The Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland currently own 42 acres of land on Fairmount Blvd. in Pepper Pike, separate from the land the sisters gave to Ursuline College. Here is an overview of the proposed uses for the property:
Merici Crossings, the sisters’ residence, sits on approximately 7 acres in the parcel closest to Fairmount Blvd.
Creative Living for Life at Ursuline Sisters is a proposed 25-unit housing complex for individuals with disabilities. This 3 acre parcel would be located near Merici Crossings and would share the driveway off Fairmount Blvd.
The site of the former motherhouse, now demolished, is approximately 22 acres and sits north of Merici Crossings. The sisters currently do not have specific plans for this parcel.
The proposed conservation easement is an 8-10 acre parcel on the northside of the property, abutting the backyards of several residents on Windy Hill and the Edgewood Trace development off Cedar Road.
Q: Beyond the proposed Creative Living for Life development, what are your long-term plans for the rest of the property?
A: At this point, our only plans are to preserve 8-10 acres on the northern edge of our property as a conservation easement. In 2019, the city imposed a moratorium on U-2 development and rewrote its U-2 zoning code, and we’ve all been living through a pandemic. As a result, we have taken a step back from our earlier plans, and are prayerfully considering our options.
At some point in the future, we hope to develop the parcel where the former motherhouse stood. Whatever we propose there will be consistent with our mission and community needs. We are focused now on the Creative Living for Life development, and will certainly inform the community when we have plans for the balance of the property.
Q: Why not build the Creative Living for Life development on the parcel where the former motherhouse was demolished?
A: We want to build these homes close to Merici Crossings so our sisters can volunteer and be involved with the residents. Many of our sisters are older and have mobility issues, so having it close by would make it possible for them to visit and be involved with the residents. We see this as an extension of our mission, and want the residents of the Creative Living for Life development to be our closest neighbors.
Another factor is the cost of extending utilities deeper into the property, which would increase construction expenses for the development. In addition, we hope to someday develop the parcel where the former motherhouse once stood, as a source of income to help support our older sisters, who are now retired after many years of service.
We chose Creative Living not because of any financial gain for the sisters – there will be none – but to extend our legacy. The remainder of our property – our greatest asset – is critical to the long-term care of our sisters and the sustainability of our mission. Just as homeowners consider an eventual sale of their property in their financial plans, we think it prudent and responsible to derive economic benefit from the remainder of our property as a way of fulfilling our obligation to care for each of our 120+ sisters as they age. This remaining land is a valuable asset, and we are committed to developing it in a manner consistent with our mission and with the city’s zoning laws.