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Old Brooklyn


Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation


Old Brooklyn, Cleveland, Ohio



development budget:



105,301 SF

building uses:

Restaurant/Brewery, Retail, Affordable Housing


The first settlers of Old Brooklyn came from Connecticut in 1812 and later organized Brooklyn Township in 1818. Though, originally the neighborhood was Brighton Village, then Brooklyn Township, and later, South Brooklyn. Eventually, in 1927, Old Brooklyn was absorbed into the Cleveland proper.

The busiest streets of the neighborhood were once Native American trails. Of these historic streets, Schaaf Road was the first to introduce greenhouse gardening to the town. The area was among the first in the Midwest to use greenhouse technology to grow produce and quickly became a prominent producer of greenhouse vegetables. At one time, the area had over 100 acres covered by greenhouses. Unfortunately, most of these greenhouses were closed by the 1960’s.

Old Brooklyn’s local claim to fame came with the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo moving into the neighborhood in 1914. The zoo has provided Old Brooklyn with one of its main sources of tourism for over 100 years.

St. Luke’s Church has sat on the corner of Memphis and Pearl for over 200 years. St. Luke’s is representative of the community’s history, the intent is to enhance what is existing and respect its purpose. Old Brooklyn has always been an aspirational neighborhood that is blooming with potential. The church was abandoned in 2014 and left empty until the Old Brooklyn Community Corporation acquired the building in 2020. these building’s current state, they are not able to reach their full potential or fully support the community as they once did.


While Old Brooklyn thrived at one time due to its streetcar lines and proximity to factories, like most, the neighborhood was significantly impacted by the economy of the 1900’s. Later, in the 2000s the area was struck by the housing crisis.

Though Old Brooklyn has been hit with struggles in its history, the community always rises to become stronger. The neighborhood remains a green, safe, walkable and an affordable place for first-time homebuyers.

In recent years, the neighborhood has become a home for new and unique small businesses that breathe new life into the old town.


Our hope is the development of the Memphis and Pearl will be a catalyst that ignites a rebirth for the business corridor. Our thoughtful design concepts pay homage to what the community continues to cherish while also providing them their wants and needs.

We believe that this project will attract younger demographics to the neighborhood while also connecting the residents who are itching for an “at home” brewery and local health services. Old Brooklyn is situated amidst all budding connections, which makes getting the design and development “right” that much more important.

Memphis and Pearl can regain its role as the cornerstone of the community through innovative design that highlights the OBCDC’s commitment to restoring a historic landmark of the neighborhood. Our team prides ourselves on preserving iconic architecture, we welcome the challenge and want to bring life back to St. Luke’s.

The building needs to offer desirable Class A apartments to bring both businesses and residential tenants into the neighborhood. By offering retail space on the ground floor, Memphis and Pearl will serve the commercial and residential tenants in the building as well as the greater community.

It is time to bring the energy back St. Luke’s, and make it a thriving gathering space once again.


We understand that this project represents a new chapter for both The Old Brooklyn CDC team and the community. Our goal is to create a space that encourages community gathering, preserves the history and legacy of the neighborhood, and ignites a positive transformation. Over the past decade, The Old Brooklyn CDC team has continually invested into its neighborhood. The development at the corner of Memphis and Pearl has the potential to increase investment and create a community destination spot. This property is in an ideal location where visitors from any location will have access, even those without transportation. In partnership with Old Brooklyn CDC, we believe our team’s effort will bring this vision to life. We envision the development as a celebration of the history of the Old Brooklyn neighborhood, while increasing economic growth and community invigoration. Our submission strives to help bring new rental housing options as well as a community destination. We believe our strategy will help the community reach its highest potential and create a thriving space for all.

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