Next Woodhill Homes phase starts

Woodhill Center East on Woodland Avenue is starting construction today thanks to the close financing for the 77-unit residential development that will replace some of the aging 487 units of Woodhill Homes (City Architecture). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Buckeye-Woodhill construction starts

Marous Brothers Construction is moving equipment onto the site today and are quickly beginning construction on Woodhill Center East, a $33.4 million development located at 11305 Woodland Ave. This phase of the Buckeye-Woodhill Transformation Plan will create 77 quality affordable apartments for families and help revitalize the Buckeye-Woodhill community, according to project backers.

Construction work by the Willoughby-based company is coinciding today with an announcement by the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), city of Cleveland, and The Community Builders (TCB) that they have wrapped up financing for Woodhill Center East. The development represents the second phase of the Buckeye-Woodhill Choice Neighborhoods Implementation to replace and rebuild the 83-year-old Woodhill Homes. Woodhill Center East will have a 58-unit apartment building and a 19-unit townhouse development right next door.

In 2021, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded a $35 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to CMHA and the city to support the Buckeye-Woodhill Transformation Plan. With the support of more than 200 collaborative and community partners, CMHA, the City of Cleveland, and TCB are leading the transformation and revitalization of Woodhill Homes and the surrounding Buckeye-Woodhill community. Woodhill Homes has 487 apartments on Woodhill Road north of Woodland Avenue that were built in 1940. They are decaying and no longer meet today’s housing needs, project backers said.

Woodhill Center East features a 58-unit apartment building as well as a 19-unit townhouse development. At least 58 units will be reserved for existing Woodhill Homes residents who will be relocated while the existing Woodhill Homes public housing complex is replaced with modern housing (CMHA).

“This second phase accelerates the momentum of the project and its transformational change for the neighborhood, bringing economic growth with new housing, streets, and public space,” said Council President Blaine Griffin, whose Ward 6 includes this second phase. “This project is so important to the neighborhood, which is why I sponsored legislation for the city to provide a $5 million loan with American Rescue Plan Act funding to this portion of the project to ensure these early phases of the project are successful. I know there are more phases to the project that need to be completed, but it’s exciting to know that when they are, not only will the neighborhood be changed, but families and residents there will be provided resources and support to succeed.”

The first phase of development is Woodhill Station West, a 120-unit, mixed-income apartment complex in 9500 block of Buckeye Road. This phase, located across the street from the Buckeye-Woodhill light-rail station, represents a $46.4 million investment in a long-neglected neighborhood. A later phase of this development called Woodhill Station East could see construction by the end of this year, located immediately east of the first phase. That is not to be confused with Woodhill Center East for which construction is starting today.

“We are excited to soon begin construction on Woodhill Center East, which will bring 77 beautiful, modern, affordable housing units to the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood,” CMHA CEO Jeffrey Patterson said in a written statement. “We appreciate the hard work, support, and continued engagement of the community partners and stakeholders, who have helped make this Woodhill Center East development happen. This second phase of development continues CMHA’s efforts to build sustainable, thriving communities throughout the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, and we are proud of the contribution our development has made toward the overall revitalization of the Buckeye-Woodhill community.”

All phases of the Woodhill Homes redevelopment, called the Buckeye-Woodhill Transformation Plan, are seen here. Phase one has been under construction since last summer. Now phase two is underway (CMHA).

In addition to financial support from the city and HUD, Woodhill Center East will be developed with assistance from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing and Lument. Originally, and according to CMHA’s project Web site, the construction cost for this phase was estimated by CMHA to be about $20.7 million but grew substantially due to rising construction and interest rate expenses.

“The Community Builders is proud to deliver on Woodhill Center East, the newest phase of the
Woodhill Choice Neighborhoods transformation. This milestone marks our continued commitment to the promise of a stronger Woodhill neighborhood, ensuring that Cleveland
residents and their families have accessible and affordable housing options,” said Jeff Beam,
regional vice president of The Community Builders, based in Boston.

“On behalf of our organization, I extend my deepest thanks and well-earned congratulations to the many partners and leaders who made this development possible, including CMHA, the City of Cleveland, Council President Blaine Griffin, our funding partners, and most especially the residents of Woodhill,” Beam said.


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