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Cleveland: Downtown: Technology Center

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^ I couldn't agree more about this enhancing my ability to do my job. Thanks for being so welcoming. I have learned a lot about the city and development by reading UO.

 

The power of UO.  I hope you put this "knowledge" to good use!

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Looks much better than having a building there.  Sense the sarcasm.  That lot will be empty for at least a few decades. 

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A punitive tax on surface parking would clear that right up.  Have downtown property taxes vary inversely with building height, with historical building exemptions.  They raised the tax on cigarrettes last week and quit lines were suddenly flooded.  So raise the tax on surface lots, and architects' phones should be ringing off the hook.  Labor and building materials can't remain cheap(er) forever.  Time to jump on this.

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The big bad real estate company has finally applied for construction permits for the facade work.  Cimperman said he'd pass more info along once he actually saw the permits on Friday.

 

He's also not happy with the half legal/illegal parking lot situation. 

 

Baby steps.....

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A punitive tax on surface parking would clear that right up. Have downtown property taxes vary inversely with building height, with historical building exemptions. They raised the tax on cigarrettes last week and quit lines were suddenly flooded. So raise the tax on surface lots, and architects' phones should be ringing off the hook. Labor and building materials can't remain cheap(er) forever. Time to jump on this.

 

I wonder if that would actually spur development or simply force groups who don't pay taxes into prime spots (non profits, government buildings) while forcing other companies to look even harder at the Suburbs. The thing about taxes and various government subsidies is it never seems to illicit the response one quit expects.

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It's not a new idea, really.  I think Pittsburgh has tried it, though I haven't heard any follow up on it.  Historically, Amsterdam was taxed in a similar manner (tax land, not improvements), and it resulted in the very narrow, tall townhouse style development that makes up the historic core of the city.

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From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_value_tax_in_the_United_States

 

In 2000, Florenz Plassmann and Nicolaus Tideman wrote[22] that when comparing Pennsylvania cities using a higher tax rate on land value and a lower rate on improvements with similar sized Pennsylvania cities using the same rate on land and improvements, the higher land value taxation leads to increased construction within the jurisdiction.[23][24]

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Yes it is, but let's all get back on topic please, present mod included.

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Still plugging along.....  Here is the latest (boring) set of renderings for the facade work (not the future new construction) straight from the architects themselves that I think may end up being the final ones.

 

The Matrix execs have been in town the past week to help present all this to the planning commission.  Cimperman put in an amendment that the Avenue District homeowners must meet with someone from Matrix before permits can be issued.  We're currently trying to set something up....

 

And of course you're probably wondering why the wheels are turning again - because Matrix got dragged to the Board of Building Standards AGAIN for not making any progress on the property.  :whip:

 

Oh, and for anyone who is directionally challenged, the South Elevation faces Rockwell Ave. and the West Elevation faces the gravel lot.  The North Elevation just faces an alley.

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^That looks like a FUN building!! Whohoo!

 

Any chance the AD homeowners can argue for a better design, since the building will be right next door?

 

I'm supposed to be having a phone conversation with Matrix's director of operations today.  Considering there are NO windows currently in the building, I can only assume a lot of money is already being sunk into this boring-looking facade update.  The conflict in my mind is that it's taken four years to get just to this point, and with Matrix being so incredibly difficult to deal with, we don't want to p!ss them off too much for fear of the building continuing to sit in its existing condition.  I'm pretty sure anyway that Matrix is going forward with this design regardless of what we say since their state money is (I'm pretty sure) expiring at the end of this year.  I am, however, going to make sure to bring up the need for landscaping and perhaps some additional architectural detail (lighting, etc.) to jazz up the giant brick box a bit.  I'll let you know how the phone conversation goes if dude ever calls me back (even though he told me to call him today cause he'd "be in the office all day").

 

If you guys have anything you want me to ask or suggest, just post or PM me ASAP.

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Haha, well, I did speak with dude at Matrix.  As for the south elevation, they are actually knocking holes in the wall to put windows in.  The west elevation, however, will be fake windows as the new building (when it gets built) will be directly connected.  They are applying for construction permits right now, so it's now in the city's hands.

 

As for the new building, the temporary parking lot permit is good for one year.  They can then renew it once if they have to for an additional year.  After that, they have to build (although I'm sure they could find a loophole if they wanted - I wouldn't put it past them).

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Calling all creative UOan ideas!!!!!  As it turns out, the western wall (as depicted above) will not have fake glass windows but rather will be painted to look like it has windows.  City planning peeps and us AD residents think this is totally lame, even if the wall is going to be covered by a new building eventually (key word eventually).  So besides installing fake glass windows or just painting fake windows on the west wall, what are your ideas to jazz it up a bit?!?  If there are good ones, I will forward them to the city!

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What about something similar to Columbus' wallscape program. They are visually interesting advertisements, often 3-d, that could be both eyecatching and revenue producing.

 

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,9055.0.html

 

as long as it's not the ipod one.

 

Why not a "living wall", just as w28th proposed here:

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,14701.0/msg,410185.html

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,14701.720.html

 

 

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I like the living wall, but this particular wall could use a dressing up in the winter even moreso than the summer......

 

I do like the mural ads, though.  Perhaps they could do tech-oriented ads seeing as this is a tech center?

 

The other thing I was thinking was to perhaps have some of the Art Quarter artists paint a mural to advertise their businesses with the Art Quarter being a couple blocks down Superior.

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I would think a living wall would take some time to grow in, though I could be wrong.  Since this is more a temporary situation, I thought an advertisement might make more sense.  It runs for a specific period of time, and when it goes away, people don't bemoan that fact.  I would bet people would get attached to the living wall.  Not a good thing for a temporary installation.

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While I do agree that a "living wall" is more of a long-term solution for a temporary problem, this is exactly the type of thing that you would want people to get "attached to".  I would be more than happy if people would complain if/when it got taken down, b/c hopefully it would spur other businesses and/or the city to do more things like it.

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I bugged Director Brown for an update again the other day, and he got right on contacting Matrix (Director Brown is always awesomely prompt, by the way).

 

This is what Matrix had to say (and they even sent a copy of the permit approval letter with the e-mail):

 

Hi Robert:

Yes, no problem we just had the permit issued on 10/7/09.

Today we had a contractors meeting at the building for final questions to our architect John Swidrak of AODK;  we sent out bid requests with copies of the plans and should have the bids back middle of next week.  Weather permitting we should begin construction within the next two weeks.

 

Thank you,

 

Aaron Smiles

Director Of Operations And Development

 

The Matrix Group

732 Smithtown Bypass

Smithtown, NY 11787

(631) 979-2777 Ext 306

(631) 979-3198 (fax)

(631) 618-1622 (cell)

email: asmiles@matrixrealtygrp.com

web site:  www.matrixrealtygrp.com

 

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I bugged Director Brown for an update again the other day, and he got right on contacting Matrix (Director Brown is always awesomely prompt, by the way).

 

This is what Matrix had to say (and they even sent a copy of the permit approval letter with the e-mail):

 

Hi Robert:

Yes, no problem we just had the permit issued on 10/7/09.

Today we had a contractors meeting at the building for final questions to our architect John Swidrak of AODK;  we sent out bid requests with copies of the plans and should have the bids back middle of next week.  Weather permitting we should begin construction within the next two weeks.

 

Thank you,

 

Aaron Smiles

Director Of Operations And Development

 

The Matrix Group

732 Smithtown Bypass

Smithtown, NY 11787

(631) 979-2777 Ext 306

(631) 979-3198 (fax)

(631) 618-1622 (cell)

email: asmiles@matrixrealtygrp.com

web site:  www.matrixrealtygrp.com

 

 

The power of being a celebutant!

These folks now know you have media connections.

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For anyone who is interested in attending a smackdown (really not kidding about how pissed the city is):

 

Tuesday morning (9am-ish) there will be another hearing, supposedly on the 13th floor of the Justice Center.

 

Matrix will present their signed contracts as well as timelines.  The parking lot contract was done a while back, while the facade reno contract will supposedly be signed early next week.  I keep getting told this construction WILL be complete by the end of the summer.  I'll believe it when I see it.

 

I'll let you know if I get more details.

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For anyone who is interested in attending a smackdown (really not kidding about how pissed the city is):

 

Tuesday morning (9am-ish) there will be another hearing, supposedly on the 13th floor of the Justice Center.

 

Matrix will present their signed contracts as well as timelines. The parking lot contract was done a while back, while the facade reno contract will supposedly be signed early next week. I keep getting told this construction WILL be complete by the end of the summer. I'll believe it when I see it.

 

I'll let you know if I get more details.

I know no one likes the kind of posts that just ask if there's any news about a certain project... but I really want to know what happened at the hearing at the justice center, and if Matrix really did provide some timelines like they said they would.

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I agree Coneybear.  Does anyone know anything?  The Avenue District folks need something good to happen here!

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I've been told (straight from the mouth of the Matrix guy) that facade work is supposed to begin this Thursday or Friday. 

 

Today he mentioned having gotten some kind of unsafe building violation from the city, and they had an engineer come out and certify that it was in fact structurally intact.  I think it had something to do with the exposed wall, but this is the first time he's mentioned it.

 

I'll believe the work is actually happening when I see it....

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I'm attaching copies of the signed contracts for the parking lot design and the facade renovation construction.

 

Here's to seeing some scaffolding this week!  The parking lot work will immediately follow the facade renovation.

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I'm attaching copies of the signed contracts for the parking lot design and the facade renovation construction.

 

Here's to seeing some scaffolding this week! The parking lot work will immediately follow the facade renovation.

 

Cool, being involved in this line of work, I now know some of my competitions rates and conditions!  Thanks!

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I'm attaching copies of the signed contracts for the parking lot design and the facade renovation construction.

 

Here's to seeing some scaffolding this week! The parking lot work will immediately follow the facade renovation.

 

Cool, being involved in this line of work, I now know some of my competitions rates and conditions! Thanks!

 

Ha, well, that wasn't quite the intent, lol. 

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Cue the Hallelujah Chorus, work has started.

 

Right now they're working on cherry pickers ripping off loose debris in order to do the facade reconstruction.

 

amen-1.png

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That's a relief! I was very very worried about this project

 

I wasn't worried about it per se since I was in constant contact with the developer, but a couple years worth of frustrating conversations did a number on my blood pressure, hahaha.

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