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Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News

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I wonder what will happen when the Little Italy NIMBY's get a crack at this.  I would think a six story building will send them into a collective conniption fit.

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Maybe some of the old-timers. But who lives in Little Italy these days? Isn't it mostly students and other younger people?


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

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I wonder what will happen when the Little Italy NIMBY's get a crack at this. I would think a six story building will send them into a collective conniption fit.

 

edit:  the adjacent landowner, not the LI cdc, is against the project. I really don't know what the LI cdc says, but I can guess.

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Maybe some of the old-timers. But who lives in Little Italy these days? Isn't it mostly students and other younger people?

 

I recall a PD article maybe a year or two ago, where since the 1990 Census, the %Foreign Born or those claiming Italian ancestry has plummeted from around 45% to below 20% in the full 2000 census. Other parts spoke towards massively changing demographics, specifically regarding age and country of origin.

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Regarding Little Italy:

 

Lillian Kuri (one of Cleveland's greatest assests) is building a green townhouse on Edgehill just down from the Edgehill townhomes.

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I forgot about the CDC's letter. It, and the CIA's, appear below...

 

MayfieldLoftsCDCletter-s.jpg

____________________

 

MayfieldLoftsCIAletter-s.jpg


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

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Little Italy CDC folks need to put more thought into this. To me, it's a simple question: What's the highest and best use for land adjacent to a relocated rapid transit station? The answer is: something with density, preferably mixed use.

 

People who would like to use the Rapid in Cleveland don't because their biggest complaint seems to be that it doesn't go where they want it to. So put some destinations they'd want to go to/from next to Rapid stations and/or relocate the stations. This Mayfield project does both.


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

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I agree w/ KJP's assessment of Mayfield Lofts and the garage-on-street concept, though it is not w/o precedent.  Ironically, the similar sounding Larchmere Lofts, a few years ago, did the same thing.  And now, across the street from lively Boulevard Blue, passersby get the pleasure of looking through garage windows to look at cars.  Street-facing garages, with their ped-interrupting driveways are the antithesis of mixed-use street development...

 

... as to Little Italy's LI-LLC letter: boy, I really don't like the sound of it.  Sounds like, once again, we may be headed to some sort of showdown.  I sure wish, for once, we could get all the principals singing from the same sheet of music... I'm wondering, though, if Little Italy really wants to intergrate with U.Cir or just wants to be obstructionist?  To straight out ask for a denial of rezoning, w/o negotiation, as well as attempt to make RTA's relocation to LI plan sound speculative when RTA is obviously moving forward to relocate in LI makes me highly suspicious of the LI-LLC's motives here.

 

New demographic or not, it certainly wouldn't be the 1st time for LI; not by a long shot... If LI has a master plan, then show your hand ... or step aside.

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Oi!  You hotheads need to check your "p"s and "q"s before you start slingin the old mud around!

 

Little Italy Development, LLC and Little Italy Redevelopment Corporation are two completely different entities.  I know, they sound VERY similar, but the former is a private, for profit "developer," who operates surface parking lots.  The latter is a non-profit community development corporation.  I'm not sure where LIRC weighs in on this project, but I don't think it's safe to say that their opinion is that of the private landowner adjacent to the proposed project.

 

Just wanted to clear that up...

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So if they're both of the same mind regarding the Mayfield Lofts project, then what does it matter to whom my objection is directed? The only difference seems to be the spelling of their names. I do thank you for clearing that up, though.


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

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Yes, how/where did we determine what the LIRC position is?  If I missed it, I'd like to know!

 

To piggy back on the mud slinging, though (because you all know I love to), I understand how the adjacent landowner's input is important, because they are adjacent, but how can their master plan really have any bearing on the plans of an adjacent land owner to build out his/her own property?  Especially if they're not planning to provide an easement or have their property (which consists of lots of asphalt and paint) otherwise impacted by the development. 

 

CIA, on the other hand, offers a nice support document, but they are a stretch when considering neighboring properties.

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Item #2 in the Little Italy Development letter seems to indicate it. You're right that we should wait to see what they have to say. But I guess I have come to expect outcomes that aren't favorable to urban sustainability here to the point that I misread your prior posting as saying the LIRC's opinion IS shared by the private landowner.


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

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You're right about #2 in the letter, KJP, but until I've actually heard a response from LIRC, I wouldn't put too much weight on what the private Little Italy Development has to say about the CDC's master plan. 

 

I bolded the word "don't" in my previous post to make sure everyone reads it right!

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Oi!  You hotheads need to check your "p"s and "q"s before you start slingin the old mud around!

 

Little Italy Development, LLC and Little Italy Redevelopment Corporation are two completely different entities.  I know, they sound VERY similar, but the former is a private, for profit "developer," who operates surface parking lots.  The latter is a non-profit community development corporation.  I'm not sure where LIRC weighs in on this project, but I don't think it's safe to say that their opinion is that of the private landowner adjacent to the proposed project.

 

Just wanted to clear that up...

 

But this doesn't let LIRC, -- or whoever the "legitimate" voice of LI may be -- off the hook.  You're contradicting yourself because LIRC absolutely should weigh in.  If indeed they are in disagreement with LI, LLC as not representing the 'voice' of LI regarding these project, then it is incumbent upon them to speak up, ... otherwise, they tacitly adopt LI, LLC's position which, as I said, is obstructionist, ridiculous and just plaint particularly given the tedious and thoughtful hard work of RTA, UCI, CWRU and the developers in finally coming up with an extremely potentially worthwhile development for U.Circle and the city at large.  That there is any confusion at all with a parking lot owner/developer, makes LI's collective voice all the more urgent, esp since, via the PD, this project is finally getting wide publicity and (rare) positive PD press.

 

Sorry Map boy, I'm not buying it.  We're approaching 1 month since that ridiculous letter rezoning app denial request.  Little Italy, like their bookend neighbors Hessler Ct, have a reputation as obstructionist project killers.  The long empty lot at Euclid-E. 115 and the un-relocated E. 120 Red Line station are evidence of these groups' handiwork.  So unless LI wants to alter this negative image, the time to speak is now.

 

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What are you not buying?  The fact that Little Italy Redevelopment didn't write that letter?  I've said nothing to imply that LIRC either supports or opposes this project.  All I said is that we shouldn't assume that they agree with one letter or another until we've heard it from them.

 

I would think, based simply on the nature of urban development, that they would support it for a number of reasons and oppose it for others, all of which we've discussed here.  In the end, though, it is their responsibility to work with the developer, the supporters and the opposition to come to the best outcome possible.  I don't know if LIRC has voiced an opinion to date.  If anyone was at the meeting and knows if they were in attendance (which they should have been), I'd be curious to know what they thought. 

 

And you're right, clvlndr, that LIRC shouldn't just stand by and watch.  If they have a master plan in place (which they do) and they feel that this development meets with the community's established vision for the neighborhood, then they should be supporting it or helping to bring it into compliance with that vision.  If it runs counter to the community's vision, then they should step up and say why. 

 

As for the adjacent landowner being entitled to their opinion, well, that's just part of the process, both for landmarks review and zoning changes.  I wouldn't take that away from them, but I also wouldn't let it be the deciding factor.  By law, they are allowed time and a venue to respond.  Their opinion need not be heeded in order for the proposed project to be approved by the legislating body.  It may, however, bring up issues that the various boards will need to consider before moving forward with changes or approvals.

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^^Map Boy, I agree w/ your sentiment that cooler head should prevail here.  I just hope, whoever is the legit voice for LI get out in front of this thing and, if as you state, this LLC guy is a for-profit man, at the very least, LIRC should calm him down so he won't shoot from the lip/hip.

 

I'm hoping your right and this is just part of the "comment" process for zoning.  I think we all realize how important projects like these are for the city, esp a part of town w/ so much going for it, already, as Univ. Circle/Little Italy.  And now that we've got RTA up and actually moving on this, it is the kind of lightening in a bottle no one wants to squander.

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Oi!  You hotheads need to check your "p"s and "q"s before you start slingin the old mud around!

 

Little Italy Development, LLC and Little Italy Redevelopment Corporation are two completely different entities.  I know, they sound VERY similar, but the former is a private, for profit "developer," who operates surface parking lots.  The latter is a non-profit community development corporation.  I'm not sure where LIRC weighs in on this project, but I don't think it's safe to say that their opinion is that of the private landowner adjacent to the proposed project.

 

Just wanted to clear that up...

 

I was talking to some people yesterday who are VERY close to the RTA station project and I now understand why the two Little Italy organizations are against the Mayfield Lofts. A big reason is one of the concerns I had about -- it's dead at the sidewalk and doesn't do much to enhance street life between the RTA station and the rest of the Little Italy. And apparently this project would "complicate" plans for something larger and much more New Urbanist to be sought by LI LCC.


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

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if you check out this week's Landmarks meeting, there is another decent-sized townhouse development being proposed for Little Italy on Coltman Rd. They are only presenting their conceptual plan (meaning that they are a little bit away from securing permits and breaking ground). The Mayfield Lofts development is seeking final approval. Things are hopping on the other side of the tracks. Next up: UARD.

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The designs remind me of stuff I used to see planned in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I guess I'm too much of a Victorian traditionalist.


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

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They actually aren't too bad.  But for Mayfield Lofts I'm glad they left the wood fence next to the building...  Seriously, why would anyone doing renderings keep that there?

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I am impressed with the Coltman Rd. Townhouses.  I wish they had a little more transparency on the first floor.  I think it would make sense, too, if those are going to be workspaces along the street level.

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I am impressed with the Coltman Rd. Townhouses.  I wish they had a little more transparency on the first floor.  I think it would make sense, too, if those are going to be workspaces along the street level.

 

 

I agree. I like them, but they seem to be lacking something on the first floor. Too much brick.  I think that they could benefit a bit more from some height. UC has a decent little skyline at night.

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they are as high as you want townhomes.. 4 floors is definitely high enough. If they want to go any higher your gonna have to start building apartments.

 

lets talk first floor brick. I think its VERY well done. Think about it this way, if you have one room for your office, would you want people watching you 100% of the time? its a personal question as people are diverse enough im sure some said yes and no. so because not everyone really wants to be completely enclosed either, there was a great compromise in keeping what looks like a foot and a half tall glass pane stretched across the top of the space. this adds natural lighting and keeps the space both connected and disconnected. dont forget about the port window! i think it was well done in this regard. also, take a closer look and notice that only every other house has that brick first floor feature. half of them are a full glass window with some natural plants in front to screen the owner. I can see how you would find the use of brick confusing, however as the rendering is done, it looks to connect very well to the ground floor pathways and sidewalk. causing a nice flow of materials from bottom up moving from brick (work space) to window/wood (living space) to a rooftop deck (leisure space).

 

At least that is how I stand. Wether or not the designer was intentional with his use of materials, we never know, however my gut points to yes. (and yeah, my gut can point! haha  :lol:)

 

also notice the horizontal (and sometimes vertical) wood screening on the stairwell. That is a nice touch because it adds a sweet sweet level of privacy/shade and also reinstates the whole materials progression idea from bottom to top.

 

and thats about the best i can do as an 18 year old with 6 months of architecture at the university of cincinnati. was my time worth it?  :drunk: :drunk: :drunk: :drunk:

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ryanscav:  i enjoyed your analysis from the architectural perspective.

 

I really like the look and apparent functionality of this design, esp the fourth floor covered decks.  Looking at the architects website http://dimitarchitects.com , I see the principal, Scott Dimit, led the design of the Brownstones at Derbyshire (clv hts), which, IMHO, is the best example of creative re-use (old church) combined with new con, that I've seen in Clev+inner ring.  I really like the Derybshire project all around, including use of greenspace and addition of smaller (1 bed) units.  I think it'd be great if more condo projects in Clev included in-law suites on the lower level (like EcoVillage townhomes) as a means of providing rental options in the neighborhood.  Also, with all the churches closing in NEO, would be great to see a few converted to housing with Derbyshire as the benchmark!

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the mayfield lofts building is ok, they didn't really try too hard on the design end, but its a good fit.

 

otoh wow the coltman development is striking. check out those rooftops. very cool. nice take ryanscav thx.

 

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Little Italy condos deserve zoning approval

Posted by Steven Litt/Plain Dealer Architecture Critic

April 25, 2008 12:31PM

 

 

One would think that the modest condominium tower proposed for a long-vacant lot on Mayfield Road in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood would be cause for rejoicing.

 

But that's not how it has been received in the community. Critics continue to raise objections, even though the project would bring fresh life to a dark and scary-looking corner of the neighborhood...

 

more at: http://blog.cleveland.com/architecture/2008/04/little_italy_condo_project_sho.html

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wah wah, "it would be taller than the church"? So flippin' what. I understand that Holy Rosary is a huge part of the community, but to be against a building because it would be taller than a church is absurd. Grow up Little Italy, change is coming, and its been happening for years (as reflected in your last census where less than 20% claim Italian ancestry).

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From uhhospitals.org:

 

Resident Salary 2007 - 2008:

 

Residents are paid according to their level of training as follows:

Post-Graduate Year -1 $41,850.00

PGY-2 $43,851.00

PGY-3 $45,232.00

PGY-4 $46,770.00

 

The building will contain 17 condos with two- or three-bedroom units, selling for $250,000 to $400,000.

 

He said he expects that the apartments will be snatched up quickly by interns and residents at nearby University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic.

 

Not fricking likely, given those resident salaries.  Isn't one of the more important rules of development to "know your target market"?

 

 

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With tax abatement and reduced rate financing, a resident with a partner who makes a comparable salary would be able to afford the $250,000 range.

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