Friday, January 17, 2014

An Open Letter to South Euclid's Mayfield Road Commercial Property Owners

Dear Mayfield Road Commercial Property Owner,

I am writing to you today as a concerned resident of my city of South Euclid, whose parents moved here in 1971.  In my experience, South Euclid is a community of engaged and friendly people who take pride in their property and care about the future of their neighborhoods and city.

A recurring disappointment, however, is the Mayfield Road business corridor, our ‘downtown’, which no longer reflects the dynamic vitality of our global residential community.

The condition of the commercial buildings along Mayfield Road has deteriorated to the point where I suspect the properties do not attract the types of businesses our community desires and deserves.  I’d love to be able to patronize more local, independently owned business.  Sadly, with a few exceptions like the Better Occasions Shop, and Chef’s Ingredient Outlet, many businesses moving in over the last few years represent the “lowest common denominator” and serve to harm the community’s image.  Part of the cause of this problem is poorly maintained, unsightly structures which do not appeal to either the kinds of business we’d like to attract, or to customers.  While your buildings may satisfy the legal standards for occupancy, the minimum legal standard is by no means acceptable in a community like South Euclid.  

As expressed many times in the public meetings held to develop the City of South Euclid’s Comprehensive Master Plan, a primary concern for the future of our community is the condition of our central business district, the Mayfield Road Corridor. The Master Plan makes many recommendations for improving the corridor, some of which will be implemented next year through a streetscape project at Mayfield & Green.  As a member of the Master Plan Citizens’ Steering Committee, I have blogged on this very subject.

Our residential neighborhoods also continue to recover from the foreclosure crises as more and more young families and members of the “creative class” are calling South Euclid home. This is in no small part due to engaged residents who have worked to install and maintain “pocket parks” and support the city’s Heritage Home program.  Our large core companies and institutions are growing, and we have seen new retail developments on the south side of the city. Cedar Center is an example of positive change in a previously blighted area.

Therefore, it is time for you, as a commercial property owner in the Mayfield Corridor, to make the investment to your property which will attract high-quality businesses.  A business that truly benefits the people of South Euclid, rather than exploiting our poorest citizens, will likely be in a position to pay higher rent. 

We as residents stand ready to patronize local businesses, and the City is willing to assist in finding those new businesses which will be attracted to a modern, attractive, and revitalized downtown.

For this to happen, it will require a partnership between residents, city officials, and you the property owners making an investment in our community. I stand ready to assist, just let me know how I can help. Improving our central business district is a necessity.

Hank Drake


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