Cleveland Development Advisors provides $300,000 for African Town Plaza in Fairfax neighborhood 

CLEVELAND, April 18, 2024 — Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA) has closed on a $300,000 loan for predevelopment costs associated with the African Town Plaza project in the Fairfax neighborhood. The redevelopment will include an art and cultural center, dance and expression theater and 20 apartments. 

The project will redevelop the former Cedar Branch YMCA at the corner of East 75th Street and Cedar Road into 23,9000 square feet of commercial and residential space. The YMCA has been vacant for 12 years. 

The 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 $300,000 will come 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. 

“When complete, it is envisioned that African Town Plaza will be a key gathering place and cultural touchstone for the Fairfax neighborhood, and we are happy to be working with James to help him kick start the project,” said Yvette Ittu, President & CEO of CDA. “We are excited that this project will also include 20 much needed apartments, with 10 of them being designated as affordable housing, a welcome addition to the neighborhood.”