BROOKLYN, Ohio - It was a building that stood vacant for 20 years, and was soon to be scheduled for demolition. On Monday, the old Cuyahoga County library building in Brooklyn had been given a new life.
The 5,000-square-foot brick and steel structure has been turned into the Loving Cup Kids Academy of Brooklyn, a day care that can accommodate up to 100 children.
The transformation effort involved the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, the city of Brooklyn's Community Improvement Corporation, Cuyahoga County Public Library and ClevelandTech Solutions, LLC.
"We had the cooperation of the Cuyahoga Land Bank who came out and cleared out the inside of the building," said Brooklyn Mayor Richard Balbier. "We all worked together, and here's the finished product, it's going to be very well taken in this city."
Mayor Balbier told NewsChannel5 Loving Cup Kid Academy is now the only licensed daycare in Brooklyn so the facility will definitely fill a need.
"They paid $200,000 for the building to the city, but they have a $400,000 investment here," explained Mayor Balbier. " So the city and the schools receive property taxes in addition to the 20 new employees hired here."
The new day care is owned by Dr. Mukesh Agarwal, and marks the seventh time his company has taken a vacant building and turned into a vibrant part of a community.
"We're providing a service to the community first, and now these buildings can generate revenue for a city rather than just sitting around," said Agarwal. "They also look beautiful, and they make a city look beautiful."
Dr. Agarwal and his investment team recently finished a similar project in Richmond Heights, turning a vacant building into a 3,500 square foot child care center.
Loving Cup Kid Academy manager Jaclyn Kaliszewski told NewsChannel5 the new daycare is sure to fill-up quickly.
"Parents that live in the neighborhood like to have somewhere close to home," said Kaliszewski. " We have a school and church next to us, it's an amazing spot right off of Ridge Road."
NewsChannel5 is also trying to fight back against a growing number of vacant homes and building through our Building Better Neighborhoods initiative.
Residents can also report vacant homes by sending us pictures and information on condemned properties in our neighborhood, and we'll forward the information to your city building department in an effort to move the properties to progress.
More information on how residents can volunteer in their neighborhoods and make them better cab be found by contacting Hands on Northeast Ohio.