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Down_with_Ctown

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Everything posted by Down_with_Ctown

  1. So I read the Scene article and I'm a little confused. Tell me if the following is an accurate TL;DR summary-- A key element of Nucleus's financing package is a $12M loan from the City of Cleveland to Stark. Stark will repay the city with $13.2 million in new property tax revenue generated by Nucleus, "guaranteeing" the city a 10 percent ROI. Somehow this is different from the TIF plan also in place for the project. Cleveland schools will be unaffected and receive a full protion of the property tax revenue generated by Nucleus. Opponents of the project believe that the $13.2 million in property taxes mentioned above should go to the city free and clear of any loan commitments. However (and please correct me if I'm wrong), that $13.2M exists if and only if Nucleus goes forward (the surface parking lot currently occupying the site ain't gonna raise that kind of cash). So if all goes as planned, the city collects an extra $1.2M in property taxes over a specified period and also benefits from a $350M+ mixed use project smack dab in its CBD. Plus a new stream of income and sales taxes from the increased economic activity associated with the project. Under the status quo, Cleveland collects nothing more than what they are already receiving. All things considered, it seems like part of the cost of doing business in a major urban area. My understanding is that the subsidies involved here are not direct handouts but rather splitting a larger pie that the developer helped create. Not to get too political, but kind of like the Amazon project in NYC. Except Stark isn't Jeff Bezos and the City of Cleveland could probably use the development more than New York City. Again, I may have some of the details wrong, so please feel free to let me know if there's more going on than meets the eye here.
  2. Ironically, Richmond Road is down to one lane in each direction throughout the city of Richmond Heights for a summer-long resurfacing project. Per city officials, the underlying concrete portion of the road hasn't been replaced since the mall was built in circa 1966. Coincidentally or not, that's some serious infrastructure work accompanying DPM's development. This is one of the more creative "dead mall" solutions I've seen in years. It's not often abandoned retail gets transformed into class A residential living (granted, the developers may be doing a little bit of puffing here. Also, I'll believe the hotel when I see it). Retail in this portion of the Hillcrest area is no longer feasible. Over the last several decades, the action has spread to the east (the Wilson Mills and Mayfield Road corridors) and south (first Beachwood, then Legacy, and if you really want to stretch it, Eton and Pinecrest). You weren't going to see a Westgate or "Shoppes of Parma" outdoor power center-type conversion on this site. And Amazon is only 2.5 miles or so up the road in the old Euclid Square Mall site. I hope the project works, especially because there's an empty JCPenney store on the other side of this site that is also open to development.
  3. Per MJ's article, demolition of the current plaza "could start in late summer or early fall." Can't wait! They're talking of a Grand Opening in early 2021--just two years time.
  4. University Circle has come a long way in the past decade but it's still more of an institutional conglomeration than a residential neighborhood. Maron states in the article that the area boasts 60,000 employees and just 10,000 residents (which no doubt includes the seaosnal and transient population of Case dorm-dwellers). Maron also talks about there being less day-to-day foot traffic around Uptown than initially expected. Again, that 10K residential population is a huge improvement over anything previously seen in UC. It just does not appear to be enough permanent residents to support diverse retail and sit-down restaurants. Fortunately, there's almost certainly nowhere to go but up in terms of residential population. Centric and the new condo projects in Little Italy on Random Road and Mayfield Road (immediately adjacent to the rapid station) are easily within walking distance of Uptown. Even La Collina (next to the old Mayfield Theater) is not that far away. As other posters have said, the CDC building will hopefully be redeveloped as a residential property (the CDC is set to relocate near the Cleveland Clinic this spring). There's also the empty UH lot on Mayfield Road across from Centric. The old CIA dorms on Bellflower have been torn down and are waiting for redevelopment. If/when all these apartments come on line, there will be a ton more foot traffic to go with the museum and orchestra visitors that flock down there on weekends. I'm pretty optimistic about the future of Uptown. As Maron states in the article, it's already 95 percent leased at some of the most expensive rates in the city. Diversity will hopefully follow.
  5. It's always good to see out-of-town money pour into NEO. This is a vote of confidence for Richmond Heights, as it stops a retail brownfield from festering (Macy's closed in 2015, Sears in early 2017, and JCPenney in mid-2017). If I had to compare it to the other dead malls in the region, I'd say Parmatown, which went from an indoor mall to an outdoor lifestyle center. But this project has the added benefit of mixed-use, and is ambitious for a smaller, almost inner-ring suburb. The 375-unit luxury apartments will offer the benefit of residential growth to a city that was built out over 50 years ago and also introduce foot traffic to the new and existing retail on site. Even more of a wild card is the hotel. The developer may know something we don't, because this is an odd location for a hotel with no direct highway proximity. My guess is that they are banking on the county airport (located 2 miles due north of the mall). Progressive also has an office park 2 miles east at Wilson Mills and 271, which is itself growing quickly. That area is already saturated with hotels, however. It sounds like they're moving fast on this project, and I really hope it takes off. The empty JCPenney building still remains and the mall itself is mostly empty. Adding full-time residents and hotel guests to the site could be a game-changer for future development. There's also a mostly-empty shopping plaza (Hilltop) across the street that could benefit from spillover development.
  6. Recently took a tour of the always-fun Dunham Tavern and the tour guide (who is on the museum's board) said the One Midtown condos are selling pretty briskly, even with the $400K price point (which is indeed what they are asking for on their website). Pretty amazing turn of events, given where this area has been in my lifetime. One, the fact that the condos (condos!) got financed in the first place in that part of Cleveland. Two, that there are buyers willing to pay that price in what has not been a residential neighborhood in such a long time.
  7. Not much on cleveland.com yet, but I read the Bloomberg article and Gilbert is also selling the casinos he owns in Cincinnati (Jack) and Detroit (Greektown). [Of course, this hasn't stopped the cle.commenters from jumping to the conclusion that Gilbert is giving up on Cleveland and downtown is dying. Stay classy...err, clueless, guys.] Hopefully, he holds onto his nearby properties, which include (IIRC), the Ritz, Tower City mall, and the May Co. building. With the recent buzz around repurposing that last building, it would seem that Gilbert will remain invested in downtown Cleveland and Detroit. Also, with legalized sports gambling potentially on the horizon in MI and OH's near future, maybe he realizes that the NBA (and NFL, if the Lions rumors are to be believed) would never let him operate a sports book out of Jack or Greektown. But if he sells to a third-party, he could (indirectly) cash in on the next big thing in American sports with an inflated sale price.
  8. Drove by yesterday and there's a sign in one of the first-floor retail units advertising the Tremont Athletic Club's opening there this fall.
  9. Demolition of the old CIA dorms on Bellflower (across the street from CWRU's student center) has begun.
  10. Renovating the Q is a simple case of having to keep up with the Joneses, I'm afraid. A 25-year old arena doesn't *seem* old, but Buffalo, Columbus, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Detroit have all built brand new NBA/NHL-sized arenas since the Q opened in 1994. Those cities are our direct competitors for the big name concerts and other events mentioned above. Fun fact: after this season, the Cavaliers will have played more seasons in the Q (1994-2019) than the Cleveland Arena and Richfield Coliseum (1970-1994) combined. It still somehow feels like Gateway opened yesterday, though.
  11. I can see why the mayor of North Randall is so excited. Adding 2,000 jobs to a village with 1,027 residents (per the 2010 census) is one of the few times the dreaded "gamechanger" cliche is actually appropriate. (That said, when Randall Park Mall died, I was hoping North Randall would give up the ghost, merge with Warrensville Heights, and set off a chain reaction of suburb consolidations that Cuyahoga County so desperately needs. Now, they have a raison d'etre (or at least a tax base) once more. Still, this part of the county can really use the jobs and development Amazon brings, so I guess I can't complain too much). It will be very interesting to see what kind of spillover development arises nearby in the coming years. The Sheetz and Chipotle mentioned in the cle.com article are nice, but the re-use of the Sears building by four manufacturing companies is more exciting. Randall Park Mall and Amazon picked this location for its already-existing transportation attributes, so you'd think other companies would be drawn to the area for that plus the synergy of being so near the behemoth that is an Amazon distribution hub. Hopefully, similar developments will happen at Amazon's other facility at the old Euclid Square Mall site. It opens next year and could really rejuvenate Euclid's most downtrodden neighborhood.
  12. The actual work could probably be completed in one year, but they're basically pausing the project during the Cavs' (and Monsters') 2018-19 regular season (i.e., mid-October through late April). The arena has to be operational during that six-month period, so not much can be done construction-wise. It's part of the reason the Gladiators (Cleveland's Arena Football team) suspended operations for 2018 and 2019. The AFL regular season goes from mid-March to late-July and 90 percent of the project was going to be completed during that time frame. Sadly, the project may finish up a little earlier in 2019 than expected because it doesn't look like the current Cavs will be using the Q during May and June (sigh).
  13. A lot to be excited about here, but is the scale (5 stories, 40 units) just a little bit disappointing given the few parcels that are left to develop along Mayfield Road in Little Italy? Many years ago, the plan was for a 10-story condo tower (Mayfield Lofts,iirc?) and that was before the RTA station came to fruition. You only get one chance to develop the parcel directly adjacent to the rapid station and this seems a little lacking in ambition. On a somewhat related note, does anyone here have any idea what the situation is with the old Mayfield theater on the other side of the street right next to the La Collina project? It's been abandoned my entire lifetime and it will probably never be feasible to operate as a theater but it is an otherwise empty parcel sitting on valuable Mayfield Road frontage. Perhaps the exterior could be preserved and the interior put to some new use? Like retail or restaurants?
  14. To be slightly more optimistic, this PART of Cleveland needs to grow jobs and population. In terms of the former, the progress in the last decade has been pretty remarkable. The Health Corridor, the new Rainbow Womens & Children hospital, and the office buildings Geis and others built on spec have created some momentum. Not to mention the Cleveland Clinic just down the street. The jobs seem to be coming left and right; hopefully residential and attendant mixed uses will follow.
  15. View of the Beacon from the edge of the upper left field concourse at Progressive Field (around Section 570). It will definitely help fill out the skyline view in left field.
  16. https://www.cleveland.com/hillcrest/index.ssf/2018/07/richmond_heights_62.html#incart_river_index Very interesting news. An out-of-state developer is talking about sinking close to $70M into mixed use development at Richmond Town Square, a newly dead mall about 2 miles north of Beachwood Place and Legacy Village. (Quick background: RTS lost its three department store anchors in Macy's, Sears, and JC Penney's in 2015, winter 2017, and spring 2017, respectively. A 20-screen movie theater and Plant Fitness remain as junior anchors along with a struggling food court and some local stores). The proposal here is to demolish the Sears building on the northwest portion of the property and replace it with a 4-story class A apartment building, a 4-story hotel (!), and a 2-story, 10K sf retail building. The developer already purchased the empty Macy's building last year for $2M is investing an additional $8M to convert it into a Cube Smart self-storage facility (ugh). All in all, a pretty ambitious plan, and its mixed-use potential would be great for the city of Richmond Heights. The hotel seems like a long shot, as the mall lacks freeway access and there are no particular entities nearby that attract tourists. The Cuyahoga County airport is a mile north and a straight shot away, so maybe that's what they're hoping for. The airport is currently undergoing a runway expansion.
  17. https://www.cleveland.com/hillcrest/index.ssf/2018/07/richmond_heights_62.html#incart_river_index Very interesting news. An out-of-state developer is talking about sinking close to $70M into mixed use development at Richmond Town Square, a newly dead mall about 2 miles north of Beachwood Place and Legacy Village. (Quick background: RTS lost its three department store anchors in Macy's, Sears, and JC Penney's in 2015, winter 2017, and spring 2017, respectively. A 20-screen movie theater and Plant Fitness remain as junior anchors along with a struggling food court and some local stores). The proposal here is to demolish the Sears building on the northwest portion of the property and replace it with a 4-story class A apartment building, a 4-story hotel (!), and a 2-story, 10K sf retail building. The developer already purchased the empty Macy's building last year for $2M is investing an additional $8M to convert it into a Cube Smart self-storage facility (ugh). All in all, a pretty ambitious plan, and its mixed-use potential would be great for the city of Richmond Heights. The hotel seems like a long shot, as the mall lacks freeway access and there are no particular entities nearby that attract tourists. The Cuyahoga County airport is a mile north and a straight shot away, so maybe that's what they're hoping for. The airport is currently undergoing a runway expansion.
  18. Someone help me with my (non-existent) Italian--is the double L in "La Collina" pronounced "ee" al a Espanol? (Hey, if you're going to mix your romance languages, you might as well, you know, MIX them). Also, is there any hope that the old Mayfield theater next door finally gets a worthy redevelopment nod? I've given up hoping it can be repurposed as a theater like the Capitol but can't it at least be reused while maintaining the marquee (like the Centrum up the hill)?
  19. With CAC, the May Co. building, and 55PS conversions, 925 Euclid has to be the last major office building in town not to be repurposed for residential use. There's so much square footage in that building, though, that it may take awhile for it to act as a tipping point for ground-up construction. If/when that building fills up with apartments, it may be enough to push downtown rents upward enough where financing for new residential construction is available.
  20. Here's a pic of the progress on the first row of townhomes, from 73rd Street and Euclid Avenue looking west.
  21. NOACA and the cities of South Euclid, Lyndhurst, and Mayfield Heights are studying the future of the "Mayfield Road corridor." A public meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at the South Euclid library. Here's the link for the meeting: http://www.mayfieldheights.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=182 Note that the meeting will cover not only road work (NOACA's typical bailiwick) but also redevelopment along the corridor. The goal of the study is a unified framework for Mayfield Road moving forward. This is all along a significant stretch of Mayfield Road (US-322). Based on the three cities involved, it will go from Warrensville Center Road (the Cleve Hts. border) all the way to SOM Center Road (State Route 91). It also includes the 271 interchange right before SOM.
  22. For what it's worth, the developers have the "skin" up on the northern side of the building (the side facing Albington Arms). I drove by yesterday, but it was too dusky for pics. In any case, it gives you an idea of what the building will look like once it's finished. My expertise in exterior finishing is non-existent so I can't say exactly what kind of materials they're using. In terms of appearance, it's nothing special. But it's also not terrible, either (at least in my opinion).
  23. http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2018/01/cuyahoga_county_to_provide_final_2_million_for_563_million_renovation_of_cleveland_athletic_club.html#incart_river_home Finally, this project seems to be on the fast track. County council is expected to approve the final piece of financing ($2M loan) TODAY, the complete financing package is scheduled to close Feb. 15, leasing will begin in August, and construction is expected to be done by the end of the year! Details are also exciting--140 one BR units leasing at $1,250-1,700/month, 26 two-BR units at $2,000-2,900/month. 8,000 SF of street-level retail on Euclid Ave. 8,000 more SF of"commercial space" on the 7th floor as well. Plus, a brand new 16th floor of penthouse units on the current building's roof. Great news for what should become the centerpiece of Euclid Avenue's revival between E. 9th St. and Playhouse Square!
  24. Interesting stand taken by the South Euclid Planning Commission, a 5-0 denial of a proposed Burger King drive thru on Mayfield Road in front of the new Marc's plaza just east of Green Road (and site of the old Maymore shopping center which was demolished in summer 2017). The "new" BK is not to be confused with the old Green Road BK location, just NW of the current development, which is still standing. That building has been remodeled on the inside, is awaiting an outdoor remodeling, and is slated to become a medical office building. Here's the minutes from the PC meeting: https://www.cityofsoutheuclid.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/PCMinutes12.14.17.pdf The PC insisted on maintaining the intended, pedestrian-friendly nature of the May-Green intersection/zoning district. That's encouraging. South Euclid has seen a boom of new retail in the last ten years with Cedar Center North, Oakwood Commons (anchored by Wal-Mart on Warrensville Center Road), and the new Marc's Plaza being fully built-out. Also, the McDonald's just across the street from the proposed Burger King will be torn down and rebuilt this year (the existing building is less than 20 years old). Perhaps now the PC feels confident enough to insist on some basic zoning principles at Mayfield, which is arguably the city's prime intersection.
  25. I walked by the building last week and the first floor space previously occupied by PNC in the building's former incarnation looks cleared out and ready to lease. Hopefully the 277 units above fill up fast and create demand for a new restaurant or retail!
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