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Moving To Cleveland From AZ

Scottsdale, Arizona
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Moving To Cleveland From AZ

HiHi!

I'll be moving to Cleveland soon, from AZ. I've never been to OH, though I have family from there. I've been recommended Cleveland Heights, Shaker Square, Lakewood, and Westlake. Because of where I'll be commuting to (American Greetings) Lakewood seemed the best choice. At least for now, maybe once there for a few months, I can look for other areas. Any comments on the Lakewood area? I find a lot of results for apartments around Edgewater/117th as well as Clifton Blvd. The Edgewater apartments look like in a more secluded area to me. I'm not familiar with Tudor Houses, wood floors - very cute though. My overall concern is mine and my roomie's safety, then my car's safety! Parking seems to work a bit differently then I'm use to here in AZ (paying for a garage @_@, but I guess that's cause space is limited). Of course I'd like a nice clean area, friendly and cultured; haha, and the list gets longer~

Comments and Suggestions much appreciated, Thanks~

CLEVELAND
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1. Re: Moving To Cleveland From AZ

Bunny, which office of AG will you be working for? The areas you mentioned are quite far from each other.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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2. Re: Moving To Cleveland From AZ

lisa, yea, i know - i've mapped it all out and felt that Lakewood seemed fairly central and had the shortest commute time taking a straght shot down 117th~ i'll be in the creative department ^_^b

Cleveland, OH
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3. Re: Moving To Cleveland From AZ

The one thing I tell people looking to relocate to the Cleveland area is to realize that Greater Cleveland is a very large metropolitan area with a lot of options. There is a perfect place for everyone, and you need to decide exactly what you are looking for in terms of a neighborhood. Downtown Cleveland is really emerging as a high-energy vibrant and bustling place to live. There are many charming urban neighborhoods with art galleries, cute cafes, and nice bars and restaurants. There are many distinguished older neighborhoods with brownstone mansions and beautiful apartment buildings. Lastly, there are a number of new suburbs with new houses, apartment complexes and shopping malls. If you could be more specific about the type of neighborhood you are looking for, that would be of help to offer advice.

American Greetings is located in Brooklyn, which is a fairly central location. You could live about anywhere within Cuyahoga County, because traffic is light in Greater Cleveland and that would mean no matter where you are it would take at most 30 minutes to commute. You are right to consider parking, because it is probably one of the few things that might a difference in safety. Preferrably you would have your own garage or gated parking lot.

This is an overgeneralization, but I tend to divide the metroplitan area into five areas.

Downtown is the first area to consider. There are lots of new apartments available here, and the population downtown is booming. The Warehouse District is booming and extremely popular as the premier place to go out in the Cleveland area, but also for young professionals to live. This is a very trendy area to live. Gateway District is also becoming very popular as a place to live and within walking distance to sports venues and other of downtown's best entertainment venues. This is a more casual place to live. It is probably less than a ten minute commute to Brooklyn.

The West Side has traditionally been the place for single professionals to live who commute downtown. Ohio City and Tremont are emerging neighborhoods on Cleveland's west side for young professionals. Cool bars, intersting shops, art galleries, and a variety of apartments and housing options have all popped up in just the past decade. While it doesn't deter a lot of people from visitng and relocating there to be a part of the cool scene, safety may be a little bit of an issue. These neighborhoods however, seem to get safer every year. Edgewater is a west side neighborhood along the lake and one of the premier and most upscale neighborhood within Cleveland city limits. It has great access to Edgewater State Park, downtown, and is a safe place to live within the city. Lakewood is a large inner-ring suburb and considering its age and density has an extremely low crime rate. Lakewood housing and population is very diverse. It ranges greatly. The nicest areas in Lakewood are in its West End and lakefront neighborhoods.

The newer suburbs on the West Side like Westlake and Rocky River have great shopping (Crocker Park), school districts, and are extremely safe. There isn't a large young professional population in these places, but it would be very nice to live here if you could afford it. Rocky River has really nice unique shops, restaurants and character. Westlake is a little more generic and new. It revolves around the mixed-use development Crocker Park with upscale mainstream shops, restaurants, and even apartments.

In addtion to downtown, the second hub of economic concentration is University Circle and located on the eastern edge of the city. This is where all the museums, hospitals, university, and other cultural institutions are located. Adjoining eastern neighborhoods like Little Italy, Cleveland Heights, University Heights, and Shaker Square are very popular for students, employees, professors, and artists who commute to University Circle. So there are beautiful housing, shops, and restaurants here. It has a very intellectual and East Coast atmosphere. It might be nice to live here, but isn't as well situated for commuting downtown as the west side suburbs.

The newer east side suburbs along I-271 are Cleveland's most affluent, but you will be hard to find rental properties here. There are a number of apartments in Beachwood, and it is convenietly near Cleveland's best shopping at Beachwood Place, Legacy Village, and Eton Collection.

Good resources for finding apartments in the city is the Craig List website where many people list apartments for rent. Cleveland.com forums have forums available for every community in the area and are a good place to ask people what it is like living there. urbanohio.com is also a good website to ask for assistance as well as seeing profiles and photos of Cleveland neighborhoods. Progressive Urban is Cleveland's premier for-sale real estate brokers, but their website has a nice breakdown of Cleveland and immediate suburbs. Perhaps one of the best ways to find a place is to narrow the neighborhoods you might be interested in and look for For Rent signs, so a visit might be a good idea.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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4. Re: Moving To Cleveland From AZ

hi vulpster, that was a helpful post~ i guess even thoughi'm looking for unique shops, art galleries, cute cafes, and nice areas to walk around full of culture, more immediately, because i won't be able to visit, i just want to find a nice, cute apartment in a safe area where my commute to work won't be too taxing (being new to an area adds enough stress to finding my way around >_<"). i thought of lakewood because it did seem like a safe area to live (based on some research) and the commute to AG (upon using google/map) seemed relatively short. i felt that with maybe a 3 month lease (harder to find then i thought) in a decent, central area would give me time to explore cleveland and decide where i really want to be. searching for apartments has been a real chore - first cause i just wasn't sure what to look for or where, but then it seems darn hard to get anyone on the phone (don't you WANT to lease your aprtment to me, hehe)~

also, ppl always mention downtown, but i really don't know "where" that is on a map (can't type "downtown" on the google/map and it pop up ;P) - the loft apartments and warehouse district looks quite appealing; but i would worry to commiting to something i'm not familiar with - and i'm also the kind of person, who as much as i enjoy going out, that doesn't actually like to live down the street from the nightclubs or bars i frequent XD (i don't get inebriated enuff to take advantage of a short walk home ~_^)

because i'm still concentrating on the lakewood area, i'm curious if there are streets i should stay away from. for instance i'm looking at a slightly pricey tudor style apartment on Edgewater and 117th, yet i've been told to stay away from 117th - would it be a bad area, even if it's near Edgewater? and also, i'm really not familiar with renting a duplex(?) - i see a fair amount that have 2bdrm, 1 ba - but i'm not sure i understand how it works, is it like a 2 story house, that is shared with other renters, but you have your own floor? would renting a duplex (i've noticed can be cheaper and appliances are often included) be a "better" option than rent an apartment?

thanks~

Cleveland, OH
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5. Re: Moving To Cleveland From AZ

Well Lakewood and Edgewater along the lake are very nice areas to live and are excellent choices. This whole area is also known as Cleveland's Gold Coast (which might help in apartment searches). It is an excellent location in the city to get around, near several lakefront parks, and has some beautiful older architecture. Parts of W.117th south of Detroit Avenue are not desirable, but Edgewater and W.117th is an extremely desirable and safe place to live. I am familar with the area, because I went to a private high school in Lakewood. I think I know the building you are talking about on W.117th and Edgewater. I've always wanted to live there myself.

I helped find my cousin and her husband find a great apartment on Lake Avenue in Lakewood which is the same neighborhood as the W.117th and Edgewater intersection. They were relocating from Chicago and considered other areas like downtown in the Warehouse District, Ohio City, and Tremont, but really liked the Gold Coast area. My cousin felt it was a really nice place to jog and loved being near Hienen's Grocery Store and nice shops in Rocky River, nice bars in Lakewood, and the nice neighborhood establishments on Clifton Boulevard and W.117th. They had their cars parked on the street all the time and nothing happened to them. They always felt it was safe and fell in love with the all the beautiful homes and big trees along the lake.

You mentioned something about duplexes. This is a very typical and unique housing arrangement throughout the Cleveland area. This takes the place of row houses that are very typical in other cities. The Cleveland duplexes are two (virtually identical) units on top of eachother and many of them look a lot like just a single family home. Most of them have a large front porch on the first floor, and then a large front balcony porch for the unit on the second floor. They also tend to have garages. These duplexes range greatly in price and being kept, but it isn't at all tacky to live in a Cleveland "duplex". My cousin and her husband choose a beautiful renovated duplex unit on the second floor in a historic house for themselves. It had wood floors, thick molding, brass registers, fireplace, brand new bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and a nice front balcony porch with nice views. They ended up liking being in the duplex a lot, because they liked having their neighbors below to get their mail, water the plants, and keep an eye on things when they were out of town. Depending on the duplex, it can be a very a nice arrangement, so don't let it scare you away.

Cleveland, OH
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6. Re: Moving To Cleveland From AZ

I just want to clarify a couple things. Cleveland's Gold Coast encompasses the entire area north of Clifton Avenue. The location near the lake and distinguished homes and residences makes it one of Greater Cleveland's most desirable neighborhoods. A lot of people you talk to might not realize it, but Edgewater Drive and Lake Avenue are very presitigeous addresses. Very wealthy people live in this neighborhood and it has high property values and a significant amount of upper-middle class families living there. It is older an older area and close to downtown, so a lot of people not familar with the area might warn you against it. For instance, W.117th sounds bad to a lot of people not familar with the city, but they are thinking of W.117th south of Detroit Avenue and especially W.117th south of I-90. Crime is not an issue here any more than anywhere else. In my opinion there isn't really a reason not to like this neighborhood.

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7. Re: Moving To Cleveland From AZ

There has been an increase in non-violent and some violent crime near the W 117th area. A lot more car break-ins, a few ATM stick-ups. The crime rate did used to be VERY low so this uptick really only makes sense given the density of the population. However, it hasn't been that long ago that I lived in Lakewood and my Mom has lived there for many years now. We both at different times lived very near W 117th, me on Lake, her on Edgewater and then Lake in another building. We both had our cars broken into - me on street parking, her in her own building's parking garage. My apartment was broken into and robbed and another time everyone's outgoing mail (left for the postman to take) was stolen and the thief re-wrote and used the checks all over town. This kind of crime is more and more on the increase in this area and frankly, I wouldn't live there again. Lakewood and the gold coast area aren't what they used to be.

If you're going to do a Lakewood apartment, I would look further West. There are about a million apartments in Lakewood and it's a great place to live, but I would go further W and less near the W 117th area. Honestly when you get here, you will see the commute to AG is no big deal and it won't matter where you live after the first week.

I would recommend looking on Detroit and Madison, closer to Rocky River, there are a lot of apartment buildings there. I lived in a total of 5 different apartments in Lakewood and some of it is very nice, but it's a very densely populated suburb and traffic and parking can be annoying.

Keep this in mind. Most places will make you sign a 1-year lease and there's nowhere in Lakewood where 1 year is going to be sheer hell, so just get a place that you can afford and get settled, you'll figure out the rest when you get here. :)

Lastly, if a friend of mine were moving here and getting a job at AG in Brooklyn, I'd suggest they move to North Olmsted. It's very close to I-480 which would put your commute a very short time, maybe 15 mins. There is a lot of shopping albeit more the "suburban" type with a very large shopping mall and a lot of strip malls. I lived there for years and it was very convenient to have everything so close by, and crime is very low.

Good luck and let us know what else we can help you with!

Cleveland, Ohio
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8. Re: Moving To Cleveland From AZ

I agree with RockandRoller1. I would look at the Rocky River area - it is nice, safe and has some charming neighborhoods. Lakewood has seen some increases in crime, etc. In Cleveland, you can get anywhere in 30 minutes. Alot depends on what you want to do. Do you like biking - you may want to head to the southern suburbs like Brecksville for the metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park where biking and hiking abound. Trendy neighborhoods are Tremont and Ohio City - but not as safe as the suburbs. Some of the farther out suburbs like Chagrin Falls and Willoughy have wonderful little village like downtowns where the restaurants and shops are great. Westlake has a wonderful area called Crocker Park - brand new shops and restaurants where lots of younger professionals hang out. Cleveland Heights, Shaker Hts. and University Hts can take you 10-15 minutes to get the freeway so that can add drive time. They do not have close entrances to any major highways.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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9. Re: Moving To Cleveland From AZ

Wow,

A lot of very helpful posts~ I'm noticing that it's getting harder and harder to find a flexible lease term - I've only been able to talk with one aprtment complex that offers that, and it's the one on 117th and Edgewater. They've also been the most helpful, real nice on the phone and offering to take pictures of the unit ^_^ I've been trying to look for apartments in the west area of Lakewood, I found something on Edanola Ave., and then some duplexes. If anyone knew of any aprtment complexes specifically in the west/Rocky River area, I'd be happy to have the names and check them out. I really want to try and lock into something this week because the longer I wait, the later my move in date T___T So far the Edgewater/117th is top contender, though rather pricey - but with a flexible lease term, and the lady really has been more helpful then any of the other complexes I've contacted - but I want to keep my options open and eyes peeled~

Cleveland
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10. Re: Moving To Cleveland From AZ

don't kill yourself over it. Just take the building where they're offering you the short term lease (and are being nice, a bonus) and get here. 90% of the apartments in Lakewood (and there are like a million of them) are only advertised via a sign in a lawn. You can drive up and down any given street in Lakewood and see tons of for rent signs. You won't be able to make a proper decision until you're here and settled a bit and know your way around even a little. It will be MUCH easier to do this when you get here, seriously. You'll be able to see the apartments, the neighborhoods, etc.

I wouldn't shop at the grocery store that's very close to W 117th, it's pretty gross IMO but there are decent ones easy to drive to. Other than that, you'll be fine there for awhile. There's a drug store right there, a couple of decent places to eat within walking distance, etc. We'll all be happy to give you directions and pointers and whatever info you want. :)