Recommendations for Cleveland Neighborhoods
August 30, 2012 10:50 AM   Subscribe

Clevelandfilter!  Moving to Cleveland, please help me choose which neighborhood would be best for me.

I've been offered pretty much my dream job in Cleveland, OH (full time stained glass, woot!).  I'll be moving from Washington,DC and have only been to Cleveland once.
I'll be working in east Cleveland at the intersection of Superior and 90. I hear there are a lot of interesting neighborhoods around the city. It'd be great for me if I were a 30-40 minute bikeride from work (or closer), but I'll also have my car for the winter. I like older homes or industrial loft type buildings. Wouldn't mind being near good food or bars or music.  I like running and would like to be in a spot that makes the rest of the city accessible to exploration. Several people have mentioned the Tremont neighborhood to me. I plan on driving out most weekends soon looking for a place for October first. Ideally I'd like a one or two bedroom for under or around $800, but I'm open to suggestions and tips.

Bonus question:  If I were to get an Cleveland phone number, what's the cool area code to have?
posted by princelyfox to Travel & Transportation around Cleveland, OH (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Take a look at the University Circle area. You'll have Case Western/CCF as the anchor institutions, and you'll be near Little Italy. From University Circle, it'd be 10 minutes by bike to 90th and Superior, and the neighborhood, from what I recall, is perfectly nice.

Alternatively, look in Cleveland Heights, which is essentially up the escarpment from University Circle. That's a little more suburban, for whatever that means, but is very convenient.

Tremont is a nice neighborhood (good restaurant and arts scene, convenient to Westside Market), but it might be a bit of a schelp for a daily bike commute, although it should be fairly flat (on the other hand, you're going through downtown, which might be a hassle). It depends on what you're used to.

216 is the area code for Cleveland proper. 440 is in the ring just outside 216. 330 is in a ring outside of 440. You will get a 216 number.
posted by chengjih at 11:16 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Last things first, 216 is historically Cleveland's area code. When I was a kid, 216 covered a huge area. 330 and 440 are interlopers.

The neighborhood in the vicinity of Superior and I-90 is a mixture of okay and not-so-okay. East Cleveland, just to the East of where you'll be working, is probably the single most economically troubled part of the metropolitan area. I took an urban econ class last year, and a guest speaker told us that over 60% of the properties in East Cleveland are tax delinquent and could be seized by the county at any time if only the the county had something constructive to do with them. There's a land bank, but they can't even give property away fast enough. Anyhow, there were some serious attempts at urban renewal around there, mostly pre-recession. Some old housing was torn down and nice, new, mixed-income developments went up. An old factory or two were converted into lofts and artists studios. Also some neat creative companies found affordable lofty office space there, and moved in. There are a few nice buildings, but since the renewal ground to a near-standstill in 2009 or so, there's not a lot of nice housing there, and not a lot to do in the neighborhood unless you really like Asian food, because the cities best Asian groceries and restaurants are right there.

Tremont is a much more appealing area. It's close to the West Side Market, and a high concentration of trendy restaurants and things to do. But keep in mind that it's on the other side of downtown and also on the other side of the Cuyahoga river. Travel in-between means urban biking, including either a long high-level bridge or a descent, a small bridge, and climb back out of the valley.

I agree that Cleveland Heights could be nice, but again, there's a big friggin' hill in-between. It's called 'Heights' for a reason. The commute to work would be a breeze, but going home would not be fun.

University Circle is very nice (and probably rather expensive), but the area between University Circle and the part of town where you'll be working is especially bad.
posted by jon1270 at 11:29 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Tremont is my favorite neighborhood in Cleveland, but if I were in your shoes I would probably pick University Circle, since it is also very livable and so much closer to work for you. It's also a great location for shows as Beachland Ballroom is right there. Rents will indeed be cheaper in Tremont though.

One reason I'd pick a closer location is that the east side gets a lot more lake effect snow, and a long year-round commute by bike could get pretty draining.
posted by susanvance at 11:32 AM on August 30, 2012

Hang on, do you mean Superior and I-90, or do you mean Superior and 90th Street? Because the former is very different from the latter. If it's the former, Tremont is a perfectly fine suggestion, as you're essentially on the eastern edge of downtown. You can look there, or at some of the live-work lofts for artists in that area, ranging from Superior down to Euclid.

Superior and 90th would suggest University Circle or Cleveland Heights. The neighborhood right around Superior and 90th would be, ah, less than wonderful.

Given that you mention stained glass production, my guess is that you mean the former, unless someone put a glass factory in an unexpected location.

One thing to be aware of is that your utility costs (particularly heating) will be much, much higher than you're used to in DC.
posted by chengjih at 11:46 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

do you mean Superior and I-90, or do you mean Superior and 90th Street?

Excellent point.
posted by jon1270 at 11:50 AM on August 30, 2012

Response by poster: Superior and I-90! Sorry for the confusion. Thanks for asking.
I forgot to put it in the body buy if it matters, I'm am early thirties single male.
posted by princelyfox at 12:10 PM on August 30, 2012

Welcome to Cleveland, we're glad to have you! In University Circle and nearby, look at neighborhoods like Little Italy and Coventry.

If you'd rather have the near-West side, Tremont is a given and Ohio City is also up and coming with some BEAUTIFUL houses available.

I work near University Circle and wish I lived closer. You're a lucky guy.
posted by House of Leaves of Grass at 12:28 PM on August 30, 2012

I poked around on WalkScore, and it doesn't look like there's much available in your price range in either Tremont or University Circle. I also suspect a nice 2-BR loft will be out of reach. There are several nice apartments in Cleveland Heights that would work, but they're at the outer edges of your 40-minute range.







posted by jon1270 at 12:31 PM on August 30, 2012

Oh wait, I misread and thought you needed 2 bedrooms. There should be a lot more 1BR units available in that range.
posted by jon1270 at 12:34 PM on August 30, 2012

FYI, "East Cleveland" usually means this. So if you go asking for housing "around east Cleveland" you'll be asking for the wrong area.

I'm not an expert, but you might want to refer to the area you're working in as "downtown Cleveland." I think the intersection of 30th & Superior still qualifies as downtown.

Anyway, just coming in to say that Cleveland Heights is great, and if you're looking that far east you might as well look at Shaker Heights too. The bike ride from Shaker Heights to your work will be less convenient than Cleveland, but just make sure you check the route out from wherever your prospective apartment is to work.
posted by Tehhund at 12:38 PM on August 30, 2012

Tremont is fine, though you might want to look a little closer to Westside Market (i.e., Ohio City) than Tremont proper, near Lincoln Park and all that. If you're biking, it'll be a little easier, and the rent may be cheaper. If you do any cooking, Westside Market will be Your Absolute Favorite Place.

You will likely cross the river at the Superior Bridge, though Carnegie Bridge will be viable. The main trick with the Carnegie Bridge is that you'll wind up at Jacobs field, right next to the I-90/I-76 off-ramps, which sucks.

As noted, there will be a bunch of live-work lofts around 30th Street and Payne, as well as around Superior. Basically, from Euclid up to Superior, just east of Playhouse Square. A lot of those units will cater to artists or students at CSU (e.g., Tower Press at 19th and Superior).

The's something that passes for "Chinatown" in Cleveland, which is basically a scattering Chinese/Vietnamese restaurants and Asian food markets, from around 30th and Superior up to around 40th and Payne. There is actually pretty decent Vietnamese pho in one of the places near 30th and Superior, but I don't remember where.

University Circle will be do-able. It's a bit further than Tremont, but you'll be riding on a flat, straight road, with well defined bike lanes on Euclid.

If you want some fun activity and are interested in martial arts, my old aikido dojo just moved to 38th and Superior. There's also an excellent small judo dojo on the westside, at Cudell rec center.
posted by chengjih at 12:45 PM on August 30, 2012

There is actually pretty decent Vietnamese pho in one of the places near 30th and Superior, but I don't remember where.

Superior Pho!
posted by jon1270 at 12:49 PM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

I looked at buying a house in Tremont a few years ago and was not able to find an acceptable house in my budget ($70K). I'm not sure how this translates into rent. Tremont often has a very bad odor due to Mittel Steel nearby. It's also close to the highway and has a constant noise factor. I love going to the restaurants and bars there, just wouldn't want to live there at all, but that's just me, as I know many people who seem to like it because it's so hip.

As chenghih mentions above, the near-East side of Cleveland seems like a good bet, and is close to where you will work. I like that area, it's kind of grungy but cool and very close to both downtown and University Circle.

I am not a fan of Ohio City because it's too noisy and actually quite crime-ridden, but I'm older than you so noise really irritates me.

I worked at Case for 10 years and am not sure where professionals would live down there other than some very expensive townhomes near little Italy. I'm not sure if those are available for rent even. Cleveland Heights has tons of rentals near Case, and the Euclid corridor makes biking pretty safe and easy, which will get you downtown and in between until you need to veer off north to get to Superior. I would imagine it would be a half an hour from CH to your work but more like 45 on the way home (uphills).

If you are looking to buy, I think Cleveland Heights is a lot more affordable than Tremont or Ohio City, and you can get a very cool old house for under 100K.

There are tons of cool downtown lofts. I like some of the units on Prospect, just east of the city. Prospect is a bit more quiet than other major streets.
posted by waving at 1:18 PM on August 30, 2012

Quay 55 is a nice looking place on the lake just east of downtown. It's very accessible by bike to downtown on Marginal Rd, which rarely has a car on it--I ride my bike from Bratenahl to downtown in about 40 minutes, so it would probably take about 20 minutes from Quay 55.
posted by waving at 1:23 PM on August 30, 2012

Quay is likely way more than $800/month.

Right now, immediate downtown is under very high demand for apartments, and likely a waiting list. occupancy is at 97%. downtown is also typically apartments, recently renovated, and you'll have a tougher time finding a place for 800/1br than other neighborhoods.

Within a 30-40 minute bike ride, you have a bit of selection of neighborhoods. (If you haven't learned around, traffic in cleveland is not a problem, compared to DC)..

Your work (right off 90 on Superior) is on the outskirts of Asiatown.

The housing there is typically colonial, single house, but there's a few of the cool industrial/loft buildings that you're looking for. Check out Tyler Village. No music venues in the neighborhood and there's a couple bars but it's not a huge bar scene. There's a bit of an art scene in the neighborhood (it's likely much smaller than what you'll expect, this isn't DC) in part because the rent is cheap and the abundance of warehouses.

I would also suggest Detroit-shoreway. There's a few warehouses/lofts there, don't know the names of any particular ones off-hand. It's a relatively popular music [happy dog] and food destination. Located on the west side of cleveland, your bike commute would likely be closer to 30-40 minutes. By car, your commute would be no more 20min. Edgewater Park, one of the few places in cleveland where you can run next to the lake, is less than a mile to most of Detroit-Shoreway. (Also, you'll hear of gordon square... it's pretty much the intersection of 65th and Detroit; where many of the restaurants, theatres, and bars are concentrated in the detroit-shoreway neighborhood.

Compared to DC, Cleveland is very easy to travel around; the city would be very accessible to you if you have a car or lived in Detroit-shoreway, tremont, and asiatown.

Also to note, anything east of the cuyahoga river is "east side" and west of the river, west side.
posted by fizzix at 2:20 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I live in Tremont and work Downtown, and estimate that it would be about a 20 minute bike ride for you, on average. I love Tremont (having lived here for 10 years) and $800/mo will get you a nice 2BR. Also look at places along Detroit Avenue from W. 70th to Downtown (which includes Detroit Shoreway and Ohio City) and peer at Asiatown (that's our Chinatown) to see what is available along Superior Ave that is closer to your work. Rentals in University Circle and Little Italy will be easily within your 30 minute commute, but they may be more expensive since the Case Western students are vying for those places as well.

Cleveland is a fine biking city, and getting better by the minute. Welcome!
posted by Avogadro at 7:29 PM on August 30, 2012

I live in Tremont and I like it. It's been getting more expensive here but you might be able to find a 2br for around $800. But that would be about as cheap as it gets.

Tremont has everything that you are looking for. It's close to downtown, has good bars and great restaurants. But it's not has hip as it used to be, with continuing gentrification and all that. I don't know how much you care about that sort of thing.

Don't get me wrong, I still like Tremont, it's a wonderful neighborhood. But the real hip neighborhoods these days are Ohio City and the Detroit Shoreway. They both also have excellent bars and restaurants that skew a bit younger (Ohio City and the Shoreway = early to mid 20s crowds, Tremont = late 20s and 30s crowd).

They also have cheaper rents than Tremont. All of the neighborhoods are on the near west side and would be bikable to your work.
posted by mcmile at 7:35 PM on August 30, 2012

Nthing that if you're working at I-90 & Superior (a.k.a. E. 30-ish & Superior), Tremont, Ohio City & Detroit Shoreway should top your list of neighborhoods to check out.

chengjih seems to have a really good feel for the city.

In the same building as Superior Pho is also the excellent Ha Ahn Korean restaurant.

And just for the record, I wouldn't call the Beachland Ballroom "right there" in/near University Circle . . . .
posted by soundguy99 at 9:11 PM on August 30, 2012

Cleveland Hts or Coventry
posted by honey badger at 8:36 AM on August 31, 2012

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