Our Neighborhood

vision

The MidTown Neighborhood Vision Plan is a place-based, holistic, living neighborhood plan representing a guiding vision of the people, places, organizations, and built environment that will further connect the MidTown neighborhood physically and socially.

NVP_Banner_Remix_2b

A Comprehensive Vision for MidTown's Next Five Years

THE MIDTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD is at the intersection of several neighborhoods - AsiaTown, Hough, Central, Fairfax, and Downtown. Home to a wide variety of individuals, industries, and organizations, the MidTown community benefits from the connectedness of its stakeholders, physically and socially. MidTown’s location, supportive business community and unique programming connect people with job opportunities, helps us to retain a diverse mix of businesses, and create inclusive pathways for growth.

MidTown is a place for connection, belonging, and the joyful celebration of the patchwork of cultures and communities that make up MidTown. In MidTown, prosperity is reinvested in the community, equity and inclusion are fundamental expectations, and innovation helps families realize the opportunities promised to generations before them.

MidTown residents are involved and empowered to be self-sufficient and drive change in the neighborhood. Our many voices are amplified in public spaces and the streets are alive with activity. People of all backgrounds find wellness and healing, lifted by a network of purpose-driven partners...

Now and in the future, there is a place for everyone in MidTown.

Turning Vision into Action

Goals & Strategies

Our vision will be realized as we work toward achieving the overarching goals defined by the planning process. The 20 strategies below define the approach we should take to realize our shared vision for MidTown. Rather than having a single focus, we see the strategies as interrelated – actions taken toward each strategy have the potential to move our community toward achieving multiple goals.

Icon_Stack_0000_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Promote Clear
Expectations
for New
Development

Icon_Stack_0001_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Imagine
AsiaTown as a
Home for the
AAPI Community

Icon_Stack_0002_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Upgrade Payne
Avenue as
the Anchor
of AsiaTown

Icon_Stack_0005_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Build
Out the
Innovation
Community

Icon_Stack_0008_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Celebrate
Local
Businesses
 

Icon_Stack_0013_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Elevate
Black
and Asian
Creative Voices

Icon_Stack_0014_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

More
Art and
Color!
 

Icon_Stack_0019_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Restore
and Grow
MidTown's Green
Infrastructure

Icon_Stack_0004_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Dismantle
the Barriers;
Heal the
Wounds

Icon_Stack_0003_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Create
Community
Gathering
Spaces

Icon_Stack_0018_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Mitigate Blight,
Vacancy, and
Environmental
Health Issues

Icon_Stack_0017_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Build
Youth
Resilience
 

Icon_Stack_0016_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Strategically
Invest
in New
Housing

Icon_Stack_0012_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Reduce
Housing
Stress
 

Icon_Stack_0015_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Be a Local Hub
of Black History,
Entrepreneurship,
and Celebration

Icon_Stack_0007_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Get
Work
Ready
 

Icon_Stack_0011_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Improve
Neighborhood
Safety
 

Icon_Stack_0010_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Connect
and Empower
Neighbors,
Block by Block

Icon_Stack_0006_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Help
Residents
Reach Their
Health Goals

Icon_Stack_0009_Vector-Smart-Object

STRATEGY

Preserve
Legacy
Buildings
 

Collage_2

HOW TO USE THIS TOOL

The Plan in Action

This community plan was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the final “Plan” needed to be flexible in order to eventually align with a new normal, post-pandemic.

The Vision Plan is presented as a deck of “Action Cards” to ensure that there are always opportunities for new individuals, groups, and institutions to integrate into their own work and champion this important Plan. Every card is associated with one of the 20 strategies above.

As you explore the deck, find cards that align with your interests or the aim of your organization. Use the deck to identify shared interests and priorities, or outline a process or for taking action. Combine cards to make even more meaningful impacts.

In addition to a strategic focus, each card contains the following areas:

Actions

Near-Term

SUPPORT

Neighborhood Vision Plan

Action Cards

All Strategies
  • All Strategies
  • Address Vacancy
  • An Innovation Economy
  • Build Youth Resilience
  • Celebrate Black History
  • Celebrate Local Businesses
  • Clear Development Expectations
  • Connect & Empower Neighbors
  • Create Gathering Spaces
  • Dismantle Barriers
  • Elevate Black & Asian Voices
  • Get Work Ready
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Imagine AsiaTown Plan
  • Improve Safety
  • More Art & Color
  • New Housing Development
  • Preserve Legacy Buildings
  • Reach Health Goals
  • Reduce Housing Stress
  • Upgrade Payne Ave

Build Youth Resilience

Create Youth ↔ Feature Artist Connections Through Arts Programming for the Area

Cultivate the next generation of creativity in MidTown by facilitating connections between youth and artists working in MidTown. Provide opportunities for young creatives to shadow, support, or be mentored by established artists working on projects in the area.


17A

Promote Clear Expectations for New Development

Create a Developer Reference that Identifies Critical Community Priorities for New Development

Develop marketing collateral using content from the Vision Plan to communicate to developers and investors the priorities and unique characteristics of different parts of MidTown. Share Equitable Development Guidelines with interested developers.


1B

Elevate Black & Asian Creative Voices

Create an Artists Work/Live Space in Midtown

Create an inviting, public-facing home base for Black and Asian creatives in MidTown with opportunities to exhibit work regularly.


4F

Mitigate Impacts of Vacancy & Environmental Health Issues

Maintain a List Of The Most Blighted, Vacant Buildings & Lots In Midtown

Create the organizational tools needed to focus intervention efforts around vacant commercial and residential buildings and land posing environmental hazards in MidTown.


12A

Encourage New Housing Development

ReUse Empty Buildings for New Apartments

Encourage continued efforts to repurpose older, commercial buildings for new housing in MidTown, particularly in the Mixed Use District along Euclid and Prospect west of E 55th Street to increase residential density, activate these streets, and retain neighborhood character.


10D

Help Residents Reach Their Health Goals

Bring Programs to Improve Literacy and Digital Literacy to Midtown

The public engagement process identified a community desire to expand literacy and digital literacy for people of all ages in MidTown and the surrounding neighborhoods. Expanding these programs will rely on strong partnerships with local social service and educational insititutions, and partnership with local grassroots community groups to get the right resources to those who need them.


14D

Build Youth Resilience

Create Opportunities for Young People to Visit Local Destinations & Tour Area Colleges

Creating opportunities for young people to have new experiences, see new places, and explore outside their local area is critical to expanding horizons for future leaders. Seek to connect youth in the MidTown area to adventure / excursion programs that take them to new destinations in the City or Region, and college tour transportation at low or no cost.


17E

Preserve Legacy Buildings

Create an Annual “Open House” Event in Midtown

Host an annual “Open House” MidTown event allowing people walk through buildings that are typically closed to the public.


9C

Be a Hub of Black History, Entrepreneurship and Celebration in Cleveland

Designate East 66th St. as a Black Cultural District

Celebrate and preserve Black culture and history through the realization of the E 66th Street community-driven design process and implementation. Help raise this unique project to national attention.


3B

All Strategies
  • All Strategies
  • Address Vacancy
  • An Innovation Economy
  • Build Youth Resilience
  • Celebrate Black History
  • Celebrate Local Businesses
  • Clear Development Expectations
  • Connect & Empower Neighbors
  • Create Gathering Spaces
  • Dismantle Barriers
  • Elevate Black & Asian Voices
  • Get Work Ready
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Imagine AsiaTown Plan
  • Improve Safety
  • More Art & Color
  • New Housing Development
  • Preserve Legacy Buildings
  • Reach Health Goals
  • Reduce Housing Stress
  • Upgrade Payne Ave

Connect and Empower Neighbors, Block By Block

Establish More Block Clubs in MidTown and Nearby Neighborhoods

Expand opportunities for residents to get together and take action. Encourage the creation of Block Clubs and Block party events that unite neighbors around celebration and joy. Explore business-sponsored block clubs and ways that MTC can facilitate multi-Block Club gatherings, organization, and programming of interest to build stronger connections among area residents.


5C

Imagine AsiaTown as a Home for the AAPI Community

Gather Community Members Around Events and Festivals Important to Asian Culture

Continue planning events and programming that appeal to and AAPI residents and respond to the enique community assets, values, and variety within the Asian cultures represented in AsiaTown.


6A

Be a Hub of Black History, Entrepreneurship and Celebration in Cleveland

Designate East 66th St. as a Black Cultural District

Celebrate and preserve Black culture and history through the realization of the E 66th Street community-driven design process and implementation. Help raise this unique project to national attention.


3B

Restore & Grow MidTown’s Green Infrastructure

Design Streets to Incorporate Green Stormwater Aspects and Larger Tree Beds

Add green stormwater infrastructure to increase greenery in MidTown, which currently lacks green space.


16A

Connect and Empower Neighbors, Block By Block

Facilitate Community Connections to Public Officials In Midtown & AsiaTown

Create opportunities for neighbors to connect with each other and elected officials works to increase resident leadership and create a civic sense of belonging, as defined by the Imagine AsiaTown plan. Seek to host ward meetings in MidTown and AsiaTown regularly.


5D

Mitigate Impacts of Vacancy & Environmental Health Issues

Develop Programs and Events Focused Around Neighborhood Clean-Up

Pursue / Expand neighborhood programming focused around clean-up, planting, and garden maintenance. As Block Groups, community gardens, and more grow in the area explore opportunities to create yard maintenance and planting workshops, discounts at area nurseries, and promote access to Neighborhood Clean Up Tool (CNP), etc.


12D

Get Work Ready

Provide Free Translation Services for Job Seekers

Support a diverse workforce and increase opportunities for non- or limited English speakers to gain equitable access to local jobs.


20C

Upgrade Payne Ave to Anchor AsiaTown

Create a Plaza Along Payne to Serve as a Central Outdoor Gathering Space

A unique, outdoor amenity will draw residents, workers, and visitors to AsiaTown. A prominent new plaza would improve the pedestrian experience along Payne, create a place for rest and relaxation, and a venue to host joint programming with AsiaTown partners.


8D

Elevate Black & Asian Creative Voices

Uplift Chinese and Other Asian Cultures in Asiatown Through the Elevation of Asian & AAPI Artists in Public Art

Promote and preserve Asian culture in AsiaTown; connect the community to public art and promote a sense of belonging and identity through public art.


4C

A Snapshot of the Neighborhood

MidTown Today

The one sure thing about MidTown at this moment is ... it's changing! In our work to develop this Plan, we collected two critical types of information – quantitative data about the place, and qualitative data built from our own experience exploring the area.

We combined this with the robust input we received through our outreach and stakeholder engagement in the process. At the intersection of this qualitative and quantitative data analysis, eight major ideas emerged - that provide a simple, but comprehensive grounding in our understanding of MidTown today.

Collage_1

1

MidTown doesn’t have a single identity, it’s a PATCHWORK. Because of this, people identify with MidTown in different ways.

2

MidTown is the Intersection of diverse Communities.

3

MidTown has HOUSING, but it is not the center of any single community.

4

There is a need to improve community Health outcomes.

5

MidTown needs to be a pipeline for Jobs that are accessible to people in the local area.

6

Stakeholders agree: MidTown's Location is its biggest asset.

7

There isn't a Place that brings people together [except Dave's]. There needs to be one, and it needs to be Bold.

8

MidTown is Designed to be a passthrough. It can be redesigned.

The MidTown Neighborhood Vision Plan is meant to be a critical catalyzing element for the area. Its vision statement articulates the type of community MidTown strives to be as it changes and grows over time. It documents the qualities of the MidTown area today that are critical to retaining MidTown’s uniqueness and authenticity over time. Born of hundreds of ideas shared by MidTown’s many stakeholders, this plan was revised and polished by the MidTown Inc. team and project Steering Committee and shared here with pride and excitement for what is yet to come.

This Vision Plan can help define the neighborhood in the future.

NVP_Community_Runner_2b

FROM MIDTOWN CLEVELAND

A Message from the Team

The MidTown Cleveland, Inc. team is excited to share the results of your Neighborhood Vision Plan. Despite the twists and turns of the pandemic, we are thrilled with the input, engagement, and thought partnership from you—our community—in preparing a five-year, actionable plan that is thoughtful, holistic, and community-based.

We know the MidTown neighborhood is at a critical juncture with the acceleration of real estate development and economic growth. What happens in MidTown over the next decade will directly impact not just the residents and employees of MidTown but also the tens of thousands of residents in the neighborhoods north, south, east, and west of us. We recognize that we must act with urgency to ensure that the Neighborhood Vision Plan and the development and plans that follow will reduce disparity and advance racial equity. We thank you for your investment in this process to create a guiding vision that will further connect MidTown’s built environment and community both physically and socially. We can’t wait to partner with you towards achieving the compelling vision laid out in the plan!

NVP_Banner_Remix3

Thank You from the MidTown CLEVELAND team!

Jeff Epstein
Executive Director

Joyce Huang
Vice President of Community Development

Richard Barga
Vice President of Economic Development

Paul Deutsch
MidTown Board Chair

Principal - Bialosky Cleveland

NEIGHBORHOOD VISION PLAN

Steering Committee

Our steering committee consisted of 36 individuals and thought partners who are from or working in the MidTown, AsiaTown, Hough, Fairfax, Central, and St. Clair-Superior neighborhoods.

Akin Africa

Angie's Soul Food

Keith Benford Jr.

Hough Resident, Artist, E. 66th Street Youth Advisory Council Member

Aparna Bole

MidTown Board, University Hospitals Rainbow Center for Women and Children

Robert "Bob" Brown

MidTown Board, City Planning Consultant

Maria Campanelli

MidTown Board, Children's Museum of Cleveland

Paul Deutsch

MidTown Board Chair, Bialosky Cleveland

Joe Duffy

St. Clair Superior Development Corporation

Alana Garrett-Ferguson

Hough Resident

Anne Goodman

St. Clair Superior Development Corporation (Interim)

Darin Haines

MidTown Board, MCPc

Marsalis Hammons

Cleveland Foundation Service Fellow, CLE Metro School District

Joy Johnson

BBC Development Inc.

Julian Khan

Neighborhood Connections & NeighborUp

Adam King

Cleveland Owns, Board Member of Dunham Tavern Museum

Lillian Kuri

The Cleveland Foundation

Lexy Lattimore

Artist; Community Activist

Reverend Dr. Leah Lewis

Filmmaker, Writer, Entrepreneur

Julie Megyimori

Dealer Tire

Jacqueline Muhammad

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Kevin Nowak

CHN Housing Partners

Catondra Noye

Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation

Rachel Oscar

Campus District, Inc.

Frank Porter

MidTown Board, Former Owner of Central Cadillac

Isaiah Pritchard

Hough Resident, Artist, E 66th Street Youth Advisory Council Member

Kim Scott

City of Cleveland Planning Commission - Chief City Planner

Sonya Shakir

City of Cleveland Community Relations Third District Representative

Khrys Shefton

Famicos Foundation

Ron Stubblefield

Jumpstart, Inc.

Elaine Tso

ASIA, Inc.

Carolyn Watts Allen, Esq.

Hough Resident, Former City of Cleveland Director of Public Safety

Sharonda Whatley

City of Cleveland Planning Commission - City Planner

Anthony Whitfield

Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation

THOUGHT PARTNERS

Tiffany Graham Charkosky

LAND Studio

Evelyn Burnett

ThirdSpace Action Lab

Mordecai Cargill

ThirdSpace Action Lab

Maura Garvin

ThirdSpace Action Lab

Community Participation

Starting in March 2020, our team worked hard to connect with residents, business owners, artists, workers, youth, nonprofit stakeholders, and more in MidTown. Although our original engagement plans changed due to COVID-19, we connected with over 500 people throughout our process both virtually and physically distanced. Early one-on-one interviews gave us a solid grounding in the area, and the creation of two bespoke engagement tools - an online survey and a collaborative virtual map - allowed us to collect ongoing information from stakeholders about the area. Virtual focus group discussions allowed us to workshop strategies specifically related to small business development, leveraging the arts, and amplifying Black and Asian voices with those entrenched in the local issues and environment. We also hosted two virtual Community Updates to keep the community in the loop on our progress.

256+

Community Surveys completed.

100+

Comments added to the online map.

100 

Individuals participated in focus groups.

40+

Joined our Virtual Public Meetings.

25 

One-on-one interviews with stakeholders.