CLEVELAND - " Building Better Neighborhoods: Comeback Communities " airs Thursday night at 7:30 on NewsChannel5 and features three northeast Ohio areas that are thriving: Kent, Willoughby and Cleveland's Flats.
Joe Pagonakis introduces us to these areas that are now destination locations. Chris Flanagan takes us to Kent, Danita Harris shows us around Willoughby and Leon Bibb looks at what is now going on in the Flats.
Kent has added a new downtown hotel, connected the city to Kent State University with a walkway, built a new transportation center and parking deck. With that came new businesses and restaurants.
Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala said, "I think the message I want to get out there is if you think positive and you have a group of people that have the same idea, they want something to happen and not dwell on negativity, you can do it. "
In Willoughby, what used to be a rundown downtown area, filled with mostly antique shops, has now turned around. There are new businesses, new restaurants, and constant activities like Thursday night concerts, that draw people to Willoughby.
Katie Trejo said, "It's just a nice atmosphere. There are a lot of families out. It's a big variety of people. A lot of nice restaurants. You can go places to get a nice drink, sit outside. It's just a nice atmosphere."
In Cleveland's flats, phase 1 of development, spearheaded by developer Scott Wolstein and his mother Iris, is complete and phase 2 is now underway. Phase 1 brought restaurants, the new Aloft Hotel and Ernst and Young's headquarters in a new multi-story building. Phase 2 includes residential housing, underground parking, and a boardwalk.
Erik Schnaser told NewsChannel5, "A lot of people are moving down here and this is something that's going to spark a lot of interest in coming down here to the Flats and enjoying everything these places have to offer. It's really a nice addition."
Watch "Building Better Neighborhoods: Comeback Communities" Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on NewsChannel5.