Jump to content
Guest KJP

Cleveland: Scranton Peninsula: Development and News

Recommended Posts

I don't know how many of you have seen this, but I found on Peter Calthorpe's excellent website a two-page PDF overview of a possible plan for the Scranton Peninsula. Go to http://www.calthorpe.com/ and then click on "Projects" on the top row, then click on the picture above "Urban Revitalization." In the listings, fourth down on the left side, you'll see "Cleveland Gateway Redevelopment Plan." At first, I thought it was for the Gateway District.

 

This plan was commissioned by Forest City Enterprises, and is dated as 2003. Does anyone have more information about this plan? I suspect it was part of FCE's initial proposal to locate the convention center between Tower City and the river (remember the plan that had the pedestrian bridge over the river?).

 

KJP


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point FCE is holding onto like 90% of the Scranton Peninsula.  You shouldn't hold your breath on this one, it's not going to happen for a long time. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This might have been what they were planning when they said that if they got the convention site along the river, they would develop the Scranton Peninsula.  Of course, they pulled the Scranton plan later for whatever reason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really I can't see why the convention center should have effected their Scranton Peninsula plans either way.  I've never known anyone to say "This is a great location, I'll be right next to the Convention Center!  Just like I've always wanted!".  I don't think they ever intended to make good on this carrot that they were dangling.  Not until the timing was right for them, at least.  I wonder when that will be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I like that plan a lot!  I know it's really just a framework plan, as they usually are at that stage in the game, but I think Calthorpe & Assoc. are right on with their scale, street network, and attention paid to the river and Downtown Cleveland.  I hope FCE is holding on to this until they can do it and do it right!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember at the time FCE said that the river walls needed to be reinforced, at a cost of something like half a billion dollars.  They said something like a convention center and the new development might get the necessary federal money to do the project.  Otherwise, if would be unfeasible.

 

Not sure how true it is, but that is what I remember FCE saying

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was disappointed that plan is no longer available to view on Calthorpe's website.

 

I look at the Peninsula everyday at work through the window at my desk, and it just pisses me off to no end. It would be awesome to build a new mixed-use neighborhood there on the river. If there is any demand for urban housing in the heart of the city - then any units there would fly off the shelves. Assuming some pedestrian infrastructure linkages to Tower City, Ohio City, and Tremont - that would be exactly the urban neighborhood I'd like to live in Cleveland.

 

n7700431_31099762_209.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link.

 

Isn't there some developer planning residential units on the riverfront areas of the Peninsula? I remember hearing about that not too long ago, but I forget the details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, John Ferchill. It's the narrow strip of land between the river and Scranton Road, just south of the closed Eagle Avenue bridge.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a great piece of land, but I wonder how environmentally clean it is; Republic Steel had a rather large factory on that site (the Upson Nut Works), from about the late 1800s into the 1950s/1960s.  The whole peninsula was crammed with foundries and factories for decades.  Does anyone know if it's ever been cleaned up?  Is it "clean" enough for housing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

interesting blurb in that pd article:

 

The peninsula has been shouting out for a world-class development, said Will Voegele, Forest City's regional development director. "This should be one of the best planned urban spaces in the country."

 

ahem. well?

 

it's obvious fcr is sitting on that property and holding it hostage in order to try to wring stuff out of the city. i'm so glad they did not get their convention center. shame on them.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If and when Stark successfully completes the WHD megaproject, Scranton Peninsula will become that much more attractive.  While I have faith in Stark, I think that it will take time to develop the port land east of the Cuyahoga. That could be the window for FCE to start on Scranton. 

 

Just thinking to myself..a fully developed Scranton would really benefit both Tremont and the OC. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole convention center thing seems to be stalled or dying, but the two sites remaining for consideration are a riverfront site attached to Tower City, and the existing site on the Mall that would include renovation/expansion (possibly over the railroad tracks to the lakefront).

 

A convention facilities authority was created to do the studies and make decisions. http://www.conventioncleveland.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the status of the steak house that was on the river down there?  It isn't still there, is it?

 

I think Jim's closed several years ago.  I think the building was occupied by a few clubs afterwards but not sure what's in it now if anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Calthorpe design was pretty sharp but I'd definitely do my due diligence before buying a unit with a below-grade garage built on a flood plain. 

 

And, not to steal too much of Blinker's thunder, while I notice that there are words on the pages mentioning preserving some of the old buildings, I couldn't identify them on the site plan.  Some have been torn down in the last few years but I think there are still some solid (and possibly quite old) cool brick buildings on Scranton itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must have missed something. Does anybody know WHERE the New Convention Center is gonna be if its not on the peninsula ??? Thanks!

 

The powers-that-be (Mayor Jackson, County Commissioners, Forest City--who funded campaigns of the aforementioned pols) want the convention center at Tower City. If it gets built, that's probably where it's going to go (how I wish it weren't true). The goal isn't to put a levy on the ballot to specifically for the convention center, however, unless you count the gambling issue on this fall's ballot as it.... Word from the politicals is the profits from one or both of the casinos would be used to pay for the convention center. But they are very quiet about this because they don't want to people to a vote for casino gambling as a vote for the convention center. They want them to remain separate issues in the electorate's eyes.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Below would be my idea for the Scranton Peninsula. I say dredge it out and create a new inner harbor for Cleveland. Imagine the possibilities this could create. This would kick start development behind TC. And all along the perimeter of the harbor the development possibilities are endless. It would be dramatic. Not too mention what could be done in the harbor itself throughout the year. This would give Cleveland a whole new look. Of course I like to think big, but I think it would be very feasible. (I added some buildings behind TC for effect and "greened" up the land a little bit. I also added some people to CBS because I hate those damn orange seats).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is certainly an interesting idea, however I'm having trouble imagining what the water in that vast "inner-harbor" would look like. I'm not one of those Cuyahoga River bashers, but creating a whole inner-harbor with that water might be a little sketchy to put there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

interesting idea - nice work on the graphics, btw.

 

 

but i'm thinking that the scranton peninsula might be better utilized by creating canals that run through the site, like a mini venice.  either way (lagoon or canals) the expensive issue of bulkheads is going to arise as well as flood control on the river. 

 

we def need more free or alt thinking on this topic though, so thanks for that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey freethink i really like your photos. excellent idea. it looks great! though i like the idea of making homes with canals running through. or possibly something that looks like the new developments off of the coast of dubai. good work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh man more like a muddy brown pond and how would those big ore ships get through?

 

it would be pretty amazing in transforming the area tho...  i wonder if they could do that somewhere else like in the west bank of the flats

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, back in the early 20th century, there was a plan to cut a straighter path through the river, to make it easier for the ore carriers to head to the mills.  One plan I saw (a map at the Cleveland Press Collection) even showed a cut right through the Scranton Peninsula.  Never happened though; why?  Because the steel mills vetoed it.  They wanted a straighter shipping channel, but not one that cut off their own land.  And Upson Nut was a pretty big company back in the day, and no city father would have annoyed them, since the city folks were doing everything they could to lure companies to set up in Cleveland.

 

But that was then ... it might be something to revisit now, to create an island in the middle of the river, and put some desireable housing on it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing makes me crazier than to take a unique piece of property like the scranton peninsula and build condo's and apartments on it. Great property, important property in a city should be used for the greater good-for everyone. Not just for those who can afford half-a-million dollar condos. There are enough areas in the center of the city that can be used for housing. This is a unique opportunity that we have to do something special with this area. I challenge FCM to do something different with this property, to think big and deliver us something that will be with us for generations. The Ratners will not be around forever, take this area and build your legacy, something that will change the face of this city. It could be that important. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm afraid I don't quite understand.  What exactly would qualify as "greater good" and "special".  Those are nice words but they don't really mean anything.

 

I agree, if it's prime, unique property it should be used well.  There are lots of areas in the city that can be used for housing but few as unique as Scranton Peninsula, and therefore few that have that special draw and appeal that generates demand for special, unique housing.  That brings affluent, tax-paying population into the city and I don't really see how it's a bad thing if it's built right.  Increasing the tax base helps accomplish those nebulous "special" "greater good" (non)-ideas that everyone talks about. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with matches on this.  What Freethink is saying is true, but could be said for just about anywhere, especially the current proposals underway for the flats etc....  If Scranton is done right it should incorporate some unique housing.  Building something just to build a legacy doesnt necessarily mean anything if you dont incorporate reasons for people to be there (live there)   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

A legacy to the Ratners?  The property does not belong to the Ratner family.  It belongs to a partnership between Forest City and another company.  A corporation’s job is to make money, not make a legacy for its chairman of the board.  Forest City has obligations to its shareholders and to its partners to develop property in a financially reasonable fashion, not by making parks.

 

It is pretty obvious why the peninsula has not been developed:

 

The Scranton Peninsula has been industrial for over 100 years.  It was fill added to an old swampy area.  As others have said, the land is polluted.  It is obviously clean enough for industrial use, but not housing.  The army corps have stated that all the bulk-heading in the flats must be replaced before you build near them.  Bulk-heading is somewhere between $3,750 to $4,000 a lineal foot to replace.

 

Because it is merely fill land, you have to build either floating foundations or go down to bedrock with foundations.  To build housing the land has to be cleaner, so therefor, the land has to be cleaned, hauled away or capped.  Then you have to put new bulk-heading all the way around the peninsula.  If you look at city records you will see that the sewers have to be totally revamped for a project that large.  You are talking about millions of dollars before you even can break ground on unit one down there.  You cannot phase it like other projects, because you have so much initial investment in the land.

 

Forest City will need a big project across the river to leverage the infrastructure investment that they need to make in developing the peninsula.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are other reasons why many people on this site and in this city have a problem with the Ratners.

What they have done in this city has been mostly poorly planned, or has been a suburban development that has been a detriment to the city of Cleveland.

They cite Tower City's shopping mall as proof that Cleveland is not ready for retail, yet if the project would have been done in conjunction with residential developments, the mall would most likely be in better shape than it is now.

Their continued stance of "we react to demand, we don't create it," is a cop out of great proportions.  In a recent study, it was discovered that 21% of suburban Cleveland residents would consider living within the city limits in an urban environment.  That's 600,000 residents added to the current population of 470,000.  There is your f'ing demand.  How many condo/townhouses/apartment buildings do you think would need to be built to keep up with that demand?  Enough to fill 50 Scranton Penninsula's I would guess.

I have no sympathy for Forest City's poor image in Cleveland.  They will start developing late in the game and ask for a pat on the back, and nobody will give a damn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from Cleveland.com

 

County board seeks Clean Ohio cash for Scranton Peninsula project

 

Nov. 30, 2006

5:22 p.m.

 

Cuyahoga County commissioners will ask the Clean Ohio Assistance Fund for $750,000 to help developers with a housing project on the Scranton Peninsula, which sits across the Cuyahoga River from Tower City Center....

 

By Henry J. Gomez, hgomez@plaind.com


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so this is the same project as this thread: http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=6414.0

 

And I'm still a little confused about where this is.  Is it north or south of Lorain-Carnegie?  North or south of the Central Viaduct?  One map showed it on the main part of the peninsula, where another showed it down under the Innerbelt (Central Viaduct). This is confusing, because who'd want to build housing units there?  Especially considering the construction of another bridge right there in the somewhat near future.  And the articles keep referring to this as "across the Cuyahoga River from Tower City Center."  Do they mean Scranton or the project?  So unclear!

 

Anyway, I'm happy to see this moving along.  The City's behind it and now the County as well.  Good signs!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's just south/southeast of the Lorain/Carnegie bridge. I'm working on a map of the site now.

 

And, yes, this thread should probably be combined with the Ferchill thread you found.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...