Parma or Westlake - This gal needs help! :) (Cleveland, Lakewood: low income, section 8)
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Hello all - First of all, so excited to have found this forum! Good stuff. I'm a 39 year old professional single mother with a 20 year old daughter and we just recently applied to a beautiful community in Parma called Woodbury Commons and I am wondering if any of you can shed some light on what the "area" is like. The apartments are top of the line, they just don't look to be in the best area. They're surrounded by what seems to be less than desirable apartment complexes but are sort of nestled in there own private area. There is trees surrounding them as well.
I did make a call to the Parma police department and they ensured that although apartment communities surrounding Woodbury Commons are less than desirable, they are very safe and they've have hardly any problems there. The officer that I spoke with said that out of all 20 communities that he would feel fine letting his family live there as they are the best in the area. Also, Parma was just rated the 3rd safest city in the U.S. it's just this particular area is of question.
I love Woodbury Commons because it seems more like a "home" than an apartment "hotel" type building. They have washer and dryer in suite, fireplace, etc.
Because of my concern with the "area" I did apply to another community located in Westlake, OH called Westwood Meadows right off of Columbia road that are more of a "hotel" type building but with really nice apartments but the only thing that is concerning me is that there is no laundry in our suite. I'm sure some of you will agree that having your own laundry machines is sort of awesome!
Both of these communities price out the same and they are both equal distance to Downtown Cleveland where I work. I'm hoping to get a few of my concerns addressed here.
- Do any of you know anything about the Parma area specifically around Woodbury? Which is at 6160 Stumph Road, Parma, OH.
- Is Westlake known to be a better place/area?
- Is it worth giving up some of the amenities of Woodbury Commons to live in what seems like a nicer surrounding area?
That is near Stumph and Big Creek (which has a very nice Metroparks trail). That area is perfectly fine. Overall, Parma is a very safe community. There are pockets along Brookpark and Snow that are Section 8, but that means the people are poor rather than assumed criminals. I live about 1.5 miles from a section 8 apartment complex and it is never an issue. The Parma police are also notoriously vigilant (which could be seen as a negative, in some cases). You probably aren't worried about schools, but Parma schools are also pretty good especially when considering how many kids are in the system.
Take from it what you will, and ignore the idiots who comment (Cleveland.com is loaded with them):
I agree with EC and CC. You won't regret the Parma move. You will be in a safe area. Kudos for you for REALLY doing your homework and calling the Police. Don't think I've ever heard anyone do that before. Smart!
Get the place you like the most!
Thanks ECBeastor! Do you know of the area in Parma that I'm referring to by chance?
Never lived around there but go through often enough and knew a guy who did of York, which is what Stumph turns into further south. It's fine, some of the apartments to the north closer to the Chevy Plant are a bit low-income and thus they cater to less desirable bunch, but on the whole they aren't an issue. Actually, there is a real big asian population over in those apartments off Stumph and, to stereotype a little, they really aren't considered to be highly prone to criminal activity. So like the othe poster mentioned, poor doesn't always equal criminal. Eitherway, they won't be causing problems that you notice down the road.
There's a pretty decent development just southwest of Woodbury, on Huffman Rd. which I believe is Parma Heights (different city). Greenbriar Middle school is also right behind Woodbury. The eastern side of Stumph across from Woodbury is also Parma Heights north to Snow Rd.
Last edited by ECBeastor; 03-19-2014 at 07:22 AM..
Thanks to everyone for the responses! Keep 'em comin
Yes, I did my homework by calling the local police department. I've actually done that for other cities that I've lived in. It helps.
ECBeastor - Can you clarify which building has a lot of Asian tenants? Is it Woodbury?
I've been reading so many mixed reviews but also reading regarding Westlake and their not necessarily the safest suburb. The last time I went to Crocker Park there was a large amount of undesirables walking around. I was pretty surprised.
I guess there will be riff raff everywhere you go now-a-days.
Now, for the CONVENIENCE part of living
-Do you think that Westlake (right off of Columbia) is an easier/faster drive to downtown Cleveland and Lakewood? or is it about the same from Parma?
-It seems that Westlake has closer stores and more "nice" choices shopping/restaurant wise with Crocker Park and the surrounding area.
-Is Parmatown Mall still open? I remember shopping around there. Target, Giant Eagle, etc.
This may sound super silly but I'm in North Olmsted right now and for some reason keep thinking am I taking a "step down" by moving to Parma up the road from section 8 and other undesirable complexes? lol
I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.
It's like do I move to a completely renovated modern looking unit in at Westwood Meadows in Westlake right up the street from Crocker but that doesn't provide an in suite washer/dryer, fireplace, etc. and that seems to cater to an older community? Here is a link to their units just for fun
OR do I move to Woodbury that is surrounded by what I mentioned above (section 8, etc.) but offers an in suite washer/dryer, fireplace and has more of the town home feel than hotel feel? Here is a link to their units just for fun
I imagine many of those buildings are where the Asians are, including Woodbury but I don't know for certain. I think many are Indians actually, to clarify. A lot of Indian contract workers at the KeyBank building up the way on Tiedeman, among other places. There's a few Indian businesses on W. 130th just south of Pearl in Parma Heights which is basically around the corner from the Woodbury.
Thanks again for your responses! I have a "twist" to add to areas of living. I'm currently in North Olmsted and was recently offered the opportunity to stay if we'd like. Now, where we are now, there are no problems. We're very close to the highway, great northern mall, restaurants, etc. Only thing we're missing is the central air, fireplace and in suite laundry.
Now I'm dealing with, do we even bother moving since we're fine where we're at?
Or do we move to an area that we're questionable about to have the central air, fireplace and in suite laundry that we're desiring?
What's the trade off here? Here is what we have going on at both places and maybe you can help decide.
I'm listing the pro's and con's to both.
Currently living at Bridlewood Apartments in North Olmsted:
-$100 cheaper rent
-Don't pay for heat
-Nice area near mall and highways
-Have been living there for 3 years now
-Have to buzz someone in to building (they can't just walk in)
-If we stay here we don't have to pack, move, etc. We just stay put
-Mid rise building
-I've had a slight bug problem in this apartment (tons of ants and japanese beetles)
-Laundry facility on another floor (pay $2.00 per wash/dry)
-No central air (only one air conditioner in living room and the last few summers have been HOT)
Thinking of moving to Woodbury Commons in Parma:
-More town house type feel (only 3 floors and we'd be on top floor with no one on either side of us)
-Our own washer and dryer
-Breakfast bar in kitchen
-Two full baths
-Walk in closet
-Vaulted ceiling in living room
-200 more square feet than our current apartment
-Closer to daughters college and her job
-Surrounding area is not the greatest (according to Parma police our complex is considered safe but the buildings next to us and down the road are questionable)
-$100 more in rent (but that's almost what we pay in laundry per year)
-Have to drive 10-15 minutes to shopping
So with all of that said and most of you knowing the area's can you please help us make a decision on what you think may be best. I'm obviously torn on what to do so any input/guidance is really appreciated.
I need to let my management company know what we're doing by the end of the day today.
Thanks in advance!
Last edited by serenity4794; 03-20-2014 at 06:26 AM..
I would base it strictly on the ammenities and whether you're willing to make the trade on the other pros and cons. The differences between Parma and North Olmsted are minimal and there is nothing sketchy about the neighborhood you are looking at. The only "bad" area of Parma that I know of is the small section 8 housing area at Big Creek and Brookpark (probably 2-3 miles down the road) and it isn't even really bad (low income riff raff, mostly). There is also plenty of day-to-day shopping in the area and neither South Park or Great Northern are all that far from where you're looking. It sounds to me like with the combined savings on laundry and gas for your daughter (assuming she goes to Tri C or BW), the $100 difference is close to a wash.
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