African Town Plaza

Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA) provided a loan to help with the planning of an African art and cultural center, African dance and expression theater, an African art conservation center and 20 apartments in the Fairfax neighborhood. The project would redevelop the former Cedar Branch YMCA, at the corner of East 75th Street and Cedar Road, into commercial and residential space. The YMCA has been vacant for 12 years. The $9 million project is being undertaken by James Sosan, who has historic redevelopment experience, including the Metro Lofts in Tremont, the Detroit Lofts in Ohio City and transforming the former West Side YMCA into apartments. Sosan, a Nigerian immigrant, is also a mentor in CDA’s CLE EDI program which launched in 2023 and is aimed at bolstering the ranks of successful minority real estate developers in the region. The CDA loan comes through the CDFI Financial Assistance program, which is intended to help low-income areas. It is part of the Access to Capital Predevelopment and Acquisition Loan Pool targeted to emerging and underserved developers.

Affordable Housing Units

This project will create 20 one-bedroom apartments, with 10 of these units being designated as affordable housing.

Neighborhood Revitalization

The project is apart of a larger development plan in the neighborhood. Revitalizing the vacant Cedar YMCA.

Executed Community Benefits Agreement

The project sponsor has committed to quantifiable community impacts by executing a Community Benefits Agreement.

Dilapidated former East Side Cleveland YMCA could get new life as African Town Plaza