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Cleveland: Midtown: Development and News

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welcome mtnbiker! 

 

Ray's looks awesome, but it doesn't look like what this development sounds like it's going to be.  This Euclid/E. 55th St. bike park is going to be outdoors.  What advantage then does it have over any other bike park anywhere else?  I'm all for more bike facililies- including all the others you have mentioned, even this sort of bike park in another location.  But unless it is considerably more than I am envisioning(I have to admit I'm still falling on the "dirt pile with bumps" side, as jamiec put it so eloquently), I can't yet see that it is appropriate for this location.  I know that development has lagged in this portion of Midtown, but isn't this what the Euclid Corridor is supposed to be helping along?  This would seem to be a prime spot for some BRT inspired TOD.

 

And I haven't even broached the topic of the historic buildings they are planning on demoing for this.

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Building at E57th and Euclid = best vacant structure in the city.  God d$#m I hope it doesn't get torn down.

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Will they put red flame fences around this bike park like the skate park at Voinovich Park?  That would be really sweet... pfffff.

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My bad on 3 consecutive posts, but wouldn't this sort of thing go over alot better on Euclid Ave on CSU's campus?  The city needs to start overlapping uses to get a density of people together instead of continually spreading out amenities like this.  It would certainly make CSU a little more enticing to prospective students.

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My bad on 3 consecutive posts, but wouldn't this sort of thing go over alot better on Euclid Ave on CSU's campus?  The city needs to start overlapping uses to get a density of people together instead of continually spreading out amenities like this.  It would certainly make CSU a little more enticing to prospective students.

 

W 28 street, great point.  CSU or near League Park.

 

Has anyone contacted Midtown with their ideas?

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I agree the bike park is a terrible idea. Something like that would only do well in an area that already has other things to attract people. It is an amenity that can help reinforce an already successful area, but on its own, surrounded by empty lots, it won't have any pull. Why would anyone ride choose to ride their bike on this profoundly depressing site, scarred by a history of abandonment, disinvestment and demolition?

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I agree the bike park is a terrible idea. Something like that would only do well in an area that already has other things to attract people. It is an amenity that can help reinforce an already successful area, but on its own, surrounded by empty lots, it won't have any pull.

 

Ray's Indoor Mtn Bike Park has proven to be very successful in an area surrounded by empty warehouses.  Would an INDOOR mtn. bike park concept change your support of this proposal for E. 55th? 

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For myself, I'd be more apt to be supportive of an indoor facility, especially if it included a variety of related retail uses, like those mentioned earlier by 3231, at street level with exterior exits.  Even then, is there a market for two of these facilities so close to each other?  What is the advantage of locating this facility on such a potentially prominent piece of land?  Is it the highest and best use for the site?

 

I'm not saying I couldn't warm to the idea, but I'm not seeing it yet.

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My bad on 3 consecutive posts, but wouldn't this sort of thing go over alot better on Euclid Ave on CSU's campus?  The city needs to start overlapping uses to get a density of people together instead of continually spreading out amenities like this.  It would certainly make CSU a little more enticing to prospective students.

 

W 28 street, great point.  CSU or near League Park.

 

Has anyone contacted Midtown with their ideas?

 

CSU and League Park are not part of MidTown. And even if they were part of MidTown, I think League Park is in one of the shoddiest parts of Cleveland. I saw a car being "taken apart" across the street on W. 65th near Hough the other day and there was a 16-year old murdered there last August. Sadly, that's only a few blocks from the proposed site.

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My bad on 3 consecutive posts, but wouldn't this sort of thing go over alot better on Euclid Ave on CSU's campus?  The city needs to start overlapping uses to get a density of people together instead of continually spreading out amenities like this.  It would certainly make CSU a little more enticing to prospective students.

 

W 28 street, great point.  CSU or near League Park.

 

Has anyone contacted Midtown with their ideas?

 

You're joking about League Park, right?

 

No.  why would you think i'm joking?  why wouldn't a project like this work in that area?

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It sounds to me as if many people are objecting to the FORM this project will take as well as possible upkeep/maintenance issues. 

 

The recent development of the Skate(board)Plaza as a  replacement to the traditional skate park may have some relevance to the proposed Midtown mountain bike park.

The idea behind the development of a Skate Plaza is to create an enjoyable atmosphere for skating and hanging out that wouldn't be an eyesore to the rest of the community.  I've attached a photo of the first built Skate Plaza which is located in Kettering, OH.

 

 

 

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Closer to CSU might be nice, but where might that be? I dunno, it just does not sound like a bad idea. And whose to say the area won't improve. I'm slightly optimistic that the City will start luring business to that area. Either way, it would be nice to see some hearings or 'dog and pony' presentations from MidTown on why they chose that site.

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I think that if done correctly, the mtn bike park could be a big hit, and also receive a lot of positive national attention.  It would make sense to leave the streetside space open for future development.  Then things will start filling in.  Right now the area is shockingly blighted, and I see this idea as a pioneering attempt to bring people back there.

 

p.s. Does anybody actually know if they'll be tearing down any buildings? Has that even been mentioned as a possibility?

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Surfohio,

 

I'd say it's pretty strongly implied that demolition is a part of the plan.

 

more info on midtown mtn bike park:

 

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2007/03/midtown_ramps_up_plans_for_bik.html#comments

 

MidTown ramps up plans for bike park

Posted by Henry J. Gomez March 12, 2007 11:34AM

Categories: Breaking News, Economic development

 

MidTown Cleveland Inc. is peddling plans for a $1.1 million mountain-bike park near East 55th Street and Euclid Avenue.

An old, abandoned apartment and hotel building sits on the piece MidTown owns. "The city condemned it," Haviland said. "We tried to find developers to come in and redevelop it. But it's just too dilapidated and too far gone."

 

 

 

 

 

Also, if you listen to the last segment of the Meet the Bloggers conversation with Jim Haviland, you will hear more details about the proposed mtn. bike park.

 

 

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I say it's worth them pursuing it; private money, no one has expressed interest in demo ing and then developing, so why not do this and maybe more good stuff will follow; can't hurt to 'due diligence'

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Am I wrong in thinking this park would be in pretty close proximity to the Agora (having a hard time picturing the parcel)? Frankly, I don't think this is such a bad place for a bike park, given the lack of current investment in the area and its potential to highlight high visibility street use at multiple hours. Not to mention, I would think this would increase bicycle usage along Euclid ... it would be an additional node of bicycle activity on top of usage around downtown, Theatre District, CSU and University Circle. As has been mentioned by the guv and others, form will play a critical role in how the park is perceived. Personally, I'm excited to see the idea moving forward and thankful that such an amenity is being offered on the Near East side ... it seems that most quality-of-life investments right now are either taking place downtown or on the Near West Side.

 

Does anyone know whether there are additional bike lanes slated for this area, other than along Euclid. I can't recall the details of the infrastructure plan, except for bike lanes along St. Clair? It seems apt to have lanes along E. 55th between Euclid and St. Clair.

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Good points.


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

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Does anyone know whether there are additional bike lanes slated for this area, other than along Euclid. I can't recall the details of the infrastructure plan, except for bike lanes along St. Clair? It seems apt to have lanes along E. 55th between Euclid and St. Clair.

 

There are some neighborhood connector routes proposed.

You can checkout the whole plan here:

http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/cwp/bike/cbmp0207.pdf

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Thanks Musky. I was actually referring to the capital improvements plan ... couldn't remember if anything had been allocated to bike lanes along E. 55th particularly. But there has ... $25,000 in 2009 for bike lanes from Euclid and E. 55th to the Lakefront and 55th (which in turn will connect directly to the Lakefront Bikeway). Personally, that sweetens this site for me ... with bike traffic coming from the north and east/west, this has the potential to be a very high visibility center of bicycle activity that may also benefit branding-wise from its history as an important transportation center ... yet another opportunity for Cleveland to show how we are building off of our history to create a truly livable city. IMHO, that's a pretty high-return use of land. 

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Whether people will actually use the bike park, however, is highly questionable. Certainly now, there's little to draw anyone there apart from its location halfway between University Circle and Downtown. Maybe when the ECP bike lanes are done, but again -- highly speculative. Knocking down historic buildings for such an unproven use seems wasteful to me. I might be convinced by some kind of market analysis, but even then, as others have noted, there is already an abundance of vacant land on Euclid, Superior, Payne, Carnegie, Chester, etc etc etc.

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Knocking down historic buildings for such an unproven use seems wasteful to me. I might be convinced by some kind of market analysis, but even then, as others have noted, there is already an abundance of vacant land on Euclid, Superior, Payne, Carnegie, Chester, etc etc etc.

 

Amen.

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Would it be impossible to turn some of those historic buildings into a bike or repair shop? (which would obviously compliment the park).  Perfect location with minimal renovations needed, plus an expected amount of business.   

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the buildings that are in question, I think, will require a large amount of renovation just to be habitable for any use.  That is the problem that Midtown is having.  But while I understand their frustration, it seems to me that they are looking to demo right when the market may be changing enough to justify major rehab because of things like the EC and the increased interest in development in Midtown and the area around CC.

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I'm leaning towards the negative side on the bike park for Midtown. To me it does seem like this would be a poor use of this particular site. A bike park might however be fantastic in the Flats somewhere in conjuction with the towpath trail. 

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ok.  I hear various view point.  but again, it looks as though this is going to happen.

 

So instead of listing reasons why this can't/won't/shouldn't work lets list reasons why this can/will/should work and list spinoff/ancillary business to further improve & support the park.

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^ The concept is weird to me. I'm a road biker, so I'm not so familiar with mountain biking. I thought mountain biking culture was all about the mountains like in Portland and Colorado. Are mountain bikers now bring their style of sport to urban areas like BMX and skateboarders?

 

The one thing that could make this cool, especially with how close it is to the Agora, is to sort of make it an alternative sports neighborhood. You could have the mountain biking park and maybe add-on parks for other related sports. Then the entire area could attract sport-related retailers, hotels, eateries and other businesses. The big issue is, the park HAS to be kick ass, otherwise it won't make a difference. They've got to create an environment that when people from around the country who like this sort of thing think Cleveland, they think of this park. In that regard, it can't be like the lil' baby parks popping up all over.

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"The one thing that could make this cool, especially with how close it is to the Agora, is to sort of make it an alternative sports neighborhood. You could have the mountain biking park and maybe add-on parks for other related sports. Then the entire area could attract sport-related retailers, hotels, eateries and other businesses. The big issue is, the park HAS to be kick ass, otherwise it won't make a difference. They've got to create an environment that when people from around the country who like this sort of thing think Cleveland, they think of this park. In that regard, it can't be like the lil' baby parks popping up all over."

 

 

Agreed 100 percent Jamiec!!!!

 

Done the right way, this could attract a ton of positive national attention.

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I just heard today that the city's next comprehensive plan, now being finalized, will recommend an urban farm at E. 59th-ish between Chester and Euclid. It's a large vacant parcel. It would be similar to what Boston does with urban farming -- a program where dozens of local youth are employed to maintain the farm and harvest and sell the food on site, with the surplus going to local food banks. I love this idea, as it would create a considerable number jobs in Midtown (unlike a bike park), and would use land that is already vacant, rather than tearing down what little remains of our architectural heritage in this corridor.

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^Yeah, farming would be cool, but I hope they do some serious soil/groundwater sampling first.  Still not exactly a high-denisty use along our main corridor...

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another disappointment for midtown....cows, pigs, and chickens, corn????????????...i seen enough of those growing up working on farms in Ashtabula county....not in Midtown Cleveland...wtf is going on with these people. what we'll have John Deeres and Massey Fergusons rollin down the new euclid corridor?  these people hafta be playing some joke.

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another disappointment for midtown....cows, pigs, and chickens, corn????????????...i seen enough of those growing up working on farms in Ashtabula county....not in Midtown Cleveland...wtf is going on with these people. what we'll have John Deeres and Massey Fergusons rollin down the new euclid corridor?  these people hafta be playing some joke.

 

I don't know. I think it can go either way. Creating a greater appreciation of food and farming in Cleveland could also be a gateway for eventually working and understanding the culture outside of our city in the rest of Ohio, where farming is certainly an important part of the state's identity.

 

Not to mention the added benefits should peak oil hit and gas prices go up to $5 and $6 a gallon.. then you'll be begging for urban farms!

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I don't have a problem with some urban farms. Nice to have some re-localization of food production, and gets kids to get their hands dirty doing something production. I do have a problem with us rapidly paving over some of the best farmland in the world just beyond the urban fringe. But's that for another thread....


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

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ughh....This is the spin off development that our $230 million investment is going to bring us?  I hope that these uses are conceived as temporary uses pending redevelopment, otherwise I'm rapidly becoming disgusted with the lack of vision for this corridor.  And yeah, urban farming won't have any practical effect on price or production.

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Hey, I suggested a few years back that this area be developed into a massive park, modeled after the lovely Central Park. With a mountain bike park and an urban garden connected, this is what I consider joint development and a great way to make a dead-zone more active. Instead of criticizing this area, we should be praising ANY and I mean ***ANY*** development near in this area. And if you don't praise the urban garden or bike park, please do tell me what development we have seen in this area in the last 40 years?

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The question isn't the last 40 years, its the next 40.  Your logic leads us to the

 

Midtown west of 55th has seen quite a bit of redevelopment, as has the area around CC/ Beacon Place.  Are we not expecting this development to continue. 

 

A major public investment is being made in the form of a rebuilt Euclid Ave.  Is this what is going to be leveraged from this investment?

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^ I am on the same boat as you, X, but I don't think that the sudden announcement of two parks means a bleek future. If you're thinking that we may end up with 50 parks (which won't happen), then we could start worrying. I think these two parks will spur development in the area. Right now it's a very creepy area and the bike park will pay a compliment to the Euclid Corridor. If I was to ride from downtown to UC (which I intend to do), I would be pedaling to metal around E. 55th St. because there is less good than bad in that area right now. Having other people present at parks will create a sense of safety in the area. No longer will the only liveliness in that part of MidTown be at Galucci's picnic benches out front.

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^With so much area available to redevelop, how would whats being discussed here (maybe not the densest, or most usual form of development) prevent additional development.  If anything it would provide new sparks for unique types of urban development.  And as far as vision goes, what types of development, exactly, are to be expected?  Why not try something different.  It's not like developers are just clammoring over one another to quickly redevelop this land, anyway.  Let this start as a nidus, perhaps we start a Gravity/X Games type distict.  Hell, who knows.

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It would be a few parcels to aquire, and demolition of a uninspired building. This is what I picture how a bike park could work along the line. Construction along the ECP should be built to urban context standards. It takes a difficult shaped lot and maxes it out. Back parts an expert zone, front beginer. Mixed use building frontage, some type of bike shop with living space up top (yellow). Additionaly they could have indoor part much like that west side location (light blue). More reseidential buildings to fill out other parts of the block (brown).

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This is the NW corner of East 55th and Euclid, then?  This is where they are planning to do the park?  Something like what you're showing might not be to bad.

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Is this from the Froggy Eats Pigs Ass building? Oh well. I saw that picture of how Brooklynesque it was there with the midrise buildings back in the day. Could it be that we torture ourselves with visions of the past?

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It was just and idea I had how a bike park could better work. I have a prefrence for something like I quickly drew up located on the northwest corner. The article states the bike park plan to be in the northeast corner. The froggy eats pigs ass building is the building in question to be demo'ed and the planned location of the bike park.

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^^

 

:wtf: :wtf: :wtf: :wtf: :wtf:

:x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

:shoot: :shoot: :shoot: :shoot:

 

 

That's my favorite building in Cleveland! I know it's all falling apart, but COME ON!

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Green Shopping Mall.  Turn it inside  out and it sounds like a great concept for the bike-park area of midtown.

 

I  envision a relatively low investment necessary to transform a space into a DeConstruction store (art + furnishings + bldg supplies) + GreenPrintShop + Bike Shop + CityWheels + Cafe w/ garden.  I believe you could get a pretty quick ROI with this set-up. 

 

What think you?  Any ideas to fill the space out?

 

Business Week

Small Biz March 22, 2007, 12:29PM EST text size: TT

The Mall Goes Green

Chicago's Green Exchange will be the first shopping center in the U.S. for environmentally responsible and socially conscious businesses

 

by Jeffrey Gangemi

 

Marilyn Jones was a green-business pioneer. Since 1973, the owner and president of Chicago-based Consolidated Printing has been using soy-based inks and recycled paper in her sheet-fed and digital-printing business. And while she admits that in the beginning it wasn't easy being green, Jones says the past three or four years have brought tremendous attention and attracted numerous fellow practitioners to green and socially responsible business.

 

So many new practitioners have emerged, in fact, that the first mall in the U.S. dedicated to green and socially responsible businesses—Green Exchange—will open in Chicago early in 2008. When it does, Consolidated Printing will be one of its original tenants.

 

Jones is ecstatic that Chicago will soon have a place where "greenies" can help each other expand their businesses—and attract a critical mass of consumers. "A lot of people are unaware of how many things they can actually purchase that are green," Jones explains. "And it's certainly going to give [small green businesses] visibility on a grander scale than they could achieve as an independent."

Plum Location

 

The 250,000-square-feet building will hold about 100 vendors. And not just retail outfits. Besides Consolidated Printing, Green Exchange will house an organic restaurant and café, a sustainable furniture store, a green building supply company, an eco-friendly printer, architects and designers focused on sustainability, an environmentally-friendly clothing company, a car-sharing service, a bike shop, and more. And the location is plum: an estimated 350,000 motorists pass the site each day.

 

The development is capitalizing on a booming market for all things green, organic, and socially responsible (see BusinessWeek.com, Summer 2006, "Do You Need to be Green?"). The Organic Trade Assn. says sales of organic foods are expected to expand by 20% annually over the next few years, and the market for green residential construction and building materials, not counting residential remodeling, is forecast to grow from $7.2 billion in 2005 to between $19 billion and $38 billion in 2010, according to the National Association of Home Builders and McGraw-Hill Construction.

 

By providing a concentration of green and socially responsible businesses, Green Exchange is helping small green providers get bigger and attract more business in an environment that reinforces their ideals. "Since we have this mission, having a place to rent that goes along with that mission is really important," says Ori Sivan, president of Greenmaker Supply, a Chicago-based building materials supply company that will be a Green Exchange tenant.

Taking the LEED

 

It's also making it easier for individual small businesses to help each other. Future tenants are working together on "a collaborative marketing and support network," an online community that provides an e-commerce platform, and a number of events that will eventually be planned for the space. And one of the tenants, Greenmaker Supply, is offering to help each tenant build out their own space using green materials.

 

Once completed, Green Exchange won't only be a home for green businesses, it will be the product of one. Baum Development, a 40-employee Chicago-based real estate development company, is developing the site according to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards, which is a rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

 

The LEED Green Building Rating System provides benchmarks for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings by recognizing performance in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

The Right Mix

 

Hartshorne & Plunkard, the construction company carrying out the building project, along with Baum, is taking care to preserve many of the historical features of the building. At the same time, the team will also comply with LEED standards when renovating by incorporating an energy-efficient environment, a green roof, clean air quality, a landscaped courtyard, bike rooms, meeting and event space, priority hybrid parking, and on-site parking.

 

Of course, an entirely green project presents its share of challenges. Since the building will only be open to tenants who are doing some kind of ecologically responsible business, the potential pool is smaller than normal. But therein lies the project's uniqueness. "Our biggest challenge is finding the tenant mix, but that will also be what will make it fantastic," says David Baum, co-owner of Baum Development.

 

If successful, the idea of a green mall could soon spread to other cities. If it does, then the next generation of mall rats just might be helping to save the world when they shop.

 

Jeffrey Gangemi is a freelance writer based in Mendoza, Argentina.

 

 

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Cuyahoga agency plans new HQ

 

By JAY MILLER

 

11:20 am, June 12, 2007

 

The Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board plans to construct a new headquarters building in the Midtown neighborhood.

 

The three-story headquarters would sit on a now-vacant piece of land on the north side of Euclid Avenue between East 69th and East 79th streets. Mental health board chairwoman Bonita Caplan said the building likely will cost between $10 million and $13 million.

 

Paul Volpe of City Architecture is designing the building, which Ms. Caplan said would be built to green building standards.

 

The mental health board plans, finances and monitors mental health programs in the county. It has 64 employees and a $120 million annual budget that comes from state and federal Medicaid funds and from a county appropriation.

 

Ms. Caplan told the board’s executive committee a new building would give the agency “better space for the same money” it now pays to rent three floors of a building at West 25th Street and Detroit Avenue. She said the agency has talked about a new building before but is moving now of current low interest rates.

 

Robert Carson, a member of the agency’s board of governors, said owning a building will allow the mental health board to build equity, and that a building along the Euclid Corridor transit line will boost the Midtown neighborhood.

 

 

 

Other tenants in tow

 

James Haviland, executive director of MidTown Cleveland Inc., an economic development organization that supports Midtown, is enthused about prospects for the new structure.

 

“It’s right in the middle of our mixed-use district, (and) it’s everything we’ve asked for in our master plan and zoning,” Mr. Haviland said.

 

Plans are for a 45,000-square-foot building, with the mental health board taking about 30,000 square feet and leasing the rest.

 

It already has two tenants lined up: NAMI of Greater Cleveland, an advocacy organization for the mentally ill affiliated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Cuyahoga Tapestry System of Care, an organization that serves children with serious emotional needs. The two organizations currently lease space from the mental health board.

 

Ms. Caplan said the agency is exploring financing possibilities, including private financing or bonding through the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. The goal, she said, is for the agency to be in the new building by fall 2008, when the Euclid Corridor work is expected to be completed.

 

The mental health board is unveiling its plan for the new building on Wednesday, June 13, at Dunham Tavern, which would be the agency’s next-door neighbor.

 

 

 

 

 

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Great, now Volpe can piss all over Euclid Avenue.  How does this guy keep getting work?  Oh wait, I know, his unsettling connections with the city.  Prepare for EIFS cornices and fake columns to mimic the "context" of Aldi's and that church.

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