East Central Townhomes
The $1.2 million comprehensive renovation of East Central Townhomes, a stunning eight-unit rowhouse building that has adorned the gateway to East 73rd Street for more than a century, was successfully completed by BBC in November 2011.
When BBC acquired East Central Townhomes in 2009, the organization inherited a very deplorable building in which seven of the eight units were highly uninhabitable. All items of value, from furnaces to wiring, were stripped and stolen from within the structure. Some of the unit interiors were used as dumping grounds. Roof damage and broken windows exposed the inside of the building to the elements and encouraged major weather damage. In the most affected units, several feet of water accumulated in the basements. Extreme temperatures caused paint to peel off in sheets, and the onslaught of precipitation weakened much of the wood framing of the building.
Despite the poor condition of the structure, BBC was committed and deeply compelled to find a way to preserve a significant historical piece of the fabric of the Central neighborhood and one of the cornerstones of East 73rd Street. Staff felt that it was critical to address the blighted building rather than allow it to threaten all that had been previously accomplished, namely the twenty-six new homes built as part of East Central Place, a new KaBOOM! playground, and progress achieved by the block club and Cleveland Central Weed & Seed. BBC’s staff worked tirelessly to secure funding to bring the building back to its original splendor over the course of two years.
The eight units, which each have three bedrooms, one full and one half bath, are being rented to low- to moderate-income families. Amenities include Internet, security systems, new porches, and full basements.
The building has been renovated to Enterprise Green Communities standards, meaning that there was a dedicated effort to making the building resource-efficient and performing the rehabilitation in a manner that is sensitive to the environment. Green features include high-efficiency furnaces; Energy Star-rated entry doors, windows, appliances, hot water tanks, and light fixtures; low-flow aerators, shower heads, and toilets; and digital thermostats. These sustainable aspects will ensure that tenant families have affordable utility costs, as well as healthy living conditions.
The project was financed utilizing the Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Development Gap Financing Program, the City of Cleveland’s Housing Trust Fund and CDBG-R programs, and a private loan from PNC Bank, with an interest rate bought down by Cleveland Action to Support Housing (CASH).