We wanted to live close to the university. My wife and I are originally from Europe. We wanted the European feel of being able to walk to work and shops, instead of having to drive everywhere.
We wanted to recreate the European way of life – walking the neighborhoods, knowing your neighbors, enjoying great food. When we lived in Hudson, I knew the neighbors across the street. Within one week here, we knew everybody.
I knew more people in one week in Little Italy than I knew in 15 years in Hudson. This is about living life to the fullest.
Constantino’s is great. So much has happened since I moved here. I’m looking forward to the Museum of Contemporary Art and the new restaurants opening. I’ve seen the neighborhood change for the better in less than a year.
It’s a beautiful area. There are wonderful institutions and Little Italy is great. It has a small town feel, separate from downtown, with great amenities.
I live 2.9 miles from work. I like to say I roll out of bed and into work. I’ve ridden my bike to work and I could walk to work. It’s convenient and it saves on gas, too.
I love the proximity to work. I’m three minutes from Cleveland Clinic. I’m on call a lot so I need to be at work quickly. I didn’t want a long drive.
My children were raised in this home. When they were younger, we couldn’t always afford to keep up with maintenance work. When this program came along, I thought, ‘Wow. Now’s the time.’ My home needed some work, but I wanted to stay. I didn’t want to go into a new home with a big mortgage. This program encouraged me to stick around.
The program is fabulous. I’m so glad it was available to us. We did more on the outside of our home than we would have if not for the loan. The difference between when we bought the home and now – the value’s increased 90% due in large part to the program.
The growth and renewal that are happening with many of the institutions and their building campaigns is extending into the neighborhoods. It’s fantastic. I hope we have more people spending time in the neighborhood and living in the area so the neighborhood will be sustained. That will improve the neighborhoods. It increases the value of your home and the neighborhood, too.
I wasn’t thinking about buying in the city. I was thinking of something in the country. I love fishing. I love hunting. But the additional funding was an incentive. I saw the benefit of being an ‘urban pioneer’ – taking a risk in building something in an urban area. I spent part of my childhood in this neighborhood. I feel I’m giving something back to the area by building something new here.