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Cleveland: Flats East Bank

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Dumb Q, but some of my food-related friends are asking - the word on the street is that "developers" are the ones telling all these restaurant owners that this is a great idea, to open a billion restaurants even when there's no mass of people for it, no growth of jobs and sometimes not even an existing vibrant neighborhood. Why would "developers" suggest this, if they are the ones who have their eye on the pulse? From what I've read here by those who are smart about urban planning and development, opening a bazillion restaurants is, in fact, not a great idea, so if it's not "developers" or urban planners, and the restaurant owners aren't coming up with the ideas on their own, what is happening?

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^The developers are focusing on their development, not the overall effect of an oversaturation.  New restaraunts and neighborhoods tend to do well..... at least long enough for the developers to make a profit.  As for the restaraunts, they go through the financing process like everyone else.  If the math doesn't add up, they won't get financed.

 

Here on this board, we take into consideration such things as what effect a bunch of new restaraunts going into the FEB might have on E 4th, WHD, Tremont, OC, DS, LI, etc.  Wolstein and Co. don't.

 

Personally, I don't feel it is too much.  Especially considering that this development is bringing in new residents and helping support an added influx of visitors.  Then there is also the uniqueness factors like Toby Keith's bar, which should bring in visitors from the exurbs and beyond who may have never had any interest in coming downtown. 

 

I can't think of a vibrant downtown which didn't have tons of restaraunts and bars.  I've been to a few relatively "dead" downtowns in which you really have to search to find a decent spot to eat.  And I'm sure you've noticed in your foodie discussions, that our food scene is one reason people implore tourists to visit here.  Might as well keep building on a strength IMO

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I actually completely agree with you. I've been having the argument for several days now with people, in the wake of Accent's closing, as to what is "too many" or "too much." The food people tend to take the side that the big bad developers are luring them in and there aren't enough people here to support that big of a restaurant infrastructure, and hence places like Accent tragically closing. I just don't know that I buy that.

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Everybody forgets that the only competition isn't in the city itself, but in the suburbs, too.  Like Hts said, I think FEB will draw a lot of people who wouldn't come Downtown or to OC or Tremont for sophisticated local joints, but might like the more chainy places being built there.  I think it's real competition is Crocker Park and Legacy Village.

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Everybody forgets that the only competition isn't in the city itself, but in the suburbs, too.  Like Hts said, I think FEB will draw a lot of people who wouldn't come Downtown or to OC or Tremont for sophisticated local joints, but might like the more chainy places being built there.  I think it's real competition is Crocker Park and Legacy Village.

There is a reason there is not a B Spot Downtown. I assume it's the "suburban allure" of driving your car to it and parking in the lot outside of the strip mall. It seems to be a no-brainer to me to put one Downtown, but maybe they don't want the competition.

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^Technically speaking, there are three B Spots downtown, just inside buildings. I recently spoke with business people from Atlanta that knew the B Spot was in the casino and went there just to eat.

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Thinking about how the projected apartment units went from 140 to 245 look at the below renderings. The first image is part of the Phase l site plan. The second rendering is part of the Phase ll announcement. The building in Phase ll goes completely around. So that may be where the extra units are coming from.

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^I asked about the location of the additional apartments a few days ago (as did KJP).  No response from anybody in the know yet but at the time I was thinking exactly what Freethink posted.  That they are going behind the riverfront building in a section that was not going to be initially built in phase 2 but now will be.  I sure wish Michelle or somebody could confirm this or offer another location.

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Isn't this a Planned Unit Development? If so, the footprint of the buildings cannot change without a rezoning request. So it makes sense that a revised Phase II plan builds out more of what was originally planned for all phases.


"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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RE the discussion about the competing bar/restaurant districts, I have no problem with new areas emerging.

Usually the newer areas, or the establishments within them, are a step above in terms of design standards, maybe walkability, signage and just overall environment.

This raises the standards and other places for the most part cannot rest on their laurels, and languish.

This may even be truer in this city and others like it, where the entertainment "pie" is always cut into smaller pieces because of  population stagnation.

From the renderings of the FEB II, it looks like a fun environment  -- bright and walkable even though its chain haven.

It'll be interesting to see

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^ Couldn't agree more. The strong and the best will survive. You are really over thinking it when you try to micro-manage the process. In larger 24/7 cities restaurants and night clubs open and close everyday. It's not an indication of failure, It's part of the natural order of things.

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Someone was earlier asking about the height of the Ernst & Young building.  I just saw in Wikipedia that it is 330 feet and is the 15th tallest building in Cleveland now.  They also have a new picture of the cleaned Breuer tower.

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Folks... those of you who have been around a while know when your post is taking a thread off-topic. I know some posted rather lengthy comments in this thread but scroll up, read the title. Then, read it again. For those who want their posts, I can retrieve them from 'post purgatory' - at my earliest convenience.

 

uoshears.jpg

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MayDay, I realize the posts may have drifted somewhat, but some important points were being made on both sides... Maybe they can/should be shifted to retail, but the discussion should be kept alive. Please consider...

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State awards $3 million grant for cleanup work at Flats East Bank project site

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The city of Cleveland has been awarded a $3 million state grant to help cover cleanup costs for the Flats East Bank project, state officials announced Friday.

 

The large-scale development will encompass a large portion of the Flats, creating more than 300,000 square feet of retail and office space as well as 72 residential units, the Ohio Development Services Agency said in a release.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2013/11/state_awards_3_million_grant_f.html#incart_river

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This sounds like a third phase. Isn't it a bit late to be preparing site cleanup for phase 2 when groundbreaking for construction could be starting any day?


"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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Zashin & Rich law firm leases last full floor of Ernst & Young Tower at Flats East Bank project

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Zashin & Rich Co. has leased the last full floor of the Ernst & Young Tower at the Flats East Bank project.

 

The law firm, which has roughly 45 attorneys and staff members in downtown Cleveland, expects to move in June from 55 Public Square to the fourth floor of the Ernst & Young building.

 

Bucking the space-shedding trend, Zashin & Rich is expanding its footprint, which will grow from just under 14,300 square feet in its current offices to 21,000 square feet in the city's first new private office tower in decades.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/11/zashin_rich_law_firm_leases_la.html#incart_river_default

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But remember this law firm is taking on more space which is a good thing vacancy rates. 

But remember most all of the others took less space than they had.

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Yea this is always an interesting dilemma for me. On the one hand you need to continue to create new Class A office space to retain tenants downtown, but on the other hand you end up creating a glut of office space. Hopefully more and more residential conversions can take on the vacated office space, or more office space can be converted to Class A.

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Yea this is always an interesting dilemma for me. On the one hand you need to continue to create new Class A office space to retain tenants downtown, but on the other hand you end up creating a glut of office space. Hopefully more and more residential conversions can take on the vacated office space, or more office space can be converted to Class A.

 

The new office products offered by Flats East Bank aren't creating open spaces in older downtown office buildings. The tenants are. Their needs have changed a lot since the last new leasable office building (Federal courthouse tower isn't leasable) was built downtown more than 20 years ago. These office users need the highest quality, most prestigious and most efficient space available. The Class B or C office spaces they were occupying was going to be vacated. That's not the issue. The question is, where were the users going? To Class A office space in other cities, in the suburbs or downtown? A friend of mine who meets clients around the world described the Flats East Bank office tower and Aloft hotel equal to the newest, most advanced buildings he's seen in places like New York, Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere.

 

Fortunately, we have new users coming into the old Class B and C office spaces -- apartments, for the most part. And the owners of some of these Class B and C buildings where office occupancy rates are struggling to reach or exceed 70 percent, are foaming at the mouth when they hear about downtown housing occupancy rates of 95 percent of better. If they can assemble the financing (including winning a limited number of historic tax credits), they are more than happy to trade their half-full office building (meaning they will kick out the office renters to land somewhere...) for a nearly full residential building.

 

Those office users have to go somewhere. And again, the question is do they move to the suburbs or stay downtown? And if they are to stay downtown, then downtown has to offer the latest in prestige, design, technology and efficiency. How many leasable office buildings downtown are newer than 30 years of age? I count only seven: 200 Public Square, North Point, Skylight Office Tower, US Bank Center, Key Tower, Fifth Third tower and Flats East Bank. And only one of those was built in the past 20 years. That's a long time between fresh office products.


"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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If your question was asked without "in older buildings," then the answer is: yes, as long as the market continues to demand new office products. However, I don't understand your question as you've stated it.


"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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^^^ Also, the housing that can be built from the converted Class B and C office spaces that go vacant during this trickle down process can be more affordable than new construction housing would be.

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Trickle-down process is a good description. I also think of it as what happens to clothes, toys and bedrooms in a family with multiple children. As the older child grows out of them, they get passed down to the next-oldest child, and then the next and so on.

 

So the larger companies that can afford a nicer office setting move out of the older office building, leaving it for smaller companies, new-starts and nonprofits to move into. And when the next, more modern office building becomes available to the smaller companies and non-profits, the older building finds new life as a hotel or housing. And that's the MO for Cleveland right now.


"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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^could you elaborate on "ect".  Isn't Flip Side all by itself on that small odd sized parcel across from the hotel up against the rapid tracks.  What else is being "dug".

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I don't think that's what the construction is.  They are still digging the infrastructure, storm sewers, etc for the next phase.  Lots of work before any building foundations get started.  I could be wrong but I'm looking at it from my office

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^could you elaborate on "ect".  Isn't Flip Side all by itself on that small odd sized parcel across from the hotel up against the rapid tracks.  What else is being "dug".

 

yes, exactly.  they're digging up that odd parcel.

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I don't think that's what the construction is.  They are still digging the infrastructure, storm sewers, etc for the next phase.  Lots of work before any building foundations get started.  I could be wrong but I'm looking at it from my office

 

oops, sorry!  i don't know a ton about building methods and assumed they already had infrastructure under that parcel?  sorry everyone.  all i can confirm is that digging is happening hahah.

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Finally heard back from the FEB people on their Facebook page, after bugging them a little; I had asked about whether floors were being added to the curvy building to get to 225 apartments:

 

"There are of course many moving parts to a development of this nature and the building you reference is still in the design phase. As of today, the residential space is slated to be 225+ units on six floors above a retail ground floor. Pending any unforeseen issues, phase II should break ground in early 2014."

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