Midtown neighborhood drives Cleveland to the head of the high-tech class

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jun 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-15 18:13:12-04

Cleveland is ranked 12th out of the nation's Top 20 cities when it comes to year over year growth in tech jobs, according to One neighborhood in particular is playing a leading role in that growth.

Midtown, once full of blight, is coming back to life in a big way. The neighborhood, which sits between downtown and University Circle, is quickly establishing itself as one of the hottest high-tech corridors in the country.

There are millions of dollars in projects slated to come online in this neighborhood including a "tech hive," a hotel and residential housing. 

"This corridor has seen a lot of disinvestment for a lot of years," said Jeff Epstein of MidTown Cleveland.

It all started at East 70th and Euclid, the corner that is helping drive redevelopment in this Cleveland neighborhood.

"Dramatic growth of interest in being in this area," said Epstein.

The restored Baker Electric building is now home to several new high-tech companies, including Vizzle, which produces education software for autism and special needs students. (Story continues after map)

"I'm a part of the business tech world now," Courtney Monastra, Vizzle Account Manager.

It’s a change of pace for Monastra, who used to be a Special Ed teacher.

"As I was teaching, I started realizing what an amazing resource technology could be and made my life so much easier," said Monastra.

Monastra is just one of the many Clevelanders taking advantage of the exploding industry along what's called the Health Tech Corridor. charts Cleveland's growth in tech jobs year over year at 84.3 percent. Top tech jobs include:

  • Project Manager
  • Quality Engineer
  • Developer
  • Quality Technician
  • Software Engineer

Early Career Median Pay:  $52,100 | Mid-Career Median Pay: $86,700

"We can create this density where we can have and build community," said Epstein.

About $140 million in investment will come online in Midtown over the next couple of years.

"So this is kind of the hottest neighborhood in Cleveland," said Ray Leach, JumpStart CEO.

JumpStart, which helps finance new tech companies, is dedicating $2 million to get them to set up shop in Midtown.

"The Health Tech Corridor and Midtown is really important to the average Clevelander because there's not only lots of tech jobs being created here, but those tech jobs create lots and lots and lots of other jobs. Not just in the city, but particularly in this neighborhood," said Leach.

It's a neighborhood which, like the Baker Electric building, has come full circle.

"They were selling electric cars here 100 years ago and now it's full with technology, startups and lab companies," said Epstein.

A Hilton brand hotel and 23 townhomes will be built on Euclid between east 69th and 70th. Closer to downtown, University Hospitals is building a new facility for women and children.

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