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Description. Old Brooklyn includes the part of Cleveland south of Big Creek. The neighborhood was annexed to Cleveland in sections during the early 1900s. Beginning in the 1880s, the area around Schaaf Road became one of the first places in the Midwest to use greenhouses for the year-round growing of vegetables and by the 1920s was one of the nation?s leading producers of greenhouse vegetables. Most of these sites have since been redeveloped for housing. The neighborhood is predominantly housing with commercial and industrial uses located along its periphery near highways and river valleys. Older streets off Pearl and State are a mix of one- and two-family houses but areas built after World War II are mainly single-family. The neighborhood also has a number of larger multi-family complexes in scattered locations.

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

  • stable residential neighborhoods
  • central location in the region with good freeway access
  • natural features such as the Big Creek and Cuyahoga River valleys which are centerpieces for Brookside and the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservations
  • the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, located since 1908 in the Big Creek Valley

Challenges. Among the challenges faced by the Old Brooklyn neighborhood today are:

  • clean-up and redevelopment of abandoned landfill properties
  • connect the neighborhood with the Towpath Trail and Cuyahoga River Valley via Lower Big Creek Valley
  • hillside subsidence and ongoing property loss along rim of Lower Big Creek Valley
  • redevelopment of vacant and underutilized commercial “stores and suites” buildings along main commercial corridors
  • deteriorating absentee-owned rental housing
  • redevelopment opportunities along Brookpark Road commercial corridor

Vision. The Old Brooklyn neighborhood enjoys good regional accessibility due to the presence of Interstates 71 and 480 and the State 176 ( Jennings) Freeway. The area?s variety and overall quality of housing stock and close proximity to both the Lower Big Creek Valley and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail combine to make it a desirable residential neighborhood of choice. Among the other development opportunities and initiatives proposed are the following:

  • development of new infill housing on scattered vacant sites on Spring, Schaaf and Pearl Roads
  • create neighborhood linkage to Towpath Trail via the Lower Big Creek Valley and the Treadway Creek Trail
  • convert Henninger Landfill property and portions of Lower Big Creek Valley into active and passive green space
  • redevelopment of traditional downtown Old Brooklyn retail node at Pearl-Broadview-Memphis intersection
  • rehabilitation of absentee-owned multi-family housing, particularly in Broadview- Pearl-Biddulph/Saratoga triangle
  • undertake streetscape improvements along Broadview and Pearl Roads that are complementary to the western route of the Ohio and Erie Canal Scenic Byway
  • pursue hillside stabilization measures in areas where erosion threatens public infrastructure components

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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