The Ohio City Market District, anchored by the West Side Market, is positioned to be the premier district for celebrating local artisan businesses and building on Ohio City’s strengths of food culture and providing access to affordable and healthy local food. The energy surrounding the Market District will attract mixed-use development, historic preservation and frequent programming. As the second largest transit hub in Cleveland, the Market District provides a plethora of bus and rail connections, allowing for increased attention to Transit Oriented Development and improved bike and pedestrian amenities, strengthening Ohio City’s position as the most complete and connected neighborhood in Northeast Ohio.
In addition to the Market, institutions such as Lutheran Hospital, Saint Ignatius and Great Lakes Brewing Company provide the Market District with anchors unmatched outside of Cleveland’s two major employment centers. Announced in the summer of 2010, Ohio City Incorporated was selected as one of nine neighborhood organizations included as a Strategic Investment Initiative (SII) by Neighborhood Progress, Inc. This designation focuses targeted development and investment to promote sustainability, stabilization and collaboration.
Over $32 million in planned and completed investment in the District since 2009 will catalyze an already dynamic neighborhood. Through the Growing Communities Initiative, funded by Charter One, an initial investment of $130,000 is supporting programs designed to incubate businesses, improve neighborhood connections, provide nutritional access and grow the local food economy.
Ohio City’s Market District is home to a re-emerging merchant class of artisans including farmers, brewers, bakers, butchers, artists, chefs, retailers, neighborhood service providers, barkeeps and more. Over the past two decades this group has created hundreds of jobs and revitalized the Ohio City community, and Ohio City Incorporated looks to build on this economic activity and attract new artisan businesses to the neighborhood.
Market Square Park
Market Square Park, the largest, most visible, and heavily used public space within the district will undergo a $1.5 million renovation, to be completed in 2011. The renovation, which was planned in partnership with Cleveland Public Art, Parkworks and Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman, will double the amount of programmable space in the park, providing affordable and attractive space for local artisans to sell their products. The existing community tiles within the park should, to the extent possible, be safely removed and reincorporated into the park and/or other community spaces. Further, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will invest $80,000 to replace outdated bus shelters in the park with more modern facilities.
Ohio City Incorporated , in partnership with the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Public Art is commencing the Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative Study funded by NOACA with support from Neighborhood Progress, Inc.
The TLCI plan will identify both short and long-term strategies for the district, with short-term strategies being those that could be implemented in time for the Centennial. Long-term elements of the plan could be implemented within the next five to ten year including:
• Accommodate Market District expansion including opening of new businesses and expansion of existing business to prepare for traffic, parking and pedestrian needs
• Identify traffic solutions for West 25th and Lorain
• Identify parking solutions for Market District and connections to parking
• Develop wayfinding and signage plan to identify parking solutions and business districts
• Enhance pedestrian and cyclist opportunities
• Identify funding opportunities to implement TLCI recommendations
fresh food collaborative
The Ohio City Fresh Food Collaborative is an initiative designed to solidify Ohio City as the hub of Cleveland’s complete regional food system. The projects of the Collaborative will help to grow Cleveland’s local food economy and provide access to healthy food for Cleveland’s underserved communities by developing a cluster of urban farming and food production businesses that will utilize the distribution and retail opportunities of Cleveland’s historic West Side Market as well as catalyze the Ohio City Market District. The Ohio City Fresh Food Collaborative consists of four separate but connected efforts: Ohio City Farm, Ohio City Farmstand, Ohio City Community Kitchen and the West Side Market.
Managed by Ohio City Incorporated, the Ohio City Farm is a collaboration with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), founded in partnership with The Great Lakes Brewing Company and Refugee Response and farmed by Central Roots, Cleveland Crops and CMHA Green Team. Ohio City Farm provides urban farmers with low-cost land, shared facilities and technical assistance and is designed to develop and support entrepreneurial farmers. Incubator farm tenants are expected to run economically viable businesses and provide financial information on their operations. Support for the project was provided by private investment from farm Tenants, Charter One Foundation, Neighborhood Progress Inc., the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Public Art.
In addition to the Ohio City Farm, the Farmstand will sell farm products by directly to consumers, at a discounted rate to all CMHA residents. The Farmstand will accept the Ohio Direction Card and WIC & Senior Farmers’ Market coupons. In partnership with Cleveland Public Art, the Farmstand is constructed from re-purposed Great Lakes cargo shipping containers. The Ohio City Community Kitchen and Incubator, a project that was conceived of as part of Mayor Jackson’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 summit in 2009, will provide a shared food processing facility for growers and other entrepreneurs to process and preserve their crops by canning, freezing, and producing value-added food products. In addition to processing and packaging facilities, the Kitchen Incubator offers a full spectrum of supportive services necessary to establishing food business enterprises.
ohio city dialogue
Our neighborhood is fortunate to be home to over 90 non-profit and community organizations with missions ranging from education to social service to education to healthcare to the arts. With a slightly higher than 50% response rate, it was determined that these organizations have:
• annual budgets totaling nearly $70,000,000
• around 2,000 employees
• served over 75,000 clients over the past year
• 5,500 individuals volunteer on their behalf
This incredible story of social, cultural, and economic impact is something that all of Ohio City should be proud of and the entire region should know about. Additionally, organizational leaders have identified focus areas and goals for 2011. These goals include collaborative community service projects, a community fair, sharing purchasing resources, and developing a comprehensive housing framework for the neighborhood that will promote neighborhood housing opportunities to our nonprofit employees. Additionally, quarterly workshops are organized to expose these organizations to service professionals located in Ohio City including marketing and resource development.