Mostly car free person here! Living in University Circle, it's honestly super easy! Save for a couple cartrips out of state, I very rarely use my car and never use uber. Last time I used my car otherwise was in July to go to a restaurant in Lakewood. Oh and don't forget about the new Dave's in midtown for groceries. Also J&L Market Garden right next to uptown for affordable produce.
I find these opinions very interesting because I have the exact opposite feelings. Maybe it is because I am older than most on the forum.
In the near future I am planning on giving up home ownership and go into an apartment (biggest issue is finding something big enough that does not cost an arm and leg. After years and years I have a lot of stuff). I am also going to try and do something crazy for Cleveland and see if I can go car free (this will be a big challenge because many friends and most relatives are in the far 'burbs). Right now the two neighborhoods that fit my personal criteria are University Circle and Ohio City and UC is running first for a number of reasons (although Ohio City could go on top if many of the planned developments are realized with the most important being the Irishtown Bend park.)
Since I won't have a car, I want to be able to walk or have an easy bus ride (which means a direct and quick route with no transfer) to a church, a library and a grocery. Everything else would be icing on the cake and in my mind UC has the best butter cream frosting for me. Church (Holy Rosary) and library (MLK) I could walk to and grocery would be a bus ride downtown to Heinens. I would probably go to Constantinos as well for something quick, like when I lived in the Warehouse District, but I have always considered it more of a convenience store than a grocer. Easy rapid ride to the West Side Market as well as everything that OC would offer.
Since my three criteria are not an issue, UC appeals to me more than OC because of the green space and the cultural institutions which I use a lot (and much of it is free....I am always going to CIM for concerts) and the fact that it is a quick bus ride downtown. I find the restaurant choices (again walkable) in UC and Little Italy very good and the bar scene serves my purposes since I am not looking for a hot spot or late hours. I don't shop like I use to so an Uber to major east side centers will probably only be necessary once a month or so. I am really hoping that the Circle Square development happens because it will really seal the deal for me.
I can add to this. I am currently in the market and I have no desire or intention to live outside of the city limits. But UC is not on my list of potential neighborhoods to move to because of that exact reason. There’s not enough stores/shops, there isn’t enough entertainment options (I like to go out) and I want a little more. I do find UC lacking in those areas. I love the neighborhood, but for me it’s still somewhere to visit, not to live
^^ I know several people from the east coast who feel the same way. Agree that Lakewood is closest we have to an NYC, but it’s closer to a Greenwich Village to an Upper East Side—and not all New Yorkers want the Village. Additionally, a lot of CCF employees want to live on the east side, but want a denser neighborhood.
For the same reasons both @MyPhoneDead (ironic, btw, that you were looking at phones) and @Sapper Daddy mentioned, my significant other gym NYC chose Cleveland Heights—but it’s a far cry from a dense urban neighborhood. I think Little Italy, UC, and Midtown need to have a bit more neighborhood-type amenities (i.e., Starbucks and Rising Star in UC are horrible for sitting, only good for picking up; Constantino’s is abysmal; the only drugstore is the eh Rite Aid by CCF; you got to go out east to go shopping).
While transplants want dense, they also want Apple Stores, Trader Joe’s, and Vineyard Vines, so they wind up in Beachwood rather than UC—and then they flee back east as soon as their residency is over.
Bringing this back on topic, I guess what I’m saying is “please someone build an amazing mixed-use dense community in UC or Little Italy—or I may be dragged to the east coast. 😭”