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Description. Jefferson was annexed to Cleveland as part of the City?s final major territorial expansion in 1923 when the Village of West Park was annexed. The neighborhood shares the name with Jefferson Park which is located near its center on Lorain Avenue, just west of West 130 th. The initial major wave of construction occurred after World War I with the construction of residential streets within walking distance of the extension of streetcar lines along Lorain Avenue. Areas further from Lorain Avenue began to develop after World War II. The neighborhood is mainly single-family housing with some doubles intermixed on the older streets near Lorain Avenue. Industry and a few apartment buildings are located in the vicinity of the rail and rapid transit lines that run from the airport to downtown along the western edge of the neighborhood.

Assets. Among the neighborhood’s most significant assets are:

  • convenient parks are scattered throughout neighborhood including Halloran, Mohican and Jefferson
  • the Lorain Avenue retail district
  • areas employment near the interstates and rail corridors
  • easy access to rapid transit stations
  • good access to both interstates 71 and 90

Challenges. Among the challenges faced by the Jefferson neighborhood today are:

  • proliferation of vacant residential structures due to foreclosures
  • concentrations of vacant storefronts along Lorain Avenue

Vision. The Jefferson neighborhood has the potential for some of the most exciting redevelopment in the City?s far west side. A renovated Variety Theatre, currently vacant, can serve as the focal point for the creation of a neighborhood downtown which would also incorporate the rehabilitation of other outstanding mixed-use building stock, primarily from the 1920s, centered around the Theatre. Other initiatives and opportunities include:

  • targeted efforts to make absentee property owners (such as out-of-state banks, savings and loans, etc) take more responsibility for upkeep and eventual marketing of foreclosed properties
  • implementation of streetscape, parking enhancements, and targeted urban design improvements as called out for in the Lorain Avenue Master Plan in stages as needed or as opportunities arise
  • construction of a new access road to help facilitate truck access to the Elmwood industrial area from Berea Road
  • target housing programs on streets south of the Variety Theatre area
  • focusing on the area around West 140 th/Lorain Avenue for additional small-area master planning

Printable version: can be downloaded here.

Maps (current as of May 2007): Assets, Development Opportunities, Land Use (existing and proposed), and Retail Strategies are available here. (PDF)


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