West Boulevard- A solid early 20th century district on Cleveland’s Westside ready to be noticed

West Boulevard developed around the turn of the 20th century as Cleveland’s streetcar system extended outwards, primarily along Lorain. W 105, Memphis, and Dennison were also built as mixed-use streets although they have experienced a good amount of blight and auto centric development. Large homes were built on set back lawns along the curvilinear West Blvd. This homes demand the highest prices in the neighborhood generally btwn 150K-200K.

West Boulevard started declining probably in the 70s but has retained most of its housing stock. (The portion of the district east of Dennison is the most blighted abutting Stockyards). Like Jefferson to the west it has remained static for decades, but households are less wealthy. This is also one of Cleveland’s most diverse districts hosting large Hispanic, Middle Eastern, Black, and Asian Populations. My hope is that the general revitalization of nearby Cleveland westside districts (Lakewood, Kamm’s Corner, and Detroit Shoreway) will arrive to West Boulevard. I’d love to see the Lorain Station commercial district (btwn West Boulevard and W. 90th) revitalize as it contains most of its attractive early 20th century 2 story fabric.

Click here to view my West Boulevard album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Better urban form along Lorain between W 117th W 92nd especially in Lorain Station section.
 Many large stately homes from the early 20th century with massive years along West Boulevard.
* Excellent racial diversity and decent economic and generational diversity.
* Convenient access to Dwtn with solid public transit service.
* Good array of parks west od Dennison Street. Really no recreational spaces east of Dennison St.
* Indoor mountain bike park within an old industrial site.
* Very good ADA and sidewalks infrastructure.
* Some very nice homes especially the quasi-mansions along West Blvd. Also some crummy woodframe worker housing not maintained well, especially east of Dennison St.
* A good amount of school options K-8 mixing private, public, and charter options. Mixed however in terms of quality education. No walkable High Schools.
* Decent urban commercial massing especially along Lorain street where much of the historic commercial is still in-tact even with high vacancies. Recent streetscaping project along Lorain as well.
* Decent amount of retail amenities including a discount supermarket, many ethnic grocerias & markets, a drug store, public library, Shoppers World (like k-mart), Rainbows, a fabrics store, good array of banks, and several discount boutiques. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Moderate level of vacancies in commercial district and residential especially east of Denison.
* Limited bike infrastructure.
* Rentals are kinda limited but generally very reasonably priced.
* For Sale product is a mix of stable and standing but blighted. Majority of housing sells between 50K-100K. But some below 50K. Larger well maintained homes will sell between 100K-150. Some of the larger homes along West Blvd are pushing 200K. Sale prices are too low for any quality new in-fill. In-fill is generally crummy auto centric stuff.
* Good amount of rental product but all pretty inexpensive. Mix of decent and poorly maintained rentals.
* Cultural amenities are pretty limited but include a decent array of ethnic restaurants, lots of dive bars, and several cafes.

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