Two Vacant Cleveland School Buildings to Become Apartments

For years, Cleveland residents and city council members have complained that the Cleveland Metropolitan School District has closed school buildings without a plan for maintaining, mothballing, or redeveloping them, writes Lee Chilcote in The Land. Many sit empty for years, if not decades, and squatters, vandals, roof leaks, and other issues end up damaging them. Buildings that ended up getting torn down could have been saved and redeveloped if they had been properly cared for, critics say.

Soon, two empty buildings in Cleveland will soon avoid that harsh fate: Empire School at 9113 Parmalee Ave. in Glenville and Hawthorne School at 3575 W. 130th St. in the Jefferson neighborhood are both slated to get a complete makeover into affordable senior and market-rate apartment buildings, respectively, with construction possibly starting as soon as this summer. In 2021, the city and school district launched an initiative to transfer 12 empty schools and seven vacant parcels of land to private developers, and Hawthorne and Empire are among the first of these to find a new end user.

“The goal is to bring empty sites, some of which have been empty for 10-plus years, back into productive use,” Trudy Andrzejewski, asset redevelopment strategist with the city of Cleveland, told Cleveland City Council’s finance committee meeting on Monday, May 8. Andrzejewski cited the fact that there was a great deal of community input into the two projects and the developers have each raised more than 70% of the project costs. “At this point, we feel confident that these projects are not only viable but can move towards groundbreaking in the next several months,” she said.

Read Chilcote's full article in The The Land.


This article was originally published on May 11, 2023 in The Land.