As part of Slavic Village, Fleet Avenue’s popularity and traffic began to climb when it extended eastward to Broadway and saw I-77 constructed on the western end. In the early 1900s Polish and Czech families established key institutions such as St. Stanislaus, St. John Nepomucene and the Polish American Cultural Center along with dozens of small-scale family food and maker businesses. In 2014, Slavic Village Development (SVD) worked with the City of Cleveland to change the streetscape of Fleet Avenue to be safe and accessible for all users of all ages and abilities. SVD organized monthly meetings, clean-ups, and fundraising events to boost morale and passion along the road after construction took longer than expected. There are many assets and young businesses already taking shape on Fleet Avenue, such as Sonny Day Development, the new butcher shop Saucisson, and gallery space at the Magalen. Metro Croissant may soon join existing small tea company Inca Tea in April.
Slavic Village Development also helped to lead a holiday event, reinvigorate the Village Farmers Market, and sponsored ten Women’s Business Center memberships to locally owned small businesses to help increase capacity. SVD excels at facilitating funding between private and public funds to help fill the gap that can make or break a project. SVD has been working with and for its residents, businesses, and institutions for over 30 years; most recently with an emphasis on improving housing stock and spurring economic activity. SVD and partners Sonny Day Development and the Domzalsi/Cuiksa Group are creating Fleet Avenue as a rare and unique district, positioned in a perfect window of opportunity and ready to emerge and react.