Senator Brown, Mayor Bibb take first look at Vía Sana, Cleveland’s newest affordable housing complex, spearheaded by MetroHealth & The NRP Group
Tri-C partners to manage on-site job training center
Government officials and community members today got a firsthand look at Vía Sana in Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood – which will feature 72 affordable, high-quality residences and a community services hub – that is being developed jointly by The MetroHealth System and The NRP Group.
Vía Sana – meaning “healthy way” in Spanish -- is the first $15 million investment in MetroHealth’s $60 million mixed-use development off of West 25th Street, aimed at improving both the physical and economic health of people who live in the community adjacent to its main campus.
“When we embarked upon our campus transformation, we also committed ourselves to building a better life for the people who live in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood we call home, said Dr. Akram Boutros, President and CEO of The MetroHealth System. “Safe, high-quality, affordable housing is a critical part of that equation and the start of creating a new legacy for this community and creating better opportunities for its families.”
Vía Sana will also house the MetroHealth Opportunity Center that will be operated by a partnership between Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) and MetroHealth’s Institute for H.O.P.E. offering job training, financial and digital literacy training and access to Tri-C classes. The center is expected to be complete in October.
“This center embodies what Tri-C has been working to do for the past several years: removing barriers to education and workforce development by taking training into the community,’’ said Michael Baston, President of Tri-C. “The center may only be four and a half miles from our main campus, but for people with limited access to transportation, with limited time, it can be a significant hurdle. We must and will bridge that divide.’’
When complete, MetroHealth’s $60 million mixed-use development that Vía Sana is a part of will include more than 250 affordable and market-rate apartments and 36,000 square feet of retail space. No project of this magnitude has ever before been undertaken in this neighborhood.
“We believe these plans will benefit the community economically and socially,” Dr. Boutros added, “and as a hospital system, we believe the care we extend outside of our walls is just as important as the care within our hospital. That’s why, in reimagining our campus, we have worked just as hard to develop a plan to improve and revitalize the neighborhood.”
Boutros said the effort has been a collaboration with the city, community and others.
Dignitaries at the Vía Sana event included U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, and others.
“MetroHealth understands that health doesn’t stop at the hospital walls. It’s about so much more than just going to the doctor – including the stability and dignity of having a roof over your head,” said Senator Brown. “This project will mean families will be healthier and more able to live their fullest lives. I’m proud to have worked closely with MetroHealth over the years to support our city, and to fight for federal investments that make projects like this work.”
Mayor Bibb said the plans for were important to growing Clark-Fulton.
“My administration is committed to removing barriers to economic opportunity including affordable housing and quality education for our residents in the areas of the city that have traditionally been neglected," stated Mayor Bibb. "We applaud MetroHeath, CCH Development and the NRP Group for the work they have done and the partnerships they created with the community to reimagine this neighborhood and improving the quality of life for its residents.”
MetroHealth’s nonprofit affiliate, CCH Development, is partnering on the project with developer The NRP Group. No taxpayer funds that go to MetroHealth are being used in the project.
The residences at Vía Sana will soon be available to individuals and families earning between 30 to 80 percent of the area’s median income. Applications are still being accepted at www.viasanaapts.com, and first move-ins are expected to occur in September.
“NRP is dedicated to creating affordable communities that provide residents with opportunities for long-term success,” said J. David Heller, President and CEO of The NRP Group. “Via Sana is a continuation of our efforts to partner with healthcare providers to increase resident access to healthcare and other services, such as financial literacy workshops and career training. We’re thrilled to celebrate the opening of Vía Sana with The MetroHealth System and CCH Development Corp — each of whom have played an instrumental role in identifying services and programs that will cater to the needs of residents and the Clark-Fulton community at large.”
Funding for the project, which was designed by RDL Architects, was provided by KeyBank, the State of Ohio and Cleveland’s Housing Trust Fund.
Councilwoman Jasmin Santana, who represents the neighborhood, said quality housing for diverse people of various incomes was critical in Clark-Fulton.
“This is the right kind of investment in the neighborhood – one that gives the residents who are here now a better opportunity to stay in the neighborhood in an environment where rents and housing prices are rising,” she said. “Clark-Fulton welcomes all, but we want to create better opportunities for the residents here today. This project is an exceptional addition to our neighborhood, and I thank everyone who has played a part in bringing it together.”
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.