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July 2004 Archives

Construction has started on Emerald Crossing, a $1.3 million, 9,300 square foot shopping center at Emerald Corporate Park, north of Hopkins Airport in Cleveland.

In order to solve some flooding problems, the City of North Royalton is proposing the removal of about 20 houses built in flood plains.

The owners of Beachcliff Market Square in Rocky River have obtained preliminary approval of draft plans for redeveloping the upscale shopping center.

The City of Bay Village and Dover Junction owner Ray Negrelli last week signed an agreement authorizing the purchase of the former Marathon station at Dover Center and Oviatt Roads. A restaurant will be built on the site, subject to City approval.

City of Cleveland leaders are scheduled to meet with Tops officials early next month to discuss an incentive package aimed at restarting construction on their stalled Collinwood store.

New Shaker Heights Economic Development Director Patrick G. Campbell hopes to work with Shaker Plaza owners Wald & Fisher to find an amicable solution to their controversial Walgreens proposal.

The July issue of Cleveland Magazine includes a special section that showcases work done by the First Suburbs Development Council.

Panelists invited to a meeting held yesterday by Consumers For Fair Utility Rates discussed tips on lowering heating costs as well as the need to pursue renewables as a energy strategy.

As early as next month, Euclid Square Mall will reopen with a possible mix of institutional, office, and retail uses, including the already planned mass-vendor outlet store.

The U.S. EPA is proposing a effort to limit pollution from sewage treatment plants with the aim of eradicating the Chesapeake Bay "Dead Zone" (an area bereft of enough dissolved oxygen to sustain marine life). The problems encountered in the Chesapeake Bay are similar to Lake Erie's oxygen depletion problems which are the subject of a U.S. EPA special study.

(Via Planetizen)

WCPN's Making Change series is covering the Cuyahoga Valley Initiative beginning with last week's first installment of a three part series.

The first dip into a pool of $26 million will be made today by the Fund for Our Economic Future, a collaboration of over 50 foundations, corporations, and individuals whose aim is to dramatically improve the economic climate of Northeast Ohio.

Steven Litt lauds the Cleveland Institute of Music's expansion plans in today's Plain Dealer. "The latest version, unveiled two weeks ago at the music institute's annual meeting, looks so good that it evokes a single strong response: Build it!"

Last month's Properties Magazine covered RTA's new W 65th Street Green Station and provided an overview of wetland regulations.

State parks along Cleveland's waterfront are in poor repair, and the City of Cleveland, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (which currently oversees maintenance of the parks), ParkWorks, and Cleveland Metroparks are discussing future management.

An article on school district consolidation is the latest installment in the Plain Dealer's special series on regionalism.

Among this week's development news is the use of the Ward Bakery site on Chester Ave (west of E. 55th) as a staging area for the Euclid Corridor project.

We have a job opening for an Open Space Planner who will coordinate our Greenspace Initiative. Applications are due by August 20.

Despite objections from some city residents and officials that the process was moving too quickly, the North Royalton Planning Commission recommended approving a new Master Plan (PDF) prepared by Wilbur Smith Associates. City Council will discuss the plan on August 5.

The Olmsted Historical Society is raising funds to save the historic Barton Road Church and move the building to the Frostville Museum area of the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation.

Cleveland City Council President Frank Jackson disagreed with the assessment that the Dock 32 transfer is stalled, and "said council already gave its OK to a memorandum of understanding between City Hall and the Cuyahoga/Cleveland Port Authority."

The Free Times looks at the recent trend of downtown condominium conversions.

Neil Pierce of the Washington Post Writers Group debunks the myth that "green buildings" are expensive.

(Via Brewed Fresh Daily)

The Plain Dealer covers the Great Lakes Governors' Water Management Initiative in greater detail, following up yesterday's report. The full text of the Draft Annex 2001 Implementing Agreements is now available.

Seven states bordering the Great Lakes, including Ohio, have joined a federal lawsuit to force the US EPA to take stronger action to prevent invasive species from invading the lakes. Presently, the EPA does not regulate ballast water discharges, leaving that to the Coast Guard, whose own regulations don't do enough to inspect ballast tanks, according to the lawsuit.

A new skateboard park will be built at Lakewood Park after Lakewood City Council ended its opposition to its inclusion in the city's park master plan.

Today, the Great Lakes Charter Annex will be released, making it much more difficult to divert water from the Great Lakes and its watershed to other areas. This document, which has been produced by the Council of Great Lakes Governors, is a result of three years of work by the eight Great Lakes states and an advisory group representing environmental, agricultural, and business interests. Among the highlights of the Charter Annex is the condition that local governments are required to make good faith efforts to reduce water usage before being allowed to divert water to areas outside of the watershed.

Yesterday's feature story on the changing demographics of Little Italy sheds light on recent events concerning the neighborhood's master plan.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a City of Cleveland law that requires contractors to set aside 20% of jobs for contracts using city money is illegal for work that also uses federal funds.

While the Village of Chagrin Falls continues to gather properties for a potential redevelopment project at Main and Orange Streets, the owner of a service station on the corner is not pleased with the prospect of having to sell his property.

The proposed senior housing development in Solon will require approval from voters, as must all zoning changes in the city.

Garfield Heights City Council voted to put a rezoning issue on the November ballot that would change approximately 50 properties from residential to general business.

Construction has begun on Rockport Square in Lakewood. The first phase, building 17 townhouses, should be completed by 2005; and the entire project is scheduled to be finished by 2008.

A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge granted a temporary restraining order against First Energy, blocking the company from clear cutting trees under power lines in Brooklyn.

RTA plans to replace the Puritas Rapid Station with a new $3.5 million building. "Bids to design the new station will be solicited in the fall. Design is expected to take a year, and demolition and construction another 18 months."

Ray Jablonski of the Sun Scoop Journal reports on two developing real estate issues in Northeast Cleveland.

At a Shaker Works meeting last week, Shaker Heights Mayor Judy Rawson assured residents that the proposed Walgreens at Shaker Plaza was unlikely to obtain the zoning variances that would be necessary for construction.

The City of Euclid has filed a motion for dismissal of the lawsuit against the city by Providence Baptist Church over the rezoning of the Hillandale property. "Because the matter has yet to go before voters, and because the city did rezone the property, Law Director Christopher Frey said the city's motion to dismiss was based on the church proceeding prematurely."

A Plain Dealer editorial says that delays in returning control of Dock 32 to the City of Cleveland reflect poorly on on the city's image.

This week's Free Times City Chatter covers the review of Lakewood's City Charter, Lakewood's skate park delays, and the absence of bicycle-oriented transportation initiatives in ODOT's Access Ohio statewide transportation plan.

The closing of the West Side YMCA is being met with opposition from Ohio City residents amidst assertions that the branch is losing money and that the YMCA of Greater Cleveland is trying to sell the property for redevelopment.

A new section of our site featuring census data is now online, and offers demographics for Cuyahoga County communities, including data on population, land area, households, age, race, and housing.

Cleveland, Philadelphia, Memphis, and Michigan cities are the focus of an Associated Press article on cities actively seeking young professionals. Summer on the Cuyahoga was featured prominently in the article.

(Via CoolTown Studios)

Objections from the Longshoremen's union have led Cleveland City Council to delay voting on a lease agreement with the Port Authority that would turn Dock 32 (northeast of Browns Stadium) into a public park as part of the City's Lakefront Plan.

If all of the solid structures (such as roads, buildings, and parking lots) in the lower 48 states were put together, they would nearly cover Ohio. A study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and others points to the serious ramifications of increased impervious cover on climate, natural habitat, and drinking water.

The City of Cleveland has gathered $45 million to spend on development projects throughout the City, which is comprised of $20 million from loan repayments and the $25 million Core Cities Fund. This follows earlier work on identifying likely neighborhood projects.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines creative options for reusing abandoned big-box stores.

(via Planetizen)

Cuyahoga County's hiring of a consultant to evaluate proposals for a new county administration building has been delayed because of concerns over possible conflicts of interest.

Cuyahoga County Commissioners have pledged more brownfields funds for the cleanup of the former Brush Wellman site in Bedford and will help the City with applications for federal grants and loans for the project. Redevelopment of the 49 acre site is viewed as crucial to Bedford's efforts to retain Taylor Chair Co.

Scientists with the Ohio Sea Grant are studying the dead zone that appears in Lake Erie in "the bottom layer of the lake that loses all its oxygen between spring and fall."

Local developers will purchase the Mayfield Jewish Community Center in Cleveland Heights and plan to build housing on the 9.6 acre site. Because the JCC is continuing programming at the building, it will not change hands until next June.

Broadview Heights Mayor Glenn Goodwin is urging the city to hire an economic development coordinator. "In addition to marketing development opportunities, the coordinator would interface with organizations interested in economic development or business retention issues; monitor legislation and regulations relating to economic development; coordinate and administer economic incentives; and attend events that may impact economic development in the city."

The Sun Star looks at the many retail and mixed-use developments under construction in Cleveland's southwest suburbs.

The West Side Sun News profiles Lake Pointe Townhomes, a 17 unit, $4.4 million development under construction in the Bluffs area of Detroit Shoreway in Cleveland.

The City of Lakewood approved a zoning agreement with the City of Cleveland that calls for zoning decisions to calculate distances across the cities' borders. The issue next goes before Cleveland officials for approval.

Over 100 Shaker Heights residents packed a Planning Commission meeting, most to protest the proposed Walgreens at Shaker Plaza and to support Draeger's ice cream parlor. Representatives of owners Wald & Fisher said they are willing to be flexible about the building design, but still want Walgreens as a tenant.

Roldo Bartimole looks back at the 1967 Cleveland mayoral election and the combination of racial inequality, urban renewal failures, and business interests that brought down the administration of the late Ralph Locher and led to the election of Carl Stokes.

An Associated Press article praises Cleveland's tourism offerings. "The attractions of revitalized Cleveland -- from clear waterways to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, from baseball games to dining in trendy neighborhoods -- make a perfect weekend getaway."

(via Planetizen)

This week's Cool Cleveland covers Cleveland's new public skate park, among other local news items.

"This mural is an advertisement for our neighborhood," Hughes said. "It says that everybody belongs."

The Broadway School of Music & the Arts and Slavic Village Development Corporation have jointly created a mural that represents the community's vision of itself.

Rezonings, a land swap, and an abatement on property taxes persuaded Gebauer Co., a Cleveland-based manufacturer of topical anesthetics, to remain in Cleveland and significantly expand their operations.

EcoCity Cleveland has created The, an environmental portal for Northeast Ohio, featuring an environmental directory, activist alerts, employment opportunities, and a community calendar.

Michael Gill of the Free Times tells the story of Dike 14 and looks at the challenges faced and ahead in creating a nature preserve.

CWRU law professor Jonathan Adler examines the myths that have arisen surrounding the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire (PDF) in the Fordham Environmental Law Review.

(via The Volokh Conspiracy)

The Village of Glenwillow and Whitlatch & Co. are working together to implement aspects of the Town Center Strategic Plan, which calls for the restoration and enchancement of the former Austin Powder company town.

Slavic Village Development is preparing plans that call for reconfiguring Broadway at Miles and Warner Roads to make the area friendlier for businesses and pedestrians. The current divided design is a remnant of 1962 construction anticipating the Bedford Freeway, which was never built.

The Plain Press is now available online, courtesy of a partnership with NeighborhoodLink. The monthly newspaper serving Cleveland's west side neighborhoods has been published since 1971, and offers news, special features, and a community events calendar.

The Plain Dealer looks at the arts and culture hub that has emerged around Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.

Pinnacle, which will feature luxury condominiums and apartments, is under construction in the Warehouse District. Developer Gus Georgalis expects to have residents in the building by December.

The Summer on the Cuyahoga program returns for a second year with an expanded list of participating schools: Yale, Case, Colgate, and Princeton. The summer internship program designed to battle brain drain is one of only a handful in the nation.

City of Cleveland officials and lakefront marina operators continue to spar over the City's desire to remove fencing around the marinas and allow for greater public access to the lake.

The City of Parma will hold public meetings to review a draft of the City's new master plan on July 6 and July 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Schaaf Community Center.

The first phase of a lakefront development project in Euclid is complete. Future phases call for the construction of condominiums and a marina at E.242 Street and Lake Shore Boulevard.

Former CPC staffer Lynn Garrity is the new Euclid Creek Watershed Council Coordinator, and her first major goal is to develop a watershed action plan.

Responding to concerns over recent flooding problems, the City of North Royalton announced a plan to address the issues, which calls for cleaning the stormwater system, inspecting retention basins, filling depressions, and addressing increased runoff.

An article in City Journal asserting that the wave of convention center expansions across the country are more likely to be drains than boons to civic finances cites work done by CSU's Mark Rosentraub on the economic impact of Gateway.

(via Cool Cleveland)

In this week's Cool Cleveland, Bob Rhubart praises RTA's Park-n-Ride system, while in the Free Times, Amy Starnes speculates about the reasons behind RTA's 3.8% increase in bus ridership this year.

Edward Hundert, Albert Ratner, and Tim Hagan participated in a panel discussion on immigration on Tuesday. "If you want to attract business, if you want to increase the value of your home, start attracting immigrants, because that's how everyone is growing," said Ratner.

As expected, all counties in Greater Cleveland failed to meet EPA air pollution standards for microscopic soot based on new rules implemented earlier this year. The US EPA identified 33 counties in violation of the standards, up from the 26 that the Ohio EPA reported in February.

Tugboat operators The Great Lakes Towing Company are planning a $4 million expansion of their complex on the Old River Channel in the Flats, featuring offices and repair and construction facilities.

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