Resident-Driven Plan Emerges for a Re-Imagined Clark-Fulton
Two years of collaboration concludes in submission of “Clark-Fulton Together” focusing on culture, community places and enduring social and economic health; City Planning Commission to review recommendations
CLEVELAND - A vibrant Clark-Fulton that embraces current neighborhood residents, amenities and culture, strengthens and creates new community places and designations, and attracts new residents and businesses are the key tenets of a master plan that is the first-ever developed for this diverse near west side Cleveland neighborhood.
On Friday October 15th, the Cleveland Planning Commission will convene in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood in the Pivot Center for Art, Dance and Expression at 2937 West 25th Street, to review and adopt the Clark Fulton Together Plan. This represents the culmination of an unprecedented two-year collaboration of residents, stakeholders, philanthropy, city government, and an anchor institution.
Five partnering organizations collaborated with neighborhood stakeholders to create the Clark-Fulton Together Neighborhood Plan. A community engagement process was launched just months before the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted business as usual, requiring the partners to be nimble, creative and resolute in adjusting plans on how to receive meaningful public engagement.
Ward 14 Councilwoman Jasmin Santana, the City of Cleveland, Metro West Community Development Organization, The MetroHealth System and Cleveland Foundation are committed to continuing those conversations even after the plan is approved to ensure the plan’s vision meets the needs of the neighborhood and becomes a lived reality.
“This blueprint is the brainchild of many dedicated public, private and nonprofit professionals to empower residents,” said Councilwoman Santana. “I would like to thank the folks who have put their thoughts and passions into this project. Collaborative leadership is an important part of community building. The stakeholders may not have all agreed on everything, all the time, but we shared the vision of a higher quality of life for residents and home owners.“
Key parts of the plan include:
- Strengthening, creating community places and corridors and providing healthy, flexible and vibrant new open spaces, including a 12-acre park on MetroHealth’s main campus.
- Fostering health, healing, and inclusivity, working with community ambassadors to improve quality of life in the neighborhood.
- Preserving and creating housing opportunities without displacing current residents.
- Building community prosperity through equitable economic and education empowerment and workforce development.
- Creating a safe, connected, accessible neighborhood with improved public spaces, enhanced mobility networks and robust digital access.
“Creating places where people can live, work, play, learn and shop, in a safe, and well-connected environment are the basics of any community; however, opportunity is not equally distributed across communities due to past policies, systems and unfair practices,’’ said Freddy Collier, Director of City Planning. “The Clark-Fulton neighborhood, like many minority areas of the city, will require additional supports to right the wrongs of the past by ensuring that residents have access to the resources and amenities needed to lead a healthy life. The Clark-Fulton Together Neighborhood Plan embraces community desires and it will serve as the playbook for creating opportunity and equity in the community.”
Ricardo León, Executive Director of Metro West Community Development, said the plan “represents a culmination of over two years of work in collaboration. Together, residents, stakeholders, and community leaders have charted a new path for our community. We have laid the foundation for a more equitable and inclusive community and we look forward to continue building together.”
Dr. Akram Boutros, President and CEO of MetroHealth, praised work on the master plan. “The residents of Clark-Fulton have led a bold, exciting roadmap to shape the future of their community,’’ he said. “A neighborhood’s social and economic conditions can have more impact than doctors and hospitals to the health of its people. This master plan will help to build a vibrant community that can improve the lives and circumstances of those who live there. MetroHealth is committed to continuing our efforts to make a meaningful impact on the neighborhood by improving the social determinants of health.”
The master plan highlights what it calls “Catalyst Sites”, areas which will help spur creativity, new business and new community connectivity. Those Catalyst Sites are:
- Makers & artists avenue
- Neighborhood Center
- Fulton Gateway
- Life and entertainment center
- MetroHealth Park
The new MetroHealth Park along West 25th will be a key addition to Clark-Fulton and would provide a series of public “rooms’’ along the main park trail. All rooms would have the potential to accommodate seasonal events like markets, food trucks and art exhibits, as well as permanent facilities such as a playground, soccer field and adult fitness equipment.
The Master Plan Core Team applauds the Clark-Fulton Together Community Ambassadors for their dedication to both the plan and the community. Ambassadors include Rodney Lewallen, President of the Jones Home Neighborhood Association; Rhonda Jones, Vice President of the West 73rd Stockyard Community Coalition; Ebonie Joiner and Julie Miragliotta, co-founders of the Brooklyn Centre Community Group; and Yomarie Gonzalez, Community Development Program Assistant and Prayer Leader for Building Hope in The City. The ambassadors went through extensive training in 2020 and 2021.
Ronn Richard, CEO of the Cleveland Foundation noted that “For more than 100 years, the Cleveland Foundation has served as a friend, convener and thought partner to neighborhoods across the city, but the vision and collaboration seen here has been unprecedented. This body of work and its associated learnings will inform the foundation’s engagement in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood and serve as an accountability measure for future collaborations.”
The plan will also serve as a tool to prioritize, integrate, and align the implementation of key ongoing and planned investment initiatives focused on Clark-Fulton over the next several years. These investment initiatives include:
- Mayor Jackson’s $25 million Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, which has targeted Clark-Fulton as one of four neighborhoods in Cleveland to receive funding for revitalization efforts
- The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s Transit-Oriented Development study that will look at development opportunities along the West 25th Street corridor.
- MetroHealth’s $1 billion Transformation Campus redevelopment and its adjacent $60 million West 25th Street development that includes housing, retail and commercial space.
- Clark-Fulton is also the recipient of federal funds for affordable housing through the State of Ohio’s FHAct50 program. Under that program, the City will receive $3 million in tax credits to help create a more diverse and accessible community.
After an extensive review of proposals received from urban master planning firms, Philadelphia-based Wallace, Roberts and Todd (WRT) was selected to create the master plan, based in part on their understanding and commitment to executing the partners’ vision for a culturally competent, bilingual, hands-on community engagement process.
Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through four hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our 8,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit metrohealth.org.