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Leaders of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History unveiled plans for a major expansion and renovation of the University Circle museum. The plans call for demolishing a portion of the museum and adding two new wings, a new lobby, and a parking garage. It presents an opportunity for the museum to demonstrate advanced building techniques. The museum also launched a capital campaign with a goal of raising $125 million over five to seven years. Earlier expansion plans were halted due to the recession. A Plain Dealer editorial said that the museum's plans "promise to renew its status as one of the region's premier cultural attractions".

WCPN reports that most new industrial investments in Ohio are occurring in places other than Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati.

The Ohio EPA declared that brownfield remediation has been completed at the 21-acre Midland Steel property on Madison Avenue and at a 6-acre property at the second phase of the Midtown Tech Park on Euclid Avenue. The agency is also considering a request for an Urban Setting Designation at the former Penguin Cleaners site on Mayfield Road in Lyndhurst. The property was redeveloped as a Key Bank branch in 2010.

With Ford scheduled to close its Walton Hills Stamping Plant in 2014, officials have begun discussing the future of the site. Terry Coyne of Grubb & Ellis thinks that there are reasons to be optimistic about the plant's fate.

The former Ivex mill in Chagrin Falls was added to the National Register of Historic Places, listed as the Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory (PDF). It is being redeveloped as the mixed-use Spillway project.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board recommended four Cuyahoga County sites for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places: the former Richman Bros. factory (PDF) on East 55th Street in Cleveland, the Neal Terrace and Oppmann Terrace (PDFs) apartments, both located on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland, and the Euclid Heights Historic District (PDF) in Cleveland Heights. It would be the City's 11th historic district.

The Ohio EPA declared that brownfield remediation has been completed (PDF) at Shoreway Commerce Park, the redevelopment of the former White Motors plant on East 79th Street in Cleveland.

Voters in Solon could see two zoning issues on the November ballot. One would modify permitted uses in the city's C-5 industrial district, while the other would allow pet stores in the city's C-2 commercial district. Voters in Fairview Park may decide a rezoning issue for Journey Church on Lorain Road.

Update: Westlake voters may decide a rezoning issue for a portion of the Promenade shopping center.

As part of its mid-biennium review, the Ohio Senate added $42 million for the Clean Ohio program. The spending bill includes $36 million for greenspace preservation and $6 million for farmland preservation. Earlier legislation had budgeted only $6 million for trail maintenance.

In the final round of funding from the Clean Ohio Brownfield Revitalization Fund, the Ohio Department of Development awarded more than $19 million in grants to 11 projects. The City of Cleveland received $1.3 million for demolition and remediation (PDF) at the former Van Dorn property on East 79th Street. The Orlando Baking Company plans to expand onto the property. Food service supplier S.S. Kemp in Cuyahoga Heights was not awarded a grant.

Meanwhile, the Ohio EPA declared that Horsburgh & Scott completed brownfield remediation of its 1.4-acre property (PDF) on Hamilton Avenue in Cleveland.

Update: Governor Kasich signed Ohio House Bill 487, the mid-biennium review.

Bishop Richard Lennon said that he will not appeal a Vatican decree and that the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland will reopen 12 closed parishes. He did not say when they would reopen. Earlier reports incorrectly said that the ruling covered 13 parishes. Parishioners celebrated his decision and a Plain Dealer editorial said that Bishop "Lennon deserves strong praise for choosing conciliation" over conflict.

Update: NPR's Tell Me More interviewed one of the appellants. Parishioners at the 13th parish, Saint Margaret Mary Church in South Euclid, are appealing to the Vatican.

The Clean Ohio Assistance Fund awarded a $298,480 grant to the City of Cleveland to conduct a Phase II environmental assessment of a portion of the former General Environmental Management property on Rockefeller Avenue in the Flats. Meanwhile, the Ohio EPA declared that brownfield remediation was completed (PDF) for the 14-acre former National Acme site on East 131st Street in Cleveland.

The Ohio EPA declared that the Electrolizing Corporation of Ohio completed brownfield remediation of its 2.25-acre property (PDF) on East 152nd Street in East Cleveland.

The U.S. EPA introduced its Greenhouse Gas Inventory. It provides public access to 2010 greenhouse gas emissions data from large facilities for the entire United States. Ohio's largest group of emitters were power plants, and the largest single emitter in Cuyahoga County was the ArcelorMittal steel mill in Cleveland. Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal announced that it would reopen the west side of the plant.

Nestle shared preliminary concepts for its planned research and development center with Solon officials on Monday. The company is targeting a LEED gold certification for the 120,000- to 150,000-square-foot facility at the southeast corner of Cannon Road and Hawthorn Parkway.

State officials awarded more than $27.5 million in Clean Ohio Fund grants for 15 brownfield cleanup initiatives, including two local projects. Cuyahoga County received $2 million for demolition and remediation of Cleveland State University's Viking Hall and Wolfe's Music Store building. The university now plans to build a health and life sciences building on the site. The City of Cleveland received $2.99 million for infrastructure, demolition, and remediation in the Miceli Dairy expansion. The project broke ground in October.

Update: Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson wants to save the Wolfe's Music Store building.

Ford began demolishing its closed Cleveland Casting Plant in July, and plans to finish early next year. Once completed, it will open at least 230 acres in Brook Park for potential redevelopment. The automaker also intends to close the adjacent Cleveland Engine Plant No. 2 next year, which could create additional redevelopment opportunities. Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 will remain open.

The first phase of the Pearl Road widening project in Strongsville is complete and the road was officially reopened last week. Mayor Perciak said it would open 500 acres off of Foltz Parkway for industrial development.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $13.3 million in grants to six cities through its Brownfields Economic Development Initiative. The City of Cleveland received a $3 million grant and a $10 million loan for cleanup and redevelopment of the Warner & Swasey site on Carnegie Avenue.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Shoreway Commerce Park, developer Mitchell Schneider said that the Cleveland industrial park may soon see an expansion. The redevelopment of the former White Motors plant received a variety of public financial incentives.

Steven Litt looked at the recent history of Dock 20 at the Port of Cleveland, the site of the Essroc cement facility.

Nestle is expanding its plant in Cleveland and plans to build a new facility in Solon. The company broke ground on a 75,000-square-foot expansion of its plant on West 25th Street in Tremont and plans to build a research and development center in Solon. The site in Solon is zoned for residential development, and voter approval is required to rezone the property.

The Ohio EPA declared that Great Lakes Towing has completed brownfield remediation (PDF) of its 2.18-acre property along the old river channel in Cleveland.

A pair of local investors purchased the former General Motors transmission plant in Parma. They intend to redevelop the 527,000-square-foot building and its surrounding 60 acres for industrial users.

Lincoln Electric erected a 2.5-megawatt wind turbine at its Euclid headquarters. Engineers are continuing to prepare the turbine, which is expected to be operating full-time in three or four weeks. Bill Callahan wonders how the company's neighbors will feel about the turbine.

On June 23, Olympic Steel plans to unveil a smaller wind turbine at its headquarters in Bedford Heights.

The Ohio Department of Development awarded a $290,345 Clean Ohio Assistance Fund grant to the City of Cleveland to conduct an environmental assessment at Water Tower Park on Coit Road. The 24.6-acre former Fisher Body property is one of the largest contiguous brownfield sites (PDF) in Cleveland.

Components of Lincoln Electric's new wind turbine were unloaded at the Port of Cleveland on Monday. The 2.5-megawatt turbine was built by Kenersys of Germany and will be erected at the Lincoln Electric headquarters in Euclid.

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.

Lincoln Electric is erecting a wind turbine at its campus in Euclid. The 2.5-megawatt turbine will be about 443 feet tall when completed, making it the largest in Northeast Ohio.

The 83-acre Bluestone Business Park in Euclid is ready for new businesses. Demolition and brownfield remediation of the former PMX Industries/Chase Brass site was completed last year. Mayor Cervenik said that it eventually could include about 1 million square feet of industrial and office space with 1,000 jobs.

The Olmsted Joint Economic Development District revealed plans for the 385-acre Stearns Crossing Business Park in Olmsted Township. The first phase includes more than 250 acres near Stearns and Bagley roads.

Miceli Dairy Products received a $5.49 million loan through the Small Business Administration's 504 program. The loan will permit the company to proceed with the planned expansion of its Buckeye Road plant in Cleveland.

The former Joseph & Feiss building on West 53rd Street in Cleveland was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 28.

On Tuesday, the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland unanimously voted to proceed with construction of its new building at Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road in University Circle. MOCA plans to break ground in December. The $26.7 million project is fully funded.

Bluestone Business Park (PDF) in Euclid was one of three properties certified by the Ohio Department of Development for industrial site improvements through the Ohio Job Ready Sites Program. The redevelopment of the 80-acre former PMX property received a Jobs Ready Sites grant in 2008.

Under the terms of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and 14 states, the old General Motors will commit $773 million for the environmental cleanup of 89 former manufacturing sites. Five plant properties in Ohio will share $39 million: $25.8 million will go to the facility in Moraine, $7.3 million to Elyria, $3 million to Mansfield, $2.6 million to Toledo, and $746,000 to Parma.

The Ohio Department of Development awarded a $299,924 grant to the City of Cleveland to conduct a brownfields assessment for the planned expansion of the Miceli Dairy Products Co. facility (PDF) on Buckeye Road. The U.S. EPA gave a $25,000 grant to the Earth Day Coalition to support its work on revitalizing vacant properties.

Residents who live near the intersection of Solon and Richmond roads in Solon object to a recommendation for an expanded industrial presence in the area. Another group of residents believes that the City should have appealed a court-ordered rezoning issue instead of placing it on the November ballot.

Update: a Chagrin Solon Sun editorial says that "Solon cannot let the court decide the best use" of the property at SOM Center and Miles roads.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority announced that it will proceed with plans to use dredge material from Dike 10B to create the Cuyahoga Valley Industrial Center (PDF) in the Flats. Port authority leaders also announced plans to build a $3.16 million rail loop at the lakefront docks.

Update: Channel 3 has more information about the sediment relocation.

Brooklyn City Council approved the construction of Memphis Industrial Parkway at Memphis Avenue near the Linndale border. The parkway will open land for development, and construction will run from September 2010 to May 2011.

Businesses in Strongsville are reusing formerly-vacant properties.

Hemingway Development wants to redevelop the former Warner & Swasey complex at Carnegie Avenue and East 55th Street in Cleveland as offices, labs, and warehousing or manufacturing space. The buildings have been vacant since 1985 and are currently owned by the City of Cleveland. City officials hope to obtain state funding for brownfield remediation at the site.

Devland Holdings signed a contract to buy Randall Park Mall in North Randall. The company plans to redevelop the mall as a mixed-use project that would include light industry and research and development space.

The Ohio EPA announced that two local brownfield sites have completed the state's Voluntary Action Program and are ready for redevelopment. The properties are a 2.78-acre site on Cedar Avenue in Cleveland (PDF) and a 16-acre site on Northfield Road in Warrensville Heights (PDF).

Solon City Council sent the proposed Brainard Road warehouse rezoning to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The issue will appear on the May 4 ballot.

The Plain Dealer looked at the U.S. EPA study of PFC discharges in the wastewater of electroplating companies in Cleveland and Chicago. The Chicago Tribune reported on the subject last month.

A U.S. EPA study of electroplating facilities (PDF) in Cleveland and Chicago found that they were discharging high levels of PFCs in their wastewater. The emissions are permitted under a 2007 Bush administration exemption for the factories.

(via Great Lakes Echo)

The Solon Planning Commission is considering a zoning proposal for a Brainard Road warehouse district. Voters may decide the matter (PDF) in May.

Update: the Planning Commission approved the proposal.

The Ohio Department of Development awarded a $3 million Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant to the City of Lyndhurst for brownfield remediation at the northeast corner of Mayfield and Brainard roads. The site will be redeveloped as a Key Bank branch. Cuyahoga County also received a $2.5 million grant for remediation at the Ben Venue Laboratories expansion in Bedford. The State awarded a total of 16 grants.

GreenCityBlueLake and Rust Wire summarized aspects of this week's German Marshall Fund workshop.

Concrete crushing continues at the PMX site in Euclid. The resulting gravel will be used for new roads on the property and for the foundations of new buildings.

The City of Cleveland wants to use 500,000 cubic yards of fill from a confined disposal facility north of Burke Lakefront Airport to create an industrial park in the Cuyahoga River valley. Moving the dirt would also create more capacity for dredge material at the dike, which is running out of space.

The Ohio Development Financing Advisory Council recommended awarding a $9.7 million loan to Mitchell Schneider's 79th Street Properties LLC for the development of Shoreway Industrial Park on the site of the former White Motors complex at East 79th Street in Cleveland. The loan will be forgiven if the project is completed within two years and it generates 105 new jobs within three years.

Concrete crushing will soon begin at the former PMX site in Euclid. Concrete from the foundations of the site's old industrial buildings will be crushed for reuse in a new roadway leading into a planned new industrial park.

Update: WTAM's Bill Wills spoke with Mayor Cervenik about the redevelopment of the site.

Cuyahoga County awarded a $1 million brownfield redevelopment loan to Mitchell Schneider's 79th Street Properties for cleanup of the Shoreway Industrial Park, the former White Motors plant on East 79th Street in Cleveland.

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District dropped its plans to build a recycling center at the General Chemical site in Garfield Heights and Cuyahoga Heights, because environmental remediation costs grew beyond initial expectations.

The City of Cleveland sued Standex International, the former owner of the Trinity property on Detroit Road, and is seeking more than $1.5 million in compensation for the environmental cleanup of the site. Meanwhile, the Ohio EPA reached a settlement with the owners of City View Center in Garfield Heights. The developers agreed to make major infrastructure improvements (PDF) and pay a $1.2 million fine.

The West Side Sun News describes the Cuyahoga Valley Industrial Center, the largest redevelopment project undertaken by the City of Cleveland's Industrial-Commercial Land Bank program. The site in the industrial valley was recently awarded a $5 million Ohio Job Ready Sites grant.

The Ohio Department of Development awarded 12 Job Ready Sites program grants, two of which were for projects in Cuyahoga County. The City of Cleveland received $5 million for the Cuyahoga Valley Industrial Center, a planned redevelopment of a 57-acre brownfield site near the Cuyahoga River. Ray Fogg Building Methods received $4.3 million to assist in the development of an industrial park on the 80-acre PMX site in Euclid.

Midwest Real Estate News spoke with four Greater Cleveland real estate professionals about the local commercial real estate market.

Remediation of two brownfield sites in Euclid has been completed, and the Ohio EPA issued a covenant not to sue. Cleanup was finished at the 66.2 acre Euclid Business Park and at an 8.5 acre property owned by Lincoln Electric Co.

The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District may build a recycling center on the 55 acre former General Chemical site in Garfield Heights and Cuyahoga Heights. A portion of the brownfield site would become a park which would include the planned Mill Creek trail.

Geis Companies, a local industrial developer, is using the proceeds from its January sale of ten suburban industrial properties to reinvest in projects across Greater Cleveland. Through its Hemingway Development division, the company has made purchases in Brecksville, Boston Heights, Mayfield Village, and Warrensville Heights.

Ford agreed to pay a $1.4 million fine for failing to upgrade pollution control equipment at its Cleveland Casting Plant in Brook Park. When the company announced plans to close the plant last year, it stopped work on new furnaces and supporting emissions controls needed to comply with air pollution regulations.

The General Environmental Management plant in the Flats will close rather than make fire safety improvements to the facility. The plant had been cited for potential violations of clean air laws and suffered an explosion and fire in 2006.

Although Alcoa is pursuing permits to demolish all 28 buildings of the Ivex complex in Chagrin Falls, including the 1841 mill, the company says its intention is to sell the buildings and property for an adaptive reuse of the site. Alcoa is also planning to lower the height of the Chagrin River dam and stabilize the riverbank.

Update: Alcoa revised its application to remove references to demolitions of historic structures.

The City of Strongsville purchased an undeveloped 25 acre site on Lunn Road. The land is zoned for industrial development, and while the City plans to use it for recreation purposes, officials hope that it will eventually be developed.

The City of North Royalton received another one year extension to meet the job creation requirements of a 1998 CDBG grant that was used for the expansion of York Road industrial park.

A Plain Dealer editorial says that air quality concerns in the neighborhoods surrounding the ArcelorMittal steel mill are "too big of a public health issue to ignore," and that the U.S. EPA, the Ohio EPA, and the City of Cleveland have a duty to investigate.

Environmental cleanup of the Cleveland Pneumatic brownfield site in Slavic Village has been completed, and the Ohio EPA issued a covenant not to sue. The property will be redeveloped for light industrial use and as athletic fields for South High School.

The U.S. EPA has been investigating air pollution from the ArcelorMittal steel mill in Cleveland. Local activists want the company to reduce its emissions.

Fogg Corporate Properties is in the process of purchasing the 83 acre PMX site in Euclid from Commercial Development Co. of St. Louis, and plans to redevelop the property as an industrial park. The company obtained a $1 million brownfields cleanup grant from Cuyahoga County last week, and is seeking a $5 million grant from the Ohio Job Ready Sites program.

RPM International of Medina is considering building a warehouse and distribution center of up to 200,000 square feet at the former White Motors site in Cleveland. The 33 acre site, owned by First Interstate Properties, is north of St. Clair Avenue between East 72nd and East 79th Streets, near the Port Authority's proposed new facilities.

The current and former mayors of North Royalton asked Ohio's senators for assistance in obtaining another extension for meeting the job creation requirements of a federal grant the City received in 1998 for the expansion of York Road industrial park. If the extension is not granted, the City may assess property owners to cover repayment of the grant.

While Bedford officials consider the cleanup of the former Brush Wellman site a success, the City has two other brownfield sites in need of remediation.

Several recent fires at empty warehouses have highlighted the the fire risk posed by abandoned warehouses, many of which hold unmarked cans and barrels of hazardous materials. A Plain Dealer editorial says that the City of Cleveland "needs to tackle the problem [of cataloging warehouse dangers] with more vigor than it's showing now."

Steven Litt describes the latest designs for the new CSU College of Education and Human Services building at Euclid Avenue and East 25th Street as a building that "will be a supporting player, not a star."

Environmental advocates assert that the state needs to install more monitors for urban neighborhoods near industrial areas that experience high levels of air pollution.

If North Royalton officials are unable to generate about 100 low- to moderate-paying jobs at the York Road industrial park, the City may need to return a $181,597 CDBG grant it received in 1998.

Scene profiles the efforts of Ohio Citizen Action to get Mittal Steel to reduce air pollution from its Cleveland mill.

The Ohio office of HUD's Community Planning and Development Division gave its 2007 CPD award of excellence to Tinkers Creek Commerce Park in Bedford, the industrial park built on the former Brush Wellman site.

Fred Geis, developer of the Diamond Business Center in Glenwillow, tried to alleviate the concerns of Solon residents about the development. He said that the company will screen the industrial park from its residential neighbors and will attempt to place heavier industry away from residential areas.

Solon officials will meet with Mayor Payne of Glenwillow and a representative of developer Geis Companies with the hope of purchasing a portion of the Diamond Business Center industrial park that directly abuts Solon. "I doubt Geis will sell it, but we're going to ask," said a Solon councilman.

The City of Strongsville did not receive a requested state grant to extend Foltz Industrial Parkway in the Strongsville Business Park, and City officials plan to apply for a $4 million Ohio Job Ready Sites grant next year.

Some Solon residents are displeased by the start of construction of the Diamond Business Center industrial park in Glenwillow. They are concerned about tree removal, runoff, and noise and light pollution.

The Plain Dealer recently explored the 17 year saga of the former Fisher Body complex at Coit Road and East 140th Street in Collinwood. The State of Ohio spent $47 million to purchase, clear, and clean the 49 acre site, and eventually sold it Forest City Enterprises for $630,000. Forest City sold roughly half the site to the U.S. Department of Labor for $2.5 million, and it is being redeveloped as the new Cleveland Job Corps campus, scheduled to open in August. The other half remains undeveloped. A Plain Dealer editorial says that public officials "must oversee development with much more vigilance and diligence."

Construction of the new Diamond Business Center industrial park in Glenwillow will begin this week when work starts on a 400,000 square foot building. Developer Fred Geis described the 212 acre site as "the last large land tract that we know of in Cuyahoga County."

Demolition of structures has resumed at the former Taylor Chair site in Bedford. It should be completed within the next 30 days.

The Cuyahoga County Commissioners are creating a $13 million commercial redevelopment loan fund to promote the redevelopment of vacant commercial buildings. The program will be targeted at development in the City of Cleveland and its inner-ring suburbs.

(Update: a Department of Development press release presents more information.)

Demolition of buildings at the Taylor Chair site in Bedford has halted. City leaders hope that delays in the construction of the Rysar Homes Bedford Falls condominium project are temporary.

The Chatter column in this week's Free Times covers increased emissions from the Mittal Steel mill in Cleveland and the discussion about the proposed demolition of the Cleveland Trust Tower before the Cleveland City Planning Commission.The Planning Commission will take up the question again on Friday, and Plain Dealer architecture critic Steven Litt feels it's likely that the City will approve the demolition.

The Parma Sun Post profiles the efforts of southwest Cuyahoga County communities to increase their tax bases by promoting retail, office, and industrial development.

A Plain Dealer editorial says that the newly-designated Cleveland Art Quarter is "a great idea that could have a big economic impact, especially on tourism and redevelopment."

Frances Whitehead and Lisa Norton have proposed the idea of the "superorg" as a model for integrating the artist's perspective, ecological design, and industrual regeneration in the public planning of the Towpath Trail Extension. Their work is being shown at SPACES gallery as part of the Shrinking Cities exhibition.

An area that covers parts of four neighborhoods on Cleveland's near east side has been named the Cleveland Art Quarter, or The Quarter for short, because the live-work district is home to many artists and their studios.

The Paper Mill Vision Committee in Chagrin Falls supports the adaptive reuse of the former Ivex Paper Mill on Cleveland Street, and submitted four recommendations to Mayor Brick. They also suggested lowering the dam to reduce liability and remove it from ODNR's jurisdiction. The Trust for Public Land is also interested in preserving greenspace at the site.

As part of their campaign to get Mittal steel to reduce air pollution emanating from their Cleveland mill, Ohio Citizen Action brought Lois Gibbs, director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, to Cleveland. She declared it one of the "hardest-hit neighborhoods" she'd ever seen. Mittal Steel officials maintained that their emissions are well within federal EPA limits.

Residents near Mittal Steel continue to call for stricter emissions controls at the Cleveland steel plant. Mittal representatives again countered that the mill complies with EPA regulations.

Geis Companies purchased 212 acres at Cochran and Pettibone Roads in Glenwillow from Browning-Ferris Industries for $4.3 million, where they plan to build an industrial park with a mix of industrial, office, and light manufacturing tenants.

Yesterday, Ohio Citizen Action released Smoke and Mirrors (MS Word, 4 MB), a report accusing Mittal Steel of failing to accurately disclose the emissions from its Cleveland mill. Mittal officials countered that the plant meets federal regulations and employs standard reporting methodologies.

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