Cedar-Taylor merchants move toward organizing a district association
The stretch of businesses at Cedar and Taylor roads, from Cedarbrook Road to Washington Boulevard, hope they will soon be as popular a destination as Coventry and Cedar and Lee.
Business owners on this stretch, such as Alex Quintana of Quintana’s Barber and Dream Spa, believe that something special is happening in their business district. Quintana, who has also helped to found the Heights Independent Business Alliance, is working to create a merchants association for the Cedar-Taylor district.
The opening of Melt Bar and Grilled last year gave the district a notable boost, but Quintana believes this is only the beginning.
“We may quite possibly have the quirkiest business district ever. The merchants of Cedar and Taylor need to embrace what we are and run with it,” he said.
Quintana believes the next steps for the Cedar-Taylor district are to create an identity and improve the streetscape. “It will take some time for merchants and residents to believe what is going on here, but once they do, this district will take off,” says Quintana.
A merchant association will help unite the district and take care of basic needs. Such associations, which already exist at Coventry, Cedar-Lee and Cedar-Fairmount, assess monthly fees to their members, which helps pay for signage, landscaping and beautification. It also could fund a Special Improvement District (SID), which can attract grants and funding for other improvements.
Cleveland Heights city officials, including Director of Economic Development Howard Thompson, are working with the district's merchants to further energize the commercial strip – in part by trying to attract more businesses.
“By bringing in merchants that add quality to the Cedar-Taylor district, the district as a whole increases in quality,” says Thompson.
Since the district straddles the border of Cleveland Heights and University Heights, University Heights also is contributing to the effort.
Peter Rubin, President and CEO of the Coral Company, owns the property on the University Heights side of Cedar-Taylor. “Quality merchants of Cedar Taylor are energizing the district and re-encouraging the potential of the district,” Rubin says.
Rubin, like Thompson, is encouraging the uniqueness of Cedar-Taylor and hopes to add different kinds of shops than already exist in other commercial districts. Rubin believes the next step is getting current merchants inspired, organized and energized – after which the district's own makeup will do the rest.
“There’s a secret to the Cedar Taylor district. Come discover it,” said Rubin.
Jim Perkins is a student at John Carroll University and a Heights Observer summer intern.