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Cleveland: Global Center for Health Innovation & Convention Center

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http://blog.cleveland.com/architecture/2008/08/the_proposal_to_locate_a.html

 

 

 

Worse still, backers of the convention center and medical mart proposal want to build a large new system of underground and overhead walkways to connect the new facilities at Tower City Center to the rest of downtown.

 

That's truly creepy.

 

The report released yesterday by civic leaders who recommended the Tower City location said that an efficient system of walkways "would be the only one in the country that could allow the business traveler from the airport to come directly to the new convention/medical mart complex and related amenities without confronting a challenging climate at any time during the year."

 

 

That quote makes me want to vomit in my mouth.

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lol 3231 I already posted that Steven Litt commentary article on the previous page, with the graphics. Can we get rid of one of them?

 

oops, sorry. I'll get rid of mine.

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The walkways idea, as far as that proposal goes, is poor, imo.

The new version of the convention center at TC, while preliminary, seems OK to me, but its hard to see if that layout will afford enough exhibit/meeting space.

I really hope that more public meetings are held, and planners are included in the process before the final decision is made.

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Too many people think that FCE is some sort of non-profit that should do whatever the public wishes. Corporations don't work that way. The directors would get sued and they'd all lose their jobs.

 

You are correct that the directors' first duty is to the shareholders, but benefit to the community can be taken into account as a factor in any decision without violating that fiduciary duty.  Certainly not the sole factor, but a factor nonetheless.

 

On the walkway issue, there needs to be some indoor connectivity, but mainly between the MM and the CC.... I just hope they don't over do it by adding other connections.  What needs to be done is better signage leading the way to the City's attractions.

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Yeah, I don't see the board of large convention saying, "well gee, where do we want to go this year? Well I'd really love to be able to spend 100% indoors and not take my coat."

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Does anyone know if the FCE proposal resolves the old infrastructure issues. From a 2005 PD article ("Tower City figures don't match") posted here:

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,1782.240.html

 

"In a recently completed comparison of the two sites, however, the city's planning commission cites upgrades that may be needed to maintain traffic flow around a riverfront center. For example:

 

"Reconstructing the closed Eagle Avenue viaduct for truck and car traffic could cost $11.5 million. (Forest City estimates the cost at $7.5 million.)

 

"Widening and reconstructing Canal Road could cost $10.1 million. (Forest City estimates $1.8 million.)

 

"Improving interstate access to the West Third Street and Canal Road area could cost $14 million. (Forest City's estimates did not include this element.)

 

"Accommodating additional traffic may require purchasing property on the west side of Ontario Street between Carnegie Avenue and Huron Road. (Cost estimates not available.) "

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Piling on...

 

Roldo Bartimole says that just the interest on the bonds for the $528 million will push the cost to Cuyahoga taxpayers over $1 billion.

 

"The cost is $526 million to be financed by the quarter-percent sales tax added by Commissioners Tim Hagan, Jimmy Dimora and Peter Lawson Jones without a vote by the public. (Jones didn't vote for it because they didn't need his vote but he's for it now. The same goes for his November opponent Bay Village Republican Mayor Deborah Sutherland whose dodgy advice is to be "extremely careful" with the deal, but she is not opposed to the project.)

 

That $526 million will not appear magically. Cuyahoga County will have to borrow the money (most of it - $461 million - needed quickly for construction). With interest until 2027 - duration of the bonds - we will have paid likely double - or nearly double - the $526-million.

 

There's your Billion dollars, folks. "

 

http://www.coolcleveland.com/index.php?n=Main.StoryNotAvailableAtOurBoughtNewsmedia

 

He raises some interesting points to go along with the questions raised above by other posters.  How is the water table being addressed at the riverfront site?  How was it addressed at Browns stadium, closer to the lake than the current convention center?  MMPI is only taking over two floors of the Higbee building -- how many jobs will that really create and is there an asbestos problem with the Higbee building?  This last question is disturbing because Nance didn't seem to know about asbestos in the Higbee building but thinks the county should pay to renovate the space for MMPI.

 

Finally, he makes a great point -- perhaps the county sales tax is better spent on RTA than MMPI & Forest City.

 

 

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"Finally, he makes a great point -- perhaps the county sales tax is better spent on RTA than MMPI & Forest City".

 

The more I read about this, and with the economic stormclouds looking pretty ominous on the horizon, I'm beginning to feel the same way. How much convention business will there really be with airlines continuing to fail/raising prices, the continuing unwinding of the absolute mess Wall St & the Fed have made in the financial markets, and the overall poor health of the economy. I'm probably going to get skewered on here for saying this, but so be it.

 

Where could $500+ million be best spent to maximize the benefits to CLEVELANDERS?

 

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Let's not become too short sighted. Economic conditions are cyclical, so today things may be rough, but tomorrow may be a better day. I'm  not trying to be overly optimistic. In my opinion, the MM may is not a silver bullet, but it will brand Cleveland as a medical industry hub. The potential spinoffs could be greater than the MM itself. Also, Roldo may a Cleveland legend, but it does not matter the project, Roldo always finds something wrong.  To be honest, I have never read a Roldo piece that supports a public project like this. As for maximzing the benefit for Clevelanders, I'm really not sure what project could do that. Maybe better funding for the RTA? Here is the reality: Cleveland needs to position itself in the global economy and the healthcare industry is our best bet.  However, I do have some deep concerns about this project.

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To maximize benefits to Clevelanders, the only way to go is with the old facility.  Clean it up, rehab it, put in the med mart and let's get the conventions coming.  If in 10 years it's an out-of-the park hit, we can put up the new facility.  Thanks to your politicians, we've all become Sim-City residents.  Build it and they will come.  Hooray! 

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"Finally, he makes a great point -- perhaps the county sales tax is better spent on RTA than MMPI & Forest City".

 

The more I read about this, and with the economic stormclouds looking pretty ominous on the horizon, I'm beginning to feel the same way. How much convention business will there really be with airlines continuing to fail/raising prices, the continuing unwinding of the absolute mess Wall St & the Fed have made in the financial markets, and the overall poor health of the economy. I'm probably going to get skewered on here for saying this, but so be it.

 

Where could $500+ million be best spent to maximize the benefits to CLEVELANDERS?

 

 

Yeah, that's right.  To hell with all those tourist and out-of-towners.  Lets close all the hotels; maybe the airport.  Make 'em show ID when they board RTA vehicles and, well, if they're not from Cleveland... 'You're outta here!'... Cleveland for Clevelanders!

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Well, at least you weren't overly dramatic in your response to a genuinely good point. :roll:

 

I think its a good point to question the viability of a half billion+ dollar investment into an industry that is likely to take a serious hit given structural changes in the economy.  Given the future prospects on oil prices and the effect that has on travel, will we have a viable convention industry in 10 years?  That's a good question to ask.

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Ok, is Litt misreading these skybridge ideas (they are horrible)?  How in the hell could there possibly be a need to have a bridge crossing over to E4th and there being a bridge landing in front of the Arcade?

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I think that Litt loses some legitimacy with this critique. He over-emphasizes or misrepresents some of the smaller points in order to make a case against the project as a whole. I just want to know whose apartment on E.4th is going to have a walkway straight to the Arcade.

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Litt obviously preferred the Mall site to, perhaps, satisfy the historical vision of the Mall as a functioning civic place.  Nothing wrong with that.  Daniel Burnham was a visionary as was Mayor Tom L. Johnson for carrying through Dan's plan – unlike no civic cluster in America outside of Washington, D.C.... But guys like Litt get ensnared by history too.  He often doesn't factor in the organic process of change that happens in every person (and a city is really a collective person)... It's like his argument for saving the Breuer Tower -- not because it is a potentially valuable skyscraper, but simply because it was Cleveland's only building Breuer built.... Likewise, Litt has tacitly bemoaned the Mall was never "finished" by not crowning it with the never-built passenger rail terminal... but did he consider a Cleveland with now Terminal Tower/Terminal Group (now TC), and probably no rapid transit, or Shaker Heights, or Shaker Square, etc.  Would Cleveland be better off without those things just to say we “completed” the Mall and, in so doing, blocked lakefront views and created the freight/passenger rail bottleneck that planners of the time warned of? .. The scale and uses of convention centers are a lot different than when Public Hall was built in the 1920s as is the transportation system – now, mostly jet airplanes rather than steam trains – to transport conventioneers into the town.

 

At the very least, Litt has the intellectual flexibility recognize the scaled back MM/TC plan has more potential for a positive visual statement than the top-heavy old plan he despised.  He's a very bright guy; one of the PD's better writers imho, and Lord knows, as much as we get mad with his sometimes negative barbs, we need a smart, non-native POV like his.  It's just sometimes his high intellect gets the best of him; paints him into a corner.

 

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Unbelieveable--the Tower City Convention Center could quite easily be the largest boondoggle in modern Cleveland history being pushed through by a group of commissioners who are under Federal investigation for corruption.  Yet no posts on this topic in the last 5 days....unreal!  :whip:

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Barring any new developments, what else can be said that wasn't in the previous 77 pages?


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Good point. That was a sloppy statement by cleburger.


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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For as long as I can remember I have been a strong proponent of building a new convention center.  I think I have finally changed my mind.  Combine the location, the "gerbil tunnels" that would spare the average conventioneer from actually stepping foot in Cleveland, Forest City's constant bait and switch with this deal, and the fact that nearly $500,000,000.00 could do wonders for community development.

 

Maybe I am just exhausted from the craptacular soap opera this has become, but now I think it will be more of a liability than a benefit.

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For as long as I can remember I have been a strong proponent of building a new convention center. I think I have finally changed my mind. Combine the location, the "gerbil tunnels" that would spare the average conventioneer from actually stepping foot in Cleveland, Forest City's constant bait and switch with this deal, and the fact that nearly $500,000,000.00 could do wonders for community development.

 

Maybe I am just exhausted from the craptacular soap opera this has become, but now I think it will be more of a liability than a benefit.

 

I agree. I would honestly rather they didn't even go through with it because I'm trusting the powers that be less and less as every day goes by.

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I can't believe people here.  Just because they didn't get their precious mall site, they now want the project to fail -- never mind that, if it does, you can kiss -- for one thing -- any prospect of the large scale hotel (hotels practically every other city has, including places like Milwaukee, Detroit and Indy, among others -- good bye.  And along with it, the prospect of us EVER getting any major, large-scale event (political convention, Super Bowl -- if we'd wise up to the 21st century and dome the stupid Browns Stadium -- or a Final 4, and many, many other national conventions I know, hate dealing w/ Cleveland's small downtown hotels)... I see this is childish... very Cleveland...

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I disagree with Punch.  I at least want to see a detailed rendering of the architechtural design before signaling the retreat.  Even then, I cannot imagine taking a pass on the opportunity

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Sports teams cannot save any city, least of all ours. And btw, I don't think we are down for the count. Sports teams are only part of what can give us cohesiveness. We need economic growth that doesn't have anything to do with sports. And I don't think we should spend money on a convention center now in a brand new location when we need our money in our neighborhoods. It makes no sense.

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I disagree with Punch.  I at least want to see a detailed rendering of the architechtural design before signaling the retreat.  Even then, I cannot imagine taking a pass on the opportunity

 

I fear for that day and the 8754 posts that follow.

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Clvlndr does bring up a fair point, IMHO: Why are some people talking now about how these funds could be used for neighborhood investment? I mean this process didn't start last week, kinda late in the game for this type of debate.

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Well I think its safe to say that people are losing faith.

 

Many people initially had high hopes and did support it, but with the continued incompetence by the county commissioners (Im choosing not to insert a list), as well as the disappointing location decison (to many), using very weak reasoning by a site selection committee that didnt include anybody with any urban planning abilities, to go with a plan that already seems will be an urban planner's fiasco, combined with an ever increasing price (that could have supported the current site) 

 

I would have to agree that if they are not using all of the best reasoning and logic for a massive decision like this, ignoring the bigger picture/not looking at the long term impact, there is probably a better use of funds, and I was a big supporter.  Even though I supported the current site, it wasnt totally impossible for me to be sold on the Tower City site if I thought they had valid reasons for wanting that site and a plan for the old site.       

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There was a post on the random Cleveland developments thread about the possibility of developing the land behind the Carl B. Stokes Courthouse. While the developer has backed out at least once before, I do think this may finally see the light of day if the Medical Mart and Convention Center does take foot, since it would be directly adajcent, possibly even connected underground, as is the case with Tower City being linked already to the Courthouse.

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Well I think its safe to say that people are losing faith.

 

Many people initially had high hopes and did support it, but with the continued incompetence by the county commissioners (Im choosing not to insert a list), as well as the disappointing location decison (to many), using very weak reasoning by a site selection committee that didnt include anybody with any urban planning abilities, to go with a plan that already seems will be an urban planner's fiasco, combined with an ever increasing price (that could have supported the current site)  

 

I would have to agree that if they are not using all of the best reasoning for decisions like this, (reasoning that looks at the bigger picture), with such lasting impact, that there is probably better use of funds, and I was a big supporter. Even though I supported the current site, it wasnt totally impossible for me to be sold on the Tower City site if I thought they had valid reasons for wanting that site and a plan for the old site.

 

I agree. For me, this isn't just about the convention center going to a less favorable site (in my opinion). This is about the politics behind it. I don't trust the commissioners any farther than I can throw them anymore. I don't trust them to make a good deal here.

 

Also, I just still have such difficulty understanding why a completely different site is better than re-utilizing the current site, and I think most Clevelanders will, too. From the beginning, the commissioners have pretty much always favored the Tower City site as the best site. I just wonder how much the current site was really looked at, even just numbers-wise. I wonder which one really is the better site.

 

But because of the fact that everything was done more or less behind closed doors, we'll probably never know. Because in the commissioners' minds, it was Tower City all along. And no one is asking questions. The PD sure isn't, and I think it's part of their responsibility. I can't put my finger on it, but I just don't trust the situation, and any excitement I initially had for this project has waned to a small flicker for me.

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This is the developer I was thinking of. I just don't see any correlation between the proposed development and the convention center.

 

EDIT: The article does say "mixed use" so possibly the Hotel component could be more attractive with a convention center connected. Possibly that is what bizbiz was alluding to.

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some of us haven't waited until NOW to say this. there is and has been quite a discussion about it for a year.  If you mean on Urban Ohio okay but there is a vast ethernet out there. And some of us have even spoken to our representatives and emailed the planning commission. 

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I'm glad to see that FCE's comments yesterday have livened up this thread but I'm also surprised. Did folks think FCE was going to discount the land price to the county for some unknown reason?

It's worth keeping in mind that once the appraisal is complete it should have very little bearing on the the final price. That number is determined by what the buyer is willing to pay; in other words market value. If FCE believes that land is worth $40 million they should put it up for sale and see if someone bites. My guess is they know they wouldn't get their number.

I'm certainly one of the many that feels the mall site is best, but I'm also one that believes this project must go forward even if it is in the wrong location. I'm in agreement with those that see this as a catalyst for other development, and an important step in solidifying Cleveland as a  hub of the health care industry. Perhaps the cost of this land will become enough of an issue to pressure the county to better scrutinize the recommendation presented them and focus more on making the mall site work. 

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