Cleveland: New CMHA campus construction underway

4:57 PM, Apr 27, 2010   |    comments
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The new headquarters for the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority is starting to take shape at the corner of East 80th Street and Kinsman Avenue.

CMHA is creating a "building boom" along that part of Kinsman.

A brand new Garden Valley Estates is being constructed a short distance away, thanks to stimulus dollars.

The CMHA offices are now located in its present headquarters at West 25th Street and Detroit Avenue and a handful of other buildings around town.

A new office building and service garage on the new site will bring the agency's workforce together for the first time in its history.

The location is not highway accessible but it is near thousands of public housing residents.

"This is the epicenter of the county for us. It becomes one-stop-shopping. The hope is the new facility will spark other business in the neighborhood," said George Phillips, CMHA executive director.

"With 400 workers and 300 visitors a day, we need lunch. And we need office materials and business supplies. We are definitely trying to reinvigorate this area, " Phillips added.

The campus location is in the middle of what was called "the forgotten triangle."

It had many dangerous and toxic chemicals.

Five years ago, a controversy developed. It came to light that taxpayers paid to clean up the property and paid again for CMHA to buy it at what some called an excessive figure of about $152,000 per acre for 25 acres.

Federal agents seized records pertaining to the deal and reviewed the transaction.

Phillips now says, "We think we got a fair deal...I think it's been satisfactorily resolved. We're moving on."

The hope is the new project will move the neighborhood in a more prosperous direction.

The project's price tag about $16 million. It's slated to open in late summer of 2011.


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