Bay Village is the place for arts and culture lovers and happy families
Executive Director Nancy Heaton calls BAYarts ''the hub of cultural and community events for Cleveland's western suburbs.'' She is right, of course. The extraordinary and beautiful campus located within Cleveland Metroparks Huntington Reservation draws regional visitors to its outdoor concerts, farm and art market, gallery exhibits, arts education and more, including many free events.
Given a choice to live in several west side suburbs, some homebuyers (especially those heavy into arts and culture) choose Bay Village, the home of BAYarts. Parents appreciate the proximity of art classes for their pre-school and up age children that are held year round including daytime, after school, weekends and summer. Extensive adult programming includes painting, ceramics, jewelry and more taught by high quality instructors.
Some of the most exiting news for the area is the renovation by BAYarts of the former Huntington Playhouse, beginning in 2018. Heaton said the 12,500-square-foot building will become a ''cultural center for performance, exhibitions, educational programming and community use.''
The renovation complements the Bay Village Master Plan, which was recently updated. Glenn Coyne, executive director of the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission, worked with the city to focus its mission statement and find realistic ways to implement goals. Coyne said residents and city leaders want to maintain the high quality of the community, become a more bike and pedestrian friendly community, preserve the village center and be able to offer diverse housing opportunities. Currently, 97 percent of the 4,52-square-mile city is residential.
The population is 15,651 people.
''The best housing buys in Bay Village tend to be homes that are in need of renovation,'' said Yvonne Sankovich, manager of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services' Bay Village office, adding that her company has the largest market shareof all brokers in the area. ''It is not uncommon for someone to purchase a home and tear it down and build a larger, brand new home. This used to be true for lakefront only, but now we find it in just about every area of our city.''
As in many communities, current housing inventory is low in Bay Village, so ''when homes do come on the market, they do not last long,'' according to Sankovich.
''Homes that have been updated to reflect current trends and (that) are properly positioned in the market tend to sell quickly, in multiple offers and above asking price,'' said Sankovich. ''They may not even last 24 hours. Demand is high, so agents and their buyers need to be on their toes and ready at a moment's notice if they want to get the home of their dreams. Our agents know the Bay Village market inside and out because many of them live in the community. ''
Sankovich lists top rated schools, access to Lake Erie, and of course, Huntington Reservation with BAYarts, Huntington Beach and the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center as huge draws to homebuyers.
''There is a strong community feel. Yo u will frequently find that the people who live here most likely grew up in Bay Village. They may have moved away for a period of time, but then choose to come back and raise their families,'' said Sankovich.
And there is possible new development.
Liberty Development Co. of Westlake has a plan to develop 13 townhome units on Wolf Rd. along Cahoon Creek. The 2.3-acre site is currently a vacant parking lot.
''We feel our proposed project would
BAYa rts presents a concert series that appeals to many musical tastes. Photo Credit: BAYa rts