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Cleveland: Random Development and Construction

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Thanks. But that article probably belongs in "Grander Vision for the Inner Belt" rather than here. If you want to post it there, that's cool with me. But I won't post my own articles on this forum. It's a little too much "Terrell Owens" syndrome for me!


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I saw the online article.  Living in Cleveland Hts, I haven't been able to access the West Side Sun News print edition.  What does the other article discuss?

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The other article I was referring to was a basic recap of the great success of the Warehouse District CDC, as well as developers and architects, who have helped reshape the Warehouse District.  It's a very positive article about things past, present and future...

 

I don't believe there's a digital edition, but I'd be happy to type up a couple of the highlights.  KJP?

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That's fine.

 

By the way, the Brooklyn Sun Journal was able to also fit a color satellite view of the Inner Belt bridge plus some lines and data I added to indicate the routing for the new bridge on the southern alignment. I'll post that view when I get home later tonight.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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This was included in a recent mailing from The Avenue. Probably won't be too substantial, but you never know!

 

WJW- Fox 8 Special

Check out Zaremba President, Nathan Zaremba on WJW- Fox 8 Cleveland on November 12th at 1:00.  Fox 8 Cleveland will be featuring a television special on the developmental changes taking place in Downtown Cleveland.  Mr. Zaremba will be speaking on The Avenue District project. Don't miss this chance to hear Mr. Zaremba share his thoughts and vision for the new residential development project.

 

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What exact avenue is the Avenue named after.

 

This kinda confuses me, because the mall at Tower City is named the Avenue.  But since noone shops there, I may be the only one confused.

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I remember the jingle for Tower City advertising "Meet me on the Ave-nuuuue" back in the early 1990s, but I don't think anyone ever really called it that. It was always just "Tower City."

BTW, I think people exaggerate Tower City's plight. It's not the wasteland you'd think it was hearing Clevelanders talk. It's just transformed from being a place meant to lure suburbanites to being something more functional: an urban shopping center catering to mostly city residents. So instead of Hugo Boss you have Payless.

Also, remember that Tower City is essentially a regional mall -- and regional malls are dying all across the country, not just in downtown Cleveland.

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The only thing that really gets me down about Tower City's current state of affairs is the early closing time.  It would be nice if the mall was open late enough that I could actually use it after work.  Instead it closes at six.  And don't forget the Dollar Store.  Downscale urban retail is one thing, but a dollar store is just sad.

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Or are you just mad that we didn't have fireworks to celebrate your 1500th post? :-D

 

Nah. Besides, I considered 1,000 was worth celebrating more. Or was it when I reached Key Tower status?


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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What exact avenue is the Avenue named after.

 

This kinda confuses me, because the mall at Tower City is named the Avenue.  But since noone shops there, I may be the only one confused.

 

One is "the Avenue  at Tower City".  Most people just call it "TowerCity" although some folks still refer to it as Union Terminal or terminal tower.  The housing developement is "The Avenue District".  And Tower City is not dead. 

 

It went from a High End mall to a functioning mall for the what is in the area.  As more people populate the area the need and want for higher end stores will come - well actually the demand is there now.  TowerCity changed but I know things for it and Euclid avenue will improve.  There are too many housing projects in the works and people want to be able to walk to get what they need.  Not drive anywhere.  but don't ge me started......

 

I'm sure (rather guess) once the residencies of the Avenue District are built, each building will have it's own unique name.

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Instead it closes at six.  And don't forget the Dollar Store.  Downscale urban retail is one thing, but a dollar store is just sad.

 

Yes, both good points. It does close too early and the Dollar Store is taking things a little too far. However, I agree with TwoSense... things will look up for Tower City as downtown becomes more populated -- ESPECIALLY if we can ever manage to build on those parking lots across from Public Square. Buildings there would make the walk from the Warehouse District to Lower Euclid much less depressing.

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MTS and B12 are right on the money...Tower City has shifted to suit its demographics and there's nothing wrong with that.  Personally, I'd prefer to see Banana Republic and Hugo Boss and all sorts of high-end stuff down there, but realistically, I'd probably never shop there unless they had killer sales racks!  One thing that appears to be missing is an Old Navy... If you look at NYC and Brooklyn in particular, the "urban" malls that cater to a more Downtown Cleveland type of population all feature Old Navy.  Again, I probably wouldn't shop there, but I'd bet it would do quite well in Tower City. 

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They're going for a Park Avenue feel at the Avenue District, they want it to be the area for upscale folks who want to live downtown, but don't want to be right on top of the noisy entertainment districts.  I think the "Avenue" moniker is meant to inspire thoughts of a Park Avenue lifestyle. 

 

Still, it is a little confusing, even though everyone refers to it simply as "Tower City," it still refers to itself as the Avenue at Tower City.  I think they should have named the Avenue District something else.  We should create our own Park Avenue with a uniquely Cleveland name and feel.  But I think it will be successful with the crowd it's marketing itself to, due to its proximity to Playhouse Square, clubby places like the Union Club and the CAC, and the East 9th business corridor.  I hope they are able to link East 12th to Playhouse Square in a way that makes it feel like part of the same neighborhood.  That, and completing Perk Park for the rich ladies to walk their poodles should be priorities.

 

 

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PS: on the name "Avenue District"... the way it was described is that it fits in between several of Cleveland's premiere avenues: St. Clair, Rockwell, Superior, Payne, Chester.  So, it's a reference to that.

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I agree with everyone about Tower City, that its future prospects are linked to the downtown population's growth and demographics.  However, what impact do you think that placing the Convention Center on the TC site would have on TC?  Would we see an instant improvement in the retail offerings?

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They're going for a Park Avenue feel at the Avenue District, they want it to be the area for upscale folks who want to live downtown, but don't want to be right on top of the noisy entertainment districts.  I think the "Avenue" moniker is meant to inspire thoughts of a Park Avenue lifestyle.

 

I think you're exactly right, Ewoops. Especially considering the latest e-mail update from The Avenue (sent yesterday) referred to the project as "our quiet urban neighborhood." Not exactly what I would look for in city living, but I can see the need for such a place, especially if we want to get older folks living in the city.

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I don't disagree about why they called it the Avenue District, it's a matter of the "feel" they were trying to create by naming it after those avenues.  It doesn't really work for me, because they're naming it after east-west avenues when the neighborhood already has a distinctively north-south stroll appeal, due to the lineage of Reserve Square, Chesterfield, and Statler Arms, not to mention the Lake at one end and Playhouse Square at the others.

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I've said before and I'll say it again - I don't think we'll ever see Tower City's retail mix return to the days of Gucci, Fendi, Barneys, etc. I really think that a healthy mix of moderate stores (Gap, Old Navy, etc.) and "better" outlet stores. Outlet malls offer approachable price points for lower-income residents but they also draw people with disposable income who like bargains. As it stands the only outlet malls are in far-flung areas like Aurora and Lodi - I think Tower City would benefit from that approach. I've never been to a Mills mall but from what I understand, they have a good handle on how to get the right mix of retailers to make such a project work.

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I agree with everyone about Tower City, that its future prospects are linked to the downtown population's growth and demographics.  However, what impact do you think that placing the Convention Center on the TC site would have on TC?  Would we see an instant improvement in the retail offerings?

 

We might initially see higher-end offerings at TC if the convention center were placed there, but I think they would quickly go dark as it became apparent that the center proved not to be the economic stimulus we were hoping for. Just look at what's happening in Pittsburgh. High-end stores couldn't survive on a couple of conventions a year!

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yeah, if they had an "outlet" for several major retailers, I'd be down there quite a bit!  I've had lots of issues with finding simple things like pots and pans and cutting boards within walking (and transit) distance of my home in Ohio City and if there were some outlet stores that had those sorts of things in TC, I'd be there in a sec!  I'm not talking National Wholesale Liquidators or anything...just Williams Sonoma, J Crew, etc. selling things that are just fine at a better price!

 

Also, anyone know those shops in London that have very modest store sizes, but sell things like full kitchen sets and the like.  You go in and they have several displays available and catalogs to flip through and then you pick your items and they have them either shipped in the next day from a local warehouse or they pull them out from a very efficient back room.  It's a much better use of space than keeping all your stock out on the floor.  One I remember was Argos...

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Would the CC, in conjunction with an attached casino (at the old Higbee's building, thereby forcing conventioners to walk through the mall to get to the casino) make any difference?  I can see wives shopping while their husbands gambled.  It seems like the combination of the CC, a casino, and the attached hotels would make it a weekend shopping and gambling destination, and might even help the city attract a few more conventions.

 

I guess this is a moot point unless Ohio approves casino gambling at some point in the near future.

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Yes, I can see that combo working to enliven Tower City, at least temporarily. Yet I still can't bring myself to support gambling downtown. For one thing, we would again be relying on outsiders (tourists and suburbanites) to revitalize the center city, and that approach has failed again and again. It generates a kind of "empty energy" that creates the appearance of vitality for a while but tapers off as the novelty fades. (See the stadiums, Rock Hall, Tower City.) I don't think downtown will ever truly come back until it manages to become a mixed-use neighborhood with a significant number of full-time residents. And IMO a casino would scare off more potential residents than it would attract.

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^I agree blinker12.  I'm afraid casinos downtown would just be a quick fix and would not add to its sustainability.  I also fear that it would push downtown toward only being a fun place on weekend nights instead of being a 24/7 live/work/play location.

 

Re: the CC, if Jackson wins does it seem like a 'sure thing' (as much as a 'sure thing' can exist here) that it will be behind Tower City?

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Aside from the argument that casinos and gambling can bring with them all sorts of unwanted  social and economic side effects, I think that B12's argument is the most sound one for opposing a Downtown Cleveland casino.  As it is, it's tough to convince people that Downtown is more than just a place to spend your 9-5 and maybe hang out for a game or a show.  On the weekends, the bars and clubs are overwhelmed with people who don't give a rat's ass about the residents who live upstairs.  If we want to bring Downtown's population over the 10,000 mark (not including our neighbors with a view from the Justice Center!), we're going to have to create neighborhoods based around amenities and community, not gambling and night clubs. 

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Re: the CC, if Jackson wins does it seem like a 'sure thing' (as much as a 'sure thing' can exist here) that it will be behind Tower City?

 

Interesting question.  He may support that location personally, but it really isn't the Mayor's decision.  The Convention Facilities Authority is charged with that task and has members appointed by the Mayor and County (and elsewhere?).  Jackson may be able to change the representation in that body if he wins, but that won't necessarily make the difference. 

 

Bottom line there is that a lot of facts still need to present themselves before they recommend a site.  And from where I sit, I just can't see the facts leading anyone to choose the TC site!

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Not that I'd call KS FJ's "right hand man" just yet, but it's true that KS is a big player as he is already on the CFA and supports the mall site.

 

I will correct my earlier post, by the way, by indicating that the Mayor and Council President have two appointed members each on the CFA, so the dynamic could change, but we likely already know who the future mayor (Jane or Frank) will put on the committee.

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Silliman, per a conversation last week, is not 100% behind the Mall Site.  He is leaning that way, but said that he could be convinced otherwise should Forest City commit to a world class design and to keeping up and improving Tower City.

 

I'm not sold on casino gambling, but think that other big ticket projects, while their economic impact is questionable, are not failures and have had a huge psychological impact on downtown.  I agree that projects geared toward tourists and suburbanites should take secondary position behind those geared toward existing and potential residents, but wouldn't want to imagine what downtown would look like had the stadiums, Playhouse Square (another big ticket project geared toward tourists and suburbanites) and other big ticket projects not taken place. 

 

Companies and people locate downtown in part because they want to be near the action.  Without those projects, many more businesses might have given up on downtown, and there just aren't that many people willing to make a reverse commute in order to live downtown.  I think we would have less residents and businesses in the area.  While there may have been wiser public investments, I don't know that the necessary political will and capital existed to get them done. 

 

Further, these are the type of mixed uses that make downtown neighborhoods unique.  I'm not saying they're a cure-all, but their effects have been positive.  Even after the novelty has worn off, they attract millions of tourists into downtown every year, and tons of money coming into from outside of Cleveland proper.  That being said, this type of project should be done with in conjunction with residential neighborhood type projects, not instead of them.

 

 

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My gut reaction is to put casinos in a different pot from other big-ticket items (like the stadiums, the rock hall, E 4th entertainment, etc.), even if they are all marketing themselves to suburbanites.

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Well said, Ewoops. I guess I'm advocating a tip of the balance *toward* residential and neighborhood-type development downtown, with big-ticket tourist development taking a backseat. The legacy of the White years is that we now have a lot of downtown attractions to attract visitors. What we don't have is much to make people want to live there -- i.e. a healthy-looking retail district along Euclid, well-planned green space, for-sale and rental properties marketed to a range of income levels (not just high-end). The big-ticket stuff was a good first step in that it at least got people thinking positively about downtown again; now we need to cultivate something deeper.

Also, I believe we should nix projects that could be detrimental to "quality of life" downtown -- and I include the casino in that category. Show me a place where a casino exists in a desirable residential neighborhood, and I'll change my tune.

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I saw a large banner being unveiled today on the Landmark office towers.  It is on the red brick part that faces Ontario. It looks like it is of a basketbal player. Hmm, whoever could it be? :) 

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I agree with everyone about Tower City, that its future prospects are linked to the downtown population's growth and demographics.  However, what impact do you think that placing the Convention Center on the TC site would have on TC?  Would we see an instant improvement in the retail offerings?

 

In addition, when TC opened it had stores that needed round the clock shoppers not just office workers - and many of the stores in the mall had parent company's or franchisee in horrible financial situations. 

 

Barney's wanted to stay open in Cleveland and even signed a leasee to expand into the space next door to enlarge the mens store, but financially wasn't able to keep the amount of stores they had opened afloat, so they closed 2 stores in metro NYC, Houston & Cleveland. Gucci was going thru internal termoil as Tom Ford was just coming on but our store had the "old" gucci motif and very little clothing.  Next door, at LV the franchiseewent bankrupt as well as Adrienne Vittadini, who closed all her retail boutiques.  This information is from those that actually worked in the stores as I had many friends who were managers who were pissed that these stores failed.  Yet the media made it seem like it was Cleveland who couldn't support the stores when that was not true.    If you notice the restaurant collection at TC is doing VERY well at towercity even on non event nights.  TowerCity was like one big gay bar back in the day and you know...where the gays shop...the straight women will a follow! Stereotypical, yes.  But very true! 

 

The one HUGE difference between then and now is the CURRENT 10k + residents and the planned (approximate) 1100 apartments that Downtown Cleveland has.  Not to mention the two "surprise" projects, the cavs project and spotted condo's that pop up.

 

When TC opened I worked at SOHIO so everyday I was shopping even on the weekends, however, for the eastsiders still had the  Beachwood (area) Malls mostly inner city residents and westsiders shopped downtown.

 

Most people who worked at former stores blame the media (same with the flats) for spreading the "mall is dead" rumors instead of stating what really happened at each of those INDIVIDUAL stores.

 

TowerCity, the Galleria will rebound.

 

There is a current need for:

Home furnishing stores

Mens'/Womens & Children's fashions

Electronic/Photography/Techie Stores

Personal Services/Spas

Specialty Food Store

Teen stores/attractions

Childrens store and toy stores

Markdown and Outlet stores

Locally own shops/boutiques

 

I could go on.....

 

Cleveland HAD some of the best shopping in the country in its downtown and free standing stores will return, but how will they if the citizens aren't vocal about it.  I'm sure people would return to downtown to shop,  which would bring more housing and be a reason for tourist and special occasion shoppers (of all income levels) to come downtown, if we could get a retail corridor [say (public sq - to CSU on Euclid), Ontario to E. 14 (on Prospect & Huron) & Public Sq. to West 10 on Superior] up and running.  I'm sure more folks in the city proper would opt to shop downtown instead of trekking to a mall, if this type of development was put in place.  I hear all the time "we need better shopping downtown" or "better shopping downtown will bring people back".

 

There could be plenty of marketing tie-ins for tourist/conventions as the city would have another economic source/indicator added to its destination point status.

 

OK...Now you guys have got my creative juices flowing!

 

We could call our retail district "Millionaires Row".  Steeped in history of the city making stores of all price points safe since is will be located where people actually live and can easily get to.  Spin off ad/marketing/promotion dollars from hotels would help and this "special improvement district" could market itself to the businesses in the district and help pay for green space, benches, "ambassadors", securtiy, etc.  It could be our own Rodeo(LA), Fifth Ave (NYC), Magnificent Mile(CHI), Georgetown(DC), Lincoln Road(MIA), Newbury Street(BOS), since Euclid Avenue was around prior to all those other "retail destinations" sans Fifth Ave.  It would also create FOOT TRAFFIC and keep the street lively.

 

Ok im gonna work further develop this... :type:

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I just wanted to say that I walked to TC after work last night and all the stores were open until 7pm - some until 8.  I'd love them to be open later, but 7 is better than 6!  There were a good number of people shopping...

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could be...it seems like every other store in there is selling sporting goods and memorabilia!

 

YSOH...were the stores open normal hours or were they extended for this reason?

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While looking at the listing of store tenants at Tower City, I noticed that they're opening up a Kuhlman (men's shirts and ties) store sometime in the near future (it only said "opening soon").  While it may not make up for the loss of J. Crew and Banana Republic it's encouraging to see that not all of the new stores are along the lines of a Dollar Store.  I believe that the only other Kuhlman in the Cleveland Area is out at either Beachwood or Legacy.  Seems to be the store demographic is splitting two ways now, part of the mall is going the Brooks Brothers/Ann Taylor route, and the other half, well I think we've covered where the other half is going in terms of the caliber of retailer.

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i'm glad im not the only one who noticed the pathetic early closing time at tower city. sometimes i've seen stores close a lot earlier than they are supposed to....

 

question- that new parking garage....wasnt there supposed to be a condo or somethin built on top? anyone know the status of that?

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^when the price of materials go down and selling price of downtown condos go up, then you'll see something on top of that parking garage.

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Whats the deal with that old abandon hotel next to the news 8 building. You see it right when you get downtown, its a eye sore! Is anything going to be done to it? Thanks

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That's a former Howard Johnson's that opened in 1966. There was a developer a few years ago who was going to reopen it as a hotel, but 9/11 wounded the tourism economy and killed the hotel plan.

 

If we can take long-abandoned warehouses and redevelop them into housing, why not a hotel with a great view of the lake and downtown?


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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^the old hojo may be the perfect hotel for some entrepreneurial clevelanders to renovate into a hipster hotel for attracting the youth culture, rock hall guests and young business people. renovation of funky old motel hotels/motels is a big hospitality craze around the country. check it out:

 

http://www.budgettravelonline.com/bt-dyn/content/article/2005/06/04/AR2005060400804.html

 

hopewidea.jpg

 

in-1a.jpg

 

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