Southeast Sidre Townhall

City seeks project teams for three catalytic development projects on Cleveland’s Southeast Side

Thursday, Mar 28, 2024

Recently adopted Lee-Harvard Community Master Plan to guide resident-focused reinvestment

Thursday, March 28, 2024 – Cleveland – Today, the City of Cleveland invites project teams to respond to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to redevelop several catalytic sites as part of Mayor Justin M. Bibb’s Southeast Side Promise initiative.

The RFQ seeks professional real estate development project teams to reinvest in up to three vacant land sites in Cleveland’s Lee-Harvard neighborhood: the former Gracemount School site (16200 Glendale Avenue – 3 acres); the former John F. Kennedy High School and Recreation Center site (17100 & 17300 Harvard Avenue – Approx. 14 acres); and a series of land bank parcels along Miles Avenue (Approx. 16705 Miles Avenue – 1.7 Acres).  

Teams are invited to submit their qualifications, alongside brief site-specific redevelopment project visions for consideration by an evaluation team comprised of representatives of the City and Harvard Community Services Center (“HCSC”), the area’s community development corporation. Project teams will be invited to commence due diligence for the selected site upon selection through the RFQ process.

“When Mayor Bibb established the redevelopment of the Southeast Side of Cleveland as a priority, he did so with a clear understanding that the more than three decades of disinvestment had eroded the quality of life of residents for too long,” said Marvin Owens, Senior Strategist for the Southeast Side. “We are thrilled to offer this initial RFQ for prospective partners, investors, developers, builders, and leaders to join us in this process of redevelopment and revitalization of the Southeast Side.”

This RFQ is being issued following a several-month planning process that culminated in the Lee-Harvard Community Master Plan, adopted by the Cleveland Planning Commission on March 1, 2024.

Elaine Gohlstin, President and CEO of the Harvard Community Services Center stated, “With Mayor Bibb’s priority on the Southeast Side, it has never been more important to ensure that residents and businesses have a voice in how funds are invested in their neighborhood. HCSC initiated the Lee-Harvard Community Master Plan to create a community-driven vision for the neighborhood and guide the developments in this Request for Qualifications. I want to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to our partners for the incredible work we have accomplished together on the Community Plan for the benefit of the residents of Lee Harvard. And further, to the Lee-Harvard community – the dedication and unwavering commitment each one you showed during the process in truly commendable.”

RFQ responses will be evaluated based on alignment with the vision, guiding principles and redevelopment scenarios outlined in the Community Master Plan. Project teams will also be expected to build from engagement efforts from the planning process as they design their projects.

Alyssa Hernandez, Director of Community Development, stated, “This RFQ is a direct response to our work on the Lee-Harvard Community Master Plan in partnership with Harvard Community Services Center. With a plan and vision that is rooted in community voice and value, we are now taking direct steps to implement the plan by structuring these proactive, catalytic redevelopment opportunities.”

Councilman Joseph T. Jones represents Cleveland’s Ward 1 and shares enthusiasm for this opportunity to build from Lee-Harvard’s enduring legacy.  

“Over the last several years, Ward 1 has been growing. There have been major investments in our community for projects that include the former John F. Kennedy High School site, the Frederick Douglass Neighborhood Resource and Recreation Center, and millions invested in infrastructure work,” Jones said. “Property values have also risen over the last several years, making our community a very attractive neighborhood and a great place to work, live, play, and invest in housing development.”  

Qualifications will be accepted from March 28, 2024, through May 20, 2024, with selection of a development team no later than June 21, 2024.  

The Submission Process and Evaluation Criteria can be found on pages 28-29 of the RFQ.

Learn more about this and other asset redevelopment projects and access the full RFQ at Asset Redevelopment | City of Cleveland Ohio