A couple repurposes & renews a historic firehouse to revitalize a neighborhood

Four years ago, Graham Veysey and Marika Shioiri-Clark set out to develop and cultivate their ideal neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio.

I wanted to go to a place where I could sink roots down and make an impact,” says 33-year-old Veysey, who owns a video-production company. They bought a former firehouse built in 1854, complete with three poles, and turned one of the old fire-truck bays into their living area. The second floor is now a collection of workspaces, including Veysey’s office and Shioiri-Clark’s design studio.

The couple christened their once desolate area of Cleveland Hingetown (it’s the connector of three sections of town: the Warehouse District, the Ohio City Market District, and Gordon Square) and began changing the landscape.

They added splashes of public art, flower baskets, and bike racks to the cracked concrete corners and renovated the decrepit building across the street, bringing in eight retail spaces and seven apartments—including a full-time Airbnb unit they use to show off the neighborhood.

Today, the drug dealers and prostitutes that once trafficked the area have been supplanted by millennials, moms and dads pushing baby strollers, and empty-nesters.

Hingetown is now a development hotbed, with more than $70 million in new projects planned in the roughly eight-square-block area.

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