Cleveland Heights is a suburb of Ohio’s most populous city. Despite sharing a name with the larger city down the road, Cleveland Heights maintains an identity all its own, in part, because of the lively arts community that has grown up there. That arts community, as well as Cleveland Heights’ small business community, is supported largely by the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District.
Cedar Lee District represents a public-private partnership on Cleveland Heights’ Lee Road. The neighborhood is home to such landmarks as the Cedar Lee Theatre, an independent movie theatre with a picturesque, old-fashioned façade, and the Heights Art Gallery. This spring, the neighborhood and the Cedar Lee Theatre will host the Cleveland International Film Festival.
What it boasts in art, the district also boasts in all things local. All in all, the Cedar Lee neighborhood is home to more than 150 small businesses, according to the local Heights Observer. There’s also an undeniable network of local support. Last year, Cedar Lee District placed fourth in Independent We Stand’s first-ever America’s Main Street Contest. The district was one of only two Main Street organizations from Ohio to place in the top 10. Cedar Lee District was nominated by FutureHeights, an organization dedicated to community development.
Although Cedar Lee didn’t clinch the top spot in last year’s contest, there seems to be no shortage of local hustle and bustle around the neighborhood. The historic Heights High School is undergoing significant renovations, which are expected to rank it among the EPA’s top five percent of schools for energy efficiency. Within the local business community, two local brothers will soon open Boss Dog Brewing Co. in a long-vacant building on Lee Road.
Thanks to Cedar Lee District, Cleveland Heights isn’t your typical suburb. For more information about the special improvement district and events in the area, visit www.cedarlee.org. To nominate a Main Street organization for this year’s America’s Main Street Contest, visit www.mainstreetcontest.com.