Plant Trees in Central on May 3

April 22nd, 2014 by jsugalski

Today is Earth Day.  There’s no better way to honor the day and contribute to the well being of the planet by volunteering to plant some trees!

BBC, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Davey Tree, and Keep Ohio Beautiful are leading the effort to plant twenty street trees in the Central neighborhood the morning of Saturday, May 3.  We need volunteers who can help lend a hand on East 38th and 39th Streets between Cedar and Central in St. John’s Village West.

See our flier below.  If you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment or call us at (216) 341-1455.

GREEN IT UP Tree Planting Flyer -  FINAL (2)

Financial assistance available to beautify Ward 5 storefronts

April 11th, 2014 by jsugalski

Are you a commercial property owner or do you own a retail business?

BBC is partnering with the City of Cleveland Department of Community Development to offer the Storefront Renovation Program (SRP) in the Central and Kinsman neighborhoods.  SRP provides financial incentives (rebate or loan) combined with free design assistance to applicants considering an exterior rehabilitation of a commercial structure.

The program can help property and/or business owners with bringing properties into building code compliance, correcting maintenance items and code violations, renovation of architectural/historical details, site improvements, and the design and installation of new signage.

For more information, please contact Jason Minter at 216.341.1455.

BBC welcomes Jason T. Minter to the staff

April 10th, 2014 by jsugalski

Jason T. Minter is the newest addition to the BBC staff. 

BBC was first introduced to Jason, who hails from Austin, TX, when he was selected as a finalist for BBC’s Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship position in a highly competitive national application process.  Jason felt strongly that working to improve low-income communities in Cleveland was what he was destined to do.  BBC’s mission resonated with him, and he was eager to be part of the team.

Jason Minter is BBC’s new real estate development specialist

One opportunity led to another for Jason.  When BBC posted an employment opportunity for a new real estate development specialist, Jason applied, interviewed, and was our top candidate for the position.

Jason earned a Master of Architecture from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He possesses a variety of work experience in the field of architecture in the United States, as well as Mexico, Italy, and Tunisia.

As BBC’s real estate development specialist, Jason will utilize his skills to facilitate new development in Central and Kinsman.  He will also be out in the neighborhoods working on a variety of community initiatives and assisting residents with home repairs.

Please welcome Jason to the neighborhood and Cleveland!

See what’s envisioned for E 79th St

April 9th, 2014 by jsugalski

We’ve previously posted about how BBC is in the process of revitalizing a long-time blighted vacant parcel adjacent to the E 79th St RTA Blue/Green Rapid Station.

Through two community design charrettes held earlier this year, residents and stakeholders envisioned the potential for a refreshed greenspace.   BBC Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow Erick Rodriguez created a design based on the feedback offered by the community.

See what is planned for the E 79th St site here.

BBC has received a $50,000 grant from Reimagining Cleveland, a program of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Wells Fargo CityLIFT® program, The U.S. Department of Justice, and Cuyahoga Land Reutilization Corporation.  We continue to leverage additional resources to bring the full project to fruition.

Look for activity to begin on the site this spring.

CMHA Choice bringing complete new neighborhood to Central

April 8th, 2014 by jsugalski

*Image courtesy of Cleveland City Planning Commission,

Residents have asked us, “What’s happening in the area across from Cuyahoga Community College?”

Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority and its partners are building an entire new neighborhood.  CMHA is in the process of redeveloping the former Cedar Extension as Central Choice Neighborhood.  The Choice plans calls for 377 units of townhomes and apartments, retail, services, and other amenities to be developed on land that until recently had been occupied by substandard, antiquated, and overcrowded housing.

Phase I of the project will consist of a sixty-unit four-story building on the corner of E 30th Street and Community College Boulevard.  A portion of the units will be market-rate rental.  Space for retail businesses, such as shops and restaurants, will be included on the ground floor.  Construction should begin in August and last slightly longer than a year.

Phase II will be comprised of approximately fifty townhomes within a new street grid.  The timeline for Phase II has not yet been set.

Additionally, Care Alliance is constructing a new health care facility at the corner of E 30th Street and Central Avenue.  Construction should be complete around the end of the year or shortly after.  The Care Alliance in the Stokes Social Service Mall on Woodland Avenue will remain open and will continue to serve patients.

No significant changes will be taking place at the Cedar High Rise building.

A full set of renderings and elevations is available on the Cleveland City Planning Commission’s website here.

BBC mentioned in congressional meeting on Capitol Hill

April 4th, 2014 by jsugalski

BBC and its Healthy Food Access Initiative were mentioned in a recent congressional committee meeting.  Congresswoman Marcia Fudge spoke namely about how the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy Food Financing Initiative is a critical part of CDCs addressing lack of food access if impoverished communities.

Here are instructions to view the video:

1) Visit
2) On the left-hand side, “Click to watch archived webcast”
3) Rep. Fudge’s mention of BBC is around the 01:06:45 mark in the video

BBC hiring summer VISTA for sustainability projects

April 1st, 2014 by jsugalski

Posted 4/1/14



The AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate will assist in the planning, implementation, and promotion of sustainable community revitalization initiatives for a ten-week period beginning June 9 and concluding August 15, 2014.

- Coordinate the planting of up to 400 street trees, including performing outreach to homeowners, teaching community members about the benefits of trees, educating homeowners and residents about care and maintenance of trees, and recruiting volunteers to participate in tree planting days;

- Divert residential runoff from sewers and watersheds by assisting in the coordination of an urban rain barrel program;

- Implement neighborhood climate action initiatives that focus on health and poverty relief;

- Lead initiative to preserve and improve multi-modal transportation options for residents of low-income neighborhoods for sustainability and affordability; and

- Other duties as assigned.

The AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate must have satisfactory oral and written communication skills and ability to interact effectively with the public, particularly low-income, minority, and/or aging populations. Must have satisfactory computer skills, including Microsoft Office.

Minimum high school diploma required. Some college education in sustainability, urban studies, urban planning, or related field required.

This is a full-time position. The work schedule is 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Some weekends and evenings may be required.

Approximately $946/month, with choice of $1,175 education award or $310 cash stipend at the conclusion of service.

This position will be posted until filled. Please submit a resume and cover letter to Jeffrey Sugalski, Real Estate Development Director via email at, via fax at (216) 341-2683 or via mail at 7201 Kinsman Road, Suite 104, Cleveland, OH 44104.

For more information about the organization, please visit

Up to 400 new street trees to be planted in Central in 2014

April 1st, 2014 by jsugalski

BBC, residents, and partners planted four trees last fall at E 40th St and Central Ave.

Trees possess many benefits for people and neighborhoods.  They clean pollutants from the air, cool the streets and city during the hot summer, combat global warming, help households conserve energy, reduce violence, increase property values, and improve the overall appeal of neighborhoods.

However, Ward 5 has the most sparse tree canopy and fewest number of trees of any area in Cuyahoga County.

BBC and its partners aim to change that this year.  Two initiatives will bring hundreds of new trees to the Central beginning in the spring.

BBC, Davey Tree, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, and Keep Ohio Beautiful will plant fifty to 150 street trees beginning in the spring.  The team and community kicked off the campaign in 2013, installing the first four trees at the St. John’s Square Reading Garden at E 40th Street and Central Avenue last November.

Additionally, the City of Cleveland received a grant from the US Forest Service to install 1,000 street trees throughout Cleveland, 250 of which will be planted in Central in Fall 2014.

BBC and its partners have been identifying prospective streets in which new trees may be planted.  We will be reaching out to homeowners in these areas over the next few months.  We hope that you will consider a tree for the wealth of benefits it will provide your family, home, and neighborhood!

Click here for coverage of the initiatives on

Jeffrey Sugalski is BBC’s new Real Estate Dev Director

March 31st, 2014 by jsugalski

Jeffrey Sugalski is BBC’s new Real Estate Development Director!

Jeff has been with BBC for almost a decade.  Initially, he started with the organization as Property Research Intern between his first and second year of graduate school in 2004.  He was brought on full-time as Real Estate Development Specialist in Spring 2005 and was promoted as Real Estate Development Manager in 2008.

In his role as real estate development director, Jeff will promote, implement, and oversee  all development projects.

Jeff takes over for Joe Jones, with whom he has worked since he interned with the organization.  Joe retired from eleven successful years at BBC on Friday, March 28.

Please watch for an announcement about BBC’s new real estate development specialist in the coming days.


BBC Staff’s Tribute to Joseph L. Jones

March 28th, 2014 by jsugalski

It’s a bittersweet day for the board and staff of BBC, as Real Estate Development Director Joseph L. Jones is retiring today after working with BBC for eleven years.

BBC 077

The BBC staff wanted to share their thoughts on working with Joe over the years. Here’s what we had to say:

Nailah Ingram, Administrative Officer: “I will miss Joe’s sense of humor and passion for what he does.  He was always willing to help, whether it was work-related or a personal issue you were having.  He will be truly missed.  The office will not be the same without him!”

Jeffrey Sugalski, Real Estate Development Manager: “Joe was a very understanding supervisor that gave me lots of opportunities and took a personal interest in my professional growth over the years.  It was a lot of fun for me to work with Joe and learn from him for almost a decade.  We will miss him, but I’m certain that Joe will continue to do great things in his retirement.”

Joy Johnson, Grants Management Director: “Joe is a walking encyclopedia!  He’s given me guidance and counsel on countless occasions.  If he doesn’t know the answer, he will show you where to go to get it.  He’s my go-to-guy.  Who will I “go-to” when he retires?”

Caitlyn Neely, AmeriCorps VISTA Member: “I will miss Joe’s sense of humor and simple life lessons the most. He always has a joke or smart comment for everything that will be sure to make you laugh. When he isn’t making jokes, he provides valuable lessons to put life’s events in perspective.”

Larry LaPrade, Housing Specialist: “Joe has given me guidance and direction beyond the work place. I’m not sure he realizes, but I’d like Joe to know he’s not only a colleague, but a role model, ideal father figure, and friend whom I’m going to miss dearly.”

Sherita Mullins, Manager of Social Enterprises: “I see Joe as a mentor.  He doesn’t judge you or put you down when you don’t know something.  He will crack a joke, but he will do his best to help you out when you have a question.  I will truly miss his witty comments and wealth of knowledge.”

Erick Rodriguez, Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow: “Although I’ve only known Joe for three months, I had the pleasure to witness his commitment and honest friendship to all of us at BBC. I will miss his presence in the office, but I look forward to grabbing lunch with him whenever possible. I wish you the best, Joe!”

Rodney Richmond, Operator of Neighborhood Landscaping Enterprise: “I’ll miss Joe’s sense of humor first thing in the morning. If you’re having a bad morning, please believe that he is going to say something to bring a smile to your face. Joe always tries to help you better yourself and gives good advice. He will be missed.”

Racquel Jones, Manager of Bridgeport Café: “When I signed on to Bridgeport Café, I was told that Joe was my go-to person for the building. Well, I certainly took advantage of that, but Joe came through for me every time! Joe assigned himself as my personal agent and he promised me that he would get me to Hollywood! So now that he has time on his hands… I will truly miss Joe around here and I hope he enjoys his retirement to the fullest!”