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The newest way to fill a vacant property

How do you fight vacant storefronts in your neighborhood? That was the question faced by Collinwood, an inner-city neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio…and they came up with an answer. Read along, there’s something to be learned no matter what shape your business district is in. And, if you are a merchant looking for a place in Cleveland, applications are being accepted until August 14, 2014.

AntiVacant Program in Collinwood

AntiVacant Program

This east side neighborhood has already been active with a successful Waterloo Arts & Entertainment district initiative. Building on that success, they are looking for five new businesses to incubate into the area over the next three years.

The program offers multiple incentives:

· A three-month, zero dollar rent rate that increases incrementally to fair market value within 24 months

· Eligibility to receive semi-annual monetary incentives totaling up to $3,000 by attending merchant meetings and promoting ActiVacant throughout the community.

· The program covers approximately 50% of the three-year tiered rental, taking a healthy amount of pressure off the landlords.

· A win-win for both the startups and the existing landlords in the neighborhood.

In order to qualify, businesses need to:

· Fill in and return a completed application to Northeast Shore Development Corporation.

· Show evidence of a solid business plan

· Have an online sales component,

· And agree to participate in the filming of a documentary that will help promote their business, entrepreneurship and East 185th St.

To submit the application, businesses can either go online at, via email at jdibaggio@northeastshores.comor via USPS to Northeast Shores Development Corporation Attn: Charlie Kamen- 317 E. 156th St., Cleveland, OH 44110 by 5pm on August 14th, 2014. For other questions, applicants may call 216-481-7660.

Doug Bardwell writes about interesting new real estate projects, construction and grand openings across the country and around the world. Feel free to drop him a line at with suggestions for future stories. To get his stories delivered to your inbox, click the RSS feed or the "Subscribe" button above or follow him on Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

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