FutureHeights events to focus on Heights business districts

“Strong business districts with a vibrant mix of retail and services are vital to our ability to attract new residents, maintain property values and sustain the long-term health of our community,” said Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights. “We’ve identified a growing need to support our districts by working to ensure that existing businesses remain strong and actively recruiting new businesses and new uses for vacant spaces.”

FutureHeights, the nonprofit that works toward a vibrant and sustainable future for Cleveland Heights and University Heights, will host two events that focus on Heights business districts.

The first is a presentation of a Market Study of Cedar Lee by Viking Planners, a graduate-level class from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University (CSU). Heights Community Development Alliance, a program of FutureHeights, hired the class to conduct a study of the Cedar Lee Business District during its spring semester. The students examined various aspects, including parking, safety, retail mix, and potential redevelopment and infill sites. They will present their findings on Monday, May 9, 4–6 p.m, at the Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Road). 

The second event is the FutureHeights 2016 annual meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, June 1, at the Heights Rockefeller Building, 3099 Mayfield Road. Richey Piiparinen will facilitate a panel discussion on dynamic commercial districts with local community development experts Dione Alexander, Adam Rosen, Michael Fleming and Bob Brown. FutureHeights will share its recent accomplishments, including its community-building programs and new initiatives for commercial districts. The event begins at 7 p.m. 

Richey Piiparinen, a senior research associate at the Levin College at CSU, focuses on migration, demography, culture, and economic and community development. He is co-editor of the book Rust Belt Chic: A Cleveland Anthology and a blogger at HuffingtonPost.

Dione Alexander was recently promoted to president of Village Capital Corporation (VCC), the lending subsidiary of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and a leading local community development financial institution which provides crucial funding to catalytic developments in Northeast Ohio, including Uptown in University Circle and Waverly Townhomes in Detroit Shoreway. Prior to joining VCC, she served as a consultant in the philanthropy, nonprofit, and community/social finance sectors.

Adam Rosen leads the economic development and revitalization efforts for the retail districts in Cleveland’s Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood. He manages commercial leasing for a portfolio of properties in the Gordon Square Arts District, recruiting new businesses and providing technical assistance to existing ones. 

After nearly a decade working as a chef in Boston, Miami Beach and Madrid, Spain, Michael Fleming came back to his hometown of Cleveland in 2004 to be a part of the city’s revival. He now leads a team of dedicated professionals who are working to build a dynamic neighborhood around the many assets of Cleveland’s St. Clair Superior Neighborhood.

Bob Brown, former director of the Cleveland Planning Commission, has prepared comprehensive plans for cities and neighborhoods and written innovative zoning regulations on topics ranging from design review to urban agriculture.

Both events are free and open to the public, but reservations are required. For more information and to RSVP, visit www.futureheights.org or call 216-320-1423.

Nathan Merritt

Nathan Merritt is an intern at FutureHeights and a graduate student at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.

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Volume 9, Issue 5, Posted 3:50 PM, 04.29.2016