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Cleveland: Bob Stark Warehouse District Project

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What is going to the landmarks commission mean? Are they just asking for a variance? Would it imply anything impending?

 

Regarding the rumor, what large tenant's are still in play?

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All project plans proposed for a designated historic district and/or involve a designated historic building must be approved by the Landmarks Commission. The plans have to show sensitivity to existing buildings, sizes, retaining historic character, etc. etc.

 

And, yes, if you are appearing before Landmarks Commission for approval of a plan, then you have a project pending. If it's just an informational presentation and no approvals are sought, then nothing is imminent.


"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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KJP pretty much nailed it.  Any local design reviews act as advisory to landmark.  But landmarks review and approve building and demolition permits in historic areas.  It doesn't mean it's "imminent" but at the same time until you gain landmark approval you can't do anything... so it's a very important step.

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Regarding the rumor, what large tenant's are still in play?

 

I have not heard the rumor.  Last I understood was the the project was downsized to an initial phase of residential and retail without a major office player.  That being said, Baker Hostetler and Squires Sanders are still 'in play' I guess. 

 

I suppose the block on the northwest corner of St Clair and W. 3rd would be a good place for the County because it would stay close to the Courthouses and City Hall.  However, I doubt the County is actually going to move anytime within the first phase of this project. 

 

Then there is Eaton who apparently has not "committed" to the FEB.  But Eaton's vision and Stark's vision for developing a neighborhood drastically vary so there is close to 0% chance of that happening IMHO.

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Thanks.

Does it make sense there are still any large tenants that would still be available for this project? It seems the economics of building on a parking lots of this type would

require a firm that can handle some very steep rents.

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There has been only one formal commitment thus far among the "Big Five"...

 

Committed

 

Ernst & Young

 

 

Uncommitted

 

Baker Hostetler

Eaton Corp.

Huntington National Bank

Squire, Sanders & Dempsey


"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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Thanks. I forgot about that. So it's down to two...

 

Baker Hostetler

Huntington National Bank


"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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well...what if stark pulled a large tenant from another city? any news if this is happening?

 

Unfortunately, that's not part of the rumor.

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Hopefully this thread doesn't hit 100 pages before a shovel enters the ground..  There are other companies in Cleveland that are big and growing besides publically traded companies..

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I know Progressive opted out of a downtown site and built in the suburbs. They actually had a very interesting Tower designed for their headquarters. This is probably a ridiculous question, but could they possibly be lured back downtown?

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Guest BelievelandD

I want stark to do this so bad.  I think it would enhance the warehouse district even more and give it a unique urban feel.  Is it lookng as if he will do this? Or do you think it will fall through?  Call me crazy but a Trader joe's down there would probably draw a majority of the tenants.

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Guest BelievelandD

Yeah I know, and I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors to get this stuff done.  I am just curious because I know the pitch has been out there for a while, and during this "quiet" time are they negotiating or what?

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^Actually, I think that would be a really cool thing for forumers to "see" - the entire development process of a project from start to finish - and EVERYTHING that happens with it. Unfortunately there's a lot of legal/confidentiality issues involved but I think it would help everyone understand why there's such a lag between the news article saying "Building to be built" to site clearing to site prep to actual construction.

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^Actually, I think that would be a really cool thing for forumers to "see" - the entire development process of a project from start to finish - and EVERYTHING that happens with it. Unfortunately there's a lot of legal/confidentiality issues involved but I think it would help everyone understand why there's such a lag between the news article saying "Building to be built" to site clearing to site prep to actual construction.

 

That would be awesome.  And in today's lending market, I am sure Stark has alot of tenant signatures to get prior to moving to the next step.  To me, his relocation to the "Brian Sipe" mural was a big step toward his committment. 

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^Actually, I think that would be a really cool thing for forumers to "see" - the entire development process of a project from start to finish - and EVERYTHING that happens with it. Unfortunately there's a lot of legal/confidentiality issues involved but I think it would help everyone understand why there's such a lag between the news article saying "Building to be built" to site clearing to site prep to actual construction.

 

That would be awesome.  And in today's lending market, I am sure Stark has alot of tenant signatures to get prior to moving to the next step.  To me, his relocation to the "Brian Sipe" mural was a big step toward his committment. 

 

Exactly right about the lending environment.  Its not easy to get a project of this magnitude and complexity off the ground without some pretty rock solid fundamentals like leases, etc.  This is a multiple bank project and only a handful of banks are actually lending money right now.  That makes it more difficult.  Here's to hoping. 

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I believe Stark is doing everything he can to make this happen, but he has tough road to climb. The lending environment is extremely difficult. Any new stores that sign a lease would be dependent on the local (downtown residents) population in order for that to succeed, and it's doubtful the numbers are there. I'm sure if there was a shift in the air, Forest City would be making the sell.  Landing an office tenant would certainly help in getting shovels in the ground, but we only can speculate whether that is even a possibility.

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To me, his relocation to the "Brian Sipe" mural was a big step toward his committment.

 

Except that the Browns player on the mural wore the number 14 on his jersey. Sipe was #17.

 

Back to Pesht.


"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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Bad Bad News!

 

Developer Stark drops Warehouse District plans

 

Posted by Michelle Jarboe/Plain Dealer Reporter November 11, 2008 14:13PM

Categories: Breaking News, Real Estate News Impact, Real estate

 

Developer Bob Stark is pulling out of the Warehouse District after four years of touting grand visions of a project there.

 

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2008/11/developer_stark_drops_warehous.html

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Although not a great piece of news, I figured this was the case - in a situation where funding was tricky beforehand, I just figured that this would get tabled.

 

We'll see how thing look on the upswing.

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Perhaps he's using this announcement as leverage against the parking lot owners, or maybe blaming them is just an excuse to bail on the project since finanacing is so hard to get these days.

 

 

 

 

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(sigh) Depressing, definitely, surprising? No, not at all. With what seems to be half of the retailers in this country going into bankruptcy or closing down stores left and right to stay afloat....

 

Does Stark currently own anything besides that corner parcel that his building is on? Maybe we will get something out of him, even if it just a new building on Lakeside with residential and office space.

 

 

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Maybe he's bothering to announce it because it's true and people want to know what's going on.

 

Good point.  It just seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Perhaps he's using this announcement as leverage against the parking lot owners, or maybe blaming them is just an excuse to bail on the project since finanacing is so hard to get these days.

 

I think that this project is toast until the US retail landscape recovers from this glut of oversupply. Even if there was credit available, getting commitment for retail tenants would be nearly impossible.

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I don't think it's a prophecy, just a statement of present reality.

 

A well-designed transition to a Land Value Tax or dual tax system would theoretically solve this problem.

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I have a sense that this project was too big for Stark to grasp from the start. 

 

I just really think that his biggest mistake was making huge, ambitious claims before he was able to back them up. While a man with vision is great and necessary, and I'm not saying his ambition was wrong, but the way he was just spouting off before a spade was in the ground just set us up for disappointment.

 

Lesson learned.

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Well, it's not completely dead.

 

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2008/11/developer_stark_drops_warehous.html

 

 

"...T.J Asher, president of Weston Acquisitions Group in Solon, said Tuesday afternoon that his family still plans to build homes, offices, shopping and parking in an "urban, mixed-use" project on their portions of the parking lots between West 3rd and West 6th streets and between St. Clair and Superior avenues. He would not provide additional details but said more information about the family's plan could be available before the end of the year.

 

"In today's environment it's going to be very difficult to get anything accomplished," Asher said. "But nothing's going to happen immediately, and we are very confident that the near future will enable us to develop the project."

 

The family's commercial real estate company, Weston Inc., has moved during the past few years from simply acquiring property to developing it. The company launched a new arm, Weston Development Co., earlier this year. Mark Horton, president of Weston Development, said the company is putting together a development team for the Warehouse District project, which he said could move forward within the next 12 to 18 months.

 

"I guess we had some of our own ideas," Asher said about pursuing the project without Stark. "It's a very amicable situation between Bob Stark and us. We just decided because of the economic times, because of a little change in direction for both parties, it was good to move on."

 

 

 

 

 

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Most of the parking lot owners are actually developers themselves, such as Tony Asher's (see Tyler Village) Weston Corp. and Jim Kassouf. Stark's agreements were actually development partnerships.

 

Sh*t happens. Move on.


"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 don't see this (yet) as a major loss because there is still a committed group willing to work on the project when the credit market and economy improve 12-18 months from now.  And did any of us really expect this thing to get off the ground at any time before then with this economy.

 

My point - This is now the Weston Warehouse Project, and until I hear otherwise, I choose to remain cautiously optimistic about its eventual success.

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I don't blame Stark for speaking out so early on how grand and large his project is.  He needs to do that and it needs to get in the paper so potential retail tenants can start to hear about it, inquire about it and act on it.  You can't just announce a project one day and start the next day.  He did his part to try to get the word out and to try to lure tenants.  I actually thought he was a good salesman throughout the process over the past three years.  So, alot of people didn't come to the table and sign on with him.  However, this is no different than a subdivison that may be planned in Hinkley that only has a sign out front that lots are for sale.  Nobody's signing on right now, and it's getting worse for the retailers. 

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Wow... how quickly this devolved into some intra city p*ssing match.  I am changing the name of this topic to the Warehouse District Project (since the Weston Group insist they want to move forward), and locking this thread until some actually news appears.  If you know something PM me, and I'll reopen it.

 

And I think it's safe to say that the worst lending climate in about 7 or 8 decades has a little more to do with the status of this project then what city it is located in. 

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I think I hear a chubby lady yodeling in the distance :-\

 

From crainscleveland.com:

Stark Enterprises explores market for Cleveland headquarters building

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20090114/FREE/901149949

 

By STAN BULLARD

 

11:37 am, January 14, 2009

 

Following the shelving of his much-publicized, mixed-use project to revive downtown Cleveland, real estate developer Robert Stark is marketing his headquarters office building next to the aborted project site.

 

Robert L. Stark Enterprises is circulating among the city’s brokerage community a flyer touting availability of the five-story office building at 1350 W. Third St. that Mr. Stark acquired two years ago as a symbol of his commitment to a downtown project.

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Here ya go....

starksite01L.jpg

starkoverview1.jpg

StarkPhase1.jpg

StarkWHDMassing0.JPG

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"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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