It is time for FutureHeights to be the CDC for Cleveland Heights

To the Editor:

As an architect, and an involved and concerned resident of Cleveland Heights, I fully support the efforts of FutureHeights to serve as the city’s Community Development Corporation (CDC). The creation of a CDC for Cleveland Heights is long overdue.

In the work of my firm, City Architecture, the involvement of a CDC is paramount. We have worked in many Cleveland neighborhoods (Detroit Shoreway, Ohio City, Downtown, Glenville, MidTown, St. Clair Superior, etc.), the inner-ring suburb of Lakewood, and Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine neighborhood. In each case, a strong CDC has aided the city or neighborhood in realizing impactful economic development projects.

Clearly, the city of Cleveland Heights needs that boost to push some of the lingering redevelopment initiatives from planning and discussion to reality. The endorsement of FutureHeights as a CDC is not a criticism of the city, but emphasizes the importance of assembling potential partnerships where an active CDC and city administration can collaborate.

I’ve seen other communities approach redevelopment in this manner, ultimately leading to an increased capacity and success. It must be mutual—benefitting Cleveland Heights’ residents, business owners and visitors alike.

I believe a CDC can offer support, resources and apply for grants the city cannot, and will add value—whether capital or increased political will. In my tenure on the city’s Planning Commission, we often talked about repositioning land and maximizing value.

It’s time to stop talking and start building. Actually, it WAS time years ago. Let’s do this!

Alex Pesta

Alex Pesta
Principal, City Architecture


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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 1:21 PM, 05.31.2017