Transformation at Its Finest

Councilman Kevin Conwell has been a member of Cleveland’s City Council since November 2001, representing Ward 9, which includes the neighborhoods of Glenville and parts of University Circle. He has championed economic development in his ward and has been a vocal activist on social service issues. He advocates for needy families, disabled people, the elderly, and the unemployed.

I had the privilege to speak with Councilman Conwell about development in The Glenville and University Circle areas. He was excited to talk about it and dove right in.

“We’re building 70 houses in the community south of Superior Street, rebuilding the Glenville Community. They range from $140K – $250K (market-rate homes/condos). What stimulates the housing in the Glenville area is University Circle, which is about a four-minute drive from Glenville. University Circle is home to world-renowned museums, prestigious universities, nationally recognized hospitals, eclectic restaurants, beautiful parks, and cozy spaces. So, moving into the Glenville area is tempting and desirable for many.

Along with that is the incentive called The Transformation Initiative DPA. It’s an effort to support the Glenville-Circle North neighborhood of Cleveland. Buyers in this area can qualify for up to $20,000 to purchase their new homes! Some of the criteria for the down payment is:

  • Eligible homes must be located in the Glenville-Circle North neighborhood of Cleveland.
  • Homes must be fully renovated or in new construction.
  • There are no income restrictions for buyers to participate.
  • Buyers must be bankable and secure a first mortgage from a private lender.
  • Buyers must occupy the home for five years after the sale.
  • The $20,000 down payment assistance will be provided to the buyer as a 0% deferred second mortgage, forgiven five years.

So now people are living in the neighborhood and walking to work. There’s also a diverse group of people moving in the area. Additionally, they are getting to erect 20 more townhouses in addition to the 70 on Orville and Lee. Finally, they will raze the Harry E. Davis Middle School. The plan is to build a community center and a resource center.

East 105th Street, a major artery in the community, will be rehabilitated to include replacing water mains, repairing curbs and sidewalks, installing new drainage, and a complete resurfacing with asphalt. There will also be new LED street lighting. This rehab will make it a walkable community. The cost for that renovation is approximately $14 million. The entire project will take two years. It began in January 2020, and now on it’s into the 2nd phase.

Glen Village also has a $15 million business incubator and residential complex. All the businesses in Glen Village are Black-owned, with resident dwellings on top of them.

Factor in the Fisher House, which is a refuge for families of Vets seeking VA treatment, and you can agree that Councilman Kevin Conwell, who represents The Glenville area, is a man committed to his communities.

I asked Councilman Conwell what his primary focus was. He had a ready answer. “My focus on African American businesses is to build African American wealth and make Glen Village a more diverse community and make it seamless with University Circle.”