CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Just like so many other businesses, the Boujie Bakery in Cleveland Heights had a major setback when the pandemic first started.
"I was like a little scared, so I started just doing online orders only,” said Autumn Oliver, The Boujie Bakery owner.
When Oliver opened again, the orders started pouring in.
“We were getting about 130 customers a day,” she said.
She equates the spike in sales to many residents being able to walk to her shop on Lee Road.
"I know a lot of the neighbors over here already love having the bakery right down the street,” said Oliver. "I see a lot of people walking down here and walking right back home.”
Pretty soon she could have more neighbors, which will likely equal more customers and the vacant lot near her business could be the key.
"It would just be a game changer for those neighborhoods,” said Tim Boland.
Boland is the economic development director for Cleveland Heights.
He says city's new initiative would enable 42 vacant lots across several neighborhoods in the city to be transformed into brand new homes.
"A lot of our housing stock is a little bit older, a little bit more mature,” said Boland.
He thinks a project like this will serve everyone.
"It just gives us a tremendous opportunity to build new houses in the city of Cleveland Heights, attract new residents, increase investment in the city and just expand the overall vibrancy of these already great neighborhoods,” he said.
All of the lots are owned or controlled by the city and they’re tax abated.
Boland says now they’re just looking for a development partner to take on the project.
"To have the opportunity to attract a quality developer, to construct great infill housing in these already great neighborhoods is just for us a tremendous opportunity,” Boland said.
Development companies have until Dec. 11 to apply.
Hopefully not too long after that, the Boujie Bakery might get a few more customers.
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