EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - Just after 9 a.m. Wednesday, crews running cranes took over Hartshorn Road in East Cleveland. They tore down abandoned apartments and homes in an effort to stop crime and clean up what was once a very busy city.
The Cuyahoga Land Bank is working with East Cleveland leaders and Cuyahoga County officials to clear the path for this brand new development project. Once demolition is complete, a total of 24 abandoned apartment buildings and 31 homes will be torn down.
"It means a lot, from individual neighbors on the street to business person who has viable business in community to entrepreneur to large institution who wants to locate on Euclid Avenue near transportation corridor and University Circle. To all those people, it means the world to them," East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton Jr. said.
The demolition project was designed to create a more attractive environment for people to live and work.
Resident like Beverly Crim said this is a long-tim coming. She said she was sick of watching crime activity happening on a daily basis around her.
"People were dumping in that building across the street and I was concerned about that. You never know what they were dumping or if they were running from the law, hiding over there, and no one knows what's going on," Crim said.
This is the largest demolition project Land Bank has ever done. Once it's complete, there will be three redevelopment sites officials hope will attract business and residential developers. The project has created eight new jobs.
The total cost of this demolition, according to Land Bank: $900,000.