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Cleveland: Downtown: Office Tower & Ferrari Showroom

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Nice looking building and any office/condo tower is a plus.  It's a very promising proposal...  I'm just wondering: why there and not on the surface lot at E. 4 and Prospect a block away?  Yes I realize that the City may own this particular "sliver" of land with a legal obligation to sell to Rock Caesars, but what about a similar ownership/sales potential of the aforementioned surface lot?  Not only would the city get rid of an ugly surface lot near the core entertainment/retail district of downtown, it would also be a more accessible parcel than the proposed tight parcel at the busy Ontario/Broadway/Huron intersection.  And wouldn't a car dealership make more sense on a larger footprint than on the proposed 'sliver' of land?

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^ my thoughts here are the same reason the video board is located sheer it is. This parcel of land is sort of the welcome mat to the city and is potentially much more visible and could be more easily seen from 90 and points South.

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And wouldn't a car dealership make more sense on a larger footprint than on the proposed 'sliver' of land?

 

A suburban-style dealership would, especially with a huge inventory of cars. But urban dealerships are usually limited to a showroom. And this "sliver" of land is 0.82 acres -- a fairly large piece of land in the central business district.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Wonder why Moreno is so focused on Ferrari for.a downtown showroom. He could just build a two story showroom there now. He already carries Maserati, Lotus, Rolls and others. And he already has a presence down there now with the Welcome Center. I think we will hear more about this soon. Just a hunch.

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We need a proposal like this for that empty hole where the Sherwin Williams poster is.

 

 

That sir has already been proposed....it was the "Gateway Building" (if I recall correctly) and was about 25-30 stories.  Of course the problem is that it was proposed more than 20 years ago.

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Hello, I've been a lurker for a few years and love this site.  Since I'm a huge Ferrari fan with a history of exotic cars in my family (including Ferrari) I'm a little in tune with Ferrari North America and their dealings.  Not sure if the insight I can provide will give you a better picture, but here are my thoughts in no particular order on the likelihood of this happening.

 

First let me say the Ferrari community is very strong in Ohio and Cleveland in particular.  You might not see many on the road here compared to FL and CA, but believe there are a significant amount of Ferraris in this town and frankly quite a collection of older rare models in private hands valued each at well over million dollars a piece.  Unlike the flashy show off owners in FL and CA, the owners here are much more private about it.  One question some may have is can a relatively small market like Cleveland supports Ferrari new car sales every year, the answer without a doubt is yes. 

 

While Bernie Moreno is very successful here in Ohio and has a strong history in Boston, he comes from a very well connected family internationally and this is a key factor in potentially landing a franchise.  His father was one of the most famous doctors in Columbia and his brother is a big time global player in Latin America banking, Luis Alberto Moreno.  I don't know if his brother's tentacles reach to Maranello, Italy, but he'll need it.  To give you a better idea on how important connections are when it comes to Ferrari, consider just three names of Ferrari franchise owners that own multiple Ferrari dealerships:  Roger Penske (you all know the name, racing pedigree, and his power in the auto industry), Giacomo Mattioli another multiple Ferrari dealer in CA, currently owns 3 Ferrari dealerships, he used to married to one of  Enzo Ferrari's grand daughters and Lawrence Stroll owns a dealership in Montreal, a billionaire, very important global Ferrari car collector, and race track owner most famously known in the business world for creating the success of brands Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors.  I bring these guys up because this is just a sample of the inner circle at Ferrari, it's a big boys game and who you know is very important.  Where does Bernie Moreno fall in that group, at least money wise, last I heard his sales/service projections for 2014 were $800 million dollars.  However, more than any other car company I've dealt with, there is a strong sense of family within Ferrari that I don't see with other makes.  Everyone seems to know everybody in this small global family and it would be nice to think that you just throw money at Ferrari North America and you can buy a dealership franchise but it's not that easy.

 

Quite frankly it's near impossible to build a new territory Ferrari dealership in the USA, one of the more recent new Ferrari dealers to be built was in Las Vegas in 2005.  There never was a Ferrari franchise in Nevada's history so it took people "in the know" to make it happen.  Steve Wynn, creator of the Wynn hotel in Vegas called his buddy Gianni Agnelli during the hotel/casinos design phase.  Gianni Agnelli being the head of Fiat (which owns Ferrari) and probably the most powerful and wealthiest men in Italy's  history decided putting a Ferrari dealer in Wynn's hotel in Vegas was a good idea, so since Wynn is not a car dealer Agnelli suggested partnering with Roger Penske.  Not exactly your average car guys making a deal.  The "easier" route is buying an existing Ferrari franchise when it's owner finally decides to sell their dealership (rarely happens) and new owners come in once approved by Ferrari North America, the $$$$ deal is done.  How much money, last I heard and this was ten years ago was the franchise fee alone was $15 million, add the land and building cost per Ferrari North America requirements and that adds another $10-15 million plus count on inventory of easily $8-10 million.  All of this money to sell 25 cars a year.  Ferrari North America controls allocation and the multiple dealers in FL, CA and Vegas get the bulk of Ferraris that come to North America every year.  Some smaller dealerships, like MAG in Dublin, OH get the lower end of the stick allocation wise (25 cars/yr). 

 

Owning a Ferrari dealership for Bernie is fulfilling a dream for him and just the cherry on the cake from the 20 plus dealerships he has already.  You would think owning a Ferrari dealership makes you a ton of money, it doesn't.  Service is a big driver of profits like any dealership make, but you're not going to get super wealthy from a Ferrari dealer, it's just a toy for those that make the real money in other business they may have.

 

I can see how Bernie is trying to "WOW" Ferrari North America with this dealership/condo/office concept, but here are some of the hurdles he faces.  #1-this potential new Cleveland based dealerlership is too close to existing dealerships, you have Cauley Ferrari in West Bloomfield, MI and you have Midwestern Auto Group in Dublin, Ohio, now you might think having two other Ferrari dealers two hours a part is no big deal, believe me it is.  There are fairly strict rules on if a dealership can sell you a car based on your home location.  Now because Cauley and Midwestern Auto Group are fairly equal distance wise, Clevelanders can buy from either one, but if Bernie gets a franchise he's going to cut into those guys sales given how few dealers there are, not to mention whatever dealer territory agreements these dealers had with Ferrari North America at time of signing franchise agreements, in other words, those other 2 dealers won't be happy.  Could Ferrari pull a franchise from one of those two and give it to Bernie, maybe, if so Midwestern Auto Group may be the victim.  I say that because their dealership building is pathetic and not in line with other Ferrari franchises  in the USA that have spent a lot of money in upgrades to meet the Ferrari North America's dealer appearance standards.  #2-Ferrari has long term plans to reduce production, they already have dropped production by thousand cars or so per year recently, and this occurred even with Chinese market sales growth in order to maintain exclusivity of the Ferrari brand.  Last I heard Ferrari North America is very happy with the amount of dealers they have.  #3-like I mentioned before, how connected is Bernie and his family to anyone at Ferrari

 

Bernie currently has a Maserati dealer that is doing very well, now about a decade ago when Maserati returned to the USA market having a Maserati dealership that did big sales was a big plus as Ferrari and Maserati were very closely tied at that time, now that's not so much the case.  I heard his Maserati sales are equal to what Maserati Beverly Hills is selling which when I heard it was shocked that he was that successful, about top 15 or so ranked in the USA.  Not bad for a dealership that is not that old or established, but will this help him prove his case, I'm not sure if means that much anymore compared to ten years ago.  In other words, I think Bernie's plan is a long shot.  That being said, like many entrepreneurs no road block stops them and he's one of the most positive and can do person I've ever met.  It won't be easy, but it wouldn't surprise me if he pulls this off, perhaps on a scale that doesn't include an office/condo tower.

 

By the way, if I was Bernie, I probably would have contacted Pininfarina to do the design of that building instead of Vocom Architects.  Pininfarina obviously has designed Ferraris for many years that already helps with creating a bond with Ferrari. 

 

Getting late, could say more, but off to bed.  Hope this provides some insight.

 

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pizza that was absolutely fascinating. thank you and welcome.

 

unfortuantely the pd article has been revised and the pedals are going backward. it sounds like a pitch that wasnt supposed to be made public. but otoh wow, wow, wow, so glad it leaked. you gotta love the audaciousness. what a creative, sleek proposal. at the very least this will rattle the cages of other would be developers to up their game. if not ferarri maybe moreno can pull it off with some other high end brand. he has maserati. bentley? i dk, but i like the way this guy thinks thats for sure!

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Actually, if there's a Ferrari dealership in this area, Murray Hill might be a more likely location as that's where the local Ferrari club meets.

 

By the way, Ferrari wheels are manufactured in northeast Ohio.  Forged at Alcoa, machined in either Barberton or Brooklyn, finished in Brooklyn.

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Good read from ILP.  One thing that wasn't address is if the current dealers agreements are near expiration?  I wonder if that is a possibility?

 

Actually, if there's a Ferrari dealership in this area, Murray Hill might be a more likely location as that's where the local Ferrari club meets.

 

By the way, Ferrari wheels are manufactured in northeast Ohio.  Forged at Alcoa, machined in either Barberton or Brooklyn, finished in Brooklyn.

Just because we have a HUGE club and Ferrari enthusiasm, Little Italy/Murray Hill is not a location of a luxury brand like Ferrari.  Downtown where it can compliment other brands is where it should be.  if this were to be built, the Casino Phase 2 would be directly across the street and allegedly going to have global brands as retail partners.  Perfect synergy for Ferrari.

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Epic first post, Pizza! Welcome!


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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That was really fantastic, Pizza!  While reporting this story was not handled well in the least, the fact that something like this was conceivable and plausible to everyone says a lot. Just a few years ago this would be impossible. Now, I could truly see it happen. We just have to wait and see

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As Mayday pointed out somewhere along the way, never trust a development story until Michelle Jarboe McFee reports it

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Glad you guys felt me feedback was a worthwhile read.  I apologize for all the grammatical errors.  I do want to make a correction.  Bernie's dealerships are on pace for $600 million this year, not $800 million, that number is the projection for 2015, factoring growth of existing and additional dealerships opening.  Also, the head of Ferrari North America is currently in limbo.  Marco Mattiacci, the most recent head of FNA, was given the task to run Ferrari's Formula 1 racing team and I'm not sure how much power interim president has to approve such a dealership project.  One other important factor is the power of Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, Fiat owns Ferrari, and while Bernie has a terrific reputation, especially at the USA corporate headquarters of Mercedes Benz, Bernie currently has no dealerships under the Chrysler/Fiat umbrella so that's another strike against Bernie.  There are rumors amongst Ferrari circles that it was Sergio Marchionne that moved Marco Mattiacci to run the Formula 1 team so his power cannot be underestimated.  All of this is "inside baseball", but is a part of the many branches that have to be considered. 

 

Another poster brought up if any dealer contracts may be up soon, I honestly don't know.  As far as Bernie's choice for location, personally I like the urban environment over a suburb.  That being said, poor road conditions and low sports cars don't mix and for that reason many owners avoid driving downtown, those that do are showoffs or are doing so at their own risk.

 

While this concept may be shelved for now, this will not stop Bernie.  He will push and push to the ends of the earth to own the "crown jewel" whether it's in this concept form or traditional dealership form. 

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^pizza....thanks for all your input (and time and effort) filling us in on the Ferrari aspect of all of this.  It is a very interesting read.

 

While you noted the obstacles in connection with the proposal, quick frankly the bigger issue for the project (since it is all speculative at this point) is securing any type of financing for an office build with no major tenants as well as the current problems obtaining financing for condos (both the development part as well as individual buyers) in our market. 

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^pizza....thanks for all your input (and time and effort) filling us in on the Ferrari aspect of all of this.  It is a very interesting read.

 

While you noted the obstacles in connection with the proposal, quick frankly the bigger issue for the project (since it is all speculative at this point) is securing any type of financing for an office build with no major tenants as well as the current problems obtaining financing for condos (both the development part as well as individual buyers) in our market. 

 

although financing for condos was bad in the past due to the economy, is that the case today?  Also, those that are looking at these units will be top end buyers.  From what I understand Top End developments are an easier sell than mid range condos.

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I wonder if the sole intrest here is to bring a Ferrari dealership the the building as the anchor.  Curious as to whether they are intrested in this development with a different anchor if negotiations with Ferrari don't work out.  There are several things I think could work here, and may be easier to bring to Cleveland other than Ferrari. 

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The wild part was he was proposing one condo per floor.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Forget Ferrari, I say.  Give this same pitch to Harley Davidson.  Much more Cleveland and much more realistic.  An iconic Harley showroom would be a draw for a much larger segment of society without all the uppity glitz Ferrari would bring, yet all the 'coolness' Ferrari could hope for.

 

On a positive note, I have to think the plans for a building like this would not hinge on getting Ferrari to sign on.  The concept must be in the pipeline.

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Forget Ferrari, I say.  Give this same pitch to Harley Davidson.  Much more Cleveland and much more realistic.

 

On a positive note, I have to think the plans for a building like this would not hinge on getting Ferrari to sign on.  The concept must be in the pipeline.

 

I have a suspicion that a certain continent on this forum wants Tesla.

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Forget Ferrari, I say.  Give this same pitch to Harley Davidson.  Much more Cleveland and much more realistic.

 

On a positive note, I have to think the plans for a building like this would not hinge on getting Ferrari to sign on.  The concept must be in the pipeline.

 

I have a suspicion that a certain continent on this forum wants Tesla.

 

Asia?

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Forget Ferrari, I say.  Give this same pitch to Harley Davidson.  Much more Cleveland and much more realistic.

 

On a positive note, I have to think the plans for a building like this would not hinge on getting Ferrari to sign on.  The concept must be in the pipeline.

 

I have a suspicion that a certain continent on this forum wants Tesla.

 

Asia?

 

Damn it!!! You know what I mean lol.

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Forget Ferrari, I say.  Give this same pitch to Harley Davidson.  Much more Cleveland and much more realistic.

 

On a positive note, I have to think the plans for a building like this would not hinge on getting Ferrari to sign on.  The concept must be in the pipeline.

 

I have a suspicion that a certain continent on this forum wants Tesla.

 

Asia?

 

Damn it!!! You know what I mean lol.

 

i'd rather it be that damn tesla factory. ok, both!

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Forget Ferrari, I say.  Give this same pitch to Harley Davidson.  Much more Cleveland and much more realistic.

 

On a positive note, I have to think the plans for a building like this would not hinge on getting Ferrari to sign on.  The concept must be in the pipeline.

 

I have a suspicion that a certain continent on this forum wants Tesla.

 

Asia?

 

Damn it!!! You know what I mean lol.

 

i'd rather it be that damn tesla factory. ok, both!

What continent are you from?

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Oh, Tesla's coming... but look for it in a mall or lifestyle center location based on their locations in other cities...... Beachwood Place or Legacy Village would be my bet...

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Unfortunately, you may not be too far off geographically with your guess of Beachwood Place or Legacy Village. I'm hearing rumors that Pinecrest in Orange is looking to secure the Tesla dealership. This particular source tends to be right just over half of the time, so I'm praying this is one of the times he's completely off base and that downtown still has a shot at it.

 

I love the Harley Davidson showroom concept too. That's a fantastic idea!

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Forget Ferrari, I say.  Give this same pitch to Harley Davidson.  Much more Cleveland and much more realistic.  An iconic Harley showroom would be a draw for a much larger segment of society without all the uppity glitz Ferrari would bring, yet all the 'coolness' Ferrari could hope for.

 

On a positive note, I have to think the plans for a building like this would not hinge on getting Ferrari to sign on.  The concept must be in the pipeline.

 

...I'd much rather have the Ferrari showroom as well as the uppity glitz. We have to stop marginalizing our image to some romanticized fantasy that doesn't exist anymore. Ferrari makes much more of a statement than Harley. People outside of Cleveland are surprised that there are even people in the area that can afford Ferraris because of this stupid image that some of us seem determined to perpetuate. And from a financial standpoint, I doubt banks will be thrilled with funding a high end condo/office development with a Harley dealership instead of a Ferrari or even a Tesla for that matter.

 

And for the record, let's stop with the "that's more Cleveland" stuff, which perpetuates that "smokestacks and hard hats" image that's not even real anymore for most people in the area. I have nothing against Harley or blue collar stuff in general, but I HATE when we make comments like that as if NOBODY in Cleveland wants or can afford high-end stuff. It's self-defeating and reinforces a bad stereotype about our city

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Forget Ferrari, I say.  Give this same pitch to Harley Davidson.  Much more Cleveland and much more realistic.  An iconic Harley showroom would be a draw for a much larger segment of society without all the uppity glitz Ferrari would bring, yet all the 'coolness' Ferrari could hope for.

 

On a positive note, I have to think the plans for a building like this would not hinge on getting Ferrari to sign on.  The concept must be in the pipeline.

 

...I'd much rather have the Ferrari showroom as well as the uppity glitz. We have to stop marginalizing our image to some romanticized fantasy that doesn't exist anymore. Ferrari makes much more of a statement than Harley. People outside of Cleveland are surprised that there are even people in the area that can afford Ferraris because of this stupid image that some of us seem determined to perpetuate. And from a financial standpoint, I doubt banks will be thrilled with funding a high end condo/office development with a Harley dealership instead of a Ferrari or even a Tesla for that matter.

 

And for the record, let's stop with the "that's more Cleveland" stuff, which perpetuates that "smokestacks and hard hats" image that's not even real anymore for most people in the area. I have nothing against Harley or blue collar stuff in general, but I HATE when we make comments like that as if NOBODY in Cleveland wants or can afford high-end stuff. It's self-defeating and reinforces a bad stereotype about our city

 

I disagree, people know that there is OLD Money in of Cleveland, particularly the Eastside.  Cities like CH, SH, BW, PP, HV, GM and Brat, are luxury areas.

 

Now I agree we have to stop with the hard hat stuff.  It's very similar to the "Why do we need x restaurant?" or "I'm worried about x thing" that often appears on this board.  Just look at the East Fourth or Hotel development thread.  It's part of the self defeating attitude that permeates through the region.

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IMO a Harley Davidson luxury dealership, if such a thing exists?, would be better served out in someplace like Geauga or Medina County, or along an interstate, which is pretty typical.  Most of these places are used as meet-ups where hundreds of bikers show up and then ride, rolling thunder style, to no wheres in articular.  I can't see that working next to East 4th or some other more pedestrian-based locale

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IMO a Harley Davidson luxury dealership, if such a thing exists?, would be better served out in someplace like Geauga or Medina County, or along an interstate, which is pretty typical.  Most of these places are used as meet-ups where hundreds of bikers show up and then ride, rolling thunder style, to no wheres in articular.  I can't see that working next to East 4th or some other more pedestrian-based locale

 

there are Harley-Davidson dealerships. The H-D brand is going through financial issues.  They've closed their Motor Cafe division and bike sales are down.  Bikes are considered a luxury.  I wouldn't mind seeing a dealership and other non clothing retail locations open in downtown.  That would show the market is in need and can support various types of businesses.  Making downtown a popular regional destination.

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I don't see this moving forward until phase 2 of casino is confirmed.  I consider this a nice vision of what could be.

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I don't see this moving forward until phase 2 of casino is confirmed.  I consider this a nice vision of what could be.

 

Why until then?  With housing being hot in downtown (and adjacent neighborhoods), I could see this or similar projects being confirmed or going up before Phase 2.

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Sheesh.... it was just a suggestion people.  But I wasn't envisioning a dealership... moreso a 'world-class' showroom.  Something iconic, which would be a tourist attraction in its own right.  And, for the record, some of us like the image.  You might view Harley as nothing more than 'smokestacks and hardhats' but I know more than a few white-collar professionals, here in Cleveland, that ride one.  VERY-well-to-do professionals.  It's a brand that transcends the classes wealth divides us into.  You may prefer the symbolism of a Ferrari, but not me.  To me, Ferrari screams mid-life crisis uber rich divorcee with a Florida tan and the top four buttons of his shirt undone.  When I said Harley is much more Cleveland, I wasn't in any way saying we weren't good enough or rich enough for Ferrari.  My thought process was that Cleveland is cool in the way that Harley is cool.  Ferrari is cool in the way that Orange County is cool.

 

I also worry that a Ferrari showroom is not something they would appreciate you just walking into.  It might end up being nothing more than a bunker in which the passing public is relegated to being the kid from Christmas Story gazing through the glass at the toy he wants.

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Sheesh.... it was just a suggestion people.  But I wasn't envisioning a dealership... moreso a 'world-class' showroom.  Something iconic, which would be a tourist attraction in its own right.  And, for the record, some of us like the image.  You might view Harley as nothing more than 'smokestacks and hardhats' but I know more than a few white-collar professionals, here in Cleveland, that ride one.  VERY-well-to-do professionals.  It's a brand that transcends the classes wealth divides us into.  You may prefer the symbolism of a Ferrari, but not me.  To me, Ferrari screams mid-life crisis uber rich divorcee with a Florida tan and the top four buttons of his shirt undone.  I also worry that a Ferrari showroom is not something they would appreciate you just walking into.  It might end up being nothing more than a bunker in which the passing public is relegated to being the kid from Christmas Story gazing through the glass at the toy he wants.

 

I agree with this.  Thats why I say it would be good for downtown as a whole.  I also agree with the Ferrari showroom statement that people wont be able to just to walk in.  Thats true of most luxury boutiques and showrooms.

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We need to fix the roads before any automotive dealerships start building downtown.  Maybe the RNC will spur some action there.

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We need to fix the roads before any automotive dealerships start building downtown.  Maybe the RNC will spur some action there.

I don't see the connection.  Or are you saying test driving a vehicle on downtown streets in their current state is not feasible.

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I don't see this moving forward until phase 2 of casino is confirmed.  I consider this a nice vision of what could be.

 

Why until then?  With housing being hot in downtown (and adjacent neighborhoods), I could see this or similar projects being confirmed or going up before Phase 2.

 

The building will be an ultra-luxury island. I'm referring to the ferarri branding. We don't know how well thought out the above apartments/condos are as far as pricing and level of luxury.  I don't see that address being rewarding for uber wealthy unless there are other luxury shops in close proximity as is suggested by the casino phase 2 hype. 

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I don't see this moving forward until phase 2 of casino is confirmed.  I consider this a nice vision of what could be.

 

Why until then?  With housing being hot in downtown (and adjacent neighborhoods), I could see this or similar projects being confirmed or going up before Phase 2.

 

The building will be an ultra-luxury island. I'm referring to the ferarri branding. We don't know how well thought out the above apartments/condos are as far as pricing and level of luxury.  I don't see that address being rewarding for uber wealthy unless there are other luxury shops in close proximity as is suggested by the casino phase 2 hype. 

Exactly and it would keep you people out!  :P :D 8)  Why else would I consider moving there?  Just kidding...no I'm not. :angel:

 

Uber rich don't think about the cost of finishing an apartment, that is why many units in Miami, BOS, ATL, DAL, are sold sight unseen.  It will be customized from top to bottom.  It's the idea of living in a place that nobody can.  I see this as a type of situation where both projects benefit from one another.  So I see your point.

 

Now having said that, Euclid Avenue, Prospect and Tower City now need to up their game as we need a, "Miracle Mile", "Magnificent Mile", "Rodeo Drive", "Lincoln Road" experience in Downtown Cleveland to satisfy current residents, lure new apartment renters and upscale condo owners.  Not to mention it will be a regional draw, if the retail locations are branded as "Flagship" properties.

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IMO a Harley Davidson luxury dealership, if such a thing exists?, would be better served out in someplace like Geauga or Medina County, or along an interstate, which is pretty typical.  Most of these places are used as meet-ups where hundreds of bikers show up and then ride, rolling thunder style, to no wheres in articular.  I can't see that working next to East 4th or some other more pedestrian-based locale

 

there are Harley-Davidson dealerships. The H-D brand is going through financial issues.  They've closed their Motor Cafe division and bike sales are down.  Bikes are considered a luxury.  I wouldn't mind seeing a dealership and other non clothing retail locations open in downtown.  That would show the market is in need and can support various types of businesses.  Making downtown a popular regional destination.

 

Sales of smaller bikes are doing OK. Harleys are considered kind of an old people thing now.

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