Jefferson- A stable working class neighborhood on Cleveland’s Westside

Jefferson is a staple middle/working class district on Cleveland’s Westside with relatively good occupancy and in tact urban form. It is also a very affordable neighborhood  attractive to immigrant groups and one of Cleveland’s most diverse areas. About 14% of the population is foreign born and over half of the population is a minority. One can find an array of ethnic restaurants, bakeries, markets, along Lorain and West 105th Street.

The district also excels at great transit access and park recreation. It has decent walkable schools. ADA infrastructure, historic homes, and connectivity. My hope is that the general revitalization of nearby Cleveland westside districts (Lakewood, Kamm’s Corner, and Detroit Shoreway) will arrive in Jefferson. The neighborhood has good urban form but has remained in a similar place for many decades leading to a static maintenance of existing homes and commercial fabric with very little new urban infill. The biggest urban areas to improve include: urban infill long Jefferson’s commercial districts and more cultural and neighborhood amenities.
 
Click here to view my Jefferson Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Highly diverse neighborhood including sizable Middle eastern and Hispanic community. Considered the center of Middle Eastern community at Lorain and West 117th in Cleveland. Also great economic and generation diversity. Lots of families here.
* Excellent public transportation access especially along Lorain and near the Red Line Transit Stations.
* Many attractive brick and wooded streets with solid owner occupancy.
* Recent streetscape investments on Lorain west of W. 117th including mid-block pedestrian crossing.
* Several great park assets pretty well distributed throughout the neighborhood including Gunning Park Recreation Center, Jefferson Park, Halloran Park (includes an indoor ice rink), Mohican, and Worthington Park.
* Pretty good pre WWII architecture mixing in brick and woodframe styles. Historic commercial is mostly 2 story brick structures.
* Good Tree canopy.
* While not all the schools are highly rated, good mix of walkable schools including several grade schools and the John Marshall High School focusing on engineering.
* Culturally a wonderful array of ethnic restaurants, several diverse bars, and some cafes. Not much else culturally.
* Good array of retail amenities although much of them are auto centric. This includes a target, office max, tons of ethnic grocerias, a couple supermarkets, several drug stores, post office,  a hardware store, and other typical neighborhood retail.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Rentals are kinda limited but generally very reasonably priced.
* For Sale product is stable but pretty inexpensive. Most homes sell between 75K-150 and are 3 & 4 bedrooms with decent sized yards. Great neighborhood for a starter home. Some nicer product between 150-200K. But sale prices are too low for any quality new in-fill. In-fill is generally crummy auto centric stuff.
* Some blight in the neighborhood especially along the commercial districts where there is a fair amount of unoccupied store fronts
* Limited bike infrastructure.
* Urban form of commercial district is a mixed bag. Decent stretch along Lorain between W 136 and 117. The W 117 & Lorain node has the best form. Some very auto centric areas near Lorain and W 140th. parts of W 117th, Puritas, and W 150th. 

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