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January 2004 Archives

In addition to the plans to expand SouthPark Center mall, a 10,000 - 15,000 square foot shopping center has been proposed for a 2.5 acre site on the north side of Route 82 in Strongsville.

Brooklyn Heights Village Council continues to examine ideas proposed in the master plan. Adoption of the plan is expected soon.

The City of Shaker Heights hired a New York City architect to work on a plan for the City's recreation programs and green space.

Opposition from residents has arisen to the proposed Duck Island townhouse development.

Broadview Heights City Council is preparing to reopen discussions about a consolidated master plan for the city.

The Quiet Crisis series continues with a radio feature, a panel discussion, and a newspaper article.

33 acres of land on Chagrin Blvd. in Beachwood is up for sale by the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association.

The City of Cleveland has just purchased the former Cleveland Harbor Coast Guard Station, with plans to renovate the site, though uses have not yet been determined.

Bruce Blog has been keeping us updated on the status of bike lanes in the Euclid Corridor project, and this week the Free Times reports on the issue, as well.

The Weather Channel will be airing a half hour special on watersheds co-produced by the US EPA and the Weather Channel. "After the Storm" will premiere on Wednesday, February 4 at 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. It shows the connection between weather and watersheds, and the importance of watershed protection.

Cleveland State's Innovations in Affordable Housing Design Forum is holding a program entitled "Affordable Housing: Can It Be Green?" on Friday, February 27, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

We have a job opening for an Environmental Planner.

The Cuyahoga County Commissioners yesterday hired former Euclid mayor Paul Oyaski as director of the County's Department of Development.

The Balanced Growth Panel of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission will hold the first of three public information open houses tomorrow from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Lake Erie Science and Nature Center in Bay Village.

More information is available about the proposed housing development at Euclid Avenue and Ford Drive in University Circle. The $35 million development "would supply 191 apartments, street-level restaurants, a student bookstore and possibly a grocery."

Yesterday, the Plain Dealer announced the start of A Region Divided, a year-long series on regional government, with a cover story on the issue.

Broadview Heights' ban on pole signs was overturned by the U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio as an unconstitutional restriction of commercial speech. A new sign ordinance may be required.

A nine unit, $1 million townhouse development has been proposed for the Duck Island area of Cleveland between Ohio City and Tremont.

Brooklyn Heights Village Council was expected to approve a master land use plan for the village.

Plans to build a mile-long walking trail in Strongsville connecting the City Commons to the Recreation Center and Strongsville Backyard Preserve are proceeding as expected.

Cleveland Heights community development organization FutureHeights has launched a discussion forum on their site.

Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the end of streetcar operations in the city. Rich Exner reflects on the 100-year reign of the streetcar.

Cleveland State University is reviewing proposals from private developers to renovate and manage Fenn Tower for student housing, a key component of the University's Master Plan.

The Whiskey Island iron ore pellet terminal is set to begin operations this spring.

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, the Plain Dealer reports that the Euclid Corridor project will receive $13 million through the 2004 federal spending bill to buy land and begin construction, among other things. Also included is finding for the airport for a new tower, $3 million for Canal Basin Park, $10 million to clean up sediment in the Cuyahoga and three other Lake Erie rivers, and considerable funding to NASA's Glenn Research Center.

The Ohio EPA has released a draft of its 2004 Integrated Report on the condition of the state's waterways. Two-thirds of those waterways fail to meet the bacteria standards; and only one river, Racoon Creek in southern Ohio, holds fish safe enough to eat.

WCPN's Shula Neuman reports on upcoming transportation infrastructure improvements in the latest installment of their Making Change series.

Economic development will be the focus of a Ohio Grantmakers Forum conference for local foundations next month in Akron.

Thomas Mulready writes about the continuing regionalism discussions in this week's Free Times.

The City of Parma intends to tear down a vacant police station on W.54 Street and sell the site to a developer for use as single family housing. Demolition efforts were aided by a $500,000 loan from Cuyahoga County to help with asbestos removal.

Plans for the development of parking lots at Euclid Avenue and Ford Drive in University Circle are nearing approval. "The project would include three buildings, the largest 10 stories, with rental and for-sale housing units, a bookstore for nearby Case Western Reserve University, other retail shops, restaurants and parking above and below ground."

Greater Ohio, a new statewide growth management organization, will make its debut on Tuesday at a kickoff event at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

The City of Independence Planning Commission has reached agreements with surrounding property owners in order to accommodate planned retail development on the site of the former Reliable Oldsmobile and a nearby gas station. Expected tenants include Walgreens and Red Robin Restaurants. The Planning Commission also approved the construction of a 35,000 square foot Discount Drug Mart at Brecksville and Rockside Roads.

Work has begun on the conversion of the former Joseph and Feiss clothing factory at W.53rd Street and Walworth Avenue. 150 units of market-rate housing are expected to be created, among them "110 free-standing townhouses, including two- and three-bedroom units, with prices ranging from about $120,000 to more than $190,000."

In this week's Free Times, John Ettorre talks about the city's future and calls for a new guard to change its direction.

Yesterday's Plain Dealer featured a cover story on the challenges of developing downtown parking lots: "Unless a way can be found to short-circuit the economics of parking, choice downtown property is destined to be worth more dead than alive."

The Free Times suggests Four Big Ideas for the Next 100 Years. These include rebranding and reorienting Cleveland State University as the "University of Cleveland", development of Burke Lakefront Airport as "NEO City" (a city within a city), conversion of a commissioner-based county government to a county-executive and council-based structure (earlier proposed by the Cuyahoga County Republican Party, among others), and development of a Northeast Ohio International Airport to replace Hopkins.

The Collinwood and Nottingham Villages Development Corporation is in the process of purchasing five condemned properties via eminent domain.

John Kuehner reports that the Army Corps of Engineers is interested in Cleveland's plans to create new infill along the breakwall, but instead of creating the proposed island, they prefer the idea of making a peninsula along the west end of the breakwall east of Edgewater Park. Projections show that the current dike will reach its capacity by 2007. However, a new disposal facility will not be ready until 2013, creating a need for an interim disposal site.

A design for the Fulton Road Bridge replacement has been selected. The new $40 million bridge will closely resemble the current 1932 bridge, with six arches in the same locations as existing ones. Demolition is expected to begin in 2007.

WCPN provides an update on Cleveland's lakefront planning efforts.

In order to facilitate the construction of the House of Blues at E.4th and Euclid, the Cuyahoga County Board of Revision halved the appraised value of the Holiday Inn Express on Euclid, from $22 million to $11 million. This did not meet the demands of developer MRN Ltd., who had requested a new value of $5.5 million. They plan to appeal the decision with the state. As a result of this agreement, the county expects owners of other large downtown buildings to also file for tax reductions.

Debate in Lakewood continues over the proposed West End redevelopment. Mayor Thomas George has offered a backup plan of converting several apartment buildings to luxury suites, and has asked Center Point properties to design a smaller project.

Formed by the Ohio City Near West Development Corporation, the Cuyahoga Community Land Trust is showing success in promoting affordable home ownership in Ohio City, and plans to expand its program throughout the county.

OneCleveland gains some national attention for increasing WiFi access throughout the community, and is working on efforts to increase the "digital literacy" of every Clevelander through a project with the City of Cleveland called Creating a Stronger Digital Community.

Like Cleveland, Pittsburgh has also been experiencing economy-related problems, especially regarding revenues to local government, employment, and the region's image problem.

(Via Ed Morrison's EDPro Weblog)

Tom Mulready, writing for the Free Times, reports upon a number of issues regarding the "Renaissance Issue", the current nomiker for the proposed countywide economic development/arts levy.

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