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Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News

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A thread just for Clevelands Murray Hill neighborhood, why not?  We all know of the recent completion of the town homes that are as I recall actualy in Cleveland Heights... another project is underway, Mayfield Lofts.  You all know the lot, right after the tracks overpass across from the playground with the terrible mural on the wall...  Getting some life finaly! Anyone have any articles or info?

 

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Quote from developers site:

"Mayfield Lofts Condominiums is a proposed project to be built at Mayfield Road and E. 119th Street, on the Western edge of Little Italy.  The luxury flats will feature 1-3 bedroom, 1-2 baths, indoor parking, and 15 year tax abatement.  Prices are expected to start at $190,000."

 

Same developer that did the Edgehill Road Townhomes, LArchmere Loft Condos and is now working on this project as well as "Larchemere Court Townhouses".

 

 

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FerrariEnzo,

 

Murray Hill is a street in Little Italy, you post could be confusing to some. 

 

I'm pretty sure the Villa Carabelli Townhomes are in both cleveland and cleveland heights.

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I'm pretty sure the Villa Carabelli Townhomes are in both cleveland and cleveland heights.

 

Actually, according to my records, both the Villa Carabelli and Edghill Townhomes are completely in Cleveland.

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The master plan seems a little "unambitious" to me.  Seems like their main concerns were parking and making sure that they don't change any more than they absolutely are forced to.  Not that either of those are a surprise.  The Mayfield streetscape would be nice though.

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the mayfield lofts (as far as i know) is simply the developer putting up a sign to gague interest. I don't think any concrete plans are in place.....

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From the 1/7/06 PD:

 

 

Little Italy improvement plan gets OK

Mayfield makeover key component

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Tom Breckenridge

Plain Dealer Reporter

 

Little Italy is planning a big future, with a Mayfield Road makeover, more parking and a resolve to upgrade its housing stock.

 

The Cleveland Planning Commission on Friday adopted the neighborhood's new master plan, forged after months of sometimes-tense public debate, with a focus on preserving the Old World charm and busy street scenes that distinguish Little Italy...

 

http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1136626464227560.xml&coll=2

 

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"Kristosik said he planned to meet with Little Italy merchants Monday, when he would discuss the possibility of multicultural events."

 

Ugh if we get 'other' cultural events in the neighborhood, then it becomes less and less italy

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I agree, whats the point of treasuring 'little italy' and trying to have a kawanza festival there at the same time... it isnt going to work.

 

I don't think that is what they mean.  Nor would I want that.  I get the feeling they mean opening up Little Itally to its cooperate neighbors and get them to invest in their residential neighborhood. 

 

I would like the area to become a little more "open" and "accepting" as people of color still don't feel comfortable in the area.  I am in NO WAY saying everyone in LI is a racist, but the "wall of" silence around the neighborhood has to come down.

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more parking? ride the fucking train/bus you lazy suburbanite....

 

as for the housing, it is beyond piss-poor shape. some good code enforcement would do wonders

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From the Free Times:

 

Cinema Park-Adiso: Little Italy weighs saving an old theater against adding much-needed parking 

 

By Michael Gill

 

Sheldon Wigod began his turn with the Mayfield Theater in 1976. Back then the professor and entrepreneur could sell out 500 seats by showing classics like American in Paris, Singing in the Rain and Charlie Chaplin movies. For 10 years, the movie house was the heartbeat of Little Italy. People parked in a lot up the hill, where new housing now stands.

 

But in the '80s, Wigod says, VCRs and cable TV "basically killed revival houses all over the country." The Mayfield went on the ropes. Wigod played more avant-garde films to draw crowds, but one night in 1986 — after a screening of "some sort of Israeli gay movie, or something" — he closed the doors for good.

 

In the 20 years since then, galleries, restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries have made the neighborhood buzz with commerce. So when the Little Italy Redevelopment Corp. began a master-planning process in 2003, planners thought it made sense to replace the aging movie house — built in 1923 and recognized by the Cleveland Landmarks Commission — with something decidedly less romantic: an elaborate parking deck. Architect Paul Volpe, who consulted with the CDC on the master plan, suggests retail on the first floor with a ramp behind it, housing on the second floor with parking and another ramp, and a third level completely devoted to cars. They'd save the marquee and portions of the facade, if possible.

 

But property owners say no one asked them what they thought.

 

"No one contacted me about that plan," says Terry Tarantino, who owns the theater building. "No one sat down with me to tell me what it's about."

 

Tarantino opened his restaurant La Dolce Vita 17 years ago. With neighborhood charm and opera singers to serenade weekend dinner customers, he built it into a landmark of his own. He has ideas about the future of the historic theater, too, and how it fits with the rest of the neighborhood. And it doesn't include parking.

"Let's pretend someone offered me a ridiculous amount of money to make it into parking," he says. "I still wouldn't want to do it. It's not about the money."

 

No one denies that the neighborhood could use more parking, but the difference of opinion over how to get it points to profoundly different perspectives on the economic development of neighborhoods.

 

the thing goes on for a bit at http://www.freetimes.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=3231&POSTNUKESID=a215a1a0b4ccf04303f74006f3efab66

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I'm pretty sure the Villa Carabelli Townhomes are in both cleveland and cleveland heights.

 

Actually, according to my records, both the Villa Carabelli and Edghill Townhomes are completely in Cleveland.

 

I think MTS is the winner on this one - according to the Future Heights site, half of the units are in Cleveland and half are in Cleveland Hts.  If I remember correctly, all the Cleveland ones sold quickly b/c they had more generous tax abatements. 

 

 

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Murray Hill is a street in Little Italy, you post could be confusing to some. 

 

Murray Hill is the name of the street, was the name of the school, is the name of the physical hill and is often the nickname for the whole neighborhood, as in the "Murray Hill Art Walk", etc.  I've always heard the names used synonymously, but have always preferred "Murray Hill" - every town has a Little Italy.  Not much charm in that.  Doesn't really matter either way...

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more parking? ride the fucking train/bus you lazy suburbanite....

 

as for the housing, it is beyond piss-poor shape. some good code enforcement would do wonders

 

Just quoted Pope b/c I liked his post and it's related to the redevelopment plan, highlights of which you can find here --> http://www.littleitalyredevelopment.org/masterplan.htm

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I've often felt that a dinner theater concept would work well there. Why not some productions on the immigrant experience of coming to America? If you've seen Godfather II, there's a scene from the 1910s in a playhouse where the Italian immigrant experience is portrayed. That's one of my favorite scenes in any movie, and would pay to enjoy a production like that while served some authentic Italian food. Order your food before the show starts, have it served at intermission, and consume it during Act II. I'm there.

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I'm pretty sure the Villa Carabelli Townhomes are in both cleveland and cleveland heights.

 

Actually, according to my records, both the Villa Carabelli and Edghill Townhomes are completely in Cleveland.

 

I think MTS is the winner on this one - according to the Future Heights site, half of the units are in Cleveland and half are in Cleveland Hts.  If I remember correctly, all the Cleveland ones sold quickly b/c they had more generous tax abatements. 

 

 

 

I stand corrected.  I was just having this conversation again with a friend who said she thought it was split and I checked the City GIS site again and found out where I'd made my mistake...

 

I still believe that the Edgehill Townhomes are all in the City of Cleveland, though.

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Sweet idea would be for it to become the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. Beer, dining, movies. It seems like a good way to rebrand old movie theatres. Make the whole thing an event out of watching a movie instead of seeing a movie.

 

http://www.originalalamo.com/ui/default.aspx

 

Isn't that sort of what the Centrum has become-at least on some nights?  http://www.pluggedincleveland.com/view.cgi?num=10404  And Cedar Lee has a full bar, no?  I suppose it's about the atmosphere, though.  And frankly, I prefer the sneaky feeling of smuggling outside beer into a movie theater...

 

Are there any big parking areas left in Little Italy?  Would people be willing to park down in the UHHS garages and walk up the hill?  I know that Landmark, one of the previous Centrum owners, complained that patrons were too lazy to walk there from the parking deck on Coventry (a really short walk) which worries me a bit.

 

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^parking is pretty much non-existant in little italy now.

 

Various restaurants have small lots, typically no more than 10-15 spots. Primo vino is the lone exception with capacity for about 40 cars. On street parking has always been hard, and now with art season kicking up. Irregardless, i stand by my previous statement of fat and lazy suburbanites.

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^Does Primo Vino own the lot that is across the street and backs up to the cemetery?  That would be a great place for a few townhomes (if you knocked down that dumpy looking house on the corner and stretched the development onto Mayfield.)

 

I find it very strange that the local CDC would not even attempt to contact the owner of the theater before suggesting that it become a parking deck.  Little Italy is a small place and Dolce Vita is a big fish--you think that they would have at least talked to the guy about it before telling the public what he should do with his property.  On the other hand, I have the feeling that the owner isn't really trying to think of any good ideas for the building.  Wine bar? C'mon, one just opened up across the street.  If you have a theater space, you have the perfect opportunity to do something unique.  By the way, I noticed that the parking lot to the immediate east of the theater had a for-sale sign infront of it. 

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What's happening with the big old building on Random Road that currently serves as a gigantic one-story parking garage with 30 foot ceilings?  I'd much rather see a deck added to that and the outside spruced up a bit than mess with a landmark building in the heart of the commercial district's main drag. 

 

Ideally, I'd love to see the Random Road site developed with some townhomes in front and 3 levels of parking in back...kind of like the plans for Front Avenue in the Flats East Bank.  The garage would provide a buffer between the busy railroad tracks and the residential component, in addition to adding much-needed parking.  The townhomes would add to the residential character of the street.  The whole thing would remove a neighborhood eyesore.

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^Does Primo Vino own the lot that is across the street and backs up to the cemetery?  That would be a great place for a few townhomes (if you knocked down that dumpy looking house on the corner and stretched the development onto Mayfield.)

 

 

Yes they own the lot at 126th and mayfield, then the larger one behind the dumpy house. The dumpy house has a dumpy owner. The building was condemned by the locals. Something is tied up in court, but we are really just waiting for it to catch fire in the near future. Knowing the owners of primo vino. I don't think selling the lots is in the near future (2-3 years). However, both of them are probably getting closer to retirement, and would likely package the three lots with primos gargantuan building (three floors) and probably get a good price to retire on. (this is all complete speculation by the author)

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furthermore, tarrantino, the owner of la dolce vita and the theater, doesn't exactly have the best reputation in the neighborhood

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New development!! And this one is transit supportive.

 

You may have seen the signs along Mayfield for this mid-rise condo tower in Little Italy, next to the proposed site of the relocated Red Line station. Well, it's coming before the Landmarks Commission today. The reason for needing approval of this commission is because Little Italy is a designated historic district.

 

The location...

 

MayfieldLofts1s.jpg

 

MayfieldLofts7s.jpg

 

 

Close up so can read the text...

 

MayfieldLofts07s.jpg

 

 

Scaling....

 

MayfieldLofts10s.jpg

 

More detail (scroll right)....

 

MayfieldLofts10ss.jpg

 

Floor plan...

 

MayfieldLofts9s.jpg

 

Close up so can read stuff....

 

MayfieldLofts09.jpg

 

 

Existing conditions...

 

MayfieldLofts5s.jpg

 

 

Elevations of Mayfield Lofts...

 

MayfieldLofts2s.jpg

 

MayfieldLofts3s.jpg

 

MayfieldLofts8s.jpg

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My initial reaction is: why have the garage entrance fronting Mayfield? Why not put it to the rear and put a leasable space on Mayfield. If the Red Line station is relocated here, then I would think this would be a perfect place for a small, commuter-oriented retailer (newstand, bodega, dry cleaner, coffee shop, etc.).

 

I'm also not sure why this building wasn't proposed to be located right at the corner of Mayfield and East 119th Street. It appears to be set back from East 119th. Why not put it at the corner and offer a highly visible leasable location at the corner? I see pull-in parking is offered on East 119th (maybe for guests?). Is there something preventing the parking from being put on the east side of the Mayfield Lofts?

 

Don't get me wrong. This is a huge improvement over what's there now and I would consider living there. But I don't think the design fully capitalizes on current and future opportunities.

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Excellent to see this move forward on a very important site in the connection between UC and Little Italy.

I couldn't agree more with KJP's critique however. And the aesthetics are also pretty uninspired. 

The "Little Italy" signage resembles an Olive Garden sign.  Would be interesting to see something a little more along the lines of the contemporary "CINCINNATTI" text in it's skyline.  I mean, you're going to have FOA & MVRDV in eyeshot, get crazy with it Lowenstein Durante.

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I can live with the facade although it's a little bland, though I agree that the garage should be moved to the rear.

 

I hope to god that signage is a joke. I know I usually try to offer constructive criticism, but it's just not possible here - it's garbage and has no place being there. As w28th pointed out, you have some seriously amazing and over-the-top projects adjacent to this site, and you're slapping up some ridiculous script signage?

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Fianly that project on mayfield is moving ahead, I rememeber I made a thread about it awhile back and it just stagnated.  Atlast!  Great coverage KJP.  Looks great and will help keep little italy bustling, now maybe we can tunnel mayfiel under little italy and make it pedestrian....

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In response to critiques from KJP and others (because this was my initial reaction when I saw this too), this project is on an island, surrounded by property that is also privately owned.  While it looks like they could easily just have their tenants drive up E. 119th Street and park in the rear, that is not the case.  The City vacated E. 119th Street some years ago and it is now owned by a private parking lot operator, who manages several hundred spaces along this stretch.  So, as much as I hate the new curb cut on Mayfield and the use of the first floor sidewalk frontage on this high volume pedestrian route for automobiles, well, there may be no project without it.

 

I'm not sure what negotiations they've attempted with the parking lot folks, either to purchase an easement or to lease spaces from them, but that's something that I hope has been or will be discussed.

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According to the City Planning Commission's interactive map and the County Auditor, the parcel for the Mayfield Lofts is owned by Constance Perotti. And the vacated East 119th Street and the parcel behind it is owned by Norfolk Southern. That includes the small strip between the former East 119th and the parcel on which Mayfield Lofts would be built. So that explains why the building isn't being proposed up the old street corner, or no rear entry to the garage is proposed. Doesn't mean I like it.

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