May 17, 2022
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Cleveland Heights and Start Right CDC Break Ground on First New Homes in the Caledonia Neighborhood in 30 years 
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OHIO—Last Friday, May 13, 2022, the City of Cleveland Heights and Start Right Community Development Corporation (CDC) broke ground on the first of a series of new infill-construction, single-family, owner-occupied homes in the city’s Caledonia neighborhood.
The event was held at 961 Nelaview Road, the location of the first home Start Right CDC intends to build as part of its “Caledonia Homes” initiative.
In October 2021, the City of Cleveland Heights entered into an agreement with Start Right CDC to construct up to 23 new homes in the Caledonia neighborhood. Start Right CDC is required to complete construction of three homes by the end of 2022 and must complete a minimum of six homes by June 30, 2024. All Caledonia Homes will be built on City-owned property along Nelaview, Greyton, Hanover, and Dresden Roads in Cleveland Heights.
“The last recession and housing crisis carved holes in some of our city’s neighborhoods, leaving vacant lots where there used to be homes and families,” Cleveland Heights Mayor Kahlil Seren said. “The City of Cleveland Heights is committed to restoring the fabric of these neighborhoods by working with our partners to put homes back on these vacant properties.”

“Caledonia Homes is the first new construction housing development in this neighborhood in more than thirty years,” Seren added. “I can assure you it won’t be the last. Every neighborhood in our city deserves respect and attention, and this is just the beginning for Caledonia.”

Mayor Seren was joined at the groundbreaking by Cleveland Heights City Council President Melody Joy Hart, Vice President Craig Cobb, Councilmembers Davida Russell, Anthony Mattox Jr., Tony Cuda, Gail Larson, members of the Caledonia Homes project team, and neighborhood residents.

Vicki Green, Vice President of the Secured Lending Group, which committed $1 million in asset-based financing for the Caledonia Homes project, surprised audience members by announcing that her institution had increased its financing commitment to the project to $5 million.

Start Right CDC Executive Director Reverend Dr. Jimmie Hicks, Jr., addressed his organization’s decision to take on the Caledonia Homes project: “The city sent out a request for proposals to more than 600 developers. When no one else answered the call, we did—not as a developer seeking to make a profit but as a community partner choosing to make an investment in its own neighborhood. We are grateful to the City and its leaders for making us a partner in their vision to revitalize the Caledonia neighborhood.”

Tom Stone, Principal/Lead Consultant for Stone Enterprises CLE and Project Manager for Caledonia Homes outlined their plans for homes that were affordable—in the range of $200,000-$230,000 each—built according to sustainable standards.

Stone recounted how the project learned of neighborhood residents’ concerns about aging in place through a community engagement effort they organized around how Caledonia Homes should be designed. In response to these concerns, the first three homes built for the project will be one-level homes with no stairs and all amenities on the same floor, making them easier for older residents to navigate.
The Caledonia neighborhood is located in Cleveland Heights but is named for nearby Caledonia Elementary School, which is part of the East Cleveland City School District.
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