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Cleveland: Justice Center Complex Replacement

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Cuyahoga County judges feel left out of talks about relocating Justice Center

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Five Cuyahoga County judges want a say in the future of the downtown Justice Center as the county decides whether to reallocate from the 40-year-old building at Ontario Street and Lakeside Avenue.

 

The judges issued an open letter Friday admonishing Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish's decision to hire an outside agency to examine the construction of a new justice center without consulting the building's judicial tenants.

 

"It would be advisable, when deciding whether it is feasible to replace the Justice Center, to sit down with the stakeholders to discuss what their primary needs would be for a new complex," the letter says.

 

 

http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2016/03/cuyahoga_county_judges_feel_le.html#incart_m-rpt-1

 

That destroys a theory of mine that the judges were driving the justice center replacement out of envy for the county council's new administration building. I figured the judges were pushing for their own new building.

 

I'm glad the judges spoke up, though probably at the behest of their defense attorney patrons who financially sustain their re-election campaigns. This means the justice center will probably stay downtown, and hopefully within or next to the primary office districts.


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

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Very glad the judges are speaking up about the importance of keeping the center downtown. There's so many jobs and activity tied to it, that moving it out would leave a huge hole to fill. Makes me nervous that there's even rumors of moving it out of downtown or incredibly even out of the city of Cleveland. Have they learned nothing? All the good things happening downtown, why try and shoot ourselves in the foot now?

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Wait---is Budish considering moving the justice center function OUT OF downtown? If so, that's a real problem if the head of the county is thinking along those lines. For all the faults of Fitzgerald, he at least got that Downtown is the center of the region and we should be investing in it.

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Budish is Jewish, and liberal. Beachwood say hello to your new neighbors. lol.

 

Yes, I'm sure the residents of Beachwood are clamoring for a new jail to be built in their city.

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The county executive is a politician. Politicians keep their options open. Keeping one's options open means considering all of the alternatives they can think of. At the conclusion of the search, when someone ultimately criticizes their decision, they can say they properly vetted it before deciding on it.

 

And when it the process is over, the new justice center and jail will still be built downtown or on the fringe of downtown because that's what makes the most sense logistically and politically.


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

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I've heard talk of moving it to Rockside Rd.  Not official talk, just legal community grapevine.  I don't think anyone currently believes that will happen.  Sounds like a political non-starter.  But it also sounds like many lawyers would prefer to move it, for their own personal convenience. 

 

County seats are typically in the center of the county on purpose, but that was for rural areas with the population evenly spread.  The same purpose would be thwarted by that arrangement in a coastal city, with people concentrated toward one edge of the county.

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Judges, county officials meet about future of Justice Center

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cuyahoga County judges, concerned about the future of the Justice Center, said they had a productive meeting Thursday with Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.

 

Budish met with Court Administrative Judge John J. Russo and Cleveland Municipal Court Administrative Judge Ronald Adrine, according to a statement. All agreed to share information.

 

 

 

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/04/judges_and_county_officials_me.html

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Replacing Justice Center could cost more than $1 billion, says former Cuyahoga County architect

By Karen Farkas, cleveland.com

on August 11, 2016 at 11:28 AM, updated August 12, 2016 at 8:38 AM

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio - The former Cuyahoga County architect said a consultant grossly underestimated the cost to replace the Justice Center complex. He estimates a cost of $1 billion, rather than $575 million.

 

Berj Shakarian, who supervised renovation and construction projects for 32 years, maintains that the 40-year-old complex is in fair, not poor condition. He said it would cost millions less than consultants suggest for maintenance and repairs that could extend the building's life at least 25 years.

 

Consultants based a replacement estimate of about $575 million on what is called the "rough order of magnitude," which is basically a guess that could be 50 percent higher or 50 percent lower, Shakarian said.

 

MORE:

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/08/replacing_justice_center_could.html#incart_river_home_pop


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

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I tend to agree with Berj Shakarian about tearing down the current JC.  We all know and agree that it isn't the BEST looking building or complex to say the least.  That goes without question.  What should be brought into question- besides the potential cost of building a new complex and the location of where a new complex would be built, is what happens to the land at W. 3rd and Lakeside.  I'm not confident, at all, about a developer having instant interest and the clout to build something significant at the intersection.  The JC takes up an entire city block of downtown- a rather large block at that.  40 years after the demolition of a large part of downtown which created the Parking-Lot District, there's PLANS for construction on those lots, finally.  I, personally, am against the large-scale demolition of the JC without seeing demoand for a larger portion of the remaining lots downtown.  The Tower City Complex is still unfinished for crying out loud- some 80 years later.  Don't tell me that moving the JC is a necessity, especially when it could cost over $1 billion to do.

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I tend to agree with Berj Shakarian about tearing down the current JC.  We all know and agree that it isn't the BEST looking building or complex to say the least.  That goes without question.  What should be brought into question- besides the potential cost of building a new complex and the location of where a new complex would be built, is what happens to the land at W. 3rd and Lakeside.  I'm not confident, at all, about a developer having instant interest and the clout to build something significant at the intersection.  The JC takes up an entire city block of downtown- a rather large block at that.  40 years after the demolition of a large part of downtown which created the Parking-Lot District, there's PLANS for construction on those lots, finally.  I, personally, am against the large-scale demolition of the JC without seeing demoand for a larger portion of the remaining lots downtown.  The Tower City Complex is still unfinished for crying out loud- some 80 years later.  Don't tell me that moving the JC is a necessity, especially when it could cost over $1 billion to do.

 

I'm not opposed to tearing the JC down. In fact, I would rather they tear it down. But I'm not opposed to them rebuilding it in the same place, eliminating what you were talking about. Maybe they can do a deal similar to how they did county headquarters, where they don't own the building and just lease it from a developer. Could save a lot of money in terms of recurring costs that way. They can also build a new justice center to have at least some retail (light restaurants, etc) so that it contributes to the neighborhood around it. There's a lot of things that could be done if we're creative

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I tend to agree with Berj Shakarian about tearing down the current JC.  We all know and agree that it isn't the BEST looking building or complex to say the least.  That goes without question.  What should be brought into question- besides the potential cost of building a new complex and the location of where a new complex would be built, is what happens to the land at W. 3rd and Lakeside.  I'm not confident, at all, about a developer having instant interest and the clout to build something significant at the intersection.  The JC takes up an entire city block of downtown- a rather large block at that.  40 years after the demolition of a large part of downtown which created the Parking-Lot District, there's PLANS for construction on those lots, finally.  I, personally, am against the large-scale demolition of the JC without seeing demoand for a larger portion of the remaining lots downtown.  The Tower City Complex is still unfinished for crying out loud- some 80 years later.  Don't tell me that moving the JC is a necessity, especially when it could cost over $1 billion to do.

 

I'm not opposed to tearing the JC down. In fact, I would rather they tear it down. But I'm not opposed to them rebuilding it in the same place, eliminating what you were talking about. Maybe they can do a deal similar to how they did county headquarters, where they don't own the building and just lease it from a developer. Could save a lot of money in terms of recurring costs that way. They can also build a new justice center to have at least some retail (light restaurants, etc) so that it contributes to the neighborhood around it. There's a lot of things that could be done if we're creative

 

I don't know how they could physically rebuild the Justice Center in the same space.  All the inmates and courtrooms would have to go somewhere during construction.  The facilities needed to house them are completely unique, so you couldn't just rent out unused office space and put inmates or courtrooms in it.  It seems that if any major changes are going to happen to the JC, a new facility would have to be constructed elsewhere.

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I never saw this as all that practical.  It's something to plan for long-term perhaps, but nothing that is going to happen in the next decade.

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^^The building is essentially four quarters. It shouldn't have to be all demolished and rebuilt at once.  The tough one would be the first quarter, because whatever is in there would probably have to be relocated temporarily offsite.  After that they should be able to plan the phases in such a way that existing functions will be consolidated as they go.  They'd end up with some extra land, too, most likely.  No reason to have two prison towers, for example.  Maybe the courts and police headquarters go into one building, too.  Maybe it all goes in one building.  I don't know, but it seems like it should be possible to rebuild on site.

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He disputes the argument that the Justice Center sits on prime property for development.

 

"(Cleveland) City Hall is prime property too," he said "Do you want to tear that down?"

 

Perplexing comment from Mr. Shakarian. Is there anyone here who feels that the Justice Center is on par architecturally with City Hall? Because that seems to be where he's coming from.

 

 

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What is interesting was reading the old newspaper articles from the presentation that was attached to the recent article. Apparently the exterior was supposed to have been steel and glass but it wasn't until late in the game that the Fine Arts Committee recommended  that the Architect hire an outside consultant who then changed it to the drab horrid exterior we see today.  There were no renderings of the steel and glass version but it probably would have looked much better.

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Couldn't the courts, police HQ and jails be relocated, but rather than demolishing and building from scratch, the current Justice Center structure be re-purposed?  It's a gigantic structure and could make for a lot of apartments with ground-level retail built out to the curb.  The current small, ugly windows could be redesigned and softened to make the building look more attractive blending in with the pinkish color.  Look at the difference, and softening, the window treatments have done for the old silver-box Federal Building.  It would just seem that re-purposing the JC would be a lot cheaper than demolishing/ground-up build.

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If they want to rebuild on-site, I think it could be done if they relocate the prison portion somewhere else, and then rebuild the police HQ and courts in the former space occupied by the prison complex. That would leave half of the block open for private development.

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How many law firms in Beachwood or Chagrin Highlands are walking distance from wherever you'd suggest building the county jail, common pleas court, police headquarters, and whatever else the Justice Center hosts. Lame lame LAME fake anger there.

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This is a county jail so why not build the jail portion in let's say Beachwood or Chagrin Highlands...oh yeah...NIMBY

 

Except there is already a jail there (on Harvard).  Nice try though. 

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If building a new Justice Center and tearing down the old is going to be anywhere near that much, forget about it. It's not worth the financial burden for a county that is shrinking and already facing budget shortfalls (medicare sales tax) and bond burdens with MetroHealth also needing rebuilt. Metro, imo, is a much more worthy project for limited dollars. Unless repairing the problems in the current JC come out to the same price or more, and there's someone knocking on the door to take that property, then leave it where it is.

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This is a county jail so why not build the jail portion in let's say Beachwood or Chagrin Highlands...oh yeah...NIMBY

 

Except there is already a jail there (on Harvard).  Nice try though. 

 

Exactly! Plenty of room over there for expansion.

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I still support the idea of setting up a deal similar to how we did county headquarters. Could save a lot of money if we're not responsible for maintaining it

 

There are a few reasons why the two situations don't seem comparable.  First, the facilities needed for a jail and courtrooms are uniquely suited to governmental uses.  They are not structures that private businesses would want to rent out farther down the line, unlike the office space in the county headquarters building, which can easily be converted.  A private developer only got involved in building office space for the county because there was a solid tenant lined up, and then once the county's lease is up the owner can either re-sign the county, or lease it to someone else.  The same flexibility is not possible with jails and courtrooms, there are no other tenants for these facilities.  Second, jail and courtroom facilities are a lot more expensive per square foot than regular office space due to security needs.  Thus, a private investor is not going to want to put up these higher costs.

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One point you missed about the Geis/County HQ deal is that the county has an option to buy the property for $1 at the end of the lease, which they will more than likely take. The same type of deal could be done for a new justice center.

 

 

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This is a county jail so why not build the jail portion in let's say Beachwood or Chagrin Highlands...oh yeah...NIMBY

 

Cleveland is the County Seat & administrative center of Cuyahoga County. The the office can be relocated upon the approval of the County Administration, but why would they move things out to a place that's inconvenient to everyone but the few who live in that neck of the woods; EATON anybody?

311.06 Location of sheriff's office.

(A) The sheriff's office shall be maintained at the county seat of justice, or at another location as provided in division (B) of this section, in such rooms as the board of county commissioners provides for that purpose. Such office shall be furnished with all necessary furniture, blankbooks, stationery, and blanks at the expense of the county.

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Since moving the Justice Center is not an option being considered seriously by anyone actually involved in the decision making process lets move on.

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One point you missed about the Geis/County HQ deal is that the county has an option to buy the property for $1 at the end of the lease, which they will more than likely take. The same type of deal could be done for a new justice center.

 

Correct

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Since moving the Justice Center is not an option being considered seriously by anyone actually involved in the decision making process lets move on.

 

?


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

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Clarity, logic and transparency are needed in planning future of Justice Center (photos)

By Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer

Follow on Twitter

on September 14, 2016 at 8:05 AM, updated September 14, 2016 at 8:13 AM

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio - It's easy to hate the 40-year-old Justice Center in downtown Cleveland, a midcentury modern court, police and jail complex whose future is being debated by Cuyahoga County.

 

Designed in the Brutalist style popular in the 1960s and '70s, the center, at Ontario Street and Lakeside Avenue, includes a 26-story tower with 44 courtrooms and adjacent lower wings that house the city's police headquarters and two monumental jails.

 

It's vast, gloomy, confusing and aging badly.

 

More at: http://www.cleveland.com/architecture/index.ssf/2016/09/clarity_logic_and_transparency.html#incart_river_home

 

Still against it!  :whip:  :-)

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I dunno. I thought this part was pretty persuasive...

 

The cost of doing nothing

 

The need to reach a persuasive conclusion is urgent. A report completed in 2014 by consultants led by Cleveland-based Osborn Engineering Co. said that merely maintaining the court tower, a central atrium, the two jails and the city's police headquarters over the next 10 years would cost nearly $179 million.

 

If the county simply paid that bill and did nothing else, it would have a 50-year-old facility that would face the same options in 10 years that it does today – extensive renovation or replacement – but at an even higher cost.


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

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I think they should pick up the entire thing and move it to Dallas.  Hell the Cleveland Justice Center's sister buildings are Dallas City Hall and Library.

 

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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^ I googled the two buildings mentioned and I wish I didn't. My god those buildings are hideous. How do let a city hall building look so ugly? It also seems incredibly isolated.

 

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk

 

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