Jump to content
Guest KJP

Cleveland: Flats East Bank

Recommended Posts

http://www.cleveland.com/business/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/business/1102761172230871.xml

 

Developer of $170 million Flats project wants Cleveland to chip in for fix-up

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Corwin Thomas

Plain Dealer Columnist

 

Recently filed requests for public money to assist in the financing of a $170 million mixed-use development on the east bank of the Flats have revealed additional details of the proposal.

 

According to the 2005 State Capital Budget Requests, Scott Wolstein, who owns a majority of the land and is the developer behind the project, wants Cleveland to contribute $20 million over several years for infrastructure improvements - including new and reconfigured streets and sidewalks, utility relocation and reconstruction, and construction of a new, publicly owned riverfront boardwalk.

 

The state has already set aside $3 million for the project.

 

Wolstein declined to comment.

.........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah but if this project comes to fruition and goes well, I could see demand bringing more residential units to the rest of the flats.  Either way, this is exciting stuff.  I think the city needs to do all they can to make this happen and return the east bank to prominence again.  I like what I'm hearing as far as commerical property - a full service grocery downtown, movie theaters and bookstore would help continue to increase the allure of downtown living. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice project.

 

However, why do we need close to 2k additional parking spaces downtown?  More resedential unites are preferred with the message to use public transporation in this high density area.

 

The waterfront line is at your door step!

 

why movie theatres?  towercity is a few blocks away!

 

These two items I do not like nor do I understand the need.

 

I agree with improving the infrastructure and a grocery store, but not more parking - its the last thing downtown needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think the 2k parking garage is rather forward thinking infrastructure that will be needed. maybe not all just for residents but for events and visitors. if they build it creatively and with street level retail or whatever business on the ground level it would be fine (like the new garage going up on lower euclid).

 

another movie theater? heck yeah why not? whats wrong with more than one downtown? maybe a small screen or two of this theater could be for cinemateque or cedar-lee type fare or retro or digital films? the boardwalks, marina and grocery sound real good for sure. how's about they add a dog run park and maybe a kiddie only park?

 

otherwise, it's what they want to tear down and tear out that is worrying. what exactly do they have in mind? the last thing the east bank flats needs is to be torn down and its visually striking and unique character destroyed. for example, isn't the peabody's/pirate's cove original rockefeller warehouse landmarked?

 

lastly, the city also needs to lock in some kind of build guarantee with wolstein so that if something is torn down something will take its place. who needs more holes in the ground like the former schoolbelles building hotel project bust or the eons-long public square ameritrust building parking lot. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree I'd much like to see most existing structures on the East Bank remain and be renovated.  They definitely have a character that would be missed if torn down.

 

Looking into this fix up may be coming at a good time, especially with Queen Jane trying to get gambling legalized.  A casino would look pretty nice down there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it happens, it sounds like a nice way to bring some of the old entertainment district flavor to the flats, while also helping to continue its transformation into an extension of the WHD residential area.

 

I heard Jimmy DeMora saying that he wanted to put the casino in the flats, and I was scared.

 

The development sounds a lot like the place in Chicago I went to go see movies when i lived there.  It had a big garage, a Barnes and Noble, movie theater and I think a Wild Oats.  I wonder if Wolsteens owned it. 

(It was on Clyborn where Southport ends, right by Jack Sullivans, the OSU bar.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

is this the same wolstein as in the son of the passed Bert Wolstein?+

 

also

 

MyTwoSense,

 

greetings and welcome, i am a former resident of the square. North Moreland to be precise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I posted this earlier in the wrong spot...

 

On this subject, I was just reading Jane Campbell's State of the City address and I got to this interesting paragraph:

 

"The Lakefront Plan is the very definition of what it means to have a vision for the City. This is the plan that sets the stage for a whole new neighborhood on the East Bank of the Flats with significant private investment in housing, shopping, and entertainment poised to break ground within the next year."

 

The address is dated February 18th, but I haven't seen any updates here since December.  Has progress been made?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MyTwoSense...  Have you ever been to the Cinemas over at Tower City?  Talk about seedy at night..  I went once... years ago...  wont go back...  its horrible...  Tower City is just draws a bad crowd all around...  I wish it was more upscale..  So yes, I think more cinemas would be a GOOD idea...  Also.. do you work downtown?  If so you would know that we NEED more parking spaces...  rates are ridiculous as of now.  Even thought the DP deal fell through, I would like to see more parking downtown.. No not surface lots, I hatem but, thats all we have..  I liked te idea DP was goign to implement with underground parking etc..etc...

 

thats my 2 cents...  Mytwosense...  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MyTwoSense... Have you ever been to the Cinemas over at Tower City? Talk about seedy at night.. I went once... years ago... wont go back... its horrible... Tower City is just draws a bad crowd all around... I wish it was more upscale.. So yes, I think more cinemas would be a GOOD idea... Also.. do you work downtown? If so you would know that we NEED more parking spaces... rates are ridiculous as of now. Even thought the DP deal fell through, I would like to see more parking downtown.. No not surface lots, I hatem but, thats all we have.. I liked te idea DP was goign to implement with underground parking etc..etc...

 

thats my 2 cents... Mytwosense... ;)

 

I've worked in the heart of downtown since summer 1988.  I interned at Sherwin-Williams for two years, and then started at SOHIO (it will NEVA be BP to me - but hey that's personal issue!).  Therefore, I've watched Downtown and its surround 'hoods change for almost 20 years.

 

I "commute" from Shaker Square to Tower City when I'm working in the Cleveland.  I prefer to use public transportation since it's so convenient in the Shaker Sq. area as well as downtown.  I have friends that live in the WHD, Tremont, OC, Upper Prospect, Superior-Payne and i use public transit to visit them as well.

 

I've been to TC Cinemas many times.  I personally do not think anything is wrong; however, we all have our own "comfort" levels.  I do not find it nasty, seedy, rowdy, rundown or a place I would not recommend people patronize.  Question?  When you last visited did you voice your concerns with management????

 

I too wish TC had more upscale store as it did when it first opened, however, the only downtown residents were on two buildings on East 12.  Today, Downtown and its adjacent 'barrios have a population that can support the mall and any adjacent street retail IF WE HAD ANY, however, TC fell into mediocre, which changed it shopping clientele.  However, TC owners could change that.  TC has turned into nothing but a HUGE restaurant, granted many of the restaurants in the mall are packed every night of the week, not just "game" nights - which is a good thing.

 

Do I know about the parking lots?  We have millions in downtown and they are EYE SORES!!  Personally, I think if people feel the price to park downtown is too high they should take public transportation.

 

With developments, I think parking lots have to be apart of the mix sense many of the people who buy might be car owners.  However, I’m not in favor of building 2k.  500 yes, but not 2k.  It defeats the purpose of having a FUNCTIONING RAIL LINE AT YOUR DOORSTEP and living in a true urban enviornment.

 

I personally feel we should take a note of our east coast and European sister cities and building housing and retail on street level without any parking, forcing those to use public transportation.  This confines and reduces parking lots/garages.  The remaining lots/garage could service several nearby business and building instead of having a sea of lots.  This put people on the street and the retail locations are winner because people will SEE them and public transit become more of a part of everyday life instead of an alternative or only used for special events.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do agree, in principle, with the prior post on the notion of not supplying parking for new buildings in the Flats, but I have a feeling that the city and often other government agencies have parking requirements of new developments that would prevent even a developer who sought this idealist design from seeing it through.  Maybe it's more incentives than requirements...I don't know.  Someone fill us in if they're familiar...

 

On the subject, I spent a semester studying in London in 1999, during which I completed a design proposal for a 50 acre site over a rail yard.  I included parking in my proposal and all the other people (Italian, Japanese, British) around me asked why...I thought about it and I realized that this is a complete waste of space in Central London and that the site had 3 underground stations within a five minute walk.  However accessible this Flats site is to public transit, though, residents of the neighborhood can't get WHEREVER they want from the Waterfront Line.  And people who are coming in for the shopping or the entertainment can't get to the site from WHEREVER they are.  That's the advantage of transit systems in Europe, Asia and NYC...you really can get anywhere you need to go, maybe with a transfer, maybe not.  In Cleveland, it often takes several transfers...and the waiting!  I love me some public transit, but Cleveland just doesn't have the critical mass to support it without accommodating for the use of automobiles.  Sad as it may be.

 

One last note...If we were evern going to try to push this NO PARKING agenda forward, I think the Flats would be an ideal place to do it, since there is so much parking and transit nearby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Flats is in a strange situation.  It is not very accessible like Gateway is.  In a way, you would want to encourage people to either park elsewhere and arrive on foot, or to take transit.  I would hate to see what a casino downthere would do for the traffic cutting through the warehouse district.  I remember the Flats in its heyday, traffic was horrible, especially if there was a concert. Now, with a thriving warehouse district, this could be a traffic mess if both districts are drawing in folks.  I like what H. Morrison said about the Gateway garages.  We need them, but they cant be too big or else we lose the chance at having a large number of people walking through and discovering the warehouse disrict.  I favor more apartments and townhomes down in the flats.  I was disappointed when they only planned about 300 downthere. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The streets on the East Bank aren't very functional anyways.  Has anyone ever seen a proposal for making the East Bank, namely Old River Road, car-free?  They have a neighborhood similar to this in Portland, Oregon where they've run the light rail through on a cobble-stone, car-free street.  It's called Old Town/Skidmore and it's very very functional.  They have one of the best outdoor urban markets down there and loads of clubs, bars, shops, homes, etc. There are bridges passing overhead and trains passing through...very charming.  It all has an old feel and it's connected directly to the riverfront park...sounding familiar at all? 

 

Here's a website: http://www.oldtownchinatown.com/

 

And here are some of my pics:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is just a lovely area. What the hell am I doing in this town....

 

KJP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, no, no!  Wrong answer!  You're in this town because you love it and you want to make it better!  Trust me, when I was in Portland, I felt an air of futility because the market was so driven and determined already that no one needed to push it forward.  Of course, this is a simplification, Portland needs visionaries who can guide development in the right direction, but it appears that there are so many out there, that development is going the right way.  Cleveland needs you and loves you and we will see it flourish again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got the exact same feeling when I was in Seattle, and that is why I didn't stay.  I do think it is always a tug of war between where I want to work as a planner, and where I want to live as someone with a fairly advanced taste in city living.  Cleveland works because its my hometown, and because it at least offers some tastes of the latter while certainly being the former.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cleveland needs me and loves me? To quote Nazareth, "Love hurts" or Tina Turner, "What's love got to do with it?" or the J. Geils Band, "Love stinks" or Amanda Perez, "Love is pain."

 

Did I miss any others? Methinks I just took this thread in a whole new direction...

 

KJP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, I'm out of town, have there been any drawings or proposals posted?  Anyone got any pictures to share with me???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, X.  I've seen this plan before, but now I've got a better idea of where this specific development is.  I'll make up the rest of it in my head!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the 3/6 PD...

 

Company not giving up on city

Sunday, March 06, 2005

 

Scott Wolstein, chief executive of Developers Diversified Realty Corp., said he remains committed to Cleveland and Ohio, even while his company has gone national. More than 8 percent of the square feet it manages is in Ohio, trailing only New York.

 

When asked why he doesn't invest more locally, he responded as if he's accustomed to hearing the question. He and his father Bert Wolstein spent millions in the 1980s and '90s developing the east bank of the Flats, only to see the project fail.

 

More at cleveland.com http://www.cleveland.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"There have been tens and hundreds of millions of dollars lost by developers -- by us and Forest City and [Dick] Jacobs and others -- investing in our city."

 

gee, does that negate the tens and hundreds of millions of dollars they all *made*? must be more that that too since they are all still in business and none of them are exactly personally hurting financially. especially jacobs he made out best of all.

 

and also, how does this excuse them from sitting on property today and doing nothing with it? sell off your freakin property if its so bad!!! give someone else a crack at developing it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm... Land tax anyone?  I think that it would do wonders for development in this city.  We have way to many people sitting on way to much land, hoping that someone else will come along and give them a bundle of money for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe it can be done if a tax is to achieve a higher purpose, and not seen as punitive.

 

KJP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmmm... Land tax anyone?  I think that it would do wonders for development in this city.  We have way to many people sitting on way to much land, hoping that someone else will come along and give them a bundle of money for it.

 

that is true but i am not hopeful.

 

you are forgetting who's pockets the way too many people (aka negligent landowners) are stuffing campaign loot into. that would probably have to change first. it could happen if a real rich guy ran for mayor, he or she would be untouchable in that way. peter lewis ya listening???

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt it.  Peter Lewis talks to other millionaires and mayors and such.  Not us. j/k!

 

Of course, you are right about what you said.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read on the Cleveland.com forum that Doug Price, the developer of Stonebridge, is going to be anouncing a Condo project on the East bank.  There are no details on it yet.  Does anyone know about this.  Something like Stonebride "hugging" the river would be nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mister Good Day brings up a good point about the street level interaction that Stonebridge lacks.

I hope this is taken into consideration if they do something big on the East Bank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You won't have much going on at the street level with that being the first development over there.  Bring more and more of that and you will see street interaction.  Be patient for the spin-off.  Lets just be glad things are happening in the flats. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't want any street retail with Stonebridge.  Cleveland has too many store fronts.  We need more critical mass before we can support more retail. That said, I wish that there was more of an entrance with the street.  The parking lot is on the first floor, but I remember that you can see over the gray wall into the garage

Whatis that about?  I wish that the stone/brick would have gone all the way down to the ground.  Also, I think that store fronts would be too isolated in that dead end street to succeed.  Can't wait to hear more about his plans.  That woud be a nice neighborhood there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope that the new project doesnt hug the river. I like the views that Stonebridge has of the river.  It would be too cluttered if more buildings were added between Stonebridge and the Cuyahoga River.  We need to move inwards and line some of the streets that descend into the flats from St. Malachi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New port official looks to revitalize region

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Sarah Hollander

Plain Dealer Reporter

Mayor Jane Campbell's former chief of staff begins a new job next week with a mission of expanding the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's economic development role.

 

Deb Janik starts Monday as the port's vice president of regional development. She will work directly with the city, the county, suburbs, local banks, developers, the Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association and neighborhood and civic groups, such as Team NEO and the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

 

More at cleveland.com http://www.cleveland.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw that article.  I wonder how long it will take until there is word on the timeline for the project.  The Warehouse District needs more than just bars to survive as a viable neighborhood. I hope that there will be something that keeps the place vivrant during the other hours of the day (as a bookstore, grocery store, cinema all could do) We all saw how the Flats sunk quickly in the late 90s when it was such a mono-culture. 

 

I hope that the number of units ends up being higher that 350.  We need more critical mass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing is - the Warehouse District *does* offer more than bars. Sure, there are plenty of them but the majority of market-rate housing downtown is right there.The Flats never really had much of a residential element.

 

What I'm liking is that there are more and more casual eateries opening around the Warehouse District instead of "special occasion" spots. You have Nauti Mermaid on West 6th, Captain Franks on St. Clair at West Third, and Flo Cafe on West 6th at Lakeside. That tells me there's a demand for everyday places to eat which tells me the area's investment in residential units is paying off. I think Constantino's is good enough to tide residents over until there's truly enough critical mass for a full-size grocer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in the Warehouse District last weekend for the first time in years.  I saw Ron Harper and a bunch of NBA-looking people eating at a restaurant on the corner of W.6th and St. Claire. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would have been either XO, Metropolitan Cafe, or the Blue Point Grille. Those are a few of the "special occasion" joints, especially XO and Blue Point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×