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Down_with_Ctown

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  1. More progress! Fencing is up, and excavators on site. And a building on the north side of Euclid Heights Blvd. east of Cedar Hill has even been demo’ed.
  2. Fencing, earth-moving equipment, and a construction trailer are all on site on Cedar Road between 97th and 100th Streets. This is the home of the future Clinic Biorepository Center, and the project I s underway!
  3. This is all exciting news, especially if it means that the 800 pound gorilla that is the Cleveland Clinic is waking up to the neighborhood in its own backyard. Back in the 2000's, CCF went on a building spree on and around Euclid Avenue that culminated in the Miller Pavillion, and the "front" lawn across the street. It was a nice updating of facilities, but the remainder of the buildout was mostly parking garages stretching from Chester to Carneige. In the 2010's, the hospital seemed to focus most of its attention on faraway places like Dubai, Las Vegas, and London (the main exception, of course, being the $500M Lerner College of Medicine that went up on the heart of its campus). Now, for the 2020's, we have the 100K d.f. Cole Eye expansion and 400K s.f. new build of the Nuerologicial Institute on Euclid Ave to look forward to. This time around, it appears that the Clinic is looking beyond parking garages when it comes to spinoff projects. Perhaps in an effort to mimic Metro Health, which is pursuing housing options near its own $1B campus, CCF is finally looking at building/rebuilding the surrounding neighborhood. Maybe the Opportunity Corridor piqued their interest, too, because the 2004-06 building spree along Euclid happened to coincide with the construction of the Health Line. In any case, the attendant residential and commercial (!) development that the Clinic (and others in the Farifax ecosystem) are talking about have the potential to be transformative. There's long been talk about developers trying to bring office space to University Circle (e.g., the "tech ribbon" that was originally supposed to be part of Centric). I suspect the prohibitive cost of land (and lack of parking) in that area has quashed many such efforts. Nearby Fairfax presents none of those problems but has all the benefits of connectivity with a growing CCF campus and the rest of UC.
  4. Can't overstate how much I hope this project succeeds, especially with PHS as the "developer." They've long had an innovative approach to funding themselves by owning so much of the surrounding neighborhood (e.g., the Ideastream offices on Euclid, etc.) It's already made them the premier theater district in the Midwest by almost any measure (and yes, that includes Chicago). Now add high-end residential as the icing on the cake? Brilliant, especially for their core business (filling theater seats 12 months out of the year). You thought it was tough to get tickets for the FIRST run of Hamilton two years ago? Wait till 34 floors of wealthy apartment dwellers move across the street...
  5. Robert Higgs was on yesterday’s This Week in the CLE podcast and he said a lot of people downtown are worried about parking now that the PS/Weston surface lots are spoken for. He said that the GCP is starting work behind the scenes on a parking deck somewhere close to the CBD. That’s the first I’ve heard about new parking outside the development itself. County Councilwoman Sunny Simon has also raised concerns about parking in public hearings. Now, I know Sherwin Williams has its own plans for structured parking in the Weston Superblock. But I’m guessing that they’re only concerned with securing enough parking for their own employees, which is understandable. So this hypothetical new parking garage would be for the rest of us downtown. It will be interesting to see the size and scope of the project if/when it comes to fruition. The bigger it is, the more bullish leaders will be on the future of downtown Cleveland, I guess.
  6. This tower is destined to stand out in the neighborhood not only because of its height but also its pure, um "glassiness," I guess. I know glass towers are all the rage in most urban setting these days, but UC's construction mix is a lot more old school with mostly brick and stone buildings built in the last century. Even the new buildings, like One University Circle and virtually everything the Clinic has built in the last 25 years (with the exception of the new med school and the cancer hospital on Carneige), don't have much glass facings. The overall design is nothing special but it will add some variety to the skyline, which is good.
  7. Two interesting tidbits I found in MJ's cle.com article: 1. Developers don't fear residential over-saturation in UC. One principal was quoted as saying Centric (on Mayfield Road between Euclid Ave. and Little Italy) is 95 percent (!) occupied. That's the first I've heard anything "official" about Centric's occupancy rate in the 2-3 years it's been open, and that's great news (too bad the retail spaces are still mostly empty). 2. Steve Rubin is quoted as saying Midwest wants to take advantage of the nearby Rockefeller Park, which he calls Cleveland's version of Central Park. I've long been a proponent of Rockefeller Park. It's a premier public urban space, but people never think of it as part of University Circle, despite it being across the street from the VA hospital and little more than a block away from Wade Oval. If these new projects can bridge the gap between the northern edge of UC and RP, that's a quantum leap for the neighborhood, and maybe even the east side of Cleveland. (And what better way to bridge said gap than hundreds of brand new, class A residential units?)
  8. The article's description of the tax deal was also confusing. In the first breath, it stated that Council passed a 30-year TIF. Then, a few paragraphs down, it stated that it was actually a 15-year tax abatement and then 15 more years of a $4M TIF. I know these things are complicated, but I have no idea how this thing is supposed to work after finishing the article.
  9. The city is very much strongly behind this development, to the point where they've had folks from City Hall responding to the naysayers of cleveland.com for the past several months. Also, it's been reported that the developer (DealPoint Merrill) hired one of the city's economic development people a few years ago. I think, despite the protests of the Superintendent, the Mayor and Council will push this deal through--as well they should. What other inner ring suburb would look a $200M gift horse investment in the mouth?
  10. Hopefully I'm in the right thread for this, but I'm wondering if S-W gobbling up the PS and Weston lots starts a mini-land rush downtown. There are only so many more parking lots left to build on in the CBD and we know the Justice Center steering committee is likely to announce the future of the JC sometime later this year. From what many have been saying, it sounds increasingly likely that the county will opt to build a new Court tower while maintaining current operations at Lakeside & Ontario during construction. Best case scenario is that by this time next year, S-W starts construction on PS/Weston, the county buys the remaining lots between St. Clair, W. 3rd, and W.6th Streets for the new Courthouse tower, and a bidding war heats up between buyers for the existing JC site next to the Hilton. At that point, the only real "empty" part of DT is the parking lot between East 4th and RMFH (Nucleus) and the old Hippodrome on Euclid Ave. (City Club apartments). With everything filled, maybe the air rights for that triangular parcel in the TT complex at the W. 6th/Superior/W. Superior finally comes into play as well? EDIT: I went back and looked at the internal SW maps as well as KJP's blog posts, and realized that the HQ will take up much more of the surface area between St. Clair, Superior, W. 3rd, and W. 6th than I imagined. For some reason, I thought SW's footprint wouldn't extend all the way to St. Clair. I don't think the hypothetical new Justice Center courthouse tower would even fit in the Warehouse District post-SW. All the more reason for a land rush downtown, I guess :).
  11. You're too modest, sir. You've spent the last year or so running circles around the local press. For us here on Urban Ohio, SW's announcement is almost anti-climactic. But hopefully the rest of the city wakes up to this tremendous news and starts thinking positively about Cleveland and its future!
  12. They were knocking down the old police headquarters at Chester and 107th two weekends ago. I took some pics and posted them in the University Circle--General Developments section. Haven't been by the intersection since but they were about 90 percent done knocking everything down ten days ago.
  13. Thanks for the great news, KJP. Cleveland has built an impressive medical industrial complex in the last several decades, but very little of it has happened in the heart of downtown. The developments have all been in University Circle and just recently, on West 25th in Metro's neighborhood. It would be great if downtown could get even a share of the growth in buildings and infrastructure those two areas have seen in this century alone. Not only is CSU strategically located near (in?) downtown, it also has the institutional chops to make a truly "eds and meds" contribution to the nearby central business district.
  14. The old Cleveland Fire Department station at Chester and 107th is about 80 percent demolished. Just happened to be in the neighborhood; had no idea this demo was going on. Maybe a good sign UC3 is on track? (This site is directly north of the existing CPL library branch.
  15. This kinda reminds me of the Little Italy apartment development on Cornell Road that got nixed by the city around last May or so. In his year-end review of Cleveland architectural news for Sunday's PD, Steven Litt* was still pretty salty over that one. Total aside--while I enjoy Litt's work and appreciate that he consistently promotes density, I can't help but think that his many years at the PD have resulted in too much of the Feagler/Larkin doom and gloom mindset rubbing off on him. In nearly every article, he has to mention how Cleveland is a "shrinking, post-industrial city." I don't need him to be a cheerleader, but he could at least take a look at some of the (many) positive trends that have been lining up for the past decade here in Cleveland.
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