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Cleveland: Warehouse District: Development and News

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I'm a little surprised they opted with going from st. clair to frankfurt first, as opposed to st. clair to lakeside.

 

I actually think the stretch of st. clair to frankfurt (west side) is the best stretch in the warehouse district.  It seems like every place has outdoor seating and there are very few gaps.  This stretch stands to gain the most out of this upgrade IMO.

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From Crain's today

 

The wide West (Sixth)

City to begin work to spruce up street, accommodate pedestrians and diners; if pilot works, more could follow

 

By JAY MILLER

 

4:30 am, July 13, 2009

 

 

 

A widening of the sidewalk on a block of West Sixth Street that eventually might be carried through to the rest of Cleveland's Warehouse District is expected to begin this week, sprucing up a restaurant row that has lost its claim to the title of hot entertainment district to the rising East Fourth Street.

 

At street level, the strip of century-old office and warehouse buildings between St. Clair and Frankfort avenues is home to six eating places — from Metropolitan Café on the north end to Johnny's Downtown on the south end — all of which have space for outdoor eating and drinking.

 

City traffic engineering commissioner Robert Mavec said last week he expects construction workers will begin today, July 13, to tear up pavement and sidewalk on the west side of the street to extend the sidewalk space by five feet.

 

“It will allow for a clear walking space for the pedestrians and allow the businesses along West Sixth Street to expand their patios,” Mr. Mavec said. “We're trying to accomplish one block to see how it works” before extending the streetscape design to the rest of the Warehouse District.

 

The work “will give a whole different aesthetic to the street,” said Steve Schimoler, chef/owner of Crop Bistro & Bar on West Sixth. “It will give it more of a pedestrian feel.”

 

In addition to five feet more of sidewalk, the strip will be dressed up with planters and benches. It's all part of a plan developed by the Historic Warehouse District Development Corp. and approved by the city Planning Commission two years ago that established a design plan for the district's streets and sidewalks.

 

The work on the block from St. Clair to Frankfort will cost the city $60,000. The money comes from capital funds set aside for each City Council district that are spent at the council member's discretion.

 

Councilman Joe Cimperman, whose 13th Ward includes the district, said he hopes the whole project can be done “in a couple of years.”

 

No money has been allocated for the rest of the work.

 

Mr. Cimperman acknowledged that the Warehouse District, which began a transformation over 20 years ago from an ignored commercial district to a place with about 3,000 residents living in rehabbed historic buildings and a few dozen restaurants and bars, needs to stay fresh.

 

“The idea is to make (the restaurants) more competitive and say, "We're going to continue to reinvest in downtown,'” Mr. Cimperman said.

 

Tom Starinsky, associate director of the Historic Warehouse District Development Corp., said his group's “public realm plan” also envisions a better link to what one day is expected to be a revitalized Flats area to the west of the district.

 

East Fourth envy

 

Several of the restaurateurs welcome the redo, because they are feeling left behind in the rush to the next new thing on East Fourth Street, where the city created a pedestrian walkway by closing off the street between Euclid and Prospect avenues.

 

The New York Times, in a long, nicely illustrated story that ran last Tuesday, July 7, called East Fourth “the jewel of Cleveland's entertainment district.”

 

“They've done a great job of consolidating a lot of activity in one little space,” said an envious-sounding Mr. Schimoler of Crop Bistro. “The pedestrian-mall kind of feel promotes walking around.”

 

Mr. Schimoler said he hopes the work on his block will capture some of that same energy and fill the 12 seats he plans to add to his 22-seat patio.

 

A few doors north, the Metropolitan Café also plans to expand its patio and give the restaurant interior a new look at the same time.

 

“It's going to double our patio,” said Bryan Delisio, manager of the Metropolitan, which has seating for 18 outdoors. “It'll do the same thing for the whole street.”

 

Mr. Delisio said the restaurant, which is owned by the Hyde Park Restaurant Group of Beachwood, also will undertake an interior rehab.

 

“It's due,” he said. “We've been here eight years; it's time to freshen up the place.”

 

 

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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.

 

Word EC!  I especially agree on the functionality of the installed plants as well as sustainability in terms of maintenance.  We need to think really really green on this plant installation and see it as more than just a pedestrian restaurant row.  I'm especially interested in winter landscaping as the E4 install is rather disappointing in this regard.  Would be fun to get creative with growing food crops as well... 

Is Building Cleveland By Design being consulted for this project?

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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.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about upkeep.  They will be maintained by the DCA as this is within the downtown special improvement district.  I think they have done a great job maintaining the east 4th planters, the euclid avenue planters, and the hanging baskets in the warehouse district.  I see no reason they won't continue to do so here.

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My pug is very excited. She always likes to visit those patios and obtain bribes from the patrons. From her perspective, more patio dwelling suckers means more crumbs and pets for her.

 

And don't worry about watering those trees. She is qualified and enthusiastic.

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Just walked by this area at lunch, and it looks like they're moving along quickly for this only being the 2nd day.  The street was cut in the proposed shape and debris removed/being removed.  There were also what looked like concrete forms set up on about 1/4th of it.

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or at least make neighborhood organizations and  downtown planners realize that people don't like trying to live, walk, and hang out on streets dominated by 6+ lanes of automobile traffic.  Needless to say much of downtown's streets aren't very pedestrian friendly.  We're seeing some nice progress in the opposite direction with this, east 12th, and euclid.

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or at least make neighborhood organizations and  downtown planners realize that people don't like trying to live, walk, and hang out on streets dominated by 6+ lanes of automobile traffic.  Needless to say much of downtown's streets aren't very pedestrian friendly.  We're seeing some nice progress in the opposite direction with this, east 12th, and euclid.

 

Agreed.  E.12 and W.6th in the same year--catering right to downtown residents!  I feel like the DCA has had a lot to do with all this momentum.  (on top of it all, Euclid Ave of course!)

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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.

 

Word EC!  I especially agree on the functionality of the installed plants as well as sustainability in terms of maintenance.  We need to think really really green on this plant installation and see it as more than just a pedestrian restaurant row.  I'm especially interested in winter landscaping as the E4 install is rather disappointing in this regard.  Would be fun to get creative with growing food crops as well... 

Is Building Cleveland By Design being consulted for this project?

 

Who is selecting plants for this? They can contact Ohio Prairie Nursery and Ohio Wild Ones for consultation on a selection of plants that would actually offer a pleasant visible presence year 'round. It would be good if some of us wrote and suggested this. It is also just one small example of another way a city can go greener in terms of the environment..and not just spraying poisonous chemicals down keeping turf grass green all year-which is basically an eco-dead zone leaching nitrogen into the lake. I cannot even see lightning bugs like we used to in such places.

 

Someone at Ohio Wild Ones said to me.. "If the only thing in your yard moving is a lawn mower...then its time to start thinking about a more natural/native landscape"

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or at least make neighborhood organizations and downtown planners realize that people don't like trying to live, walk, and hang out on streets dominated by 6+ lanes of automobile traffic. Needless to say much of downtown's streets aren't very pedestrian friendly. We're seeing some nice progress in the opposite direction with this, east 12th, and euclid.

 

not to mention the actual closing of another...east 4th

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As I left my building this morning at 6:00AM they were working on the streetscape. In fact, it was clear that they had been working overnight...or at least EXTREMELY early. There were huge floodlights illuminating the St Clair to Frankfort block.

All who are excited about this will be pretty amazed at how much is already done.

 

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http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2009/07/streetscape_projects_in_clevel.html

 

Streetscape projects in Cleveland's Warehouse District play central role in reviving pockets of city

by Michelle Jarboe/Plain Dealer Reporter

Tuesday July 14, 2009, 5:44 PM

 

 

CLEVELAND -- Wider sidewalks and roomier restaurant patios along a single block in Cleveland's Warehouse District could be the first taste of large-scale street improvements in the neighborhood.

 

On Monday, workers began expanding the sidewalks, widening planting areas and revamping West Sixth Street to make more room for walking and outdoor dining. The renovations are starting out small, on just the west side of the street between Frankfort and St. Clair avenues. But development officials hope to see similar changes, plus new plants, benches and tiny parks, spread throughout the district -- and into other city neighborhoods...

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Wow. Next week?! That's great. I like this incremental approach. $60,000, one week, one block ... really highlights how simple these improvements can be done and what an impact they have. Exciting, too, that it sounds like the entire E. 12th renovation is slated to be completed this year, if that's accurate ... I was under the impression that only the northernmost stretch was going to be done.

 

And I know I give them constant sh*t, but I really have to say that I think the PD coverage has been improving lately ... nice stories about "urbanizing" Cleveland ... and not a single reference like "The sidewalk expansion is an initial step in revitalizing the downtown landscape of Cleveland, one of the poorest and fastest shrinking cities in the nation". :)

 

I'm confused by a few seeming discrepancies between the PD story, Crain's story and McCleveland's press release, though. Do the planters and the benches have dedicated funding? Is there a timeline for these elements as well (surely these are not going in within the next week)? Will the restriping be done this week as well? And the shared bike scenario seems a little vague to me as well ... Will there be signage to signify that the lanes are to be shared with bikes, or am I misunderstanding?

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Great idea...All for it, but please, let's make it a going green effort and yet another small example of sustainability...get some interesting native plants in this thing...Not Home Depot stock. The natives could be a theme unto itself. ("Cleveland's Flowers") See www.prairienursery.com and look at what we could have that would provide an energy saving year 'round color scheme.

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did this section have granite curbs before?  i notice that the new work is all concrete.  but, i'm extremely excited about how fast this is happening. 

 

does anyone know how this is only $60k?  there appears to be 3 sewer moves, no electrical or water relocations, and just removal of road and pouring new concrete, but it still seems cheap and at this cost and speed, a lot should be a lot of street improvements accomplished downtown.

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FYI NEWBIES: We like pictures with updates. hint, hint ;)   ;)   he he he he

 

I'd love to, but I can't connect any usb storage device to my work laptop (phones and cameras won't connect)

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Great idea...All for it, but please, let's make it a going green effort and yet another small example of sustainability...get some interesting native plants in this thing...Not Home Depot stock. The natives could be a theme unto itself. ("Cleveland's Flowers") See www.prairienursery.com and look at what we could have that would provide an energy saving year 'round color scheme.

 

You could also contact McKinight Associates with your ideas and questions, they are the landscape architect.

http://www.mcknightla.com/profile.html

 

^Pretty sure they were concrete curbs before this update. I can't imagine they would remove granite and replace with concrete...

 

They are granite curbs, they are being reused I'm sure, just moved out.  You can see it on the pic on cleveland.com

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Great idea...All for it, but please, let's make it a going green effort and yet another small example of sustainability...get some interesting native plants in this thing...Not Home Depot stock. The natives could be a theme unto itself. ("Cleveland's Flowers") See www.prairienursery.com and look at what we could have that would provide an energy saving year 'round color scheme.

 

You could also contact McKinight Associates with your ideas and questions, they are the landscape architect.

http://www.mcknightla.com/profile.html

 

^Pretty sure they were concrete curbs before this update.  I can't imagine they would remove granite and replace with concrete...

 

They are granite curbs, they are being reused I'm sure, just moved out.  You can see it on the pic on cleveland.com

 

 

Thanks, I used all the contacts and sent them letters. If anyone wants to see the letter, email me on the side.

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You can see it on the pic on cleveland.com

 

Would you be able to fix the links on here to the pics on cleveland.com? I can't see them in the article you posted, and I really don't want to go there.

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Quick pic while walking to my car. I didnt realize I was going to be over here today or I would have brought a good camera, so this will have to do.

 

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I'm very excited for this project, I feel like quality streetscraping can really enhance the feel of an area and for all the diabolic haters that say nothing ever gets done (timely) in Cleveland, I say it sure looks like this project got off the ground quickly.

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I walked by last night, and frankly, I'm amazed. It looks like it's almost completely laid now. Amazingly fast! What is also exciting for me is that they're working around the existing lamps and trees. I was so disappointed to see the large-growth trees go on E. 12th, so to see so much care being taken to preserve the existing landscape elements warms my little urban geek heart.

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Does anyone know if they're going to replace the span between what they've already done and the buildings, or would that be too much of a hindrance for the businesses there?

 

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I was there today, and aside from one small stretch between Nauti Mermaid and Starbucks, it was pretty much done. Nothing fancy but that extra square footage makes a big difference!

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Now they just need to fill in the parking lot on the east side of the street with compatible buildings

 

You said it! Everytime I walk past that, I just grin and shake my head wishing something of quality could fill this in soon. Man, even if it was a huge park would be better than a parking lot.

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Great idea...All for it, but please, let's make it a going green effort and yet another small example of sustainability...get some interesting native plants in this thing...Not Home Depot stock. The natives could be a theme unto itself. ("Cleveland's Flowers") See www.prairienursery.com and look at what we could have that would provide an energy saving year 'round color scheme.

 

You could also contact McKinight Associates with your ideas and questions, they are the landscape architect.

http://www.mcknightla.com/profile.html

 

^Pretty sure they were concrete curbs before this update. I can't imagine they would remove granite and replace with concrete...

 

They are granite curbs, they are being reused I'm sure, just moved out. You can see it on the pic on cleveland.com

 

Unfortunately, if there was granite there before (and I can't recall if there was), it appears to have been "value engineered" out of the final product, as what's there currently is slipformed concrete :-(. This makes me a sad 'DoG, but I'll deal...the overall result is a welcome improvement, and let me add my voice to those who were presently surprised at the speed with which this took place. As mentioned above, save for a small mid-block section, the new sidewalk has been reopened.

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Great idea...All for it, but please, let's make it a going green effort and yet another small example of sustainability...get some interesting native plants in this thing...Not Home Depot stock. The natives could be a theme unto itself. ("Cleveland's Flowers") See www.prairienursery.com and look at what we could have that would provide an energy saving year 'round color scheme.

 

You could also contact McKinight Associates with your ideas and questions, they are the landscape architect.

http://www.mcknightla.com/profile.html

 

^Pretty sure they were concrete curbs before this update.  I can't imagine they would remove granite and replace with concrete...

 

They are granite curbs, they are being reused I'm sure, just moved out.  You can see it on the pic on cleveland.com

 

Unfortunately, if there was granite there before (and I can't recall if there was), it appears to have been "value engineered" out of the final product, as what's there currently is slipformed concrete :-(. This makes me a sad 'DoG, but I'll deal...the overall result is a welcome improvement, and let me add my voice to those who were presently surprised at the speed with which this took place. As mentioned above, save for a small mid-block section, the new sidewalk has been reopened.

 

I have not paid that close attention to the curbs, but if they did replace granite with concrete....  And if the granite was still in decent shape. Mistake. I always thought that streets and walks should be just as much a work of art as the buildings and not an afterthought.

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