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NYC Boomerang

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  1. This has probably been covered already, but to confirm, does the HQ plan include BOTH the Weston and Jacobs lots? Some of the press descriptions seem to make it sound like it only includes the Weston lots. I hope it includes both.
  2. These are all fair and good points. Cleveland remains extremely affordable as compared to most similar sized cities. I think this debate around the tax abatement and Cleveland becoming overly gentrified and unaffordable is way premature. Leave it to Cleveland to trip itself up and stall its development. The Pinnacle condos never happen without the tax abatement on the one hand and on another hand you have very affordable options such as Water Street condos and the Grand Arcade. I wish Cleveland would just let the market dictate when to curtail abatements and such and stop pandering to micro-protest groups. The Cleveland market cannot support the current magnitude of development without these incentives. And from a capitalistic view, why shouldn't Cleveland try to attract high-tax paying citizens? Why does it generally fall on the urban core to take on affordable housing projects? Why doesn't anyone tell Orange or Westlake to build affordable housing at Pinecrest or Crocker? Let Cleveland compete. NYC/SF/LA have been doing this for decades. Beating suburbs at their own game. The answer to gentrification and unaffordability is not to curtail development incentives. The more development, the more supply of housing. Let's start by changing the tax code in order to motivate land owners to develop their land, to create more housing supply and less surface parking lot supply. Without abatements, the Pinnacle condos would still be a crappy parking garage. What's the problem? In my opinion, unaffordability is driven by NIMBYs, sprawl and income-inequality. Supply and demand always rule, so I say fuel the supply as much as possible and let Cleveland do what's best for itself, whatever development that might be.
  3. I recently begrudgingly moved from downtown to the burbs and am a Green Line commuter. I remember the beeping and braking when I was a kid. I can't believe it is still a thing and has only seemed to get worse. Sometimes I wonder if RTA leadership ever actually rides the RTA. I would assume that any decent transportation executive would find the beeping/braking unacceptable and would work to solve the issue. It is one thing if the tracks were congested with traffic and the braking was for safety reasons. But I suspect it is a result of old signals/circuits that are over-firing and/or gross oversight and disregard. It may be similar to the issue facing NYC... https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/23/nyregion/nyc-mta-subway-signals.html When I was growing up, the Green Line trip time was 27 minutes (which based on my research was already longer than the original scheduled trip time when the rapid was extended to Green). It is now 31 minutes and is usually delayed. Van Aken's trip time is even longer. I know the State is essentially trying to kill the RTA, but I wish the RTA would take some of the money they put into vastly unnecessary and palatial station renovations and put it into system improvements that make trip times faster and the rider experience better. Another issue that is mind-boggling to me is the fact that the Rapid does not receive any preferential street signal treatment. In fact, it seems at times that the street signals are set up to give preferential treatment to cars. The Green Line stops no less than 4-5 times when it goes through Shaker Square / Coventry. The region's leadership needs to encourage public transportation use. The infrastructure should be designed to that end. The one thing that I have been really impressed with is the ticket app. I am thrilled to not have to use the ticket machines or paper tickets. I actually hope the RTA considers moving towards making the app the primary payment system and not invest in a brand new ticket system which would be a fortune. The app seems like the way the world is going. I'm glad the RTA conducted the recent survey and the results came back as I would have hoped (aside from talk about removing trolley lines which seems like a bad idea). The RTA needs to emphasize high-use bus/rapid lines and run them often enough where people could depend on it as their primary transportation. What I would like to see is the RTA better connect Downtown (largest job-center in Ohio) and University Circle (4th largest job-center in Ohio) with express buses that would also serve Cleveland Heights/Beachwood. Cleveland Heights is not well-served at all considering its population density and proximity to Downtown. It should not take an hour and transfers to get from Cleveland Heights to Downtown. I would propose a Cleveland State Line express equivalent to run from Downtown through University Circle to Coventry / Cedar Lee, Cedar Center, Beachwood Place. With all this being said, I love taking the rapid to work and not driving. It just could be run much more efficiently. I absolutely should raise these concerns with the RTA, but I assume and hope these things have been raised many many times already. This is my first Transportation post so I wanted to air my grievances for the record.
  4. The city needs to change its tax policy and tax land value more and improvements less. As I've said before, until tax policy makes surface parking less of an economic grand slam, these parking lot cancers will only persist. Force Stark's hand! Pittsburgh and Denver did this with great success. Cleveland needs to get it's head out of the sand and grow up. I've written Councilman McCormack about this and he's aware of the issue. Residents need to keep raising these issues with city government. The parking lot lobby is strong and well-organized (they have a lot of money at stake). I'd encourage everyone to write/call/email about this issue.
  5. Link below to a really interesting article about Cleveland's population stabilization. It also references the fact that Columbus' land area is equal to the combined total of Cleveland, Cincinnati and Akron! Columbus is the "14th" most populous city in the US, with Cleveland being "52nd". This statistical charade really frustrates me! I know it is just a stat but I think it really molds attitudes and perceptions of Cleveland. The fragmentation legally of Cleveland, of course, also creates significant inefficiencies for the region. The region's structure is such a hindrance economically and reputationally. I wish we could get out of our own way and work together to succeed! Regardless, it is great to see the city stabilize. I fully expect the next 70 years to be growing years, a reversal of the last 70 years. The ship is turning. https://expo.cleveland.com/news/g66l-2019/05/d1695a54c89135/clevelands-population-flattens-near-385000-after-decades-of-big-losses-new-census-estimates-say.html
  6. Likewise. I doubt they can do anything about it at a reasonable cost. I have to imagine they are committed to that site long-term. I'm sure it's a beautiful building with appealing public subsidies and free parking. But that's the short-term view that Eaton chose to take. An option that appealed to senior management and short-term-minded shareholders, at the expense of young talent and long-term shareholder value. The funny/sad thing is that Mayor Jackson and city government always get the blame for what happened (they get blamed when they don't give away enough subsidies and get blamed when they give away "too many" subsidies (Nucleus)). Eaton never gets any heat. I think the City of Cleveland may be getting the last laugh. Obviously, it would have been best for both sides if Eaton stayed in the city. I think one reason why Cleveland has lagged other rust-belt cities economically is the lack of corporate vision and corporate loyalty to the urban core. So many of these corporations who fled to the burbs succumbed to selfishness and short-term shareholder value accretion. There is a deep-seated mistrust between city government and the corporate world in Cleveland that rivals any other city (and there should be blame given on both sides). This intertwines in with the whole regionalism question and Greater Cleveland's deep divisions and unwillingness to work together for the greater good of all parties. As a result, not only does the general populous suffer but corporations suffer as well. If we can't work together to compete as effectively as possible, there will be no rising tides. Eaton is in the past. We need to move on and focus on SW and others. SW certainly seems to be much more civic-minded, conscientious and cautiously forward-thinking. Let's hope that mentality wins out and raises the tide for all of us.
  7. I figured Eaton would regret their move to the suburbs. It was totally backward thinking and it has and likely will continue to cost the company little by little as they lose and can't attract top talent. I think and hope that Eaton will be the last big exodus to the suburbs. Progressive's decision to move their creative talent back into downtown is an excellent example of this dynamic. A vibrant urban environment is so much more conducive to corporate success in the 21st century knowledge-based economy, versus an office park. Especially in the midwest where the weather can't attract talent, so what these cities can still offer is a fun dynamic livable urban environment filled with amenities. Young top talent does not want to be in the suburbs living the Office Space life and getting lunch at Chotchkie's every day.
  8. May we be so lucky that Geis buys the Jacobs and Weston lots as well.
  9. That's the "rumor" and what developers put out so that the public accepts their plan to demolish an historic landmark and put in parking. If they want to put a condo building on the property, they should put a condo building on the property! They are tearing it down to lower the assessed value of the property for tax purposes and to allow for the cash cow of parking revenue to flow in. What's the over/under on how many years that lot sits there as parking? I'll throw out 10. Any other guesses?
  10. Cleveland's parking curse strikes again. Tax policy needs to be changed. The Spaghetti House (an historic landmark) is the latest victim. Buildings being neglected for the primary purpose of demolition to make way for parking. Archaic tax policy is really holding back this city IMO.
  11. Not sure county/city leadership would be up for moving the complex from "valuable downtown real estate", at an astronomical cost, to even higher valued downtown real estate. Doesn't seem to be in line with the thesis of opening up more valuable downtown real estate for higher value development. The justice center along with the jail creates a nuisance factor downtown and does not belong IMO in the center of an increasingly residential and touristed downtown. I think it should be moved to the fringes of downtown or to a more easily accessible location within the city. Perhaps a site near the industrial valley and freeway interchanges.
  12. Liquid is not open again. They just opened it for St. Patrick's Day. So people basically got wasted inside a construction site. Not sure how that's legal but ok. Liquid was supposed to open last August. It has been slow going. I sense that money is running dry. W. 6th has been losing out on night life for years. It's basically a dump as far as night life goes. Unless it is Friday/Saturday night, the street is a ghost town, despite the neighborhood being home to I think Downtown's largest residential population. The street doesn't serve the residents. It will either change (residents / city are trying desperately on this front) or it will remain a beautiful quiet neighborhood by day and a dump by night.
  13. The city of Cleveland has been taking it on the chin way too long. It's time to give the burbs a taste of their own medicine! Be forewarned suburbia! Just ask Connecticut / New Jersey. Their tax base is being eaten alive by the urban renaissance, the fifth migration, the new anti-house tax policy, etc. Where there is tax revenue, there is power. And slowly but surely, the power is shifting back to cities. Cleveland just happens to be one of the last guests to join the party. Again, our region's policies and inefficiencies have significantly slowed this progression in comparison to other regions. But I truly believe that the days of the Cleveland surface parking lot racket are numbered. The question is, can our leaders accelerate that process?
  14. How well is this tax enforced considering much of the surface parking lot transactions are done in cash? The surface parking lot lobby is such a racket. Would love to tax them out of existence. Lower taxes on building owners and/or give the extra proceeds to the RTA.
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