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CH Jake

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  1. I have to agree that clvlndr's description of the current state of affairs seems to be accurate. I can get to work in Playhouse Square by car in about twenty minutes. Almost exactly twenty minutes, every day, rain or shine. If I have to stay and work until 10pm, my car is there and I can go. If my kid gets sick and I have to get home as fast as possible, it's about twenty minutes any time of day. The same can't be said of the bus, and the Rapid is too far away from both my home and my work to be convenient. As long as buses share the road with cars, it might be unreasonable to expect that they can stick to a schedule. You can count me in as wanting to see a light rail/subway network and a nearly car-free city throughout the region. I don't want to walk more than ten minutes, I don't want to have to make more than two transfers, and I want a schedule that works so that I don't have to wait more than five minutes for a train at any time of the day. That's what I had when I lived in Japan, so I know it can be done. And I'll gladly bring my shovel and help dig for a few hours every weekend if that would help.
  2. This week's east side Sun Press includes an article about the failure of the Domain on Lee project. Unfortunately, it isn't online. Here's the gist of it, from what I recall. Coral's agreement with the city included an August 31 "start construction" date. Coral asked for and received an extension to December 31. Coral was trying to get 8 presales before starting, but only got one. They felt that the market was pushing for lower prices, so they redesigned the units. When December rolled around, Coral asked the city for another extension so that they could try to sell more units at the lower prices, and they wanted to reduce the height of the building from five stories to three. City council basically decided that they were tired of waiting for this project and they weren't keen on reducing the height, so they said no to the extension. It is unclear whether the reduced price units were only in the reduced height design. The city is looking for someone else to take on the project, and Coral expressed a willingness to sell the original plans. The city is open to offers for the next 45 days, then they are going to open up the process to new proposals, including any new proposals that Coral wants to put forward. The city is rebidding the construction of the 4-story garage at the rear of the property in view of cost increases, but they plan to go forward. They have federal money in hand for the environmental cleanup and have already taken out a loan for construction of the garage, and they want to start construction in March. In my opinion, the city did the right thing. Maybe not the ideal thing, since they're building a four-story parking garage, but at least that's better than more open lots. It would not have been good to have a three story building in front of four story garage. And this project has been hanging around long enough -- it's time to take action and Coral didn't believe that they could build it and sell all the units. So let someone else give it a try. Hopefully someone comes up with a better idea.
  3. Yes, a year behind schedule can't be good. Did I read a quote from Wolstein to the effect that some of the water lines in the East Bank of the Flats are still made of wood? A while ago I talked to some of the guys digging in Euclid Avenue and they said they were replacing all of the water and steam lines on Euclid. They also said that after what they'd seen our water bills ought to go way down, which I took to mean that they'd found a lot of leaking water pipes. (If only I had known to ask whether they had found any made of wood!) If that work is being paid for as being a necessary part of upgrading the roadway for the ECP, maybe even if we get nothing more at street level than new pavement we seem to be getting signicant federal investment in our infrastructure that we would have ultimately had to pay for by ourselves. I'm still optimistic, maybe unreasonably so, but I'm glad to see another step forward.
  4. The city has been wanting something to be done with this block for quite some time and greeted the project pretty enthusiastically from all appearances. FutureHeights now claims that the project has been canceled, but the city is going to move forward with a parking garage at the rear of the site. The FutureHeights website has the following update today: Domain on Lee This $15 million dollar five-story development, due to begin construction in August, 2005, will have a retail space on the first floor, a structured parking deck, and 32 housing units starting at $300,000. Developed by the Coral Company. January 19, 2006. The Domain on Lee Development has been canceled. Because this development was tied to the configuration of the proposed City built parking garage at the corner of Meadowbrook and Tullamore, the garage will be re-designed to eliminate 68 underground parking spaces and move them to the surface. However, the total number of spaces for the parking garage project will be the same, approximately 400. The Planning & Development Committee of Cleveland Heights City Council (Dennis Wilcox, Chair; Nancy Dietrich, Phyllis Evans and Ken Montlack) will meet on 1/23/06. An agenda item will be the request by the Planning Department for a re-design of the parking garage. If this re-design is granted, the Planning Department is confident that construction of the garage could begin this summer. http://www.futureheights.org/site/futureheights/content.php?type=1&id=9591 Just speculating, but perhaps the original planning commission approval was conditioned on a particular start date that Coral failed to meet.
  5. While my initial reaction is to say "no thanks," could some good come out of it? How much traffic is there on Euclid in that area? Carnegie seems to be the primary commuter artery past the Clinic. Maybe it would be good to close off one automobile route through the Clinic campus. It would make it a more pedestrian-friendly area and might encourage use of the Silver Line. And doesn't the Silver line include bike lanes? Cyclists would be happy to cut off auto traffic, even for a few blocks. Edited: And I agree that the city shouldn't give the land to the Clinic, but I don't have any problem with the city selling or leasing the land (reverse eminent domain?) I'd need to know more about the actual plans and I'll have to drive through that area, but maybe I could be convinced.... I don't think we should be so quick to dismiss it.
  6. That's what I'm trying to find out.... While the old Ohio Savings bank building was been taken down a month ago, there doesn't seem to be any other activity on the site. The announced construction start date of August obviously came and went without incident. As part of the project or in conjunction with it, the city was building a parking garage in the back that linked up with the lot behind the Cedar Lee. Is that garage still going to happen now? Hopefully Sionnan will give us an update this week.
  7. New rumor that Coral has pulled the plug on this project. Sionnan -- enlighten us, what is going on?
  8. Did everyone see this -- Ohio awarded a grant for Ameritrust asbestos removal. TAFT ANNOUNCES CLEAN OHIO FUND PROJECTS More Than $40 Million Awarded To Clean Up Brownfield Sites FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 14, 2005 Columbus, OH -- Governor Bob Taft announced more than $40 million in Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grants to 15 brownfield clean-up projects throughout the state. The funding will allow for the reuse of idle commercial and industrial properties and are expected to initially create and retain 2,153 jobs. “The Clean Ohio Fund is preserving green space and farmland, improving outdoor recreation, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods by cleaning up and redeveloping polluted properties and improving the lives of Ohioans,” said Taft. “The Clean Ohio Revitalization Funds awarded today are powerful tools that help communities jumpstart local economic development and improve quality of life for their citizens.” The Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund is one of four competitive funding programs within the $400 million Clean Ohio Fund program, which voters approved in November 2000. The Clean Ohio Council was created to administer the fund, offering grants and loans to local governments and other public entities to clean up brownfields. Members of the Council represent the interests of counties, townships, municipal corporations, business and development entities and statewide environmental advocacy organizations. According to Lieutenant Governor Bruce Johnson, who also serves as Director of the Ohio Department of Development, which administers the Revitalization Funds, 22 communities across the state submitted applications requesting more than $53 million for clean-up projects. Johnson also serves as Chair of the Clean Ohio Council. “Brownfield redevelopment allows a community to reclaim and improve its lands, making previously developed property viable for new development, new businesses and new jobs,” said Johnson. “I am pleased we are able to provide such important assistance to Ohio’s communities.” The following projects have been awarded Clean Ohio Revitalization Funds, pending State Controlling Board approval: Cincinnati (Millworks Redevelopment) – The City of Cincinnati will receive $3 million to acquire, and perform demolition and remedial activities at, a portion of the former Cincinnati Milacron industrial facility, which was developed in 1911. The Cincinnati Planer Company, the Alvey-Fergeson Company, and the Kirk & Blum Manufacturing Company subsequently used the 15.23-acre site, located at 3120 Forrer Street. The Kirk & Blum Company will purchase a larger, more updated facility within the City of Cincinnati. The property will be redeveloped into retail and commercial space with a 75,000 square-foot Jungle Jim’s Supermarket as an anchor tenant. This project is expected to create 150 jobs. Columbus Regional Airport Authority (Gowdy Field) – The Columbus Regional Airport Authority will receive $3 million to properly close a former unlicensed landfill. The property, located along the Olentangy River, between W. Third Street and Goodale Avenue, was first used as a community garden and ball fields. In the late 1950s the site was mined for material for road construction and the excavations were filled with solid waste. Time Warner’s 160,000 square-foot regional headquarters will be constructed on the site. Gowdy Partners is also planning to construct an additional office building to allow for expansion or additional tenants on the property. This project is expected to create and retain 650 jobs. Cuyahoga County (Ameritrust) – Cuyahoga County will receive $3 million to conduct asbestos abatement in the former Ameritrust complex at 900 Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The 1.66-acre property contains four buildings including the Rotunda, Prospect, Huron and 1010 Euclid Avenue buildings. The Rotunda opened in 1908 as an office for the Cleveland Trust Company. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and will be preserved during the course of this project. The remaining buildings were used as the Ameritrust Bank headquarters. The site is to be the new County Administration Complex. This project is expected to create 130 jobs. Cuyahoga County (Flats East Bank) – Cuyahoga County will receive $3 million to conduct demolition and remediation activities at the 5.27-acre project site, which includes portions of Old River Road, Front Street and Main Avenue. Since the 1880s, the property was developed for many uses including: coal and coke storage, furniture manufacturing, warehouses, paint, chemical, and oil manufacturing facilities, a metal grinding company, and trucking companies. The property was converted into clubs and restaurants during the 1980s and 1990s and contains two vacant buildings. The County and development partner The Wolstein Group will create a mixed-use neighborhood, which will reconnect residents and visitors to the Cuyahoga River. This project is expected to create 133 units of housing and 440,000 square-feet of office/retail space. Dayton (TechTown) – The City of Dayton will receive $3 million to demolish and remediate a portion of the former GM Harrison Delphi site located along the Mad River at 719 E. Monument Avenue. The City of Dayton is redeveloping this blighted, former General Motors property to become a technology business park close to downtown Dayton. It will include new greenspace, parks and office/industrial spaces. One on-site building will be renovated and reused and the City of Dayton has secured three tenants for the new 44,000 square-foot advanced technology building. Dayton (University of Dayton Riverfront Development) – The City of Dayton will receive $2,540,743 for asbestos abatement, demolition, and soil remediation of 11 acres of property with one vacant office structure. The project property, located at 1300 Patterson Blvd., along the Great Miami River, is part of a 49-acre tract of land historically utilized by National Cash Register primarily for heavy manufacturing purposes. The University of Dayton purchased the property in June 2005 to develop academic, research, and commercial facilities. The University plans to construct a 100,000 square foot mixed-use retail, office, and residential development. This project is expected to create six jobs, and catalyze redevelopment in the area. Gahanna (Bedford I Landfill) – The City of Gahanna will receive $2,999,990 to conduct demolition and remedial activities at the Bedford I Landfill. The 136.8-acre property contains approximately 21 acres of the former Columbus Tile Yard, a brick manufacturing facility; 26.3 acres of undeveloped commercial property; and 81 acres of landfill. The privately operated Bedford I Landfill accepted municipal and industrial waste from the 1970s to 1995. Gahanna has formed partnerships with the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation and Value Recovery Group to redevelop the property. This project is expected to initially create 157 jobs. Gahanna is currently negotiating with companies for build-to-suit developments equating to an additional 1,800 jobs, 400,000 SF, and $56 million in capital investments. Greenville (Corning Glass) – The City of Greenville will receive $2,020,637 to clean up and reuse the property containing the former Corning Glass facility. The site, at 1025 Martin Street, was developed by Corning in 1957 and was the only development on the property. Currently Hughes Supply operates a portion of the facility connected to the former furnace area to be remediated. Once clean and redeveloped, Hughes will expand their business to this portion of the facility adding an additional 100,000 square feet to their current operation. This project is expected to create 30 new jobs and retain 104 jobs. Hamilton (RiversEdge) – The City of Hamilton will receive $3 million to cleanup the former Mercy Hospital site. Developed as a hospital in 1892, the property, at 100 Riverfront Plaza, is currently vacant. The existing facility nearly covers a city block not including the large asphalt parking lot directly adjacent to the Great Miami River. The city and its development partner, Towne Development Group, intend to provide community access and amenities to a waterfront area by constructing 8,000- 12,000 square feet of retail and office/commercial space and 100-120 residential units. This project is expected to create 16 jobs. Jackson County (JISCO) – Jackson County will receive $2,303,775 to acquire, demolish and remediate the former Jackson Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) site located in Jackson. The 56-acre property, near Jisco West and South Streets contained the JISCO furnace that made pig iron for Chrysler from 1900 until 1969. The property is currently vacant and littered with structures in various states of disrepair. US Rail plans to redevelop the property as a locomotive and rail repair facility. This project is expected to create 50 jobs. Lake County (Lakeview Bluffs) – Lake County will receive $3 million to remediate the former Diamond Shamrock coke and cement plant site. The project property consists of 78.349 acres along the Lake Erie shoreline and the Grand River corridor. The property was utilized as an aluminum smelting operation, a pickle liquor transportation and truck repair, and coke manufacturing from 1912 until 1982. The site developer, Hemisphere Corp. will team with IMG to develop the IMG Resort Academies, delivering world-class amateur athletic instruction in all major sports, and a hotel and business conference center. This project, located on Fairport Road in Painesville Township, is expected to create 52 jobs. Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (Hamilton County Regional Business Park) – The Port Authority will receive $2,882,130 to acquire and conduct remediation and demolition activities at the 27.9-acre property. Roofing material production companies occupied the property for 118 years. The most recent company on the property was Celotex. The property currently contains several vacant buildings. The developer intends to redevelop the site into a business park with office, warehouse, retail, and commercial space. Petro Environmental plans to occupy an existing on-site building. Other planned tenants include ICS Equipment, Napier Truck Driving Training, and Steel Quest. This project, located at 320 S. Anthony Wayne Avenue in Lockland, is expected to create and retain 102 jobs. Sandusky (Bayfront Paper District West) – The City of Sandusky will receive $2,744,267 for acquisition, remediation and demolition on the Gradel property located 931 W. Water Street along Lake Erie. This project is a continuation of the waterfront revitalization activities, which were catalyzed by the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund Round 2 Bayfront Paper District Project. The project property is currently a material storage dock and marine operations facility with no public access to the water. The developer, Mid States Development Corporation, plans to construct a new marina with 200 boat docks, 12,000 feet of commercial space, and 300 condos. Springfield (Hauke Block) – The City Springfield will receive $901,401 to demolish and remediate the former Hauke Complex on W. Main Street. The subject property was historically developed with a series of small businesses, including a tin shop, livery, and filling station. The Hauke Company, a plumbing supplies and repair complex, operated on the site since 1960. The property contains vacant commercial buildings. The City of Springfield and the Community Mercy Health Partners will develop a new medical-office-building on the project property. The building will support various hospital and doctors’ offices. This project is expected to retain and create a total of 85 jobs. Summit County Port Authority (Akron Airdock) – The Port Authority will receive $3 million to remediate the former Goodyear Airdock facility on Massillon Road. In 1928 the Goodyear Zeppelin Co. constructed the Airdock facility to build lighter-than-air ships. Lockheed Martin purchased the site in 1996 and will develop technologies to construct advanced unmanned High Altitude Airships. The United States Missile Defense Agency recently awarded Lockheed Martin a $148 million contract to develop and launch a proto-type airship by 2008. The Airdock is the only available facility in the country capable of producing the airships. This project is expected to create 93 new jobs and retain 528 current jobs.
  9. While I enjoy an occasional visit to a good aquarium, can Cleveland support it? I have three young kids and there is a huge variety of museums in the Cleveland area that are great for getting stir-crazy kids out of the house for a while on a weekend to do something fun. The GLSC, the Natural History Museum, the Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Zoo (the Rainforest is great in the winter) and the Cleveland Museum of Art, are just a few. Not to mention the quality of the orchestra and theatre programs available in Cleveland. The number of quality museums in Cleveland is incredible. The Children's Museum, however, is far worse than the ones in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. (We haven't traveled to those cities just to visit those museums, but they've provided a great way to spend time with friends and family in those cities while entertaining the kids at the same time. Cleveland's is an embarrassment.) The Children's Museum probably isn't the only one wishing for more funding (wasn't there talk of the Crawford Auto Museum moving to a new building by the lake at one time?) But there is only so much that the community can contribute. I think our money is better spent maintaining and improving the quality of the existing museums.
  10. One benefit of parking garages that I haven't seen mentioned is that garages provide covered parking -- something that is far more desirable over surface lots for at least six months out of the year here in Cleveland. I have coworkers that only pay the higher garage rates during the winter. If this new garage on the south side of CSU causes just one surface lot in the area to be developed for something other than parking, and there are at least three on Superior in that area, Cleveland almost certainly comes out ahead. As the density of people living downtown increases I think that will lead to more demands for better transit, and maybe we'll be talking about rehabbing parking garages to condos sometime in our lifetimes. I agree that it isn't happening as fast as we'd like, but at least Cleveland is moving in the right direction.
  11. Good god. Is the head cheese at RTA appointed? Can someone please call Frank Jackson and nominate KJP?! (or at least ask KJP who is right for the job if he doesn't want it) Seriously, KJP your answers are almost always well thought out and well written. Such clear and reasoned thinking is needed at RTA. Keep up the good fight.
  12. Construction on the parking garage behind the Domain on Lee building has begun. The old Ohio Savings building was torn down this week.
  13. That's all well and good to have Amtrak "just run the trains" and let someone else maintain the track -- if that someone else is going to maintain the track to the standards needed for passenger train service and uphold their obligation to give Amtrak trains priority along the right of way. And if they don't? Right now Amtrak seems to be the one getting stuck with the bill -- blamed for poor service and granted more funding cuts. Why is Amtrak rarely on time and seemingly continually cutting back on customer service? We can't catch a train here in Ohio at a reasonable time of day (although I was still working at 2 am this morning), and we can't expect to get to Chicago, New York or DC on time. I've heard that part of the problem is that the freight railroads have found ways around making infrastructure improvements so that they can uphold their obligations to Amtrak. "Gee, we'd let your passenger train go through, we know you have the right of way, but our freight train won't fit on the siding, so you'll have to wait." If that's really the problem, the change that needs to be made is that Amtrak needs to have some enforcement authority to hold the guys responsible for track maintenance and provide some consequences for not working with Amtrak to allow Amtrak to maintain its schedule. KJP -- Any thoughts?
  14. http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--amtrak1013oct13,0,5355777.story?coll=ny-region-apnewjersey Amtrak board approves creating subsidiary to manage Northeast Corridor By DONNA DE LA CRUZ Associated Press Writer October 13, 2005, 10:39 AM EDT WASHINGTON -- Amtrak's board of directors has said it is in the best interest of the railroad to create a subsidiary to own and manage the Northeast Corridor, which runs from Washington to Boston. In a resolution approved Sept. 22, but never announced publicly, the board would transfer ownership of the corridor to the federal government and state authorities in that area. The federal and state consortium would share the costs to maintain the corridor. * * * Congress would have to agree to transfer control of the Northeast Corridor to a consortium. The resolution, made public Thursday by Amtrak, would transfer control of the corridor on or before the board meeting scheduled for January 2006. Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.
  15. Yes, the former Ohio Savings Bank is on part of the site. It has been vacant for a long time, although the ATM is still there.
  16. KJP -- do you have an agenda for this meeting? Two hours seems like a long time to just listen to public comments. Is someone presenting the Ohio Hub Plan first, then taking comments?
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