Issue: July 2005 Issue
Soon the Historic Warehouse District will get a bit of a facelift.
This summer will mark the beginning of a more than $500,000 beautification project in the downtown Cleveland neighborhood that stretches from West Third Street to West 10th Street and from Superior to Lakeside avenues.
The Historic Warehouse District Development Corp.'s public space revitalization project will include hanging flower baskets and signs from lampposts and constructing three brick-paved "pocket parks" with flowers, trees and benches.
"The Warehouse District is one of the real success stories downtown," says Tom Yablonsky, executive director of the development corp. "This allows it to be something greater. ... It's sending a message about creating a healthy neighborhood."
In April, the Anthem Foundation, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's charitable organization, helped kick off fundraising for the effort by pledging a total of $75,000 over five years to the project. Of that amount, $50,000 will be given up front to start implementing parts of the project immediately.
"We certainly appreciate Anthem's leadership on this," says Dave Martin Gonsior, spokesperson for the Historic Warehouse District Development Corp. "They should be applauded."
Every year, the Anthem Foundation donates to various causes, usually centered around health-related programs. But this year a few community-centered organizations were chosen as grant recipients in an effort to promote and maintain the well-being of the entire community.
"We believe very strongly in the well-being of the city of Cleveland," says Joe LaGuardia, regional vice president, group sales for Northern Ohio, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio.
"As Cleveland, an older, industrial city, continues to revitalize itself, it's really important that those regions in the midst of the resurgence are celebrated and are visual," adds Jeanne Hauer, regional marketing director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
The beautification project is just one aspect of a long-term, multi-million dollar revitalization plan for the Warehouse District, which will focus primarily on new construction. In the last decade and a half, more than $400 million in private investment has poured into the district. Gonsior hopes that strong investment will continue.
"The hope is that this becomes a model for other neighborhoods downtown," he says. "It will not only recertify the success that has been there already. Ã‰ We think it will spur additional development as well."
For more information on how you can contribute to the continued success of the Warehouse District, contact Dave Martin Gonsior at (216) 548-9066.
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