the many renovations and housing options available in these two newly designated historic districts on Cleveland near west side.

Erin O'Brien, Tuesday, Freshwatercleveland, April 7, 2015
See here for the full article.


Tucked away at 3105 Woodbridge Avenue in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood sits a little house with a long history. Built in 1887 by Lewis Herman, the three-bedroom, 1,375-square-foot home remained in the Herman family for nearly 120 years.

120 years!

The last Herman, Lois Herman-Mitrovich, moved from the property in 2005 to an assisted living facility. After that, hard times fell on 3105.

"The house became vacant," says Anthony Bango, housing development coordinator for the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre (SCFBC) Community Development Office. "It got vandalized. There were a lot of people going in there doing illegal activities."

The residents of the surrounding Jones Home Historic District weren't having it. A grassroots effort ensued courtesy of those highly engaged residents, the SCFBC Office and Ward 14 Councilman Brian Cummins.

"We got together and cleaned out the house," says Bango, adding that they also secured the property and added it to the Single Family Rehabilitation Program (SFRP), which, save for the efforts of community development employees like Bango, is privately funded...

"This property was missing its windows. There was a giant hole in the foundation. There wasn’t a scrap of paint left on the thing," says Bango. "Today, there is a new garage. The foundation's been repaired and the house is painted with a historically accurate color palate. John made a point to keep all of the historic woodwork on the exterior of the property. He's done a tremendous amount of work."

Completed in February, the restoration was funded by private dollars and a Heritage Home Loan from the Cleveland Restoration Society, which is made possible via a partnership with Key Bank and First Federal of Lakewood. Pasternak and Schnell plan to sell the home, but may lease it first.

But does one loving restoration make a difference?

Since 2011, the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (of which SCFBC is a division) has assisted in the rehabilitation of 176 formerly vacant and abandoned homes as part of the SFRP. The total estimated investment stands at $6.8 million—about $68,500 per home. Considering an average demolition costs $10,000; that adds up to an estimated $1.7 million in savings to the City of Cleveland.

"Rehabbed homes stabilize the community," notes Bango, "Last year alone, our office did 27 rehabs and 11 went to owner occupants.

"We would like to do more of these homes—as many as possible."

On Friday, April 10 at 12 p.m., the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office will host a ribbon cutting at 3105 Woodbridge Avenue to introduce the newly renovated home to the community. This free event is open to the public and will feature speakers, refreshments and property tours.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Historic Aragon Ballroom Project - Public Meeting Notices

UPDATED - April 14, 2015.

Aragon Project Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting 
rescheduled from April 20th to May 11th.

The Board of Zoning Appeals hearing initially scheduled for April 20th for the Aragon Project has been rescheduled to:  May 11, 2015 at 9:30 am.  The change in date is to allow additional time for community engagement.

The hearing will be held at the same location, Room 514 of City Hall (5th Floor).
If you have already submitted a comment to the Board of Zoning Appeals, there is no need to resubmit.

Additionally, a Cleveland Planning Commission Hearing is scheduled for May 1, 2015 at 9:00 am.  This hearing will also be held in Room 514 of City Hall.  Since the Aragon Ballroom is within a Pedestrian Retail Overlay Zoning District, the Planning Commission must approve the use of any structure—new or existing—that has more than 40 feet of frontage.

Note: The Cleveland Planning Commission does not place restrictions on the operations of the building.  All comments of support or concern regarding the use or operation should be submitted to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Project information can be found here.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:
Adam Stalder, Stockyard, Clark Fulton  & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office or (216) 961-9073 x209, or Cory Riordan, Tremont West Development Corporation at or (216) 575-0920 x101


Original post - THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2015

The following information is provided as public notice for two meetings scheduled for review and discussion of the Historic Aragon Ballroom renovation project that represents an investment of $1.5 million on the W. 25th Street corridor.  Post card notices were mailed to residents in an approximate 1/2 radius of the project last Monday.

The project was first announced in 2013 when the new owner began work to stabilize the building. Progress has been made to the point of now completing designs and financing in addition to compliance and approvals with City Planning and Building and Housing Departments.  An initial public meeting was held on January 22nd, 2015.  Concerns and questions from that meeting have led to the development of the FAQ and finalization of the proposed use and operations provide below.

The public is invited to attend these meetings to learn more about the project and provide input on the final plans and designs for the building re-use as a banquet and conference facility.

Included in the information below are notices for the meetings on April 8th and 20th, details regarding the zoning variances required for the building operation, and a Frequently Asked Questions list which details the plans for operation.

If there are any questions regarding this project please call Councilman Cummins* Ward 14 office at 216-664-4238; Keisha Gonzales*, Adam Giffford, or Adam Stalder at the Stockyard, Clark Fulton & Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office at 216-961-9073; or Cory Riodan, Tremont West Development Corporation at (216) 575-0920. *Se habla Español

April 8th Public Meeting Notice:

April 20th, 2015 Board of Zoning Appeals Hearing Notice:

Note: The City code issues detailed below are generally being addressed and details provided within the FAQ provided above.  Numbers 1, 2 and 4 below deal with the fact the Aragon Ballroom has not been operating for sometime and the use as banquet and conference facility has to be applied for to be re-activated for this property.  Number 3 below deals with parking requirements.  Number 5 below is a requirement for a ten foot landscape strip to buffer the property from the adjacent residential district.  Due to the placement of the building and alley behind the building it is not possible to meet this zoning requirement.  Number 6 below deals with the windows and façade requirements - the building is undergoing a historic renovation and has received approvals for the exterior design from the Landmarks Commission.