Armando Cesare wanted his kids and dogs to have room to run.
Finally ready for a move to Cleveland after 18 months of commuting between Omaha, Nebraska, and here for work, Cesare wanted to leave urban living behind and buy a house with a large yard for his 19-, 16- and 8-year old kids and two dogs.
He found a 3,248-square-foot, four-bedroom model home on a 1/3-acre in Avon’s Highland Park subdivision. “There’s plenty of space,” says Cesare. “I don’t feel like my neighbors are right next to me. You feel like you’re living in the country.”
As this year’s No. 1 suburb in Cleveland Magazine’s rankings, Avon has seen consistent growth over the last decade. With more than 100 new houses built during each of those years, its population has doubled to 22,302. Avon has evolved from sprawling farmland into a place where large plots are readily available for residential and commercial properties.
“As the community grows, people are asking for more and more things,” says Mayor Bryan Jensen.
Last summer, the city opened the Avon Aquatic Facility, a 3-acre complex that includes a 50-meter Olympic-sized pool and a 9,100-square-foot recreation pool. The school district also built a new $33 million middle school last year to handle the influx of new students moving into the city.
Retail pockets such as Avon Commons on Detroit Road offer residents the luxury of name-brand stores, while locally owned shops such as Sassy’s, a small women’s accessory boutique, and Strip Steakhouse, an upscale dining hot spot, provide a small slice of charm just a mile away in the Olde Avon Village.
“I think what makes us special is that you have a community that’s big but still has a heart of a small country community,” says Jensen.
Although Cesare found the space he was looking for, he’s surprised at how quickly he got a taste of Avon’s togetherness. Just days into being residents, Cesare’s 16-year-old son Diego was invited to attend band camp with students from the high school, and the Avon Soccer Association gave his 8-year-old daughter, Isabella, a spot on a little league team.
“It’s an inclusive community for us and our kids,” he says. “People are so accepting and positive.”