Clark Metro tackles neighborhood problems and concerns
by Kelly Pierce

(Plain Press, June 2006) For more than 25 years, community development corporations [cdc’s) in the greater Cleveland area have been addressing problems of physical, economical and social concerns in their communities. 

By bringing together local residents, business leaders and government, cdc’s have been able to build affordable housing, create jobs, and provide essential social services in the communities they serve.  Their fundamental mission is to build community leadership and empower residents to take charge of their neighborhoods and create healthy, sustainable places to live and work.

The Clark Metro Development Corporation is just one of them.

“We want to engage residents and local business owners to become proactive in their communities,” said Stephen Kruger, Executive Director for the Clark Metro Development Corporation.

There are several issues currently being played out by Clark Metro, business owners and local block clubs to better the residents and community.

One plan is the establishment of an Anti-Graffiti Program, which was triggered by a growing presence of graffiti vandalism. Residents and policy makers have recognized that if this problem is ignored, it has the potential to destroy neighborhoods by driving property values down and residents and jobs out. The Anti-Graffiti Program will clean up current graffiti in the area, raise awareness and implement a zero tolerance plan involving education, enforcement and restoration.

Also on the table is a five-year commercial corridor plan. “The five-year plan is to revitalize the area itself and also to provide opportunities of expansion of new and local business and to create a positive environment driving north and south,” said Kruger.

Additional changes in the area will be eleven new condos to be built on Fulton Avenue and new businesses opening on Clark Avenue.

The once-vacant Tops Food Market building will soon be occupied by Save-a-Lot, which is scheduled to be open some time in July. A Dollar Mart and Auto Zone are also in the planning. “It’s like a breath of fresh air,” said resident Doris May. “It’s been over a year since we have had our own market here, it will really help a lot of residents in this area having a new market.”

Other events happening in the area include be the Second District Police Safety Fair held in Clark Metro’s parking lot, Saturday, June 10th from 10am – 2pm. The City Fresh Program will open its second season with Fresh Stop food centers in the Clark-Metro and Detroit Shoreway neighborhoods on June 15th. City Fresh helps both urban and rural communities by improving the ability to gain fresh and locally grown food for residents and marketing opportunities in the city for local residents.

For more information regarding neighborhood revitalization programs, or to join a local block club to help out, contact Clark-Metro Development Corporation, 2511 Clark Avenue, at (216) 741-9500.


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