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Two Vacant Cleveland School Buildings To Undergo A Makeover In Glenville, Jefferson

The two schools abandoned and vacant for years are open to re-development now and will be turned into apartments.

May 11, 2023

It’s been years that the Cleveland Metropolitan School District has closed school buildings without any plan for maintaining or redeveloping them and the Cleveland residents are all complaining about it. Keeping it vacant for years can lead to squatters, vandals, roof leaks, and other issues which in turn can damage the buildings. Such buildings can be saved or redeveloped if taken proper care of.

The two school buildings that are lying vacant include Empire School at 9113 Parmalee Ave. in Glenville and Hawthorne School at 3575 W. 130th Street in the Jefferson neighborhood are about to get a makeover and will soon be turned into affordable apartment buildings this summer.

The initiative was launched in 2021 in which the school and city district needed to transfer 12 empty schools and 7 vacant land to private developers.

Trudy Andrzejewski, asset development strategist says, “ The goal is to bring empty sites, some of which have been empty for 10 plus years, back into productive use”. Besides this, the developers have been able to raise more than 70% of the project costs due to the community input into the two projects.

The City council voted officially to transfer the properties to the developers in the finance meeting held on Monday. Empire School at 9113 Parmalee Ave will be purchased for $65,000 by BC Empire School LLC created by developer Beacon Communities LLC. Likewise, Sustainable Community Associates will buy the Hawthorne School for $45,000.

It will take around $27 Million to re-develop Empire School into affordable senior housing. Out of $27 Million, $19.5 Million has been raised from sources like mortgages, federal low-income housing tax credits, federal historic tax credits, and county brownfields.

The Hawthorne site will require a $14.6 Million cost to re-develop out of which $11.6 Million has been already secured with a mortgage, historic tax credits, and other resources. Keeping in mind the huge financing gap, both projects are also seeking city funding. Besides this, the projects also need design review, planning, and zoning approvals from the city.

While writing the email, Josh Rosen confirmed his team’s excitement to handle the redevelopment of Hawthorne School into affordable apartments. He also said that the goal is to create a mixture of one or two-bedroom apartments so that these can bring the rent up to $900-1500 per month.

37 new apartments will be added to the Jefferson community by the Hawthorne project. Also, the developers are planning to preserve the green space around the school to be used by apartment residents and community members.

The council members extended their support to both of the projects and also allowed some buildings to remain vacant for years as there is no plan for maintaining them. The council members also deemed Hawthorne School as the biggest investment made in the last 20 years.

The redevelopment of these school sites started under the Jackson administration, is consistent with the Bibb’s administration goals of redeveloping school sites for future development.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Chilcote Lee. “Two vacant Cleveland school buildings will become apartment buildings in Glenville, Jefferson”. Thelandcle, May 11, 2023, Two vacant Cleveland school buildings will become apartment buildings in Glenville, Jefferson – The Land (

Last Updated: September 20, 2021