Beachwood is all about balance.
At the East Side suburb’s northern edge, Beachwood Place and its collection of trendy stores such as Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue is thriving — even expanding by 46,841 square feet — in an era where indoor malls are so yesterday. Less than 3 miles away at the city’s southern border, the Chagrin Highlands area has boomed to life thanks to the University Hospitals Monte Ahuja Medical Center and manufacturing giant Eaton Corp.’s North American headquarters.
More than 25,000 people (and their income tax dollars) go to work in Beachwood each day at more than 2,500 companies.
But in the middle of it, all that hustle and bustle feels worlds away from its tree-lined neighborhood streets and the manicured lawns of three- and four-bedroom colonial, bungalow and ranch homes, which have a comfortable $255,000 median home sale price.
“Residential is not intertwined with the commercial,” says longtime resident Scott Berkowitz. “You don’t feel like you’re shrouded in commerce.”
The real estate developer — he owns the Aloft Beachwood hotel in Chagrin Highlands — never questioned buying a home in the city he grew up in. All the money the businesses bring in means the city can keep property taxes ($2,100 a year per $100,000 home valuation) much lower than neighboring suburbs.
“That’s a lot more house you can afford, because your real estate taxes are that much less,” Scott says.
He appreciates the easy access the city’s three freeway interchanges bring and having Moxie the Restaurant and Red, the Steakhouse less than a mile from the house he shares with his wife, Julie, and their two kids. But for Scott the school district (No. 4 in our rankings) and its small grade sizes make the city of 11,762 feel tight-knit.
“When your children grow up in a school system, you develop a kinship with the other parents,” Scott says. “We really like engaging with those other parents.”