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Cleveland: Warehouse District: Development and News

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From cleveland.com

...................

Historic Warehouse District to get $500,000 makeover

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Donna Iacoboni

Plain Dealer Reporter

Browning scrubby shrubs adorned with wind-strewn trash along St. Clair Avenue will become history in the Historic Warehouse District.

 

Next month, the district's community development corporation will begin a $500,000 streetscape project that will include benches, trees, stone planters, huge hanging flower baskets and flags.

 

More at http://www.cleveland.com

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This is another small project that will help shape up Cleveland in the long-run. It's lots of small projects throughout that make a difference. I overheard a woman speaking last week to someone else about the Warehouse District. The woman was asking where it is and what it's all about. The woman seemed anxious to see it and said she is planning to check it out this summer. My point is that she obviously has never been there and has high hopes of visiting it now that she has heard so much good about it. While most of us Clevelander's on urbanohio.com probably go downtown and see the WD 50-100+ (or some of us who see it and live it 365+) times a year, this is good news that outsiders who were stuck in suburban neighborhood's their entire lives are now coming back into the city again because of its new "fun and safe" image that is emerging. I know a lot of people who used to fear downtown, but nowadays they have a new outlook on things. My brother used to work downtown in the early 90's and hated it. When I told him about all the stuff going on, especially with living in the WD, he didn't believe me and he still said there is no hope.. but when I sent him pictures and told him how things have changed, he was very surprised. In general, that image is slowly changing for those who used to dis-like the city into an image of opportunity for anyone who is willing to return.

 

-John

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I was very happy to read this article in this morning's PD!  I'm curious to see what these "pocket park" look like, but I know from my experience in other cities that these types of additions (plantings, pocket parks, etc) can do WONDERS for a neighborhood's feel both to residents and visitors. 

 

Another thing I'm curious about is that this comes at the same time as Downtown business/property owners are considering establishing a Business Improvement District.  Greening and streetscape improvements are typically projects that BIDs engage in, so maybe this will set a good example of what a neighborhood BID can provide.  Also, BIDs have traditionally provided clean-up and maintenance crews that could be responsible for tending to various green elements of the Downtown area...a bit more glamorous than just sweeping up litter!

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allll riiight tee now!

 

as mgd said, pocket parks downtown are where it's at! maybe one will be a dog run? also, they need to make sure they can lock'em up at night.

 

yay for small parks on your block!

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Good for the WD!  This sort of thing definitely helps to make a neighborhood that's as "hard" as the Warehouse District work.  Right now those streets are a little sunbeaten and barren, and there is nowhere to sit and relax if you don't want to pay for a drink or a meal.  Trees and a couple little parks will definitely help that.

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The best news from this article is that they expect 10,000 to be living there in 10 years. Right now we are at 3,000 so I guess we can start hoping for some more large scale projects in the near future. The parks are a step in the right direction, and is definately going to make the place more attractive.

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yeah, that's one of those optimist projection sort of things that doesn't really have an grounds in reality...they've probably been saying 10,000 since 1985.  Of course I'd love to see it, but we all know there are some big time hurdles to get over before that golden number is reached!

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It could be one of those aim high, so if you hit half-way you are still happy things. But saying 10,000 by 2015 in 1985 is a lot different then saying 10,000 by 2015 in 2005. Either way it is awesome that 3,000 people live down there now.

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that's great!  anything that says "we care about our neighborhood" is great for residents, merchants and developers.  Now, to fill in those empty spaces around the pocket parks...

 

this is a great move for the CDC and it's great to know that this type of thing can happen from the neighborhood level, since it would likely take much longer if run out of City Hall.  it should provide a great example to others around Downtown and the rest of the city!

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This is very exciting.  It will really give the area the residential look it needs.  A smaler scale developement but probably one of the more important in the city right now.  I think this bueatification will entice homebuyers.  Instead of looking like a "warehouse district" it will look more like a neighborhood.

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This will give all the drinkers a place to pass out on a Saturday night after they leave the bars.

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The Short North has also started building "pocket parks" along High St.  Is this an old concept that has regained popularity or is this a new concept for urban neighborhoods?

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^pocket parks are old old news. good ideas as long as they are watched and maintained.

 

ps--the cheapo alternative to a pocket park is the much more informal empty lot casita, another good thing any of the neighbors can do and share.

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I was hanging out on West 9th yesterday because my friend does valet parking for a few places. I was there for a few hours and I happened to walk from East 14th and it was 90 degrees outside, so when I got there, I was finding myself quite exhausted. I ended up sitting on dirty ledges in front of the Hart Condominiums at the Hart Building (since the only other place to sit was on the ground or a dirty garbage can). I kept saying, "Damn, I love sitting here watching the action from the street level, but I wish I had a place to sit!" And now from these renderings, I am very happy.. I can already see myself sitting at the pocket park at West 9 and St. Claire on a weekday night for several hours.

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this is nice now that the neighborhood is starting to mature and grow without the "purposed" advertising/Marketing.

 

Now lets hear some GOOD news on developments in PARKING LOT LAND!!

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^Has there been any progress on these pocket parks?  I haven't noticed that they've done any work, and was wondering if I'm just missing them or if the project has been put on hold.  Does anyone have any info on this?  Thanks.

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this is too cool.  Think other neighborhoods will follow suit downtown?  The city should force all of the new developments to get in on this as well. 

 

I heard that there's a group trying to brand cleveland as the Green city on the blue lake.  Stuff like this surely helps that.

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Cool idea..but I'm more in favor of central meeting points....urban plazas of sorts (know what I mean).  Dont get me wrong...this will be a neat thing for this extremely neat neighborhood, but it could be more urban to me.

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I heard that there's a group trying to brand cleveland as the Green city on the blue lake

 

What ever happened to being "the Forest City", did the Ratners trademark it and steal it?

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greencity blue lake is a project of ecocitycleveland.  i believe the site is currently being redeveloped to enable more community participation.  something along the lines of http://realneo.us 

does anyone have any word on when the parks are to be completed? it would certainly add a lot to the area, esp if they included bike racks! (i for one am tired of locking my bike to the trees)

  it looks like bike racks may be a standard for all future parkworks projects as their most recent project at e. 9th and huron has quite a few and employs them in an interesting way, almost as a sort of fence.

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I got the following press release this morning...

 

Next week, on July 13th, Cleveland’s Historic Warehouse District will begin construction on a new streetscape.  The streetscape improvements will occur on West Sixth Street between St Clair Avenue and Frankfort Avenue will include widened sidewalks, pedestrian “bump outs” at the crosswalks , street furniture, seating, plantings, and historic markers.  The street will be restriped. It will include parking lanes, a center turn lane and two travel lanes designed to be shared bike lanes.  This configuration was designed to accommodate Warehouse District traffic.

 

Through the leadership of Councilman Joe Cimperman, the Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation was able to work with District stakeholders to enhance the streetscape in front of their businesses.  Councilman Cimperman secure City funding through the Public Service and Economic Development Departments.  This funding solution has allowed the District to creatively implement ideas developed in the District’s Master Plan now as opposed to waiting for more complex funding strategies such as Federal Transportation Dollars.  Councilman Cimperman stated that, “It is important to put every dollar that we have toward the growth of the city.  Using this money for economic development will strengthen the businesses in the Warehouse District and bolster one of the City’s economic generators.”

 

This project represents one of the first steps toward implementing the Historic Warehouse District’s Public Realm Plan—a multi-year community planning process focused on improving the quality of life in the District through physical improvements.  The Plan, which was adopted by the Cleveland City Planning Commission in 2007, identifies opportunities in the District for amenities such as park space, public art, and a wayfinding system that provides information about the District and its history.

 

Rick Parker, architect for Brandstetter Carroll in the Bradley Building and Chairperson of the Historic Warehouse District Public Realm Committee stated, “With a mature, established residential district such as the Warehouse District, enhancing public spaces is essential to sustaining its vitality.  This project will act as a model for the rest of the District as we continue to implement the community’s plan.”

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Wow, I was wondering when this was going to FINALLY happen...and it looks like only a baby step at that.  Glad to see that some progress is being made...as usual looks like $$$ was and is the big hold up.  Welcome to America.

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Yeah .. me, too. I actually just re-read that and was just as surprised.

 

Maybe they want to help kickstart that stretch up a bit?

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Johnny's, Crop, Metropolitan, & Starbucks are on that block right?  I could see them using the extra sidewalk to put in even larger patio dining options

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yes... all the patios will be expanded... not sure on the timeline, but it starts today, I'm guessing it will take a while... this is a decent amount of work.

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I'm really excited about this, actually. It's a "small" project, but anything that helps to give that neighborhood more of a sense of public space and energy is fantastic and can't be underestimated.

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Very good idea. It would be good to use a lot of indigenous plants to reduce the need for watering/artificial chemicals and other energy depleters. Maybe some "Cleveland's natural heritage" plants. Will be nice to see this finished---and most of all, I hope follow up is taken into account, as so many projects that involve small planters/trees, seem to lack the follow up, and they end up dying, or being trampled.

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