By Jerry Masek
The Bellaire-Puritas Development Corp. (BPDC) has several new projects that will benefit businesses, students and residents of Ward 16 in 2022.
Bryan Gillooly, Executive Director since 2006, summarized the projects that keep BPDC busy.
BPDC works closely with Ward 16 Councilman Brian Kazy to support and help developers working on physical investments. Main projects in 2022 are the redevelopment of the vacant Nathaniel Hawthorne School into housing, and breaking ground on a larger Rockport Library branch of the Cleveland Public Library.
Councilman Kazy will discuss those projects in detail in March at his State of the Ward Meeting. Gillooly urges residents to attend.
“We are excited about the impact of the new Rockport Library. Long-term, it could help attract investment to the Puritas-West 140 Street area,” Gillooly said.
Middle Neighborhood Initiative
BPDC is very interested in plans the city is making for “middle neighborhoods.” The Middle Neighborhoods Initiative will create programs that help homeowners and businesses “close the gap” between the cost to build or renovate, and thefinancing needed to afford the renovation and improvements.
“Residents will hear a lot more about this program later in the year,” Gillooly said. “It will be a major benefit to homeowners, and it can help Ward 16 promote the construction and renovation of middle-income housing.”
“Working through COVID,” he said, “brought opportunities to work with families that needed help beyond the youth programming we provided. In 2020 and 2021, we built partnerships to address more family needs, and we can continue to address those needs in 2022.”
For example, BPDC is working with Say Yes Cleveland to serve 100 students at RG Jones Elementary with an expanded after-school program. This partnership helps both students and their families, he said.
BPDC is the lead agency for the West Park MyCom. MyCom stands for “my commitment, my community.” It helps young people to advocate for themselves. BPDC will support and promote the program in schools throughout West Park. They are introducing a “resource closet” for schools to help students with their basic needs.
Throughout the pandemic, after meeting more and more people in need, it also became clear that local job training programs were unable to fill their training classes. BPDC is working in 2022 to connect families to existing opportunities in training.
BPDC, working with Neighborhood Family Practice, helps Ward 16 residents fight COVID. Using a hotline phonenumber, residents can obtain information, transportation to vaccinations and boosters, and access COVID testing.
The West Park COVID Hotline is 216-230-9730.
Neighbor to Neighbor Cleveland
As a part of this new program BPDC’s goal in 2022 is to survey, measure and reduce the digital divide, so more residents can fully utilize computer and internet resources.