April 2011 Archives
26 April 2011
Dan Moulthrop and Luke Frazier of the Civic Commons spoke with Cuyahoga County Deputy Chief of Staff Nathan Kelly about the County's recently-announced $100 million economic development fund. The Foundation Center's Cynthia Bailie talked to Christine Amer Mayer of Akron's GAR Foundation about the foundation's involvement in economic development. With the State of Ohio poised to spend $1.4 billion on economic development this year, USA Today compared Ohio's approach with those of other states.
The May issue of Cleveland Magazine includes a profile of Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent Stan Austin and a piece by Michael Roberts on the history of downtown Cleveland planning problems.
Construction of the new Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland began earlier this month, and new items have been added to the design-build process. The Ohio Department of Transportation added an $850,000 catwalk to the bridge, and contractor Walsh Construction says that an additional $1.3 million is needed for an Ontario Street ramp.
Baldwin-Wallace College and the City of Berea are considering plans to renovate the old Hanson House on East Bagley Road as the R. Amelia Harding House. The $2.1 million project would employ green building techniques to convert it to a sustainability learning center and residence hall.
In a Plain Dealer op-ed, Eric Wobser of Ohio City Incorporated describes the emerging artisan economy in Cleveland.
Update: Fresh Water looked at its growth along Lorain Avenue.
22 April 2011
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Pokorny ruled that the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has the authority to implement its stormwater management program, but did not rule on a challenge by several suburban communities. The district filed for a declaratory judgment in January 2010. Judge Pokorny's decision (PDF) removes seven Summit County communities from the program. The Summit County Engineer's Office continues to develop its own stormwater management program.
Update: an Akron Beacon Journal editorial encourages communities to work cooperatively instead of through the courts.
The Cleveland Browns unveiled a redevelopment concept for 20 acres north of Cleveland Browns Stadium in downtown Cleveland. The team intends to act as a catalyst for the mixed-use lakefront development, and its initial vision for what it is calling the Lakefront District includes mixed-use structures, athletic facilities, additional parking, a covered walkway, and possibly a sports medicine center. Steven Litt encouraged the Browns to set high design standards, consultants said that the project could be successful, but Roldo Bartimole described it as a case of corporate welfare. The Browns posted video and a transcript of the Wednesday press conference.
State legislation scheduled to be introduced this spring would allow Ohio townships or counties to merge. It would not affect potential mergers involving cities or villages.
Putting Artists on the Map, a five-part research series from the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, examines the housing and space preferences of Cuyahoga County artists. The first three parts are available. Part one (PDF) is a summary report, part two (PDF) describes the neighborhoods that have concentrations of artists, and part three (PDF) focuses on survey results.
Update 2: Fresh Water summarized the findings.
The Center for Public Management at CSU's Levin College of Urban Affairs prepared a study (PDFs: executive summary, complete report) on the feasibility of developing an aerotropolis around Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. It says that the area "has potential as an aerotropolis, but its particular challenges require the development of a strategy that fits the Cleveland area's unique strengths and needs."
When Giant Eagle opens its new store in Broadview Heights next year, the company intends to close its store on Chippewa Road in Brecksville.
16 April 2011
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport officials unveiled a new 25-year master plan at a public workshop on Thursday. It recommends a variety of improvements, including a new hotel and an above-ground connection between concourses C and D. A Morning Journal editorial says that "pursuing big plans to make Hopkins a more desirable airpor [sic] makes good sense." Ricky Smith, director of Cleveland's Department of Port Control, is scheduled to speak at the City Club on April 20.
On Thursday, the South Euclid Planning Commission unanimously voted to rezone 40.7 acres of the former Oakwood Club property from residential to retail for the proposed Oakwood Commons development and to change the City's comprehensive plan (PDF). The issue now moves to City Council, which will hold public hearings (PDF) on May 18 and May 25.
The Ohio EPA introduced its new brownfield inventory database. The web-based system is intended to aid in the identification and redevelopment (PDF) of brownfield sites and includes information about cleanup status, infrastructure improvements, historical land uses, and other subjects. Meanwhile, the state's Office of Strategic Research published its 2011 Ohio County Profiles. The document features demographic information gathered from more than 50 sources.
Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority President William Friedman outlined a new strategic business plan to the Port's Maritime Committee. It identifies four markets for growth, which Crain's Cleveland Business describes as "land- and marine-based wind energy development, especially in light of plans for a wind farm in Lake Erie north of Cleveland; new ferry service across Lake Erie from Canada; a shuttle service that would bring containers from Europe and beyond into the Port of Cleveland; and an increase in steel and other traditional lake cargo." He expects that the plan will be completed in the next 60 days.
The new University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland is scheduled to open in June and will host an open house on Sunday. The $260 million tower has 120 beds, and the 375,000-square-foot facility will triple UH's space devoted to cancer services. A Plain Dealer editorial says it "adds a logistical jewel to Cleveland's medical crown."
Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jerry Wray met with northwest Ohio leaders and spoke about the proposed privatization of the Ohio Turnpike.
A piece of legislation being prepared for Cleveland City Council consideration includes complete streets and green streets components. If adopted, it would allow the City to incorporate access considerations and environmental design features into its planning process.
Fresh Water looked at how Cleveland artists are using temporary pop-up shops to revive vacant storefronts, market their wares, and establish connections.
13 April 2011
On Tuesday, the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council approved $70 million for new transportation projects (PDF), making several changes to the draft recommendations it approved in December. In addition to the controversial withdrawal of $51.8 million from the Cincinnati streetcar project, the TRAC rejected the $7.1 million it earlier recommended for the Clifton Boulevard Transportation Enhancement Program in Cleveland and Lakewood. Local projects that were funded include the Pearl Road widening project in Strongsville and the planned widening of I-271 in southern Cuyahoga County.
The City of Avon intends to assess 105 property owners for up to a third of the price of the planned I-90 interchange at Nagel Road. The assessments were not part of the original funding scheme for the interchange, but rising costs have led the City to pursue the assessments. Property owners say that the proposed assessments are unfair, while Mayor Smith counters that they are getting a good deal. Residents opposed to the assessments attended a City Council meeting on Monday and a recent City Council work session.
At GreenCityBlueLake, Marc Lefkowitz looked at how the City of Cleveland is making policy changes to support vacant land reuse efforts.
The Ohio Department of Development awarded a $206,675 Clean Ohio grant to the City of Cleveland for a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment of the former Warner & Swasey property on Carnegie Avenue.
Cleveland Public Power filed an application with the EPA for an air permit for the proposed waste-to-energy plant in Cleveland.
11 April 2011
More than 100 people attended a Thursday FutureHeights forum prompted by the proposed Oakwood Commons development. At the event, Terry Schwarz, Hunter Morrison, and Ed Jerse spoke about land use, regionalism, urban sprawl, and the importance of master planning.
Update: video of the forum is now available.
Uncertainty about state policies could delay planned casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati. Governor Kasich has not finalized casino taxes and fees, and developer Rock Gaming says that his indecision is making it difficult for them to obtain financing.
Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that Governor "Kasich is being an uncharacteristic drag on private investment," while an Akron Beacon Journal editorial concludes that he is "pursuing the evaluation that should have been conducted in the first place." On Wednesday, Governor Kasich indicated that he may ask casino developers for additional up-front payments.
After a brief delay, the National Park Service published the Western Reserve Heritage Feasibility Study on Friday. It concludes that the 14-county area is neither suitable nor feasible for national designation. The document is open to public comment through May 5.
In a new paper, Mark Muro of the Brookings Institution used Greater Cleveland as one of three examples of metropolitan areas that are "engaged in practical, smart, and self-starting efforts to grow the economy that are all about pragmatic, bottom-up problem solving at a time when the ills of top-down, business-as-usual economic affairs have become increasingly apparent." Brad Whitehead of the Fund for Our Economic Future presented Northeast Ohio's strategy today at a Brookings Institution event in Washington, D.C.
The City of Lakewood issued a request for proposals for the the redevelopment of the 1.5-acre former Spitzer dealership on Detroit Avenue. The City will "entertain redevelopment proposals of this site for commercial, mixed use or residential and the proposal should not be limited solely by the existing zoning designation."
A Plain Dealer editorial stresses the need to develop a long-term solution for dredging the Cuyahoga River and Port of Cleveland.
The City of University Heights will establish a blue-ribbon economic development committee. Mayor Infeld will appoint its members by June 15. The City of Shaker Heights hopes to create a high-end office corridor along Warrensville Road, and hired Allegro Realty Advisors to develop economic development strategies.
06 April 2011
In the first State of the County Address, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald laid out plans to create a $100 million economic development fund, facilitate municipal collaborations, and support education and community safety programs. He said that his agenda represents "a sweeping and ambitious plan for the recovery of Cuyahoga County."
This May, Global Cleveland plans to open the Cleveland International Welcome Center in a Euclid Avenue storefront of 200 Public Square, the former BP Building. It will serve as an information and resource center for immigrants and as the headquarters for recruitment efforts. The organization has raised more than $1 million to support the initiative, including $500,000 from Huntington Bank.
Through its new two-year Artists in Residents Initiative, the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture will invest $500,000 in one Cleveland neighborhood. It will provide small grants and loans to artists to purchase or renovate homes and to support community based-projects. The selected neighborhood will be announced in July. The program is supported by a $250,000 grant from Leveraging Investments in Creativity of New York.
The City of Cleveland Heights completed work on four houses it was renovating through the use of Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding. The houses are now on the market, and proceeds from the sales will be used to renovate or demolish other neglected houses. The City of South Euclid is finalizing the sale of the first house renovated through its Green Neighborhoods Initiative.
In addition to its Ukrainian Village established in 2009, the City of Parma may designate a 0.9-mile stretch of Ridge Road as its Polish Village. It could be dedicated as early as this May.
Update: Parma City Council approved its creation.