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Cleveland/Lakewood: The Edge Developments

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Here's a pic of the church in question - I can't imagine why it's taken so long considering this church is the landmark of the most affluent neighborhood in Cleveland which abuts the most densely populated area in the state. It's good to hear that Marous is involved with the process - they have a pretty good track record so far.

 

Thank god it's finally happening - it would be nice to have a good bookstore in walking distance from my place!

 

1228.jpg

 

Developers to try again to redevelop church

 

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

 

Donna Iacoboni

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

The domed church on Lake Avenue, a historic landmark at Cleveland's border with Lakewood, has become a massive bird house.

 

A hole in the roof of the former Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist is letting rain and pigeons inside. It's impossible to walk through the building now without stepping on broken pigeon eggs or plaster that has crumbled off the walls. 

 

More at cleveland.com

 

 

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I think that Mayday said that the large chain bookstores thought that the Cleveland market is saturated.  There are so many people in that area, it is ridiculous that there is not better retail nearby.  It would do so well.  My mother lives nearby and has to drive out to Crocker to find a Borders.  Someone could do very well in that location.

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Couldn't find this anywhere else, so here it is:

 

Cleveland loan helps create W. 117th St. shopping center

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Susan Vinella

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

More than 100 residents on Cleveland's West Side will move from their homes soon to make way for a retail development project featuring Target and Giant Eagle.

 

Cleveland City Council approved a $6 million loan Monday to local developer Rysar Properties, which will use the money to help buy 109 properties on West 117th Street just north of Interstate 90. The homes, along with the Highland Party Center, will be demolished to make room for the big-box retailer and supermarket. The development will also include a gas station and convenience store.

 

Rysar President Ken Lurie said he will pay a total of $17 million for the properties and has signed contracts with all of the owners. He expects to complete the purchases in the next several months. The target date for the store openings is March 2007.

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Rysar will not have to repay the loan. City tax revenue generated by the project will be used to repay the loan when the development is done.

 

Council President Frank Jackson, who will run for mayor in the fall, and Mayor Jane Campbell both applauded the $50 million project.

 

the remainder of the article is at http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1118136899257602.xml&coll=2

 

I don't know too much about this project, but it doesn't exactly sound like the type of development the majority of us arel pushing for here at UrbanOhio!  Big box, gas station and housing demolition???  this is just south of the West 117th Red Line station and we're all talking about ways to improve TOD around these stations, so why are both the Mayor and City Council pushing this type of development forward with incentives like a $6 million "loan" that doesn't require repayment???  This sounds like Severance Town Center, which sticks out like a sore thumb in the otherwise great urban suburb of Cleveland Heights...let's be careful with this one!

 

Maybe Rysar will surprise us and build mixed-use...but isn't it up to the City to make sure that they do??? 

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I think the problem is that much of that area isn't what you'd call well designed or planned. You have swaths of self-storage, the Home Depot and outparceled strip plaza, a handful of gas stations and of course, that lovely spot, the Lido Lounge :wink:

 

Seriously though - although it's in walking distance of the Rapid station, it's a bit of hike, even moreso in inclement weather. I think the northwest corner of Madison at 117th would be far more appropriate as a TOD. And before you want to bite off the developers' heads - they're the same people doing Rockport Square, just up the road.  :-)

 

The positives of this are that Giant Eagle will likely abandon their Clifton store which will open up that space for a better retailer (Trader Joes would be a cash cow there). What does concern me is that they're planning this along with Steelyard Commons which is also supposed to have a Target - how sustainable will it be to have the Target in this project along with Steelyard and the Target in Rocky River. It's never pretty when a store closes but a big-box closing is that much worse.

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exactly...does the City of Cleveland need to have two Targets within 10 minutes of each other by freeway?  I'm all for amenity creation in the form of grocery stores and such, but just don't want to see too much big box retail flood the market over the next five years.

 

And I'm not trying to bite anyone's heads off...yet...since i haven't seen pixel one of any design proposals.  I'm just saying that this is a pretty big project in a pretty accessible part of town (both freeway and mass transit) and that it should be planned as such.  The City should take advantage of the bargaining power it has with the hefty "loan" they're handing over.  I know it's not a CMHA project, but they should advocate for the replacement of AT LEAST the amount of housing that is being destroyed for this project.  If they can do mixe-use in Westlake, why not in Cleveland?

 

And if the problem is that the area isn't well-designed or planned, why proliferate that with another auto-centric development?  Start with something positive right now!  Rysar has their designers in line with the Rockport development...let's see some more of that attractive work down the road!

 

That being said, I look forward to seeing this project take shape.

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omg, i prob went to a dozen events from receptions to whatever at the highland party center over the years. it is (was?) a well used space, too bad.

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Well used space indeed ... I was there once for a wedding reception, and I'm sorry - I immediately started quoting Bette Davis "Whatta dump!".

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If we have to have a development like this, it is a very good spot.  That area is going nowhere.  It will get a lot of dollars from Lakewood residents and from many west siders on their way home from work. 

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Don't know much about this hood except from the Google Map satellite map... but here's what little I do:

 

- it will evicting 100 people in an urban neighborhood (hey maybe they'll buy more cars and move to suburban-sprawl Westlake, like our vaunted transit chief, Joe Calabrese, so as to further erode our population base, huh?)

- it’s building a suburban-friendly big box store (probably several), again -- and we've just got the green light Steelyard's Wal-Mart, too, that will kill our local, urban grocers … YIPPEE!)

- there's a heavy-rail, high-capacity Red Line station at W.117, but it's over 1/2 mile away, so folks can’t walk to these projected big boxes

-- this project is clearly oriented toward I-90 suburbanites and not Cleveland

-- and both the current mayor and the man who's bidding to steal her job are both gung-ho for this (like the mayor was for Steelyards)

-- meanwhile May Co. sits empty, and the civic-un-minded Ratners have basically punted on doing any major (or minor) retail for the beautiful Higbee’s building, as they’ve just preformed a sour-grapes hissy fit and pulled their site from the convention center table since the County, perhaps foolishly, chose to line Dick Jacobs’ pocket to and select a site for its large complex that seems fraught with problems  ...

 

… hey, do you love this town or what!!??

 

Sorry guys, but I'm wet-blanket city, tonight... for all that's great about Cleveland, most times we seem collectively too dumb for words...

 

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I'm not happy about this project either. It's turning an urban neighborhood into a suburban wasteland. Too me, this sounds like they're replicating North Olmsted in the City of Cleveland, and I consider North Olmsted as one of the most butt-ugly places in the metro area. I thought we were trying to beautify the city, not copy our region's worst example of bad planning and the endless string of eyesores it created.

 

You know why I think we started creating such awful development patterns during the Cold War? Because if the Soviets nuked our cities into windswept parking lots, no one would notice the difference!

 

KJP

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It amazes me how projects like this are the answer to the city's problems.  Gee, let's build more car-oriented stripmalls and freeways!  Things like this are what led to Cleveland's-- as well as American cities in general-- decline in the first place.  You'd think the city would want to keep this stuff as far away from its borders as possible.

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" it will evicting 100 people"

 

If that's the case, why isn't there the uproar about this like there was for the West End project in Lakewood? I'll tell you why - those homeowners got quite a hefty pay-off and were more than happy to accept Rysar's offer. I'll explain later why I would have taken their offer if I was one of the homeowners.

 

The problem is that this area hasn't been a "neighborhood" for quite some time. I don't have photos but look at this graphic - the site is at the foot of the I-90 offramp, and the homes are hemmed in on all sides by less-than-desirable land uses. You could plunk down a beautiful, pedestrian-oriented project and it would wasted. Why? Again, look at what's around there - used car lots, gas stations, self-storage warehouses, light industrial, vacant brownfield sites and oh yeah, a functioning freight rail line. There hasn't been "urban fabric" around there since I-90 came through. 

 

rysarsite.jpg

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yea i used to work on Elmwood -right- next to that new project.  its basically 'cut off' from the areas to the south of I-90.  like the streets dont go under or over the highway, they just end...  theres even a surface lot in the one area

 

 

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i gotta say im ok with this too --- despite the loss of my par-taay center. that little area is hemmed into the middle of nowhere. let it be more industrial or retail.  the people must have agreed, they took the $$$.

 

btw, nice crystal clear job on the map mayday.

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I am for the project for the following reasons.

 

1. It is the best use of this location.  I don't like that we are tearing down homes, but it is for the greater good of the city.

2. Lakewood is to the north of this project.  Many Lakewoodians travel out to Rocky River, Westlake and Avon to shop.  This will take a lot of suburban dollars and put them into the city coffers.

3. I hate big box stores, but we have to learn to live with them.  I hope that we don't see any more for a while after SYC and W117 are built.  To an extent, Cleveland needs them to keep money in the city. 

4. This will provide increased sales tax, income tax and property tax dollars for the city.

5. That is one ugly area and this is the best foreseeable use for it.

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All good points, everyone.  I guess I was against it because it's yet another all-retail development on the west side, what with Westown directly to the southeast (although that area is looking a little shady these days), Steelyard Commons on its way, and not to mention the Westgate redevelopment in Fairview.  Still, if it will help to bring jobs and tax dollars into the city, so be it.

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Don't get me wrong - in an ideal world, the 100+ homes would be left intact, and the entire area shaded in blue (plus adjacent parcels) would be leveled and a great mixed-use project would be constructed, West 117th would have a lane removed in either direction, and made into a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. The brownfields would cleaned up and the older industrial buildings rehabbed and used for lofts/studios, etc.

 

But... since it's not an ideal world, if a developer is insisting on building a big-box strip SOMEWHERE in the city limits, I'd rather it be at this site than further north or south from I-90. 

 

 

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It doesn't take an ideal world to create those things, MayDay. It takes urban planning, the kind that has a larger vision for the whole city and of the future. If that's too idealistic, then I'm living in the wrong city (duh!).

 

KJP

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So, here is a tally of ongoing bix box projects in Cleveland and outlying areas:

 

-Steelyard Commons including Wal-Mart and several others.

-West 117 at I-90 anchored by Target and Giant Eagle.

-North Olmsted at Brookpark Road, building a Target from scratch, not a renovation

-Garfield Heights Valley View Center with Circuit City, Giant Eagle, Lowe's, Wal-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Dick's, ETC.

 

In addition to the fairly new corporate sludge in Aurora across the street from Six Flags

In addition to the new Wal-Mart and Dick's at Parmatown

In addition to the new Dick's at North Olmsted

In addition the recent Phase 3 of Ridge Park Square (Circuit City, Marc's, Lowe's)

In addition to the new Giant Eagle at Pleasant Valley/Broadview

In addition to the entire corporate mess in Macedonia at Northfield (Target, Home Depot, Best Buy, Giant Eagle, etc.)

In addition to the new Giant Eagle and friends in Brunswick near Pearl Road

I could go on, you get the idea..

 

Plus, you have Legacy Village, Crocker Park, and related projects along Chagrin Blvd. in Woodmere: same concept, higher quality, still big box for the most part (e.g. Gander Mountain and Crate + Barrel are no different than Wal-Mart)

 

I'm not for or against W. 117th and I-90's project, but I do favor fixing up problem areas (e.g. Parmatown) rather than the idea of North Olmsted to continue to chop down whatever is left and build more (e.g. Target on Brookpark, next to Metroparks). I would say that the project at W. 117 and I-90 will do more better than bad. However, places like Wolstein's project in Aurora and the cluster of shit at Route 8 and Route 82 is pretty sick however.. they cut down tons of woods to build those projects. Macedonia at Route 8 is only about 5-10 minutes from Howe Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls, which is just more Best Buy, Giant Eagle, Target, etc. And that's about 10 minutes from Route 18 in Fairlawn which is the epitomy of Akron's big box stuff. This shit never ends...

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Don't forget the rebuilding of Westgate, which is to have 1-2 big box stores, in addition to the Kohl's store, which will be retained.

 

Retailing is about as cutthroat a business there is. If you put five retailing executives on a deserted island and gave them a week's worth of food, four of the executives would be murdered by the end of the first business day.

 

KJP

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I honestly don't mind big box stores.  I pesonally love TarShay!  If these developments can enhance the quality of a life to neighborhoods in Cleveland and increase traffice (perferably foot) im for it.  I know there is the fear that it will be an "autocentric" development.  However, I'm sure there will be those that will walk.

 

I hope it can spur other street level development.  Perhaps RTA and the development can start a point-to-point shuttle from the Red Line to the development. there are way to market and make it a "win-win" for everyone.  Lets hope homes are being developed along the way and that current home owners can obtain the proper needs to improve their homes.

 

I'm never one to agree to build or "accept" something just because.

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Well, this development will get about zero foot traffic.  It is very isolated from any homes.  How many big box stores actually get foot traffic? Hardly any. 

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MyTwoSense, the homeowners will not be fixing up their homes.  The homes are all to be razed for this development.  The placement of the development makes it unlikely that it will be receiving much foot traffic.  It is in an industrial area and cut off by the highway.

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I'd rather have a big box store than an abandoned ghetto.  Cleveland has lost hundreds of thousands of people.  And no one is being evicted.  The developer has purchased all those properties.  I bet those who were selling were happy to get what they could for their properties.  It's their choice anyway, not yours.

 

The job of those who run the city of Cleveland is to do what's best for the city.  It's not to build what you consider to be pretty (i.e. "mixed use developments").  Maybe they like that too, who knows?  But they can only give permission for projects that people actually want to build.  Any city, and especially a poor one like Cleveland, is very happy to get development money.  The point is that we don't live in a communist society where one person plans what gets built where, which seems to be perception of a lot of folks here.

 

I like big box stores.  Especially Walmarts and Best Buys.  That's more practical to me than a "mixed use development" that has no where to park, and has some small time merchants who rips you off badly.

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Locutus, have you ever been there?  If not, take a look before you call it an abandoned ghetto!  It's not.  It's a stable working to middle class area. 

 

And I don't know about you, but we're all here to discuss cities.  You don't even seem to like that we would dare express ideas that we have for our cities.  Why are you here, then?  Just to berate us and call us communists as if you're a 12-year old? You seldom contribute anything about the actual topic- Ohio's cities.  If alll you want to do is bitch about liberals and espouse an almost religious obsession with free market economics (which, btw, you don't truly understand very well) then isn't there a Fox News or Cato Institute forum somewhere you could be hanging out on?  If you want to talk about cities, fine.  Otherwise, please spare us.

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As someone who lives only 1.5 miles north of this proposed development, let me clarify that I don't oppose the Target store. I oppose its design as uncreative. Allow me to suggest what I consider to be a more creative design that would promote the urban aesthetics of the area (especially since I will have to see this retail complex every day as I ride or drive past it).

 

The following pictures are of a mixed-use, suburban location called Northgate outside of Seattle. The NorthGate Target store is on the top two levels of the four story structure. You can enter/exit the Target from either floor and it contains internal escalators like you would expect in any department store. A Best Buy and other national chains are part of the building, with a parking garage and surface parking available. Yes, this is not the most attractive structure in the world. But, compared to the typical mall or retail plaza, it is a major improvement....

 

seattle.target_1.jpg

 

seattle.target_2.jpg

 

seattle.target_3.jpg

 

seattle.target_4.jpg

 

seattle.target_5.jpg

 

Then, there's the new Edgewood shopping center in Atlanta, with the big boxes, smaller stores and residential structures fronting the streets, and surface parking behind....

 

2537erd1.jpg

 

And then there's Fairview Village, a new town center that was built about 12 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon. This was the original plan, which the developers adhered to....

 

fairwaymap.jpg

 

fairviewmainst.jpg

 

Cleveland can and should do as thoughtful a job as these other cities of similar size. When we make decisions out of desperation, we tend to regret them in the long-term. Rysar Properties is a quality developer, and we should expect high standards from them (as we would from all our neighbors) in all their endeavors.

 

KJP

 

 

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KJP, I used to shop at that Best Buy/Target combo all the time when I lived in Seattle!  Some might think that a parking garage would make it a pain in the ass, but quite the opposite.  You could run into either or both of the stores real quick without even needing to move your car in between.  One problem was that they had a real hard time leasing the space in the ground floor.  I don't know why exactly, but in the years that I was there, they never got it anywhere near full.  The problem might have been that it wasn't in an area with any pedestrian traffic.  It would have been the equivalent of being across from Severence Town Center.

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If a busway were built down the middle of I-90, where the median was reserved for a rail line, and the interchange for West 117th was reconfigured with straight ramps rather than the two cloverleafs, the area would become quite pedestrian-friendly.

 

KJP

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with the traffic on W. 117th, I really don't think that cloverleafs (cloverleaves?) are necessary.  KJP, thanks for the interesting development pics.

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^ Where does it say that people have to like it?

 

Where's the proof that the people of Cleveland don't like it?  Cleveland's poor need a place to shop don't they?  Maybe you're rich and you live in one of the yuppie condos downtown.  It's easy for you to shop at some costly boutique shop, and then tell the poor folks that they have no soul if they buy stuff from a big box.  But keep in mind thata 80% of Americans shop at Walmart, and in the lower income sections of society, it's probably more like 95-99%.  I bet a lot of people don't care much if some yuppies who don't even live in the immediate area don't think it's attractive.

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^ Where does it say that people have to like it?

 

Where's the proof that the people of Cleveland don't like it?  Cleveland's poor need a place to shop don't they?  Maybe you're rich and you live in one of the yuppie condos downtown.  It's easy for you to shop at some costly boutique shop, and then tell the poor folks that they have no soul if they buy stuff from a big box.  But keep in mind thata 80% of Americans shop at Walmart, and in the lower income sections of society, it's probably more like 95-99%.  I bet a lot of people don't care much if some yuppies who don't even live in the immediate area don't think it's attractive.

 

There's no "proof" anywhere.  Just like there isn't any "proof" that Cleveland can't/shouldn't have big box retail.  It's a personal opinion (shared by many) on a message board about cities that you somehow took offense to.  People who like well-functioning cities that appeal to all kinds of people don't like suburban-styled big-box stores in the middle of the city. 

 

You then pull out of thin air the argument that some people have a need for these kind of stores.  That has absolutely nothing to do with what any of us are saying.  These companies are free to do business wherever they please.  We only wish they would design their businesses to be more sensitive to the local area instead of using the same plan they use for Offramp City.

 

If you claim to care so much about the poor (judging by every other post you've ever made, you don't), wouldn't you be supportive of building something that someone who is elderly, disabled, a teenager not of driving age, or unable to afford a car could actually walk to?

 

P.S> For your information, I'm not a yuppie, nor am I rich.  I would think if you have actually read any of my posts you would know this by now.

 

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