For Slavic Village contractor, restoration is a labor of love


Anthony Andreoli outside of his newly renovated building at 5401 Fleet Ave.

Anthony Andreoli outside of his newly renovated building at 5401 Fleet Ave.

Anthony Andreoli first moved to Slavic Village when he was seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction in a halfway house. Now that he’s gotten clean from substance abuse, the resident and business owner is paying it forward — one rehabbed building at a time.


Anthony Andreoli in his workshop at 5401 Fleet Ave.

Anthony Andreoli in his workshop at 5401 Fleet Ave.

In addition to raising three children in a renovated 1906 home off of Fleet Avenue, Anthony and his wife Tiffany Andreoli also own Andreoli Restoration, a general contractor that has rehabbed many homes and buildings in the neighborhood.

Their latest labor of love is a two-story storefront at 5401 Fleet Avenue that was once slated for demo by the city of Cleveland. Working with the Cuyahoga County Land Bank and SVD, Andreoli acquired the property and has since put more than $150,000 of his own money and sweat equity into making it habitable again.

“It was me out here 10 hours a day, six days a week,” said Andreoli of the recently-completed building exterior, which showcases modern architectural design with its standing seam metal siding, wood paneling, and cedar-clad turret. “I loved every minute of it. When you’re working outside every day, you really build relationships with people.”


Andreoli Restoration sign.

Andreoli Restoration sign.

Andreoli, a union carpenter by training and a third-generation craftsman, completed the project largely without subsidy. Thanks to the pandemic, he obtained a low-interest, $75,000 loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Also, he and his wife won a $20,000 Community Champion grant from Citizens Bank.

Doing the work right is tough, says the contractor, who also works for Slavic Village Development rehabbing homes in the neighborhood. “A lot of people might think it’s not so hard,” he said, referring to out-of-state investors who try to renovate and flip houses cheaply. He said that the community needs more high-quality investment, and that his restoration work has saved several houses from demolition.


A wood burning stove heats the first floor.

A wood burning stove heats the first floor.

“Nobody will get rich off of it, but the neighborhood will be richer for it,” he said wryly, noting that unlike Ohio City and Tremont, which have become some of the hottest housing markets in Cuyahoga County. the Slavic Village market is still very much in recovery.

Currently, Andreoli uses the building at 5401 Fleet as his workshop. He hopes to eventually open it up to the community with classes and workshops. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, he occasionally held musician jam nights here as a way of bringing people together. The long-term plan also includes renovating the second floor as a new, larger home for his family.

Many of the items that he has in the building are salvaged from the neighborhood. For example, the large canoe that hangs from the ceiling, several vintage desks he’s bringing back to life, and other items came from Slavic Village properties that were either empty or threatened with demolition.

Andreoli said Fleet Avenue has improved in recent years, with new businesses like Saucisson, Belt Publishing, K9 Dog Training, and Daisy’s Ice Cream moving into renovated storefronts.

While working in Slavic Village isn’t easy, it’s getting better. “It’s always getting better,” he said with a laugh. “It can’t get much worse than ten years ago, so yeah, it’s getting better.”

To learn more about Andreoli Restoration, visit their website at http://www.andreolirestoration.com/.

Lee Chilcote is editor and founder of The Land.


Andreoli’s workshop at 5401 Fleet Ave. includes a canoe he salvaged from the neighborhood, which he hung on the ceiling.

Andreoli’s workshop at 5401 Fleet Ave. includes a canoe he salvaged from the neighborhood, which he hung on the ceiling.


5401 Fleet framed in turret.jpg

The framed-in turret on the second floor of 5401 Fleet Ave.


5401 Fleet view of streetscape.jpg

A view of of the Fleet Avenue streetscape from the new windows at 5401 Fleet Ave.

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