MIDTOWN CORRIDOR, INC., was established in 1982 at 4614 Prospect Ave. in Cleveland. The purpose of the nonprofit organization was to promote and revitalize 1 sq. mi. east of downtown Cleveland, and to retain and create jobs for residents of the city. The original boundaries were Carnegie Ave. north to Chester and Perkins avenues, and E. 79th St. west to the I-90 Innerbelt. In 1993 the service area was officially extended north to Payne Ave. Morton L. Mandel of PREMIER INDUSTRIAL CORP. was MidTown's founding chairman, and Thomas H. Roulston was co-chairman. There have been two executive directors: Margaret L. Murphy (1983-91) and Christopher O. Johnson (1991- ).
Midtown Corridor's objectives have remained constant: to assist in all aspects of neighborhood revitalization and economic development, including marketing and promotion, real estate development, security, and employment. Since its creation in 1982, MidTown has supervised investment of over $350 million in private money into new construction and improvements for the area. By helping companies relocate or expand in the MidTown area, an estimated 4,000 jobs were retained or created that might otherwise have been lost. Since late 1992, an employment partnership with VOCATIONAL GUIDANCE SERVICES has provided 400 jobs for Cleveland residents, primarily from the Central and Fairfax neighborhoods. Cooperative efforts with the CLEVELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT helped to reduce crime in the area by 20% from 1990-93. MidTown Corridor, Inc., is supported primarily by area "stakeholders"--individual members, organizations, and institutions both within MidTown's boundaries and beyond--as well as through grants. In 1994, membership numbered 250 businesses and institutions.
Late in 1994, the Midtown Corridor, along with three other decaying Cleveland neighborhoods (HOUGH, GLENVILLE, and FAIRFAX) was named one of Cleveland's "empowerment zones." This program, aimed at revitalizing troubled urban areas, promised $90 million in federal money over 10 years to aid in encouraging economic development. In the Midtown Corridor, MidTown Corridor, Inc., Vocational Guidance Services, and the Cleveland Advanced Manufacturing Program (administered by ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT, INC.) would all play a role in the empowerment zone. Among MidTown Corridor, Inc.'s successes included the orchestration of a package of low-interest loans and tax abatements to keep businesses (including APPLIED INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES) from relocating to outlying areas. In 1998, executives of the group were instrumental in arranging financing for the development of the Midtown Corporate Center on Euclid Ave. between E. 36th and E. 40th streets.