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Cleveland: Downtown: Playhouse Square Development and News

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Jersey Boys was fun to watch (warning for kids: F-word employed at least 100 times, LOL). We have the Broadway Series. Need to liven up the area after shows.   Even Starbucks was closed. Bricco, Star, and Hamiltons WERE open for our dining and imbibing pleasure, but the main action is in the parking garages with people streaming out of downtown. I guess you could walk to E4th, sigh. Playhouse Square with it's big screens, electric news signs, and angular spaces could be an incredible outdoor space for events or even just for sitting at a hypothetical outdoor cafe and people watching. I do not know why it has not taken off.

 

I think it's coming.  Patience.

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If anyone has any pull, I'd like to throw in my two cents -- I'd like to see Huron between Euclid and Prospect converted from a through street and encouragement of a more walkable E. 4th-type development.  With plazas at both ends, several redeveloped buildings already, very little through traffic, and a little distance from E. 4th, it seems like it could be turned into something special.  Particularly if the office tower is built at 9th and Prospect.

 

 

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^That's kind of funny.  Can I assume you did not live in Cleveland (or were young) in the 1980s?  What you describe is pretty much how the street was configured in the 1970s up until Star Plaza was built: the street was one way and narrow and head extra wide sidewalks.  It didn't seem to do much back then to encourage commercial development, but times have sure changed, so maybe it's worth another shot.

 

Anyone have some photos of the old Huron Road mall?

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^next to the Osborne building, there is a small parking garage that has one and only one entrance on Huron. If you got rid of the traffic, you'd shut down that garage.

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When I was reading CH Jake's post I was thinking the same exact thing stated by StrapHanger in his follow up post.  The Huron Rd plaza was basically highly toted at the time and then just became a wind swept ed disaster (very bleak...not alot of street life).  Urban planners tried to correct the problem about 10-12 years ago by putting the street back in.

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i don't think it'd work.  Essentially the whole street would have to be redeveloped.  It is basically full with little businesses... other than the buildings that are currently in the district of design footprint.  You'd have to toss all those people out on the street.

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^Hmmmm, disruptive street reconstruction...sounds familiar.  I agree it wouldn't be very practical in the near term.

 

I actually remember thinking they kind of blew it when they rebuilt the street after digging up the old plaza design.  They could have left the sidewalks a little wider, but instead went for a pretty wide roadway.  Same thing when they rebuilt Prospect downtown- the curb lane is about 1.5 lanes wide if I remember correctly.

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The curb lane on Prospect is nice for bicycling- as there is enough room between parked cars and the through land to ride a bike and not be in door swing range.

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not even the disruptive street reconstruction portion.  You've got a nice little run of companies there... the AIA cleveland offices, Floursih ad agency, Richard Fleischman Architects, some sports marketing agency.  You'd have to toss all those companies out, kiss the district of design goodbye, and then try to lure more traditional retail and restaurants to the area.  That street is also almost twice the width of 4th.  I don't think you could possibly have the same type of intimate feel.  You'd also probably have to have someone willing to redevelop the entire halle annex garage with at least something on the ground level or your talking having almost half the street (on the south side) with no storefronts.  You'd also have to deal with the "back end" of the wyndham which is a service entrance, and takes up a large swath of the street.  I think this idea is a lot better in theory than practicality.

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^All good points.  And even now, the sidewalks there are wide enough to support more traditional outdoor seating if someone ever tried it out.  That was certainly the hope for the Huron storefronts facing Star Plaza when it was built.

 

Speaking of PHS area storefronts- has anything moved into the Osborne Building ground floor?  Those storefonts seemed to stay empty forever after the renovation and I can't remember if they ever did fill up.  Maybe with a financial services company?

 

The curb lane on Prospect is nice for bicycling- as there is enough room between parked cars and the through land to ride a bike and not be in door swing range.

 

Ahhh, yes, I can see that.  I probably wouldn't have even noticed the extra width if there was a striped bike lane there.

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Speaking of PHS area storefronts- has anything moved into the Osborne Building ground floor? Those storefonts seemed to stay empty forever after the renovation and I can't remember if they ever did fill up. Maybe with a financial services company?

 

Great Lakes Financial Co. (who owns and financed the osborne / huron square development) moved into the rear of the ground floor (i'd say 18 months or so ago).  There's still nothing in the front of the building.  I've seen it, it's in pretty bad shape and would take a good amount of $ to get it viable.  Not a huge market for it right now methinks.  Though I think if a 300k sf office building and hotel were to pop up across the street... it might become a pretty viable retail option of some kind to someone.

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Adding retail to the corner of the Osborn Building and to 1014 Prospect would make a huge different.

 

Anyone hear anything about Playhouse Square's plans (touted a few years ago) to develop a new condo building at the South West corner of East 17th and Euclid?  Now that East 17th Street is finished, the time is right.

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I haven't, but someone added some mounting brackets to the parking garage just to the south of that lot.  I'm assuming that some sort of screening or advertising will eventually be installed.

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I haven't, but someone added some mounting brackets to the parking garage just to the south of that lot. I'm assuming that some sort of screening or advertising will eventually be installed.

 

They put those up about a month ago and they haven't done anything since. That is the garage for my office building--I haven't heard anything though.

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^That's kind of funny. Can I assume you did not live in Cleveland (or were young) in the 1980s? What you describe is pretty much how the street was configured in the 1970s up until Star Plaza was built: the street was one way and narrow and head extra wide sidewalks. It didn't seem to do much back then to encourage commercial development, but times have sure changed, so maybe it's worth another shot.

 

Anyone have some photos of the old Huron Road mall?

 

You're right, I was in Cincinnati in the '80s. 

 

There are plenty of empty storefronts along the street, and not much activity other than Wyndham hotel employees out for a smoke. 

 

I'm not suggesting that Huron should become an entertainment hotspot like E. 4th, but that some redevelopment of the empty storefronts is in order and that it could become a pretty cool street.  With the Osborne redevelopment, the end of construction on Euclid, and the redevelopment by the Breuer, this section of Huron should get some new attention. 

 

Rather than re-configure the street, why not put up some bollards and just cut out the through traffic?  That would still give you access to the Wyndham and the garage, but block cut-through traffic.  I don't think there is much cut-through traffic to begin with, but I think it might make the street more pedestrian-friendly. 

 

The AIA, Great Lakes Financial, etc. already provide some business presence, and the office tower behind the Breuer will add to that.  There are already quite a few restaurants in the area.  Those parking garages at street level seem to be killers.  What does this street need to liven it up a bit?  More residents perhaps? 

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Adding retail to the corner of the Osborn Building and to 1014 Prospect would make a huge different.

 

Anyone hear anything about Playhouse Square's plans (touted a few years ago) to develop a new condo building at the South West corner of East 17th and Euclid?  Now that East 17th Street is finished, the time is right.

 

I don't know about the plans for that parking lot... but they are indeed looking at adding a 12 story residential "tower" above the office resource center / traveler's shoppe building (they are one building).

 

^That's kind of funny.  Can I assume you did not live in Cleveland (or were young) in the 1980s?  What you describe is pretty much how the street was configured in the 1970s up until Star Plaza was built: the street was one way and narrow and head extra wide sidewalks.  It didn't seem to do much back then to encourage commercial development, but times have sure changed, so maybe it's worth another shot.

 

Anyone have some photos of the old Huron Road mall?

 

You're right, I was in Cincinnati in the '80s. 

 

There are plenty of empty storefronts along the street, and not much activity other than Wyndham hotel employees out for a smoke. 

 

I'm not suggesting that Huron should become an entertainment hotspot like E. 4th, but that some redevelopment of the empty storefronts is in order and that it could become a pretty cool street.  With the Osborne redevelopment, the end of construction on Euclid, and the redevelopment by the Breuer, this section of Huron should get some new attention. 

 

Rather than re-configure the street, why not put up some bollards and just cut out the through traffic?  That would still give you access to the Wyndham and the garage, but block cut-through traffic.  I don't think there is much cut-through traffic to begin with, but I think it might make the street more pedestrian-friendly. 

 

The AIA, Great Lakes Financial, etc. already provide some business presence, and the office tower behind the Breuer will add to that.  There are already quite a few restaurants in the area.  Those parking garages at street level seem to be killers.  What does this street need to liven it up a bit?  More residents perhaps? 

 

there really aren't any empty storefronts with the exception of the 4 buildings between the halle annex garage and the US bank building, and those are all currently slated for the district of design

 

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,10852.0.html

 

And I'd actually be against bollarding off that street.  I don't think it's traffic volume is bad, it provides excellent on street parking (which lessens need for garages and surface lots), and still has ridiculously large sidewalks.  I think bollarding it off would actually decrease the amount of people you see on it.  As for what would make the area more lively... residents as always help and that apartment tower at 13th and euclid would help.  I think the DOD would make a huge difference as "customers" of that area would probably be in town for days and stay at the hotel.  Otherwise it's a kind of just "keep doing what you're doing".  A few years ago, that idea center was a sespool, and now it's a tech hub.  More residents (the john Hartness Brown and CAC residents should help a ton), buisinesses (DoD), probably a few more legitimate dining options to add to what's there... maybe a neighborhood type bar.  I think it's happening, it's just going to take a few years.

 

And yes, converting the halle annex from a garage to a better use would make an enormous impact, but that is a massive undertaking, and one I'm not sure any developer is willing to take on right now.

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Adding retail to the corner of the Osborn Building and to 1014 Prospect would make a huge different.

 

Anyone hear anything about Playhouse Square's plans (touted a few years ago) to develop a new condo building at the South West corner of East 17th and Euclid?  Now that East 17th Street is finished, the time is right.

 

I don't know about the plans for that parking lot... but they are indeed looking at adding a 12 story residential "tower" above the office resource center / traveler's shoppe building (they are one building).

 

 

Now thats GOOD news! :clap:

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Which building is this? Anyone got a photo of it?


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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It's the "office resource center" / "traveler's shoppe" building.  It's the same building, but someone (I'm assuming traveler's shoppe) long ago decided to to cover half the facade in gravel... great idea.  The plan was to restore the building to it's original condition, ground floor retail (I'm 99% sure this is part of the DoD), offices above, and then a 12 story residential tower added.  I don't know if they are planning on doing the add on soon.  Though I know all the tests have been done and the building will indeed support it.  This redevelopment is the reason they would not renew the traveler's shoppe's lease.

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I really think they would surround the travellers shop with caissons to suuprot the new building and then incorporate them and the suurounding into the current travellers shop.

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Very exciting!!  Are there any conceptual sketches of this 12 story addition?  Has anyone from Playhouse Square commented on this or released anything about this?

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I'm certain there are no sketches out there (or none that I know of).  I am 99% sure that I actually read about this somewhere initially, so I'm sure somewhere it's posted on the site.  Maybe in the DoD thread, or perhaps in the filling in Euclid Ave. thread.  At any rate, I confirmed it one day when on one of my daily Euclid Corridor walks.  They had errected some machine on the side of the building so I stopped to check out what they were doing.  One of the ECP workers came over and started talking to me about it.  He had apparently been talking to the guy working on the building, he was doing some sort of foundation tests for the 12 story addition (which I already knew about), and apparently the guy told the ECP worker that they didn't anticipate any problems (gotribe, I'm not sure how they plan on doing it, but that certainly seems reasonable, I guess my point was that they don't forsee problems with however it is they want to do it).  I haven't heard much about it since.  But I do sometimes see architect types walking around the builing with groups of people showing prints and pointing at stuff... again, I have no idea what the timeline is for this.

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That would be fantastic if this happens, although this sounds like third-hand info. Question: would this be 12 stories on top of the two that's there already, or 10 added to the two?


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I wouldn't exactly call it third hand... I know it's what they WANT to do.  But like most things it's very preliminary and early, and the redevelopment of the rest of the building is not hinging on the residential portion being done.  As i understood it, it was to add 12 stories.

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So 14 total. Interesting. Please keep us posted.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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I wouldn't exactly call it third hand... I know it's what they WANT to do.  But like most things it's very preliminary and early, and the redevelopment of the rest of the building is not hinging on the residential portion being done.  As i understood it, it was to add 12 stories.

 

I had heard, and I think saw a rendering somewhere, that the building that could support an addition was on the northeast west corner of euclid and e13 and not these 2 buildings.  If you look at the roof of that building, it looks like it could structurally be continued upward.  but, perhaps these are different plans.  there was also a plan for the building behind these 2 buildings to have a vertical addition as well.

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the northwest corner is the sterling building.  That's not it.  The building on the northeast corner is not two buildings it's one, the face of the traveler's shoppe had been altered long ago, but it is the same building.  And THAT is the building they are CONSIDERING doing this.  THAT is the building that had workers crawling all over it a few months back checking to see if it could support a residential addition, NOT the sterling building.  I saw this with my own eyes.  I also spoke to someone who confirmed that's what they were doing, and that it is feasible. I have no idea when or if it will get off the ground.  But the office resource center / traveler's shoppe building, is the building playhouse square would like to use to add residential.

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Does this building include the portion of building between the Traveller's Shop and United Way?

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I noticed today that the PHS Store is closing. 

 

Any more info on this?

 

Word on the street is that each show carries/travels with its own merchandise and product line, making it hard for the store to compete or make a profit.

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I'm surprised this hasn't been posted yet...on the front page of the PD today (although I'm sure about everyone has seen it by now):

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2008/08/tom_hanks_signs_on_to_help_gre.html

Tom Hanks signs on to help Great Lakes Theater Festival's Hanna Theatre renovation campaign

by Tony Brown/The Plain Dealer

Sunday August 17, 2008, 6:47 PM

 

Tom Hanks' movies have earned $3.3 billion, making him the third best-selling

leading man in Hollywood history.

 

 

And it all started at Lakewood High School in 1977, when a bushy-haired, baby-faced, 20-year-old actor-intern from California got a weekly paycheck of $45 for doing bit parts at Great Lakes Theater Festival. It was a break Hanks, who couldn't even get a role onstage at his college theater in Sacramento, has never forgotten.

 

So starting this week, Hanks - 52 and earning $45 per nanosecond - will lend his name, face and voice to Great Lakes' effort to raise the last $3.6 million in a $19.2 million campaign to renovate PlayhouseSquare's historic Hanna Theatre into a state-of-the-art new home.

 

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2008/08/tom_hanks_signs_on_to_help_gre.html

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Despite his super-stardom, he still strikes me as a down-to-earth guy.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Ah, thanks.

 

Don't you mean "Ah, t. hanks?"  Sorry...couldn't resist the pun.    Two thumbs up for Mr. Hanks...good to see the enthusiasm around this project. 

 

Now, what about Paul Newman...any Cleveland love from him?  My guess here is 'no' judging from the fact you don't hear much about him or see him doing much in C-Town...other than racing his car at the Grand Prix.  8-)

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i just saw this thread and sad to say, but paul newman has been very ill. in fact i recently read he was in the city, nyc that is, for treatment. they say he is very frail and is dying of cancer (lung cancer due to chain smoking) & that he basically left the hospital and went back to connecticut to die at home.

 

strangely enough his last movie role was in 'road to perdition'....with tom hanks!

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/2008/06/23/tragic-face-of-film-legend-paul-newman-amid-cancer-rumours-89520-20618177/

 

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