Incorporated in the spring of 1992, FRDC is a nonprofit community development corporation whose mission is “strengthen neighborhoods in Northeast Ohio through comprehensive community development.”
FRDC carries out community revitalization activity through the development of affordable and market rate housing, promotes economic development activity through commercial, retail and institutional initiatives, acts as a catalyst to spur community visioning through comprehensive master planning. In FRDC’s role of convener it advocates for the residents, small businesses, churches, schools and other stakeholders in the community. In response to planning activities FRDC develops programs and partnerships to address cultural, educational, financial, health/wellness, housing, recreational, safety, social, sustainability, technology, workforce and youth initiatives. FRDC is committed to building an inclusive community.
After its annexation to Cleveland in 1872, the neighborhood now known as Fairfax underwent a period of rapid residential development, which continued until 1920, when the area’s population reached 34,000. Fairfax has a rich heritage and was home to the first African American owned bank in Cleveland, Ohio and home to several notable people including Langston Hughes, Jesse Owens, Dorothy Dandridge, and Bobby Womack.
The neighborhood is ideally located between downtown Cleveland and University Circle that affords easy access to virtually all of the city’s attractions. Euclid Avenue, near the neighborhood’s northern border, became the site of many of Cleveland’s largest and most architecturally distinguished churches.
Fairfax is home to two nationally recognized institutions. The foremost of these is the Cleveland Clinic, established in 1921 and now ranks as Cuyahoga County’s largest private employer. Karamu House is the country’s first inter-racial theater and arts center and was established in 1917. Karamu House has been located in the Fairfax neighborhood since 1943. The current councilperson is Blaine Griffin.