Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Slated for Former Vacant Boarding House Following Total Renovation | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Slated for Former Vacant Boarding House Following Total Renovation

October 16, 2015

The city of Lakewood, The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO), and LakewoodAlive partnered to find owner-occupants and developers to rehabilitate two vacant boarding houses (1446 Mars Avenue, 1436 Grace Avenue) in an effort to further strengthen our community’s historic neighborhoods.

Owners Jim and Lillian Valli purchased the home in February 2014 and worked with All Phase General Construction to complete several hundred thousand dollars in renovations to 1436 Grace Avenue, converting an 1898, former 3,744 square foot, 14-bedroom boarding house into a single family home. The Valli’s vision for a historic rehabilitation was enhanced when pocket doors were discovered inside a wall on the first floor along with beautiful arches once hidden in a faux grant stairway wall.

These gems, along with beautiful hardwood floors, historic features and a new witches hat and turret have brought new life to a home once slated for demolition. The home, which sold for $1, had to be raised nearly 18 inches in the middle of the house as a primary basement beam was sagging, pulling the house inward.

The Valli’s and All Phase General Construction will join Mayor Summers, LakewoodAlive and DSCDO to celebrate the completion of this transformative project. 


In 2012 the City of Lakewood purchased two boarding houses that had become burdensome to the community. After exploring a variety of potential options for these large and unique structures, the City, with assistance from LakewoodAlive, developed a partnership with the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization to rehab the properties.

DSCDO has a successful history of converting vacant and abandoned buildings into neighborhood assets. Since 2008, the organization has engaged its partners to redevelop 130 vacant, foreclosed properties resulting in over $7 million in rehabilitated housing. Developers are vetted on both their finances and construction skills in order to insure a quality end product.

LakewoodAlive is 501(c)3 community-centered non-profit that fosters and sustains vibrant neighborhoods. The Housing Outreach Program connects homeowners to resources and educational services, facilitates volunteer labor to complete home repairs, administers a paint rebate program, and collaborates with non-profits to provide a range of housing services.