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Thread: Downtown Cleveland living

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Downtown Cleveland living

    I am probably taking a position in downtown Cleveland starting in May. Right now I live near Canton, Ohio. It's about a 50 minute drive, but I obviously don't want to do that long term.

    I spent yesterday wandering around the downtown area. The downtown itself looks very nice--quite a bit improved on what it was like when my family lived in Lakewood 15 years ago. However, I didn't see too many places for rent. Does anyone here have experience living downtown? Is it doable yet?

    I would like to avoid owning a car, since my (rather unreliable) Diplomat is on loan to a friend, and right now I'm borrowing my parents' cars. I have heard about some pleasant neighbourhoods on the Rapid line east of town; are any of these places actually worth living? It's still hard for me to imagine anything more than a mile east of downtown as a ghetto, but that's probably my latent West vs. East snobbery still showing after a decade away!

    Thanks in advance,
    Joshua.

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Although I'm new to Cleveland, I like what I saw in the Tremont area, about a mile southwest of downtown. The neighborhood is gentrifying, there's a large population of young intellectuals and hipsters, there are some great neighborhood restaurants, watering holes and coffee houses around, but rents are still very reasonable.

    The shortcomings: noise from the expressways that surround the neighborhood, and the quirkiness of old housing, even when there's been a gut rehab. I looked for a place to rent in Tremont, but couldn't find anything that could accomodate my washer and dryer.

    If you're willing to go further out and take the Rapid in, you could live in the Coventry section of Cleveland Heights; it's a long walk to the Rapid, but a fantastic, bohemian, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood with low rents, high density, and a lot to do. There's also Shaker Square/Larchmere on the Shaker LRT line. Rents are cheaper on the Cleveland side, and Larchmere is getting hip as of late. The neighborhood gets iffier the closer you get to MLK Boulevard. (Why do we honor a great civil rights leader by naming awful streets after him?).

    There are some gritty Slavic enclaves on the East Side of Cleveland proper, like the St Clair/55th area.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Although I'm new to Cleveland, I like what I saw in the Tremont area, about a mile southwest of downtown. The neighborhood is gentrifying, there's a large population of young intellectuals and hipsters, there are some great neighborhood restaurants, watering holes and coffee houses around, but rents are still very reasonable.
    This place looked nicer than I remember it. I've been informed it's a "bad neighbourhood", but unfortunately it's hard to differentiate between fact and fiction when asking my friends about the quality of the neighbourhoods.

    If you're willing to go further out and take the Rapid in, you could live in the Coventry section of Cleveland Heights; it's a long walk to the Rapid, but a fantastic, bohemian, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood with low rents, high density, and a lot to do. There's also Shaker Square/Larchmere on the Shaker LRT line. Rents are cheaper on the Cleveland side, and Larchmere is getting hip as of late. The neighborhood gets iffier the closer you get to MLK Boulevard. (Why do we honor a great civil rights leader by naming awful streets after him?).
    I checked out this neighbourhood today. It is indeed exactly what I'm looking for; I just need to decide if I want to live that far out. If I do take the Rapid, I might look into doing something as crazy as living out by the airport, or throwing away enough money to live in Shaker Heights.

    Thanks for the tips. I'll keep on looking, and try to post some pictures of my new neighbourhood once I move!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian oulevin's avatar
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    I live in a renovated hotel on Euclid - the Statler Arms. It's a nice, self-described Upper West Side-ish apartment building. It's part of a neighborhood of apartment buildings in the Theater District - thus great if you're a performing arts buff. There's a small grocery in the Reserve Square building, and the location is nicely between the sides of downtown, although a bit of a walk away from downtown Cleveland's hippest residential district, the Warehouse District.

    It really depends on your chosen node of activity. If you like sports, there is the Gateway district, the aforementioned Theater District, the nightlife of the Warehouse District, the campus life of Cleveland State. Apartment buildings lie in or near all of these.

    The City of Cleveland's website has a list of downtown housing options - possibly in the Community Development section. You may also pick up a brochure of such options in City Hall.

    There also condo options in the Warehouse District.

    But I also have to second Dan's calls on Tremont, Coventry, and Shaker Square. All are great neighborhoods.

  5. #5
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MennoJoshua
    ..I might look into doing something as crazy as living out by the airport..

    Thanks for the tips. I'll keep on looking, and try to post some pictures of my new neighbourhood once I move!

    I have not lived in the Cleveland area, but I have visited the area throughout my entire life. If you are even considering living near the ariport, look at Berea. I have spent alot of time in Berea, because my aunt and her family live there. It is a great little town with great amenities. My relatives live near downtown Berea and they are across the street from the Metro Park system. It's aslo got a nice downtown.

    Here's the city website: City of Berea, OH
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  6. #6
    I've lived (rented) in the Cleveland area for the better part of the last decade. If you're planning to go car-free (as I have for the past 2 years), it's *essential* that you do two things 1. do your homework so you can find basic amenities in walking/transit distance. and 2. make plenty of friends who have a car.

    I lived in the Tremont area and the perception that it isn't safe is a bit misleading. It really depends on what part of Tremont you mean. North of I-490 and east of West 14th is generally pretty safe as that's where a lot of the gentrification is happening. There's a dicey area near the projects by St. Theodosius but those are slated for demolition and replacement with mixed rate housing. Once you get west of West 14th, it can get sketchy (i.e. Clark Avenue near West 25th). I lived south of I-490 at West 14th and Holmden but I never had many problems. The area lacks some services (full-service grocer, etc.) but most of those can be found in Ohio City. Rents are a bit polarized - there's cheap (older apartments) and pricey (rehabs) and not much in between.

    I also lived in Lakewood - very safe but the city income tax is one of the highest (and if you work in Cleveland, Lakewood doesn't give a 'reciprocal' credit like most other 'burbs). Some places are a little sketchy such as the southeastern corner of the city.

    I currently live in the Edgewater/Clifton area which is very 'streetcar suburb' in nature. It has a full-service grocery along with some of the better walking streets on the west side. Lots of eateries, drug stores, bank branches, etc. I believe the area has the highest population density in Greater Cleveland. Anything west of West Blvd. and generally north of Detroit Ave.- you can find some great rentals and the transit is very good. The 55 line runs down Clifton (every 5-8 minutes during peak and it takes about 5 minutes to get downtown), the West Blvd. rapid station is close by, and speaking from experience - a cab ride to/from downtown nightspots is around $7-$8 plus tip.

    As far as downtown, I'd say it's very doable and getting better but again, it really depends on where you live. As Tower City Center is the main rail transit hub, being car-free, I'd suggest living as close as possible to that as possible. The West 9th corridor is going to be seeing a lot of construction (condos) in the near future and the Bingham Building (West 9th and St. Clair) will have a 9,000 sq. ft. grocery store. I've heard good things about Statler Arms but it's a bit removed if you think you'll be using the Rapid a lot.

    Here are some links to apartments in the area:
    Charge Development (Ohio City, Tremont and Edgewater/Clifton)

    MRN Limited (Downtown, East 4th area)

    The Bingham Building (Warehouse District)

    I'm the webmaster of clevelandskyscrapers.com, feel free to shoot me an email with any questions. Good luck!

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