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Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News

RISK OF CLOSURE

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10 minutes ago, KJP said:

 

Apparently there's still some vocal opposition to this project. So I strongly encourage all of you who live/work/study in this area to come to the BZA meeting this Monday to ask the board for its support of this project (preferably the earlier, larger version!!). 

I haven't voiced an opinion either way, but I would encourage anyone for or against it to go to the BZA meeting. 

 

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In the 1920 census, Little Italy (census tract R-8) had a population of 8,003. 

According to a CSU study, Little Italy had a 2010 population of 2,081.

Can somebody going to the BZA meeting tell the NIMBYs that we need to restore Little Italy's historic character by bringing back density?

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1 hour ago, Frmr CLEder said:

There may be concerns that "bringing back density" will not mean bringing back people of Italian decent.

Do these NIMBYs also realize that Little Italy barely has any Italian Americans living in it as well? If they're so worried about Italian Americans living in Little Italy, maybe their friends shouldn't have high tailed it out to Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, and now Geauga County

Edited by AsDustinFoxWouldSay
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The main voice of opposition in the TV5 story on Washington Place Apartments came from a guy around the corner who bought a third floor new condo overlooking a smaller structure from the same vertical height line as Washington Place requiring the same zoning set backs. It's "Do as I say, not as I do."

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"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Big difference is that Little Italy is next to Ohio's fourth-largest employment center that consistently adds jobs at rates above the national average.

 

So there are two principal options currently available to handle this -- either build housing within biking/walking distance of it or suffer more car traffic.

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"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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So do  we see the NIMBYs appealing to Common Pleas Court in connection with this project?  Lawyers are not cheap.  It is put up or shut time for them.

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Oh Lort! Is Carol Johnson still around? 😮  She was a long timer back when I used to sit in on BoZa hearings at the City of Cleveland in the 90s! 
(Have you ever met someone who smiled, but only with their mouth because their eyes were focused on something else.)

 

I do wonder about her justification for not approving those variances.

Edited by ExPatClevGuy

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8 hours ago, KJP said:

 

The best thing about this development is the proposed renovation of three buildings on Murray Hill Road in conjunction with the construction of the apartment building.  I truly hope this is done contemporaneously with the apartments rather than a Phase 2.  Even worse, I hope the renovations are not nixed altogether due to cost.  For some reason this element of the development does not seem to be touted as much.

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With Centric (272 units), One University Circle (276 units), La Collina (32 units + 10,000 sqft of retail), all still having vacancies. Uptown phase 3(49 units), Mayfield Station(45 units), Top of the Hill(275 units) all being built, is there still a demand for more? Washington Inn (45 units) and Infinium (133) units?

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14 minutes ago, BLDCLE said:

With Centric (272 units), One University Circle (276 units), La Collina (32 units + 10,000 sqft of retail), all still having vacancies. Uptown phase 3(49 units), Mayfield Station(45 units), Top of the Hill(275 units) all being built, is there still a demand for more? Washington Inn (45 units) and Infinium (133) units?

Add those together and it’s a minute fraction of workers/students in UC. 

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1 hour ago, BLDCLE said:

With Centric (272 units), One University Circle (276 units), La Collina (32 units + 10,000 sqft of retail), all still having vacancies. Uptown phase 3(49 units), Mayfield Station(45 units), Top of the Hill(275 units) all being built, is there still a demand for more? Washington Inn (45 units) and Infinium (133) units?

 

 I guess my answer is you gotta build for the future to keep up with all the projections. 

 

Case Western Reserve has grown by over 2,000 students in the past 15 years (plus I'm sure an equal percentage increase in professors and staff).  Cleveland Clinic / UH continue to hire 100's if not 1000's more each year...IMO these two alone can fuel the needed housing expansion.  With all the other University Circle institutions (40+) inside this small area, I'd bet many others have seen some sort of growth or planned growth. 

 

Plus it's all being built near the intersection of public transit of the Red Line and Healthline, plenty of bike lanes, Opportunity Corridor under construction, etc

 

IMO it's literally being set up to be built properly in a smart, dense way. 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

If your question is about Little Italy specifically, the growth seems to be going on directions in "Greater University Circle."   This isn't specific to Little Italy.

Edited by MuRrAy HiLL
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I think it’s funny how folks on this board always seem to imply the workers/students of UC are wondering around Homeless just waiting for new apartments to be built.  The increase in new apartments has begun to cause old housing stock not being rented.  Those landlords will have to either update their properties, lower their price or sell to developers.   It will be interesting to see how it plays out.  

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21 minutes ago, Pigmeat said:

I think it’s funny how folks on this board always seem to imply the workers/students of UC are wondering around Homeless just waiting for new apartments to be built.  The increase in new apartments has begun to cause old housing stock not being rented.  Those landlords will have to either update their properties, lower their price or sell to developers.   It will be interesting to see how it plays out.  

 

@Pigmeat I think you hit the nail on the head here.  So many properties in Little Italy have been allowed to be chopped up and left to slowly degrade for decades and decades.  Most of these 120-year old wood frame houses absolutely NEED upgrades.  All these shiny new housing options are certainly putting pressure on the old guard to do something with these old houses.  Hopefully the answer is to remodel in order to compete. 

Edited by MuRrAy HiLL
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You know, San Francisco went through a similar period 40 years ago, with its aging Victorian stock.  Individual prospective home owners bought them cheap and rehabilitated them or developers snapped them up.  In a hot area, owners will need to either pony up for rehab/development or lose out; they will need to get on the train.  It's already left the station.

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Cleveland.com posted an article about the BZA meeting yesterday. They posted a couple low res pics showing the updated design. The garage entry is on the side now instead of the middle of the building. The article notes it may have to go back to the Landmark Commission because of the changes, so we should see more renderings soon.

 

https://www.cleveland.com/business/2020/02/controversial-little-italy-apartment-project-moves-forward-with-favorable-board-of-zoning-appeals-ruling.html

 

ZCXHGA5K4FCLTPMHH3MZWPUSTE.jpg

 

NKIMO2YXIJDDTNA2HIKLGD45JA.jpg

 

 

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Yeah. I like it. I seriously can’t understand why this caused such an uproar. The people that live here probably walk, or bike to their job, or work remotely. Their traffic problems come from people in the  suburbs east of LI.

Edited by marty15
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19 minutes ago, MuRrAy HiLL said:

 

@Pigmeat I think you hit the nail on the head here.  So many properties in Little Italy have been allowed to be chopped up and left to slowly degrade for decades and decades.  Most of these 120-year old wood frame houses absolutely NEED upgrades.  All these shiny new housing options are certainly putting pressure on the old guard to do something with these old houses.  Hopefully the answer is to remodel in order to compete. 

My impression is that the "old guard's" response is to plaster storefronts with mindless propaganda and whine to their councilman and in forums like Board of Zoning Appeals due to the nice new competition rather than make any effort to significantly renovate their old and, less face it,  butchered properties.  We will see if this lights a fire under them but I doubt it.  

 

Also, in going through this thread, I am reminded that UCI bought the old Woodhill Supply property last year with the intent to develop this huge plot with single family house.  They are going slow with this endeavor but once the ball is rolled it will put added pressure on the old guard and with a new type of product.

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48 minutes ago, Mendo said:

Cleveland.com posted an article about the BZA meeting yesterday. They posted a couple low res pics showing the updated design. The garage entry is on the side now instead of the middle of the building. The article notes it may have to go back to the Landmark Commission because of the changes, so we should see more renderings soon.

 

https://www.cleveland.com/business/2020/02/controversial-little-italy-apartment-project-moves-forward-with-favorable-board-of-zoning-appeals-ruling.html

 

ZCXHGA5K4FCLTPMHH3MZWPUSTE.jpg

 

NKIMO2YXIJDDTNA2HIKLGD45JA.jpg

 

 

Does it also still have to go through Design Review?  I cannot recall that happening yet or is Landmark a substitution for that step?  

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I keep seeing renderings of the new building, but not what is there currently.   Is this the location?littleitaly.thumb.jpg.6dd5ee81194dfd030dc5a2c6024903d2.jpg

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3 minutes ago, skiwest said:

I keep seeing renderings of the new building, but not what is there currently.   Is this the location?littleitaly.thumb.jpg.6dd5ee81194dfd030dc5a2c6024903d2.jpg

Yes.  Those two houses come down.  Too bad the two to the north on Cornell will still stand since they are butchered much worse and I am sure the owners have no interest in renovating and making them "historically accurate".  The house on the right in this picture is actually no so bad.  Wonder if they interior is intact or all chopped up?  Again, three buildings on Murray Hill Road are to get renovated as part of the development, although this aspect of the project does not appear to get much play and I hope it has not been nixed.

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24 minutes ago, Htsguy said:

Yes.  Those two houses come down.  Too bad the two to the north on Cornell will still stand since they are butchered much worse and I am sure the owners have no interest in renovating and making them "historically accurate".  The house on the right in this picture is actually no so bad.  Wonder if they interior is intact or all chopped up?  Again, three buildings on Murray Hill Road are to get renovated as part of the development, although this aspect of the project does not appear to get much play and I hope it has not been nixed.

These look like they were originally built as two-family homes.

 

When you say "chopped-up," do you mean they are now being used as multiple-occupant residences? 

 

Doesn't the City require permits, before chopping-up homes or do these owners make illegal conversions?

 

They could both stand to be spruced up so no great loss, but I've seen much worse in other parts of the eastside.

Edited by Frmr CLEder
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1 minute ago, Frmr CLEder said:

These look like they were originally built as two-family homes.

 

When you say "chopped-up," do you mean they are now being used as multiple-occupant residences? 

 

Doesn't the City require permits, before chopping-up homes or do these owners make illegal conversions?

I am just guessing but yes, that is what I mean.  Many single family and doubles in Little Italy have been converted to into multi unit apartments for students and the like and not in a "good way".  In other words done cheaply (you only have to watch a little HGTV to see how many landlords bastardize a house over time).  That is why all this babble about "history' is so laughable.  Cannot answer you permit question but I imagine they must have to.

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1 minute ago, Htsguy said:

I am just guessing but yes, that is what I mean.  Many single family and doubles in Little Italy have been converted to into multi unit apartments for students and the like and not in a "good way".  In other words done cheaply (you only have to watch a little HGTV to see how many landlords bastardize a house over time).  That is why all this babble about "history' is so laughable.  Cannot answer you permit question but I imagine they must have to.

If someone could get their hands on the rent registry through the city (which is required, but many people treat it as 'voluntary' wink wink) you could see just how many units are rentals, and potentially how many units are in said buildings. I doubt many people in LI actually do this though....

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18 minutes ago, Frmr CLEder said:

These look like they were originally built as two-family homes.

 

When you say "chopped-up," do you mean they are now being used as multiple-occupant residences? 

 

Doesn't the City require permits, before chopping-up homes or do these owners make illegal conversions?

 

They could both stand to be spruced up so no great loss, but I've seen much worse in other parts of the eastside.

The one on the right looks like it was a beautiful single family with a turret, at one point. No way that’s the original porch.

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It's too bad those are the two getting torn down; the ones to the left are so much worse and really look dumpy.

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31 minutes ago, marty15 said:

The one on the right looks like it was a beautiful single family with a turret, at one point. No way that’s the original porch.

I don't think that home was ever a single family. Looks like the typical Cleveland double, that happens to have the turret on it.

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2 hours ago, skiwest said:

I keep seeing renderings of the new building, but not what is there currently.   Is this the location?littleitaly.thumb.jpg.6dd5ee81194dfd030dc5a2c6024903d2.jpg

The funny part is they keep talking about this project "ruining the historical character of the neighborhood". The homes getting torn down are run down Cleveland doubles that mirror other Cleveland Doubles in the city. Nothing special here. 

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I forget the name of this one Edit: Mayfield Station, but here's a shot from today. The area is starting to feel wonderfully dense towards UC (if I wasn't waiting for the bus, I would've captured it looking down Mayfield...but beautiful day with the snow nonetheless).

 

I do have to say the sidewalk access is bs though coming from the redline. At least sidewalk closures downtown give you a crosswalk or you'd hope they would lead you, this is just eh, tough luck and good riddance here's a blind crossing, god speed.

IMG_20200213_122727028_HDR.jpg+

 

 

Edited by GISguy
Added name, elaborated on pic.
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32 minutes ago, GISguy said:

I forget the name of this one, but here's a shot from today. The area is starting to feel wonderfully dense.

 

I do have to say the sidewalk access is bs though coming from the redline. At least sidewalk closures downtown give you a crosswalk or you'd hope they would lead you, this is just eh, tough luck and good riddance here's a blind crossing, god speed.

IMG_20200213_122727028_HDR.jpg

IMG_20200213_122812555_HDR.jpg

I've found construction sites in Chicago and Toronto - and there were plenty - were more pedestrian friendly than here!

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3 minutes ago, lafont said:

I've found construction sites in Chicago and Toronto - and there were plenty - were more pedestrian friendly than here!

 

Shocker!

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"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I'll play lol - when I was in Columbus a couple years ago for a conference they were working on High St up and down (utilities if I had to guess), any place where the sidewalk was closed they had a jersey barriered pedestrian lane in the street. It's a shame that JHB is one of the few buildings where they've done this...and look how long that took. 

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1 hour ago, GISguy said:

I forget the name of this one, but here's a shot from today. The area is starting to feel wonderfully dense.

 

I do have to say the sidewalk access is bs though coming from the redline. At least sidewalk closures downtown give you a crosswalk or you'd hope they would lead you, this is just eh, tough luck and good riddance here's a blind crossing, god speed.

IMG_20200213_122727028_HDR.jpg

IMG_20200213_122812555_HDR.jpg

Mayfield Station 

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Even without the construction of the new building, there is no crosswalk connecting the RTA station to the bus stop on the west side of the road. RTA riders usually jaywalk through oncoming traffic to catch their bus. Someone missed they idea when designing this stop that public transit riders usually have at least one connection.

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55 minutes ago, GISguy said:

I'll play lol - when I was in Columbus a couple years ago for a conference they were working on High St up and down (utilities if I had to guess), any place where the sidewalk was closed they had a jersey barriered pedestrian lane in the street. It's a shame that JHB is one of the few buildings where they've done this...and look how long that took. 

I know the lack of sidewalk access and crosswalks are a big hassle and dangerous, but boy, if this is what comes with all of the increased development, I'll take it.

Edited by Frmr CLEder

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Wow, that apartment on the bottom right ^^^ has the business next door's security camera pointed DIRECTLY onto their balcony!  👀

Edited by West153

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Cleveland-Born Chef to Import Popular Chicago Restaurant to Little Italy
February 2020 | Douglas Trattner

 

Last summer, Victor Morenz and Emily Gilbert closed their popular Chicago restaurant Home Bistro, which was a Boystown neighborhood staple for nearly 15 years. But Chicago’s loss will be Cleveland’s gain as the owners attempt to recreate the charm and personality of that beloved spot back home. They recently got the keys to the old Gusto space in Little Italy and hope to open Home Bistro sometime this spring.

 

https://www.lagazzettaitaliana.com/local-news/9341-cleveland-born-chef-to-import-popular-chicago-restaurant-to-little-italy

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Possibly something (?):

2100 Random Rd Building alteration permit filed today. Contact listed as Mark Fremont Architects. Maybe that old plan for the "Random Road Business Center" is finally going to happen.

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7 hours ago, tykaps said:

Possibly something (?):

2100 Random Rd Building alteration permit filed today. Contact listed as Mark Fremont Architects. Maybe that old plan for the "Random Road Business Center" is finally going to happen.

Not familiar with this project.  Is there something up thread that describes it?

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7 hours ago, tykaps said:

Possibly something (?):

2100 Random Rd Building alteration permit filed today. Contact listed as Mark Fremont Architects. Maybe that old plan for the "Random Road Business Center" is finally going to happen.

 

2100 Random is the old Singer Steel building – gusty winds have been blowing pieces of decaying roofing material all over that block recently. At a minimum some attention to whatever is left up on the roof would be welcome.

 

The Business Center was a proposal way back in 2006 - here's an inactive listing from LoopNet: https://www.loopnet.com/Listing/14908288/2100-Random-Rd-Cleveland-OH/

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