Burten, Bell, Carr Development grew from a staff of 1 in 2000 into a highly effective community development organization with over 8 staff that today serves most of Cleveland’s Ward 5 in the Central, Kinsman, and Garden Valley neighborhoods. Burten, Bell, Carr’s service area is approximately 4 square miles and is home to many exciting new and creative developments in the City of Cleveland.
The Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone undertakes the redevelopment of twenty-six acres of the “Forgotten Triangle” in the Kinsman neighborhood and is the largest urban agricultural district in the entire nation. The project is taking derelict, vacant land and turning it into urban farms and agricultural incubators. The project will provide income-generating jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. The Rid-All Green Partnership is already growing vegetables and raising tilapia on 1 ½ acres at E. 81st and Otter Avenue. The Ohio State University Extension has completed its soil testing and remediation on 6 acres that will be soon turned into urban farms.
The new Green City Growers Cooperative greenhouse broke ground in the fall of 2011 and will be fully operational by the summer of 2012. The $17 million greenhouse , located at Grand, Ensign and Kinsman Avenues, is redeveloping 10 acres of unused vacant land. The greenhouse will produce 5 million heads of lettuce and leafy greens and 3,000 pounds of herbs annually, which will be distributed and marketed within a 150 mile radius of the facility. Green City Growers will employ approximately 35 local residents and will allow employees to become owners of the business and share in profits. The Green City Growers Cooperative has garnered national media attention. Read more here: The Economist, The Nation and Business Week.
Burten, Bell, Carr, working in partnership with City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development, facilitated the private land acquisition necessary for the Greenhouse site. Staff worked with over 20 property owners to amass the needed parcels within an 18 month period. Burten, Bell, Carr is also participating in the community outreach and engagement efforts to link residents with this exciting job opportunity.
Heritage View Homes replaces approximately 628 units of derelict public housing, formerly known as Garden Valley Estates. The development consists of 275 townhomes, 40 units of housing for seniors and single person households, and 32 for-sale single family homes. The new Anton Grdina Pre K-8 Grade School sits adjacent to Heritage View Homes at E. 71st Street and Port Avenue in the Kinsman neighborhood.
The East Central Townhomes project took a blighted, vacant building and renovated it into 8 apartments for low to moderate income families at the corner of E. 73rd Street and Central. The Townhomes have been renovated to Enterprise Community Partners’ Green Communities Standards and include high-efficiency furnaces and Energy Star-rated entry doors, windows, appliances, hot water tanks, and light fixtures. Burten, Bell, Carr is currently taking tenant applications.
Recognizing food production does not necessarily guaranty food access to low-income families of the community, Burten, Bell, Carr is playing a key role in connecting community residents to its many agricultural endeavors. Burten, Bell, Carr sought and received a grant of over $750,000 from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to develop the Bridgeport Market, Café, and Community Kitchen known as MC2. This initiative is a comprehensive intervention designed to create sustainable employment and business opportunities, improve access to healthy affordable foods, and promote active and healthy living education. As its name implies, MC2 will have both a restaurant and learning kitchen component.
The Café will offer a healthy variety of hand-crafted sandwiches on homemade breads, fresh salads, wraps, soups, and baked goods, as well as vegetarian items. The Community Kitchen will include a training area for cooking classes and promoting health literacy for adults and youth, a facility for local farmers and gardeners to prepare and package food, a facility for harvest preservation, and community space for year-round garden club meetings and community garden events.
The MC2 hub will hire and train low-income persons from the community. Additional jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities will also be created for local farmers and growers whose yield will be sold through the distribution points. This comprehensive approach is more than access – this initiative is designed to create a variety of healthy food choice options, address personal and community barriers, change attitudes towards healthy food through education and marketing, leverage the existing momentum of neighborhood revitalization, and harness the local food movement.
In other words:
Economic Development equals Bridgeport Market, Cafe & Community Kitchen…E=MC2!
It is these exciting and innovative developments that led to BBC being named the 2011 Ohio CDC Association’s “CDC of the Year”. “We are proud to be recognized by such a highly regarded statewide agency, but our greatest reward is in seeing the impact our work has had on the community,” said Timothy Tramble, Executive Director of Burten, Bell, Carr. Looking forward, he stated, “We are eager to see the results of our current efforts, as we firmly believe they will become national models for sustainable community and economic development. “