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Cleveland: Downtown: Justice Center Complex Replacement

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I initially suggested that it should move to the fringe of downtown, such as the current Division of Printing site. But now I firmly believe that it should stay in the heart of downtown (with my favorite option being the big lot at Superior and W. 6).

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Moving it to the SW corner of the WHD lots or roundabouts does make some sense in terms of placing it near both the Federal Courthouse and the state agencies building, both of which are also visited often by members of the legal field.

 

One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is the potential impact a move would have on the two Lakeside buildings across W3, particularly the courthouse annex, but also 323(?). Once they lose that proximity, both would be ripe for residential / mixed use conversion and both are real beauties IMO.

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Oops, forgot the parking deck for the CPD HQ and jail, so I put it partially over the RTA tracks and used its elevators to also reach the new station's platforms....

 

23191885385_500ca58566_b.jpgCPD & jail site2s by Ken Prendergast, on Flickr


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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Great idea Ken. The lawyers can easily walk to Tower City and catch the rapid. As well as the public getting there by rapid or bus. Frees up space in the core of downtown for a future tower. Puts a decent sized tower on the outer ring.

 

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Plus it puts the CPD and county deputies, fugitive task force, etc. close to freeways to get to/from calls quickly. It also provides a parking deck and a Rapid station in a location that can spur other development with the police station screening that development from the jail. The parking deck not only provides protection from the weather for RTA passengers waiting at the station and it would provide elevators from track level to the top level of the parking deck.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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Most of the Justice Center's workers and visitors appear to be involved with the courts. That would remain in the heart of the CBD. And since most of the private law offices are already along and north of Superior Avenue from West 9th to East 9th, it made to sense to keep the courthouse near where it is. And since we all want to see the Jacobs lot developed (not knowing if they have anything cooking on the front burner), I put it there.

 

As for the jail, some folks here said they didn't want a jail in the heart of the central business district anymore. And that's probably the part that could be moved out of the CBD while causing the least negative impact.

 

There are some questions I have but can't answer. For example... Do guards get to leave the jail building for lunch or breaks? Do the deputies spend most of their time and around the jail? Or are they on the road throughout the county or babysitting indicted persons attending hearings at the courthouse? At CPD headquarters, do administrators and detectives spend most of their day in the offices? Probably varies from day to day, although I do know that police HQ assistants, data entry/processing personnel and secretaries do spend their days almost entirely in the office except for lunch and breaks. They may be the biggest loss from the jail/CPD HQ not being in the heart of the CBD anymore, as might visitors to inmates, or persons visiting the CPD HQ to get archived documents, claim lost or stolen items, etc.

 

But I put this facility on the Rapid line so that the CBD doesn't entirely lose all business from this facility being outside the Inner Belt's "moat". Workers wanting to get lunch or an after-work drink can do so by hopping the Rapid and ride one stop up the line to Tower City or a couple more stops to Flats East Bank.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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What if this were to be built on the muni lots off of Marginal Road as a series of horizontal buildings.  This can connect to the RTA Waterfront Line an still connect to downtown restaurant and law offices.  It would definitely activate the transit system.  I know the lakefront plan adopted by the city proposed buildings to be buillt in those parking lots the City already owns

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Isn't the entire idea of relocating the JC to open up prime real estate for other uses?

I don't think it's so much about relocating it as it is about rebuilding it.  Simply because of its deteriorating condition.

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This is thinking an extra step ahead...but assuming this thing moves in the next decade, what do you see as the best use of land on the giant parcel that is currently occupied by the justice center? New office tower? Mixed-use development?

 

Knowing how history has played out, is there any chance we end up with a "new" giant parking lot one block up from where the "old one" was, assuming the Weston Project sees its full build-out? Do you think re-development would be swift or is there a chance we'd be staring at another blank "hole" again for some time? I know this is trying to foresee the future because many factors could be at play here, but I'm just wondering if there is any insight by those of you that seem to have more expertise that would indicate one way or the other.

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What if this were to be built on the muni lots off of Marginal Road as a series of horizontal buildings.  This can connect to the RTA Waterfront Line an still connect to downtown restaurant and law offices.  It would definitely activate the transit system.  I know the lakefront plan adopted by the city proposed buildings to be buillt in those parking lots the City already owns

 

The city does want to develop the muny lots, but the ideas I've heard is that they want to sell them. That includes a new idea of adding a four-way intersection to the Shoreway at the east roadway into Burke's terminal and extending that roadway across the Shoreway to South Marginal Road.

 

 

I don't think it's so much about relocating it as it is about rebuilding it.  Simply because of its deteriorating condition.

 

Agreed. I think what's driving the desire for a new Justice Center is the new administration building on East 9th. If you go from that building and head over to the Justice Center, you go from the sleek, bright lines and latest building tech of the 21st century to a brutalist, dark dungeon of the 1970s. The contrast between these county buildings leaves some strong impressions. So now some of the most powerful politicians in Northeast Ohio -- Cuyahoga County judges -- want what the county leaders over on East 9th Street have. I've spent time in both buildings, especially many years in the Justice Center, and I can understand their feelings. I'm still trying to figure out the elevators in the new building! :)

 

 

This is thinking an extra step ahead...but assuming this thing moves in the next decade, what do you see as the best use of land on the giant parcel that is currently occupied by the justice center? New office tower? Mixed-use development?

 

Knowing how history has played out, is there any chance we end up with a "new" giant parking lot one block up from where the "old one" was, assuming the Weston Project sees its full build-out? Do you think re-development would be swift or is there a chance we'd be staring at another blank "hole" again for some time? I know this is trying to foresee the future because many factors could be at play here, but I'm just wondering if there is any insight by those of you that seem to have more expertise that would indicate one way or the other.

 

I could be wrong but I don't see the tower getting demolished. But we came very close to the Ameritrust tower being demolished. So, who knows? I'll bet its steel skeleton is still sound, but the interior buildouts and exterior skin might be replaced/modernized. I do see the jail buildings getting demolished, however, and possibly the CPD headquarters. But stranger things have happened. That long, bunker-like building along Rockwell in the east teens found new life as a technology center, with lots of a internet and telecommunications equipment in there. So perhaps the jails might find new life as a business incubator for start-up companies, or laboratories for a biotech company or a research facility for an advanced manufacturing firm. Anything is possible.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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What is the budget for transporting prisoners?  Back and forth?  Back and forth?  Sometimes multiple times a day.  I don't see the jail ever separating from the courts. 

 

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How many are out on bail during their trials? How many hearings are/can be handled by the accused's attorney present only or the accused present via video? How many cities have the courthouse/jail under the same roof?


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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While we are pondering a replacement and its location, I think one should consider adjacent parking availability.  In a post 9-11 world, I can't imagine either a courthouse or a police headquarters with a public parking facility beneath the building.

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While we are pondering a replacement and its location, I think one should consider adjacent parking availability.  In a post 9-11 world, I can't imagine either a courthouse or a police headquarters with a public parking facility beneath the building.

 

I was thinking about that too. But I think the siting and parking of public buildings is driven more by Oklahoma City and the first WTC bombings. However if you have a courthouse downtown and you put the parking deck next to it, that's a pretty big footprint. It limits the downtown locations where it can be put. That increases the likelihood of that the building would be put next to a public street which makes the building more vulnerable to a Ryder truck loaded with explosives. I think that's a bigger threat to a building than a car bomb placed inside a parking deck. Car bombs are inherently smaller, and the WTC parking deck absorbed the blast from a much larger rental van. Since then, all delivery vans and trucks that enter a public building's parking/loading area are usually subject to inspection anyway. So that's why I placed the police headquarters toward the back of the parking deck so that any vehicle large enough to contain enough explosives to damage the structural integrity of a building would instead wreck the front of the parking deck -- which I designed with convex-like angles to send more of the blast energy around the front of the structure than a flat front that would make its interior vulnerable to absorbing the blast force.

 

A similar design feature can be done to the front of the courthouse facing Public Square (or whatever street it is on). First it could be set back a little bit and then have the building's facade step up and away from the street as you go higher up in the structure. As for it's parking deck, most of it would not have the building above it. And the part that does is could have the elevators up to a jury lobby. So between that and the pedestrian/driveway area in front of the elevator lobby would leave no place for a parked car to damage the overhead structure. Besides, a parked car or minivan probably isn't large enough to contain enough explosives to cause failure to the load-bearing members of the structure. The part of the building that's above the parking deck is also angled in a convex way so if a car/van bomb does explode, it's energy is directed around the building and not into it.

 

Yes, I actually thought of this stuff as I came up with the massings. And again, those are just massings. The devil will ultimately be in the details. Of course, none of this means I know what I'm talking about when it comes to designing buildings and parking decks that can survive attacks that we can envision today. But I wanted you and others to know that I did take those morbid thoughts into account.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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Just a little update, mainly things we already know:

 

Cuyahoga County hires firms to determine future of Justice Center

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cuyahoga County will spend $62,500 to determine whether to keep or replace the 40-year-old Justice Center in downtown Cleveland.

 

The county's Board of Control, which includes County Executive Armond Budish and council members, agreed Monday to pay $50,000 to K2M Design to study options and $12,500 to the Thompson Hine law firm.

 

K2M, along with Osborne Engineering in 2014 completed an extensive assessment of the condition of the 2.29 million-square-foot Justice Center complex.

 

...

 

But the firms did not study the possibility of demolishing the entire complex and the cost to rebuild at another location.

 

Budish has said he wanted to examine all options.

 

Read More

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Was thinking more about this... If the county does decide on building a new Justice Center, it will be massive. I didn't appreciate how big that complex is until I wrote my blog on the potential new skyscrapers for downtown: http://neo-trans.blogspot.com/2016/01/cleveland-ready-to-scrape-skies-more.html

 

The Justice Center is 2.3 million square feet spread over a very large city block. When it was built, an alley through the middle of the block was vacated to make the block larger. And yet it still has no public parking within that block!

 

How big is 2.3 million square feet? No other single building downtown is as large. 925 Euclid is 1.4 million square feet. Key Tower is 1.5 million sf. Key Tower also has a 900-car underground parking garage. A parking space is about 320 square feet (including lanes, ramps, etc), so the parking garage adds nearly another 300,000 sf.

 

A new Justice Center's space needs could exceed 2.6 million square feet. Here's some assumptions:

 

+ The county is satisfied with the size of the existing 25-story courthouse tower's floorplates, which are about 30,000 sf each.

+ The county's most recent jail addition has optimally sized floorplates (it is actually very similar to each of the two existing jail blocks which look like a single building from the street) of 25,000 sf each.

+ There are 27 floors among three jail blocks and support facilities for the county jail.

+ That the Cleveland Police Department will not need more or less space than what is available in its 9-story, 324,000 sf headquarters.

+ That two garages, a public parking garage for 500 cars and an employee/storage garage for 500 cars, are desirable.

 

SINGLE TOWER: If all of these uses are stacked in a single building with parking that starts with floor plates of 35,000 sf (floors 1-18), shrinks to floorplates of 30,000 sf (floors 19-44), then shrinks further to floorplates of 25,000 sf (floors 45-71), that gives us an idea of how big the Justice Center is. BTW, such a building would fit on the Jacobs Group lot on Public Square.

 

However....

 

TWO TOWERS: I don't see the wisdom in putting all of these uses in the same building. I think they should be split up in two buildings -- a courts tower (with public parking) and a police/jail tower (with employee/storage parking) and be placed side-by-side.

 

Courts tower: lobby and parking (levels 1-6, average floorplates of 35,000 sf); courts, clerks, offices (6-30, average floorplates of 30,000 sf).

Police/sheriff/jail tower: lobby and parking (levels 1-6, average floorplates of 35,000 sf); CPD HQ (floors 7-19); sheriff/jail/support (floors 20-46, average floorplates of 25,000 sf).

 

The total number of floors is more in the two-building scenario because the parking area per level is less in both, and the overall police/jail tower is more slender. However this two-tower scenario would be more expensive to build. And by preferring two towers makes it less likely this could fit into the existing downtown central business district without demolitions or displacing existing major development plans, and would probably have to be built at the CBD's periphery instead.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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Nice write up KJP.  Not to nit pick but a parking space is typically 9'x18' so your square footage for the parking would be at least 2 to 2.5 times the estimate when including ramps and lanes.

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Thanks. Does that 9x18 figure include ramps and lanes?


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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KJP ... nice write up (and awesome artilce on the potential new skyscrapers)!

 

How big of a footprint do you think is reasonably needed to build a Justice Center?  3 acres?

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Depends if you want the parking deck(s) next to the building or within its vertical column(s). If everything is in a single tower, it could be as little as 3/4 of an acre. More likely, with two towers, we're looking at a minimum of 1.5 acres. But security related setbacks and parking in a separate structure or two, then yes we're potentially looking at 3 acres.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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Thanks. Does that 9x18 figure include ramps and lanes?

 

It does not.  Each space including drives and ramps is 320sf per space to determine a rough overall square footage.

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It does not.  Each space including drives and ramps is 320sf per space to determine a rough overall square footage.

 

Thanks. Data adjusted accordingly. In the two tower configuration, I made the parking deck pedestals wider and identical in size (and, as assumed, in design too) in the name of cost efficiency. The exterior facades of the parking decks could be different to easily identify the structures from street level.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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I still don't understand the logic of moving the JC from its current "prime real estate" location to open up that land to the Jacobs lot or anywhere in that vicinity.  I also think the talk of a tower or towers for anything other than the courtrooms is not going to happen.

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I still don't understand the logic of moving the JC from its current "prime real estate" location to open up that land to the Jacobs lot or anywhere in that vicinity.  I also think the talk of a tower or towers for anything other than the courtrooms is not going to happen.

 

It may not move. But I think the Cuyahoga County judges are jealous of their executive/council colleagues who have a nice shiny new building. Those judges may be the third largest base of political power in the county after county executive/council and Cleveland mayor/council.

 

If the court tower moves, the jails will move with it. Logistically, it just makes sense. And from a real estate perspective, if the courthouse tower is vacated, what investor/developer would want to buy it and redevelop it if an active county jail is still standing next to it? By the time anything gets built and opened, the newest jail addition will be 30 years old and the older, larger part will be 50 years old.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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Is the JC also City Hall?  I haven't lived in CLE for 35 years so I don't quite remember.  Why couldn't a new City Hall/JC Complex be combined into a great statement like Toronto?

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They are separate buildings. The existing City Hall is a gorgeous building that turns 100 years old this year.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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^^JC is a county facility (except for the CPD HQ). Cleveland City Hall is a beautiful 1910's Beaux Arts building that is a crucial part of the Group Plan and isn't going anywhere.

 

[KJP beat me to it]

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What's the possibility of the hypothetical new Justice Center being built on the former Horseshoe Phase II site? That's a very large stretch of land, and a new Justice Center could almost completely fill it in, and create a new street wall along W. Huron.

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^That would make a helluva lot more sense than the Jacobs' lot on PS.

 

I still don't understand the logic of moving the JC from its current "prime real estate" location to open up that land to the Jacobs lot or anywhere in that vicinity.  I also think the talk of a tower or towers for anything other than the courtrooms is not going to happen.

 

It may not move. But I think the Cuyahoga County judges are jealous of their executive/council colleagues who have a nice shiny new building. Those judges may be the third largest base of political power in the county after county executive/council and Cleveland mayor/council.

 

If the court tower moves, the jails will move with it. Logistically, it just makes sense. And from a real estate perspective, if the courthouse tower is vacated, what investor/developer would want to buy it and redevelop it if an active county jail is still standing next to it? By the time anything gets built and opened, the newest jail addition will be 30 years old and the older, larger part will be 50 years old.

 

I agree that the jail will likely move with the courtrooms.  But your post wasn't really responsive.  My understanding was that a huge driving factor for this move would be to open up that land for redevelopment.  If so, why move it to another lot which is just as prime? 

 

FWIW, I don't think it is the judges so much pushing for this as it is the lawyers and administrative staff.  The Judges have separate access and nice offices.  They don't have to deal with all the riff-raff in the common areas. 

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I agree that the jail will likely move with the courtrooms.  But your post wasn't really responsive.  My understanding was that a huge driving factor for this move would be to open up that land for redevelopment.  If so, why move it to another lot which is just as prime? 

 

I didn't understand your post. Now I do. I wouldn't move it to a prime real estate location, but instead to a fringe location. I'm working on something. :)

 

FWIW, I don't think it is the judges so much pushing for this as it is the lawyers and administrative staff.  The Judges have separate access and nice offices.  They don't have to deal with all the riff-raff in the common areas. 

 

I've heard judges (and many others) complain about the condition of the building, not so much the clientele. Its design, layout, people circulation, and even its air quality seems to take a little bit from your life for each hour spent there.

 

EDIT: this site plan is based on the square footage and footprint of the building. It assumes no setbacks/tapering as each structure gets taller. If there are setbacks/tapering of the buildings in the upper floors, then the buildings would be taller. I placed the courthouse tower closer to Euclid to be nearer to existing office buildings, restaurants and the HealthLine. The police/jail tower would be close to I-90 because of the highway's noise and the building's general lack of interaction with its surroundings (although employees could walk to restaurants north/west of the building for lunch). The parking deck for employees and visitors is in between-- there could separate vehicular entrances, ramps and parking sections for visitors and for employees within the deck. An enclosed walkway for prisoners/police/guards between the jail and the courthouse tower would run across the top of the parking deck and not be accessible to/from the deck. A walkway level below the prisoner passageway between the parking deck and courthouse tower would be for employees. Visitors going between the deck and the courthouse tower would go down to street level and walk across a plaza, possible with a covered but not enclosed sidewalk, into a security checkpoint in the courthouse tower's lobby. I couldn't remember what the footprint will be for the Salvation Army's new structure on Prospect so I left a little bit of room there for it. The plazas around the courthouse tower are to provide a place for employees to take breaks outside of the building as well to provide security/buffering. The two sections of courthouse tower next to streets (14th as well as Prospect) would not allow parking next to them and the lower floors next to those two streets only would have no windows. There would however, be a significant glassy lobby facing out at a plaza at the corner of 14th and Prospect. That would be the courthouse tower's main entrance and public area.

 

This concept also assumes the proposed 30-story apartment building at Euclid/East 17th is built. When passing by Cleveland on I-90, downtown would now look like it has three groups of skyscrapers -- Public Square, East 9th and now Playhouse Square...

 

24381065931_352d0d61fa_b.jpgJustice Center replacement1 by Ken Prendergast, on Flickr


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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I really like this location KJP.  I pass by that peninsula created by 14th/18th/Prospect everyday and wonder if that collection of buildings will ever be re-developed.  This would really anchor development potential to the south and east of downtown nicely and maybe lead to some better connections between Playhouse Square and Gateway.

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Salvation Army is currently building a family shelter on half of what you're proposing for the parking garage.

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Salvation Army is currently building a family shelter on half of what you're proposing for the parking garage.

 

OK. So a slightly taller parking garage on a smaller footprint.


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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Salvation Army to launch $35 million construction program

 

"The new Zelma George Emergency Family Shelter will go on property the Salvation Army acquired earlier this year next to Harbor Light, which serves as a half-way house and homeless shelter. The 29,044-square-foot building will cost $9.7 million to construct."

 

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20151102/NEWS/151109987/salvation-army-to-launch-35-million-construction-program

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What's the possibility of the hypothetical new Justice Center being built on the former Horseshoe Phase II site? That's a very large stretch of land, and a new Justice Center could almost completely fill it in, and create a new street wall along W. Huron.

 

I feel like this area along the river is much better utilized for recreational purposes. Phase II of the casino would fit in beautifully there if designed well. If the river is truly our waterfront than the Justice Center is probably the last thing you want there.

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Salvation Army to launch $35 million construction program

 

"The new Zelma George Emergency Family Shelter will go on property the Salvation Army acquired earlier this year next to Harbor Light, which serves as a half-way house and homeless shelter. The 29,044-square-foot building will cost $9.7 million to construct."

 

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20151102/NEWS/151109987/salvation-army-to-launch-35-million-construction-program

 

Yep...

 

Salvation_Army_02.jpg

 

Salvation_Army_04.jpg


"Your community is your commodity, my commodity & everyone's commodity." -- borrowing on silly slogans in Cleveland's Ohio City

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