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Larchmere residents voice opposition to proposed dollar store

Updated Nov 28; Posted Nov 28

By Thomas Jewell, special to cleveland.com

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Residents and stakeholders around the Larchmere historic district have launched a petition drive against a "dollar store" being proposed for the former Life Skills Northeast Ohio building.

 

Nearly 200 people had signed the online petition posted on change.org as of Tuesday (Nov. 27). Additional signatures were also being collected during the Thanksgiving Weekend Holiday Stroll along Larchmere Boulevard.

 

https://www.cleveland.com/shaker-heights/index.ssf/2018/11/larchmere_residents_launch_opp.html

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2 hours ago, MuRrAy HiLL said:

Larchmere residents voice opposition to proposed dollar store

Updated Nov 28; Posted Nov 28

By Thomas Jewell, special to cleveland.com

 

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Residents and stakeholders around the Larchmere historic district have launched a petition drive against a "dollar store" being proposed for the former Life Skills Northeast Ohio building.

 

Nearly 200 people had signed the online petition posted on change.org as of Tuesday (Nov. 27). Additional signatures were also being collected during the Thanksgiving Weekend Holiday Stroll along Larchmere Boulevard.

 

https://www.cleveland.com/shaker-heights/index.ssf/2018/11/larchmere_residents_launch_opp.html

Are the people who are signing this of means? Often times "Dollar Store" types of stores serve an important role in urban and lower income neighborhoods.

 

https://morningconsult.com/2017/11/20/surprising-impact-neighborhood-dollar-store/

https://www.citylab.com/life/2012/02/what-dollar-store-locations-reveal-about-america/1115/

 

Really, it just sounds like nimbys being nimbys. Meanwhile, on the other side of the city: http://realestate.cleveland.com/realestate-news/2018/04/family_dollar_sale_in_clevelan.html

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12 minutes ago, TBideon said:

Kind of like that McDonalds in Ohio City issue. A waste of a signature and energy. 

 

Wasn't the McDonald's abandoned due to pressure from the councilman and residents? There needs to a strong push from the councilman to push CPC and BZA to vote against it.

 

What's there is pretty awful already so whatever replaces it should be better than that, Dollar Store or otherwise.

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Just now, imjustinjk said:

Are the people who are signing this of means? Often times "Dollar Store" types of stores serve an important role in urban and lower income neighborhoods.

 

https://morningconsult.com/2017/11/20/surprising-impact-neighborhood-dollar-store/

https://www.citylab.com/life/2012/02/what-dollar-store-locations-reveal-about-america/1115/

 

Really, it just sounds like nimbys being nimbys. Meanwhile, on the other side of the city: http://realestate.cleveland.com/realestate-news/2018/04/family_dollar_sale_in_clevelan.html

 

Odd comparison. The councilman might support the Dollar Store if it was going into the ground floor of a multistory mixed use building. Probably not what is being planned though.

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3 minutes ago, Mendo said:

 

Odd comparison. The councilman might support the Dollar Store if it was going into the ground floor of a multistory mixed use building. Probably not what is being planned though.

 

I guess I fail to understand why somebody wouldn't the store on Larchmere other than its association with poor people and that Larchmere is a trendy street? Oh no, its by a school. Not safe for kids! Oh no, our lovely antiques stores! There's an abandoned building there that can be re-purposed for something new that will serve nearby residents. 

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52 minutes ago, TBideon said:

Kind of like that McDonalds in Ohio City issue. A waste of a signature and energy. 

 

Pretty different from that issue, I reckon, given that this Dollar Store will be using an existing structure, existing parking lot (with no real prospects for redevelopment), and won't be adding a double-barreled drive-through emptying onto a residential street.

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Unless somebody wants to develop another Larchmere Courts or Larchmere Lofts on the lot, then the building is fairly suitable for a dollar store. Larchmere is a great street with a good building stock. The building isn't recessed like the one across the street. I don't like the large parking lot, but I'm not sure how many developers would want to re-develop the lot?

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3 hours ago, imjustinjk said:

Unless somebody wants to develop another Larchmere Courts or Larchmere Lofts on the lot, then the building is fairly suitable for a dollar store. Larchmere is a great street with a good building stock. The building isn't recessed like the one across the street. I don't like the large parking lot, but I'm not sure how many developers would want to re-develop the lot?

 

3 hours ago, Mendo said:

 

 The councilman might support the Dollar Store if it was going into the ground floor of a multistory mixed use building. Probably not what is being planned though.

1

 

That would be ideal -- add some height and put retail at street level, I wouldn't object to a dollar store as part of that project.

 

The building does not provide an ideal street presence on Larchmere.  A long blank wall (with an attached mural) faces Larchmere and the parking lot is on the corner with E121st.  The "front" of the building actually faces E121, not Larchmere, and is set back from E121 by the parking lot. 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.4880488,-81.5977892,3a,75y,60.51h,89.74t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shqp17aiOKvxa_QIZiT-zMg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Edited by Foraker
Added Google Streetview

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There are *squints*  5 dollar stores (dollar general, dollar tree, dollar store, dollar mart, family dollar) within .5 miles of Larchmere.  Its not exactly a desert for options for the low income population. 

 

Just an observation.  Not for or against.  i go to Larchmere maybe once per month...but its not always about being a Nimby...these people live and are invested there.

Edited by BelievelandD1
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19 minutes ago, Foraker said:

 

 

That would be ideal -- add some height and put retail at street level, I wouldn't object to a dollar store as part of that project.

 

The building does not provide an ideal street presence on Larchmere.  A long blank wall (with an attached mural) faces Larchmere and the parking lot is on the corner with E121st.  The "front" of the building actually faces E121, not Larchmere, and is set back from E121 by the parking lot. 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.4880488,-81.5977892,3a,75y,60.51h,89.74t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shqp17aiOKvxa_QIZiT-zMg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

 

Yes, you're right. I think that the building could be renovated with windows/doors facing Larchmere and a newer building built next to it. The single story scale isn't necessarily inappropriate (you see this elsewhere on similar streets). Then you would have tucked parking in the back with plenty of spaces. Or demo the whole thing for a larger mixed-use development - I just don't see a lot of development like this over here yet? The issue I had was the tone set within the article towards having a dollar general on the street. 

 

When were those townhomes and condos developed? Seems "unusual"/ahead of their time that for-sale units were developed there? 

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There are dollar stores in Lakewood and Ohio City which don't seem to be hurting anyone.  I can understand not wanting certain uses in certain areas, but this is retail on a retail street.

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1 hour ago, BelievelandD1 said:

There are *squints*  5 dollar stores (dollar general, dollar tree, dollar store, dollar mart, family dollar) within .5 miles of Larchmere.  Its not exactly a desert for options for the low income population. 

 

Just an observation.  Not for or against.  i go to Larchmere maybe once per month...but its not always about being a Nimby...these people live and are invested there.

 

The tone of the article/interview/petition isn’t  “there’s already enough of these”. It was “we don’t want a dollar store here bc it’ll ruin the character of the street”. I’m not for it per se, but it was fairly nimby esque. I don’t disagree that there are a lot of these in the area, but if theyre succeeding it might be because the market can handle it ~and there are a lot of very poor people in the area who use/need them~. I’m not saying a dollar store absolutely needs to go here, but the people opposing this couldn't be anymore coded. Planners and developers have to meet the needs of both those who drive in and frequent the upscale retail/restaurants as well as the low income residents immediately adjacent (not just here, but elsewhere). But I digress. I’m off topic. 

 

“He also does not feel that a dollar store would be a "good fit" and would like to sit down with the developer to look at other ideas.”

“Griffin said that new development on the property should tie in to the overall theme and context of Larchmere as an "antique district," with restaurants, shops and boutiques...”

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The key for me here is that it's using an existing building.  I would be very sympathetic to opposition if someone were proposing to build a new dollar store in the typical CMU bunker style, like you see on Buckeye. Those things tend to be abysmally ugly, which would be a real detraction from a neighborhood that pitches itself as a place to stroll and recreate.

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The residents/business owners are engaged enough to stand up for what they believe the future of their neighborhood should look like no matter what idea is driving it. That's what its all about to me.

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Great read!

 

Only complaint is this second paragraph:

 

One reason Landes likes Cleveland is because "things are affordable," especially when compared to New York, where she said the real estate market is "blown out of proportion."

 

At the same time, she said there is "a lot of red tape" to work through, although Cleveland Department of Building and Housing official Kevin Franklin pointed out that it's actually state code that has to be followed.

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On 12/30/2018 at 10:37 AM, MuRrAy HiLL said:

Great read!

 

Only complaint is this second paragraph:

 

One reason Landes likes Cleveland is because "things are affordable," especially when compared to New York, where she said the real estate market is "blown out of proportion."

 

At the same time, she said there is "a lot of red tape" to work through, although Cleveland Department of Building and Housing official Kevin Franklin pointed out that it's actually state code that has to be followed.

What code, building? NYC has a lot more difficult building code than Ohio.

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On 12/30/2018 at 10:37 AM, MuRrAy HiLL said:

Great read!

 

Only complaint is this second paragraph:

 

One reason Landes likes Cleveland is because "things are affordable," especially when compared to New York, where she said the real estate market is "blown out of proportion."

 

At the same time, she said there is "a lot of red tape" to work through, although Cleveland Department of Building and Housing official Kevin Franklin pointed out that it's actually state code that has to be followed.

Right,

 

I'm sure NYC has a lot more red tape than Cleveland to work through. That said, I don't think there is an easy "How to guide" on how to navigate the forms and procedures when dealing with Building & Housing. That can make a relatively simple task seem much more difficult.

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That's some pretty good news. They're a good, clean, well run chain. Mostly up in and around Lake County. Growing up out there, their theaters are where we would always go. Nice to see some investment like this in the area.

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First look: Shaker Square proposal includes removing Shaker Boulevard

 

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Designers working on a new vision for Shaker Square know they’ll stir controversy this week by proposing that Shaker Boulevard should be removed to make the square a greener, more welcoming place. 

But they want to see how the public reacts anyway. 

The $400,000 planning project, organized by the nonprofits LAND Studio and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, intends to shape a vision for the future of public spaces in and around the square.

 

Cleveland.com

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The current landscaping is fine.  It certainly isn't $400,000 worth of wrong.  And it is absolutely insane to pursue an "immersion in nature" strategy for any dense urban neighborhood like Shaker Square.  Also insane is the term "dense urban gardens," which conflates city planning with floral arrangement. 

 

The best way to help Shaker Square would be to spend that $400,000 fixing up dilapidated buildings nearby.

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I like the idea of removing Shaker

Blvd from the square and replacing it with some sort of walking path or paths.

 

I also like switching to parallel parking and widening the sidewalks.

 

Both of those would be wins imo.

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42 minutes ago, 327 said:

The current landscaping is fine.  It certainly isn't $400,000 worth of wrong.  And it is absolutely insane to pursue an "immersion in nature" strategy for any dense urban neighborhood like Shaker Square.  Also insane is the term "dense urban gardens," which conflates city planning with floral arrangement. 

 

The best way to help Shaker Square would be to spend that $400,000 fixing up dilapidated buildings nearby.

I would spend the money fixing Buckeye. Create an incentive program for businesses locating on Buckeye. 

 

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13 minutes ago, freefourur said:

I would spend the money fixing Buckeye. Create an incentive program for businesses locating on Buckeye. 

 

 

Exactly.  Shaker Square is super nice, just the way it is, probably the best example of urban planning in Cleveland.  I've never driven up the Blvd into the square and thought "this is so wrong."  But that's what I think every time I'm on Buckeye.  So why tear up Shaker Square first? 

 

It's like we're obligated to start another giant landscaping boondoggle as soon as we finish the last one.  Fixing up storefronts instead would not turn us all into communists.  It's a better idea than wasting another fortune on jackhammers, hog manure and dead little trees.  Most of these forestry plans are just grass and concrete, as usual.  No it will not feel like wilderness.  Not even a little.  So why does the plan focus on creating a sense of wilderness?  We're talking about Shaker freaking Square!  The city itself has gone off topic.

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7 minutes ago, 327 said:

 

Exactly.  Shaker Square is super nice, just the way it is, probably the best example of urban planning in Cleveland.  I've never driven up the Blvd into the square and thought "this is so wrong."  But that's what I think every time I'm on Buckeye.  So why tear up Shaker Square first? 

 

It's like we're obligated to start another giant landscaping boondoggle as soon as we finish the last one.  Fixing up storefronts instead would not turn us all into communists.  It's a better idea than wasting another fortune on jackhammers, hog manure and dead little trees.  Most of these forestry plans are just grass and concrete, as usual.  No it will not feel like wilderness.  Not even a little.  So why does the plan focus on creating a sense of wilderness?  We're talking about Shaker freaking Square!  The city itself has gone off topic.

Just a few blocks east is shaker lakes which is a nice peaceful wilderness area.  I'm not sure why the need it on the Square. Buckeye is the weakest part of the neighborhood and all investment should be focused there.

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As someone who shops in Shaker Square frequently, I think the surrounding dilapidated buildings are the bigger issue. The empty plaza on Van Aken is uninviting. Also, the connections between the Square and the parking lots could use better lighting. Especially the one behind Fire. I just don't see the need for a dramatic change similar to public square.  

 

The quality of the tenants matters too. Cleveland Cinemas just seemed to give up on the movie theater. Hopefully, the new operator is better. 

Edited by jmc8651
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3 minutes ago, jmc8651 said:

As someone who shops in Shaker Square frequently, I think the surrounding dilapidated buildings are the bigger issue. The empty plaza on Van Aken is uninviting. Also, the connections between the Square and the parking lots could use better lighting. Especially the one behind Fire. I just don't see the need for a dramatic change similar to public square.  

 

The quality of the tenants matters too. Cleveland Cinemas just seemed to give up on the movie theater. Hopefully, the new operator is better. 

Isn't the lighting issue for the parking lots more of a Coral issue rather than city issue. 

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Even as someone who can imagine real benefits from a design refresh of the public areas, it's really hard to disagree with the notion that the big money is better spent subsidizing new development and rehab in the surrounding blocks .Wouldn't preclude some modest and vanilla streetscape improvements, which could probably help. Like, if they want to change up the traffic pattern, maybe experiment by adding speed bumps and pull-in parking to the segments of Shaker Blvd that transverse the square. The cost could be tiny. 

Edited by StapHanger
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I understand the need for the planning. Many funders won't open up their purse strings without first seeing a plan that was shaped by public input.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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If they go through the trouble of closing Shaker Blvd, I'd rather see that space filled in with 2 or 3 story buildings flanking RTA. Then you'd have retail on both sides of the street all around the new circle. Better than more pointless green space.

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That greenspace, however, is large enough where it can be useful. Here it is -- for the weekly farmers markets and special events that draw people to the square and remind people of what shops and restaurants are there.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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15 minutes ago, KJP said:

That greenspace, however, is large enough where it can be useful. Here it is -- for the weekly farmers markets and special events that draw people to the square and remind people of what shops and restaurants are there.

 

That's true. Shaker Square is a good space, as-is. I was questioning whether it was worth creating more green space by closing the street. And if the city was willing to go through the effort, I'd rather see more density here than more grass.

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18 hours ago, Mendo said:

 

That's true. Shaker Square is a good space, as-is. I was questioning whether it was worth creating more green space by closing the street. And if the city was willing to go through the effort, I'd rather see more density here than more grass.

 

Doesn't Shaker Blvd. get closed by the Farmer's Market?  If so, we've already got an example of how that will work.  A few bollards could close the street more permanently (and inexpensively, and reversibly) without ripping out the street right away.

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I love it.  We get to choose between this proposal from LAND Studio, or that one, or the other one.  The notion of doing anything else is already off the table.

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On 2/17/2019 at 7:55 PM, Mendo said:

 

That's true. Shaker Square is a good space, as-is. I was questioning whether it was worth creating more green space by closing the street. And if the city was willing to go through the effort, I'd rather see more density here than more grass.

 

I think that density in the middle of shaker square would ruin the character and make the space awkward. If designed well, community/public space is vital.  The neighborhood already has a good density / urban form. There’s a lot of surface lots tucked behind the buildings though. 

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