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Cleveland east side News Archive

The International Mountain Bike Association awarded $10,000 in planning and design services for a mountain bike park at Kerruish Park, in Cleveland's Lee-Harvard neighborhood. The matching grant will be used to prepare a conceptual site plan and report for the proposed bike park.

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency awarded $998,000 in Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative grants. Of the 29 planning studies submitted for consideration, NOACA selected 13 for funding, including nine in Cuyahoga County. The largest award, $118,000, went to support the Eastside Greenway initiative. Other awards went to studies in Collinwood/Euclid, Parma Heights, and Rocky River. NOACA staff also will provide technical assistance for six transportation studies in five Cuyahoga County cities.

A report prepared for (PDF) University Circle Inc. and the City of Cleveland Heights made recommendations for improving bicycle and public transit connections within and between University Circle and Cleveland Heights. The TLCI-funded report identified concepts for potential bicycle facilities and opportunities for changes and enhancements to transit service. Last year, the two cities partnered to add a bicycle lane on Edgehill Road.

Four projects in Cleveland and one in Chagrin Falls received awards in the 10th round of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. In Cleveland, the Fairmont Creamery redevelopment received a $3.12 million tax credit; the final phase of the St. Luke's Hospital redevelopment received a $506,600 tax credit; and residential conversions of two adjacent buildings on Huron Avenue in downtown Cleveland, the Starr Gennett Building and 1220 Huron, received tax credits of $422,001 and $3.55 million, respectively. The Spillway project in Chagrin Falls received a $1.65 million tax credit.

The Cleveland Institute of Art broke ground on the $33.5 million second phase of the expansion and renovation of its Joseph McCullough Center for the Visual Arts in University Circle. The four-story, 79,000-square-foot addition will allow the college to unify its campus in a single location. Work is scheduled to be completed in fall 2015.

The $7.7 million reconstruction of Fleet Avenue in Cleveland includes $1 million in green infrastructure improvements. The complete and green street will feature bike lanes, tree plantings, bioswales, and pocket parks.

Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic are partnering to build a medical education building on the hospital's main campus in Fairfax. The 165,000-square-foot building will be at the northeast corner of East 93rd Street and Euclid Avenue, currently the site of the Cleveland Clinic Guesthouse. Foster + Partners of London is designing the $80 million building. It's scheduled to open in 2016. A Plain Dealer editorial called it "a praiseworthy collaboration."

Enterprise Community Partners awarded a $40,000 grant to Burten, Bell, Carr for its Kinsman EcoDistricts and another $40,000 grant to the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Corporation to support its Cleveland EcoVillage. They also helped secure funding for the City of Cleveland's Office of Sustainability.

ArtPlace America awarded $15.2 million in grants to 54 projects in the U.S., including $375,000 to support the UrbanUpcycle program in Cleveland's St. Clair-Superior neighborhood. The new program uses an arts-based approach to creative placemaking, and is part of an effort to emphasize upcycling as a community reinvestment strategy. The Collinwood Rising project received an ArtPlace grant last year.

Update: updates are available at ArtPlace and at the Upcycle St. Clair blog.

The federally-funded Wildwood Lacustrine Refuge Stream and Wetland Restoration Project in Cleveland is in its final stages. The Euclid Creek Watershed Program Partners planned a July 10 celebration, but it was rescheduled due to inclement weather, and will now be a part of the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District's annual Conservation Day on September 21.

The renovation of Victory Center (formerly the Victory Building and the Arts Building) in Midtown is scheduled to be finished this month. The 150,000 square-foot building at 7012 Euclid Avenue is being marketed to biomedical and technology companies. Meanwhile, the Ohio EPA declared that brownfield remediation was completed at the adjacent 2.16-acre 7000 Euclid Avenue site.

Plans for senior housing developments:

Update: Strongsville voters will decide the rezoning issue in November.

A local developer, a Cleveland CDC, and the Cuyahoga Land Bank collaborated in the low-cost conversion of a neglected house into a loft-style home. They are converting more houses through the Loft Home Rehabilitation Pilot Program (PDF). A Plain Dealer editorial called it "one way to make an impact in blighted neighborhoods."

Cool Cleveland columnist Mansfield Frazier said that land-use decisions in Cleveland's east side neighborhoods haven't benefited their African-American residents, and followed up with an interview with Streetsblog's Angie Schmitt about the equity issues surrounding the planned Opportunity Corridor. The corridor is one of several local projects competing for funding from the new Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission.

Two sites in University Circle have the potential to attract luxury residential towers. An unidentified developer is exploring the feasibility of a 28-story, 300-unit tower at Euclid Avenue and Stokes Boulevard. In addition, the Cleveland Institute of Art's Gund Building site could be redeveloped as high-rise residential, although no plans have been presented. Charles Belson, the president of AIA Cleveland, dislikes the idea, saying that it "could be a big step in the wrong direction."

Slavic Village Recovery, a new private-nonprofit partnership, intends to acquire, renovate, and sell or rent 50 vacant houses in the Cleveland neighborhood in its first year. The partners hope that the project can serve as a model for other neighborhoods.

RTA began studying the feasibility of extending the Red Line rail line or HealthLine BRT line beyond the current terminus in East Cleveland. Its board hired AECOM Technical Services to lead a multi-year study on the potential of extending service to Euclid. RTA is also completing plans for its new Little Italy-University Circle Rapid Station.

The Green City Growers greenhouse, the third Evergreen Cooperatives company, celebrated its grand opening on February 25. The 3.25-acre greenhouse in Cleveland's Central neighborhood is the largest urban food production greenhouse in the U.S. It will grow an estimated 3 million heads of lettuce and 300,000 pounds of herbs annually, and its 25 workers are on their way to becoming employee-owners. Stakeholders discussed the company on WCPN's Sound of Ideas.

Local entrepreneurs continue to invest in Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood and its Waterloo district. They plan to make the area a destination by opening several businesses in quick succession later this year.

At its February 14 meeting, the Cleveland Landmarks Commission approved the demolition of the former Euclid Avenue Church of God at East 86th Street. The Commission had rejected earlier requests in 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile, the City of Cleveland is pursuing redevelopment plans at West 117th Street and Clifton Avenue that include the demolition of the former Fifth Church of Christ Scientist.

Update: the Cleveland Restoration Society's Perspectives newsletter includes an update on the Fifth Church of Christ Scientist.

Update 2: Fresh Water said that the Fifth Church of Christ Scientist likely will be demolished.

The New York Times looked at the League Park renovations underway in Cleveland, describing how the City plans to honor its rich baseball heritage.

USA Today looked at how several historically black neighborhoods, including Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood, are recovering from the recession. The improvements include the PNC Fairfax Connection, which opened at Carnegie Avenue and East 83rd Street late last year.

The Cleveland Institute of Art agreed to sell its Gund Building property to Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art for $9.2 million. The deal for the 4.1-acre site is expected to close in 2015, when the Institute of Art completes the expansion of its McCullough Center. The University Circle institutions have not identified plans for the property. A Plain Dealer editorial praised the agreement.

Northeast Shores Development Corporation posted the Euclid Creek Vision Plan (PDF, 47.8 MB), prepared by MKSK of Columbus. It's intended to offer "a compelling design that looked both inside and outside the park's boundaries to build momentum for capital improvements to the park."

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority completed construction of a 1.1-megawatt solar farm on a six-acre brownfield site adjacent to its Kinsman Avenue headquarters. CMHA officials said it will save the agency million of dollars over its expected 30-year lifespan, while providing it with educational opportunities. A Plain Dealer editorial called it the "sort of idea that could catch on."

Steven Litt critiqued the preliminary plans for the Upper Chester development in Cleveland. He called the design "deeply underwhelming" but added that it "clearly has enormous potential" and that its developer would be wise to emulate the "high-quality thinking and institutional collaboration that went into Uptown."

In an editorial, The Plain Dealer said that the proposed Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland should be a priority for Greater Cleveland stakeholders this year.

Plans for the second phase of the Uptown development in University Circle call for 43 market-rate apartments and 50 dorm rooms over ground-floor retail.

In National Journal, George E. Condon Jr. examined how Cleveland's Slavic Village suffered from the foreclosure crisis and how officials are using targeted demolitions to help revive the neighborhood.

The Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area awarded $121,000 in grants to eight projects through its Strategic Initiatives program. The awards included $23,000 to University Circle Inc. for development of its planned CircleWalk and $15,000 to LAND Studio for Lake Link Trail design and engineering work.

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".

Mansfield Frazier plans to build the world's fist biocellar adjacent to his Vineyards of Chateau Hough at East 66th Street and Hough Avenue in Cleveland. By reusing the foundation of a demolished house and adding a roof, the biocellar would create a space that could be used as a passive solar greenhouse. The concept was proposed by permaculture designer Jean Loria and developed by Kent State's Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. A Plain Dealer editorial said that "biocellars could be the next big thing to resuscitate inner-city neighborhoods".

The Stokes VA Medical Center plans to build an outpatient surgery center in Cleveland, on Superior Avenue between East 89th and East 90th streets. The 10,000-square-foot facility could open in late 2013.

The Finch Group of Florida submitted updated plans for the Upper Chester development on 38 acres north of Chester Avenue, between East 93rd and East 101st streets. The Cleveland City Planning Commission and Cleveland City Council approved plans for the $94 million first phase that would include apartments and retail. Construction could begin in late 2013.

Cuyahoga County residential development projects in the media:

The renovation of Cleveland's historic League Park is underway. The $6.3 million project at East 66th Street and Lexington Avenue will include restoration of the ballpark's playing field, ticket house, and grandstand wall, plus the creation of a new community park and visitors center. It's scheduled to open next September.

RTA celebrated the opening of its rebuilt Buckeye-Woodhill rapid transit station in Cleveland. The contemporary design features stairs as well as ramps for riders with disabilities. Much of the funding for the $3.3 million project came from the federal stimulus package. It's part of a series of investments in the Buckeye neighborhood.

MOCA Cleveland celebrated the grand opening of its new University Circle museum in early October. The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt covered the occasion, describing the history of the museum, the project's financial considerations, architect Farshid Moussavi's design approach, and the building's distinctive architecture. MOCA Executive Director Jill Snyder said that the building realizes the museum's goals of transparency, flexibility, and sustainability. A Plain Dealer editorial cheered the opening.

The milestone also attracted national and international attention. It was Farshid Moussavi's first project in the U.S., and she was profiled in W magazine and interviewed by the Architects' Journal. The museum's architecture was highlighted in Art in America, Arch Daily, De Zeen, Wallpaper, and Unbeige, among other publications.

Update: Steven Litt followed up with a critique of the building.

In a feature titled "New Life For the American City", Architectural Record examined how Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland are reinventing themselves. Its exploration of Cleveland included an overview by Steven Litt and closer looks at the Cleveland Museum of Art expansion and the Uptown development. Meanwhile, The Atlantic Cities published a piece on the evolution of University Circle and a response from Rust Belt Chic editors Richey Piiparinen and Anne Trubek. They identified a lack of nuance in reporting about the region, and said that "urban journalism needs to allow for more ambiguity."

The White House announced that the permitting and review processes for RTA's new University Circle-Little Italy Rapid Station will be expedited through the Obama administration's We Can't Wait initiative. The revised processes are expected to shave more than a month from the project timeline.

via Planetizen

The American Planning Association named Shaker Boulevard as one of its great streets for 2012, saying that the 6.75-mile stretch in Cleveland, Shaker Heights, and Beachwood "remains proof of planning's lasting value." The organization celebrates quality places each year through its Great Places in America program, and named the West Side Market as one of the nation's great public spaces in 2008.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General conducted a review of the Cleveland VA's decision to close its Brecksville campus and consolidate its facilities at the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center in University Circle. The review "determined that the decision to completely vacate and close the Brecksville campus and consolidate to the Wade Park campus was not in VA's best interest" because of space, cost, and security issues. It offers a series of recommendations to address the concerns.

The Cleveland Foundation awarded $21.6 million in its third-quarter grants. The awards include $10 million for a new medical school at Case Western Reserve University and $500,000 for the St. Luke's Pointe project. The CWRU grant is the foundation's largest ever and first in a series of large grants the foundation will make to mark its centennial in 2014.

University Circle institutions relaunched the Greater Circle Living initiative, a program that provides incentives to employees who make their homes in University Circle and its surrounding neighborhoods. Participants are now eligible for increased financial assistance. The program began in 2008.

Update: University Circle Inc. issued a press release.

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority is building 4,200 solar panels on a six-acre site adjacent to its headquarters at Kinsman Avenue and East 82nd Street. The one-megawatt array is expected to cover 70% to 80% of the building's electricity needs.

Local and federal officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for RTA's replacement Cedar-University rapid transit station, formerly known as the University Circle station. The $18.5 million rebuild of the station at the foot of Cedar Hill includes a relocation of its associated bus terminal. Funding for the project includes a $10.5 million federal TIGER grant. Construction is expected to take around two years.

Local residential projects in the news:

Update: Solon City Council approved the preliminary plat for the Neptune Oval Estates subdivision.

A Cleveland Botanical Garden program was one of eight projects recently certified by the Sustainable Sites Initiative, a national rating system for sustainable built landscapes. It's the first project in Ohio to receive the designation. Eleven projects have achieved certification in the initiative's two-year pilot program.

Through its Wildwood Stream and Wetland Restoration Project, the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District is working to establish a 2.5-acre wetland and several smaller wetlands in Wildwood Lakefront State Park in Cleveland. The project is funded by a $1.4 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant.

Fast Track Cycling celebrated the opening of the Cleveland Velodrome on August 30, and it held its first competitive cycling event on September 15. The track in Slavic Village is the only velodrome in Ohio.

Update: Neighborhood Progress Inc. has more information.

Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed envisions that his Mount Pleasant neighborhood could become an arts and entertainment district and a destination for visitors seeking an African-American experience.

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.

Fresh Water began a series on Cleveland neighborhoods by asking whether Slavic Village will be the City's next hot neighborhood.

NOACA recently posted two plans conducted with TLCI funding: the East 55th and Euclid Avenue Crossroads Study (PDF, 26.8 MB), which calls for redeveloping the area as the Penn Square District, and also a full version of the West Park/Lorain Avenue Transportation & Redevelopment Plan (PDF, 41.5 MB). At the Civic Commons, NOACA shared details about the program and its projects. The agency is currently evaluating the program.

Five to 10 new independent retailers will open along St. Clair Avenue between East 61st Street and Addison Avenue through a new program of the St. Clair Superior Development Corporation. Inspired by Oakland's Popuphood initiative, the program includes six months free rent, storefront renovations, marketing assistance, security, and business training for merchants.

Update: more than 80 people applied for the program.

Hemingway Development reached an agreement to purchase the building at 6555 Carnegie Avenue (PDF) in Cleveland. The 64,000-square-foot building will become the third phase of the MidTown Tech Park office development.

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.

For the second time, the Cleveland Landmarks Commission rejected a demolition request for the Euclid Avenue Church of God. The Cleveland Clinic has offered to purchase the property if the building is demolished. In Lakewood, the California-based owner of the former First Church of Christ, Scientist building is challenging the City's landmark designation of the property, filing an appeal in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer said that the ongoing renovation of the former St. Luke's Hospital in Cleveland's Buckeye neighborhood "embodies a compassionate vision that combines historic preservation, strong contemporary architecture and urban design, high educational aspirations for Cleveland's children, affordable housing and an emphasis on mass transit." Joel Ratner of Neighborhood Progress Inc. described the project in the Cleveland Jewish News.

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.

The Cleveland Foundation announced $19.9 million in grants for a variety of programs, including funding for economic development activities, $150,000 for the intergenerational housing project in Fairfax, and $400,000 for a partnership that will work to leverage Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District investments to make neighborhood improvements. The Storm Water Management Partnership includes LAND Studio, Neighborhood Progress Inc., and the Kent State Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative.

ArtPlace, a national partnership to support the arts, awarded $15.4 million in grants to 47 projects across the country. Among the awards was a $500,000 grant to support the Collinwood Rising initiative in Cleveland. Northeast Shores Development Corporation will "work with artists to establish replicable development models for artist space in older industrial cities." Meanwhile, businessman Alan Glazen said he intends to simultaneously launch five restaurants in the neighborhood.

Several local construction projects celebrated milestones:

Update: The Ohio Department of Transportation began work on bicycle and pedestrian improvements to the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge in Cleveland.

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District crews lowered the 345,000-pound head of a tunnel boring machine into the entrance of the Euclid Creek Tunnel, 200 feet below the surface in Bratenahl. The machine will begin cutting the sewer tunnel this summer, and is scheduled to complete the 18,000-foot long tunnel in 2014. When complete, it will be able to store 52 million gallons of combined sewage.

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.

The Ohio Department of Development approved $10 million in grants for nine projects through the Ohio Job Ready Sites Program. The City of Cleveland will receive a $1 million grant to support infrastructure and building improvements to the Victory Building on Euclid Avenue.

RTA ridership figures continue to rise, increasing by 5.3% between March 2011 and March 2012, and the agency is working to attract discretionary transit users. In Cleveland Heights and University Circle, consultants are developing plans for improving non-automobile transportation options and are conducting a survey. Marc Lefkowitz said that they face challenges and opportunities.

At a recent Cleveland Museum of Art panel discussion, leaders from East Cleveland and Fairfax talked about ways that growth in University Circle is improving their communities.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History sold its SmartHome to a couple from Maryland for $331,000. The passive house was relocated from the museum grounds to its permanent site on Wade Park Avenue in October.

The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt says that the buildings in the first phase of University Circle's Uptown development "are crisp, lean and decidedly contemporary, yet they also contributing powerfully to the larger urban environment" and that the project "is one of the most exciting and sophisticated architectural ensembles in the history of Cleveland."

The City of Cleveland recently began construction of the Lake to Lakes Trail. It will connect Lake Erie with the Shaker Lakes.

PNC unveiled plans for a new community resource center in Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood. The 6,400-square-foot PNC Fairfax Connection is intended to offer a variety of community resources at the corner of Carnegie Avenue and East 83rd Street.

Update: the Plain Dealer has more details.

WXZ Development plans to complete its Circle 118 townhouse project in University Circle by building an additional 30 units. The earlier buildings were built as condominiums, but the final phase will be apartments.

University Circle Incorporated selected the Coral Co. and Panzica Construction as developers for a project on the site of Lot 45. The $100 million mixed-use Intesa project would replace the 2.2-acre parking lot with office, technology, and residential space. The developers have one year to secure tenants and funding for the project at Euclid Avenue and East 117th Street, near RTA's planned rapid transit station.

Update: the Coral Co. posted a video about the development.

Members of the Shaker Square Area Development Corporation voted to reject a proposed merger with the Buckeye Area Development Corporation. SHAD will lay off its staff and cease operations. The area will be without a community development corporation.

The Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, formerly known as Dike 14, officially opened last week (PDF). The 88-acre man-made peninsula provides urban wildlife habitat and features a 1.3-mile walking trail. The site was created from dredge material deposited in the confined disposal facility from 1979 to 1999.

The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt says that the new Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland building under construction in University Circle is "shaping up as an architectural thrill ride" and "represents a triumphant return to the neighborhood of MOCA's birth."

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.

About 50 people attended the first public meeting about a proposed skatepark in Slavic Village. A late 2014 opening is possible.

Cleveland officials said that the long-planned renovation of League Park will begin in late spring or early summer. The $5 million project will include restoring the ticket house and bleacher wall, and recreating the stadium's baseball diamond.

The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt analyzed the Cleveland Clinic's master plan for its main campus in Fairfax. The plan, prepared by Foster + Partners of London, calls for the creation of a green corridor through the center of the campus. The plan suggests redeveloping the former Cleveland Play House complex as an education center, but does not address the edges of the campus or the possible demolition of two historic churches.

Superior Technology Partners of Columbus hopes to build a data center on a 2.25-acre portion of a 14-acre City-owned property on Chester Avenue. The Midtown site was previously slated for a state psychiatric hospital.

CMHA received a $300,000 federal planning grant to develop a plan for revitalizing the Cedar Extension public housing development in Cleveland's Central neighborhood. It was one of 13 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants awarded by HUD across the United States. Choice Neighborhoods is a signature program of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.

After several years of debate, ODOT and MidTown Cleveland, Inc. agreed to reevaluate the potential economic impacts of eliminating I-90 interchanges at Carnegie and Prospect avenues in Cleveland. D.B. Hartt, Inc. will conduct a year-long study.

Collinwood's Northeast Shores Development Corp and the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture are rolling out the Artists in Residence program. Its first project is the Cleveland Arsenal (PDF), a civic advocacy effort.

Update: the organizations published guidelines for the Artists in Residence program (PDF).

The LoConti family, longtime owners of the Cleveland Agora, recently donated the office and entertainment complex to MidTown Cleveland. MidTown and Hemingway Development plan to redevelop its 54,000-square-foot office portion and restore the Agora Theatre.

Demolition of the Cleveland School of the Arts building in University Circle is scheduled to begin soon. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District plans to build a new school on the site.

The Ohio Department of Development awarded $14.9 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits for 13 rehabilitation projects. Eight of the projects are in Northeast Ohio, and four are in Cleveland. The Victory Building at Euclid Avenue and East 71st Street received a $4.38 million credit, the Park and Southworth Buildings on Public Square received a $1.98 million credit, the Rialto Theater on West 25th Street received a $484,108 credit, and the Gifford House on Prospect Avenue received a $108,914 credit. An Akron Beacon Journal editorial supports the tax credit program.

Changing Gears looked at how the loss of a bank branch can impact a neighborhood, using Cleveland's Larchmere neighborhood and its closed Ohio Savings branch as an example.

In the third round of its TIGER program, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $511 million to 46 projects across the country. RTA received $12.5 million for its planned new rapid transit station at Mayfield Road and East 119th Street in Little Italy. Construction of the $17.5 million project could start in early 2013. RTA received a TIGER grant last year for the reconstruction of its University Circle rapid transit station.

An Ohio Citizen Action report urges FirstEnergy to permanently close its Lake Shore Power Plant in Cleveland. The plant is currently idle.

Last week, workers began construction of the 153-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel in University Circle. The $27 million development should be completed in late 2012.

Backers of the proposed Turkish Cultural Garden in Cleveland's Rockefeller Park shared a preliminary design for the garden.

The Cleveland Landmarks Commission designated Fenn Tower, Howe Mansion, and the Stager-Beckwith Mansion as Cleveland landmarks. The Commission will continue to discuss the proposed designation of the Wolfe's Music Store building.

Cleveland officials recently unveiled designs for the planned African American Cultural Garden in Rockefeller Park. Supporters hope to raise $2 million for the project and complete construction in 2013. A Plain Dealer editorial says it "wouldn't have happened without the tenacity and vision of the late Booker T. Tall."

The TLCI-funded East 22nd Street Corridor/Campus District Transportation and Redevelopment Plan (PDF) makes recommendations intended to strengthen the connections between the Campus District's three anchor institutions. It "illustrates how community-involved planning can tap into large transportation projects to make meaningful corridor enhancements."

Using Growing Power's aquaponics model, Rid-All Green Partnership is growing produce, raising fish, and creating compost in Kinsman's Forgotten Triangle. The farm in the Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone is one of Growing Power's 15 regional urban farming training centers. Rid-All's mission is to "transform communities by providing them with accessible nutritionally rich food items to improve their over all health."

Cleveland City Council approved a lease with an option to buy for the former site of St. Michael Hospital in Slavic Village. Fast Track Cycling plans to open a bicycle track on the property next year and eventually create a $7.5 million velodrome complex.

Update: Fast Track Cycling launched a new website.

The New York Times looked at some of the construction projects underway in University Circle, focusing on the Uptown development, which it said "amounts to a new downtown for the University Circle neighborhood".

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.

University Circle Incorporated is shifting its focus to integrate the area into its surrounding neighborhoods by becoming a developer, a neighborhood advocate, and a service provider. They launched a redesigned website today.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial called it "the path to a stronger city."

Cleveland residents celebrated the opening of the Collinwood Recreation Center on Saturday. Located in a former Big Lots store on Lake Shore Boulevard, it is the City's first new recreation center in 14 years. The Plain Dealer's Joe Frolik looked at the history of the project.

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority broke ground for a senior housing development at Lee Road and Miles Avenue in Cleveland. The three-story Lee Road Senior Building will provide 40 units for seniors (PDF) who want remain in their current neighborhood.

Trailside at Morgana Run is a proposed residential development at East 71st Street and Aetna Road in Slavic Village. Located on a former brownfield site, it will include more than 100 single-family houses.

The SmartHome Cleveland passive house was moved from the grounds of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to its permanent site on Wade Park Avenue. The museum is seeking certification from the Passive House Institute U.S. The house is for sale, with an asking price of $329,000.

Update: the museum posted videos of the move.

Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. received a $759,374 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its MC2 Food Access Initiative. It's intended to address the food desert in Kinsman by establishing a fresh food center with a market, cafe, and community kitchen.

Cleveland Area History's Christopher Busta-Peck photographed the demolition of the Alhambra Apartments on Wade Park Avenue in Hough.

The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt contrasted the designs of two new hospital buildings in Cleveland, the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals and the CARES Tower at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Both structures were designed by George Nikolajevich of Cannon Design in St. Louis.

CenterMark Development will redevelop a former Tops supermarket on Superior Avenue in Glenville. The 65,000-square-foot Shops at Garrett Square will include a Save-A-Lot grocery store and a discount clothing retailer.

Case Western Reserve University revealed the designs for its planned 82,000-square-foot Tinkham Veale University Center. The University intends to break ground next spring and complete construction by fall 2014.

Fresh Water describes recent investments in Cleveland's Health-Tech Corridor and Midtown Tech Park.

Plans for the next phase in the redevelopment of the Tyler Village complex in Cleveland call for a $9 million renovation of a 150,000-square-foot building.

The retail portion in the first phase of the Uptown development is 95% leased. It will include a grocer, a bookstore, and restaurants when construction is completed in the spring. The $44.5 million phase one will add 102 apartments and over 56,000 square feet of retail in University Circle.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Green City Growers greenhouse in Cleveland will take place on October 17. The facility in Central will be the third business in the Evergreen Cooperatives network.

Update: the Plain Dealer has more details.

RTA will celebrate the official grand opening of its new East 55th Street Rapid Station on Tuesday. The $9.4 million station serves the Blue, Green, and Red lines.

The Cleveland Restoration Society's October newsletter provides updates the Cleveland Clinic's efforts to demolish the Euclid Avenue Church of God and the nearby Church of the Transfiguration, the recently-demolished St. Catherine Roman Catholic Church on East 93rd Street, and the sale of the Brooklyn Memorial United Methodist Church on Archwood Avenue in Brooklyn Centre.

On Monday, the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court opened for business in the new Juvenile Justice Center at East 93rd Street and Quincy Avenue in Cleveland. The $189 million complex's first full day of business will be October 11.

In East Cleveland, the new Cleveland Clinic Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center also opened on Monday. The three-floor, 50,000-square-foot facility is on Euclid Avenue adjacent to the former Huron Hospital. The hospital permanently closed on Friday.

RTA and the City of Cleveland Heights unveiled the first of two solar-powered bus shelters. The project was funded by a $100,000 Federal Transit Administration grant. The shelters are on Mayfield Road, at Coventry and Warrensville Center roads.

The vacant Moreland Theater on Buckeye Road (PDF) in Cleveland was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 15.

The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt was impressed by the renovated Tudor Arms Hotel on Carnegie Avenue in University Circle.

The Cleveland Play House opened its first show in the renovated Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. The former 2,500-seat theater is being converted to three smaller theaters that will be used by the Play House and Cleveland State University. The 514-seat theater has reopened, the 314-seat Second Stage will open in January, and the 150-seat Lab Theatre will open in February. Fundraising for the project continues.

Chinese-American investors are working to revive Cleveland's old Chinatown along Rockwell Avenue. Their efforts include renovations of On Leong Tong Ceremonial Hall and plans to open five restaurants.

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.

Greenbridge Commons (PDF) is a new $12.5 million permanent supporting housing development at East 75th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland. The 70-unit facility will provide homes for chronically homeless individuals. It was developed by the Cleveland Housing Network and will by operated by Eden, Inc.

A WXZ Development affiliate secured financing for its planned Hazel at the Circle apartments in University Circle. The company hopes to soon break ground on the 59-unit complex.

With the backing of Councilmen Johnson and Conwell, Cleveland City Council approved the creation of the Magnolia-Wade Park Historic District at its meeting today. Mt. Zion Congregational Church and members of a CWRU fraternity opposed the designation.

A solar power demonstration project has been installed at Cleveland's Rockefeller Park Greenhouse through a public-private collaboration. The solar concentrator array is expected to generate between 20,000 and 30,000 watts of power.

Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson has proposed designating the Magnolia-Wade Park Historic District as a local historic district. The area is already listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mt. Zion Congregational Church, which wants to tear down two houses for an addition, opposes the proposal.

The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture selected North Collinwood for its Artists in Residence initiative. The $500,000 pilot program will provide grants and loans over the next two years, focusing on the relationship between artists and the Waterloo neighborhood.

Update: the Plain Dealer has more information.

Planning for the Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland continues. Funding sources have not been confirmed for the $213.4 million project. The Ohio Department of Transportation will hold public meetings on July 26, 27, and 28 (PDF).

Update: Channel 5 and Neighborhood Voice reported on the meetings.

Cool Cleveland interviewed David Beach of GreenCityBlueLake about the SmartHome Cleveland exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

A report from NAACP includes environmental justice scores for the 431 coal-fired power plants in the U.S. and named the Lake Shore Power Plant in Glenville as the nation's sixth-most harmful plant for low-income communities and communities of color. Leaders of the local NAACP branch say that the plant should remain open.

The Plain Dealer visited Slavic Village to see how the neighborhood is dealing with abandoned and vacant homes, while the PBS Newshour reported on local efforts to demolish distressed housing.

Update: the PBS Newshour has a follow-up story.

Update 2: as Montgomery County sets up its new land bank, the Dayton Daily News examined the Cuyahoga County Land Bank.

Update 3: the Cincinnati Enquirer also looked at the Cuyahoga County Land Bank.

The Ohio Department of Development awarded $27 million in Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grants for 17 brownfield cleanup projects. Cleveland received two awards, $3 million for asbestos remediation of the John Hartness Brown Building on Euclid Avenue and $1 million for remediation and demolition for a mixed-use project on East 66th Street.

Update: WKSU has more details.

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority dedicated (PDF) its new headquarters and the second phase of its Heritage View Homes in Kinsman. The new construction adds 40 apartment units and 17 single-family houses to the 81 townhouse units opened last year.

Architect Miguel Rosales is continuing to refine designs for three pedestrian bridges in Cleveland. The City of Cleveland plans to begin construction of a bridge at North Coast Harbor next summer, Cuyahoga County officials started evaluating three options for a bridge to Whiskey Island, and Case Western Reserve University made public a proposal for a bridge that would link the Cleveland Museum of Art to the Temple Tifereth Israel.

RTA held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday for its redesigned Buckeye-Woodhill Rapid Transit Station in Cleveland. Construction of the $3.3 million project is scheduled to take 15 months.

The SmartHome, the first passive house in Northeast Ohio, opened to the public on Monday. It will be on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History until September, when it will be moved to a permanent lot on Wade Park Avenue. The 2,500-square-foot house is designed to have a monthly heating or cooling cost of $20. Participants on Thursday's Sound of Ideas program discussed the house, and it will be the subject of a June 15 panel discussion at the City Club.

Update: audio (MP3, 53.7 MB) and video of the City Club event are now available.

Update 2: McClatchy Newspapers also reported on the SmartHome.

At its annual meeting on Thursday, MidTown Cleveland revealed plans for the second phase of the Midtown Tech Park. The plans include renovating a vacant 40,000-square-foot building located across Euclid Avenue from phase one.

On Monday, developers unveiled the new $21 million MidTown Tech Park in the Health-Tech Corridor along Euclid Avenue. Cleveland Economic Development Director Tracey Nichols described the 128,000-square-foot building as post-incubator space.

RTA received an additional $2 million in federal funding for the reconstruction of the University Circle rapid transit station. Construction bidding for the project is scheduled to begin this fall. RTA has not been as successful in securing funds for the planned new East 120th Street rapid transit station in Little Italy.

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.

At its meeting on Wednesday (PDF), the board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority voted to open Dike 14 to the public as the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve. The board also approved issuing $2.5 million in bonds for a planned hotel in University Circle and an additional $5 million in bonds for the Flats east bank project. It did not approve an extension of a parking agreement with the Cleveland Browns.

The Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center dedicated its new inpatient bed tower, homeless veterans domiciliary, and administration building at its Wade Park campus in Cleveland on Monday. The VA is concurrently winding down operations at its Brecksville campus.

In this week's issue of Fresh Water, Douglas Trattner describes the transformation of Tyler Village from an industrial facility to a mixed-use complex.

A Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority committee voted to open Dike 14 to the public. The full board is expected to approve the decision at its meeting on May 18. To start, the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve would be open one or two days per week.

Update: the Plain Dealer published more details.

Update 2: the spring 2011 open house (PDF) will be held on May 21 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Update 3: a Plain Dealer editorial says that the decision "exemplifies a sea change in attitude."

Re-imagining Greater Cleveland issued a request for proposals for a consultant to develop a plan for the Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone in Kinsman.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Friday for the redevelopment of the former St. Luke's Hospital in Cleveland. The project's $15.1 million first phase will rehabilitate the central wing as 72 units of senior housing that will be called St. Luke's Manor. The Ohio EPA recently declared that brownfield remediation is complete (PDF) for the 5.19-acre site.

Case Western Reserve University selected the firm of Perkins+Will to design the Tinkham Veale University Center. The architecture firm was one of four finalists for the proposed $50 million student center. Preliminary designs should be ready by the end of July.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District held a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday for the Euclid Creek Tunnel. Construction of the $197 million project, designed to reduce combined sewer overflows, is scheduled to begin this month and continue for four years.

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."

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.

Leaders of the Buckeye Area Development Corporation and the Shaker Square Area Development Corporation are exploring ways that the two organizations can work cooperatively, with options ranging from sharing resources to the possibility of a merger.

This week's edition of Fresh Water includes articles about plans to restore a portion of Doan Brook in Cleveland and about the growth of urban agriculture in Northeast Ohio.

Community leaders in Cleveland's AsiaTown neighborhood intend to make the area a dining and entertainment destination. It will host the second annual Cleveland Asian Festival on May 21-22.

Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson resolved his concerns about the proposed Hazel at the Circle apartments in University Circle, and now supports rezoning the 1.4-acre site from single-family residential to multi-family residential.

A Plain Dealer editorial supports Cuyahoga County's exploration of utilizing local hospitals for mental health care, in light of the state's decision to abandon plans for a regional psychiatric hospital in Cleveland. Tracy Plouck, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health, says that the decision "was based on the rationale that the state will be able to offer the same amount of inpatient hospital capacity to the region at $4 million less per year."

The Plain Dealer explored the results of abandonment and demolitions on east side neighborhoods of the City of Cleveland and considered short-term and longer-term strategies for reusing vacant land.

Case Western Reserve University Architect and Planner Margaret Carney is leaving the school for a position at Temple University in Philadelphia. Steven Litt examined her contributions in Cleveland.

Update: Sabrina Herman of CWRU's Observer interviewed Margaret Carney.

Cool Cleveland posted video tours of downtown Cleveland's three arcades and the Tyler Village complex in Cleveland.

At a press conference today, local and state officials urged Ohio leaders to reverse the decision to cancel the planned regional psychiatric hospital in Cleveland.

Update: the Plain Dealer has more information. County Executive FitzGerald issued a press release.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency board approved $350,000 in funding for St. John's Village West Family Homes, a 40-house development that is part of the Villages of Central in Cleveland.

Fast Track Cycling continues to promote plans for a velodrome complex on the site of the former St. Michael Hospital in Slavic Village.

At GreenCityBlueLake, Marc Lefkowitz describes how two local entrepreneurs plan to create a six-acre farm in Kinsman's Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone.

In his first State of the State address, Governor Kasich mentioned the decision to abandon plans for a regional psychiatric hospital in Cleveland. Local politicians and mental health advocates continue to object, and a strongly-worded Plain Dealer editorial criticized the move.

Cleveland Area History reports that the congregation of the Euclid Avenue Church of God in Cleveland "has been offered an unspecified sum by the Cleveland Clinic in return for demolishing the structure, a Cleveland Landmark, and providing the Clinic with a vacant lot."

Through its Neighbors Invest in Broadway program, Slavic Village Development acquires distressed houses from banks and makes them available for purchase and rehabilitation.

The AsiaTown Transportation & Streetscape Plan (PDF, 29.0 MB), completed in December, recommends mutimodal enhancements for Superior Avenue and East 36th Street in Cleveland. The TLCI-funded plan is "intended to serve as a first step in the process of realizing a vision for a main street district within AsiaTown."

(via Cool Cleveland)

The Ohio Department of Mental Health announced that it is dropping its plans to build a new psychiatric hospital on Euclid Avenue and that it will close its facility adjacent to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. The department says that it will save $30 million by instead expanding its Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare campus in Sagamore Hills Township. The City of Cleveland has spent more than $4.1 million on land assembly and environmental cleanup for the planned hospital in Midtown.

Update: the Akron Beacon Journal provided more details.

Following its $45 million investment in the Flats east bank project, the Cleveland International Fund is looking at financing the expansion of University Hospitals in University Circle.

Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson has concerns about the proposed Hazel at the Circle apartments in University Circle, and delayed a rezoning request for the property. Developers had planned to begin construction of the 59-unit complex on Hazel Drive by this June.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that Councilman Johnson should allow the project to proceed.

The renovation of the former St. Luke's Medical Center will begin this week. The project's first phase will convert the central wing to 72 units of senior housing, and should be completed in 2012. The three-phase project could be completed by 2013.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial called it "a perfect fit for this family-centered neighborhood."

Cleveland City Council authorized spending $387,000 on plans for the renovation of League Park. City officials have committed $5 million to the project, and hope to raise another $3.5 million in private donations.

On Tuesday, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new building in University Circle. The museum at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road is scheduled to open in fall 2012.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial extols the construction in University Circle.

This spring, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District will begin construction of the Euclid Creek Tunnel, a 18,000-foot-long, 24-foot-diameter sewer tunnel that will be up to 220 feet under Lake Erie. The work is part of the district's Project Clean Lake program.

Brownfields news:

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History will build a passive house on its grounds as part of the Climate Change exhibit coming to the museum this summer. The energy-efficient SmartHome Cleveland will be built without a furnace, and will be moved to a permanent site on Wade Park Avenue in September.

Channel 3 looked at the renovations underway at the Tudor Arms building in University Circle. It is scheduled to reopen in March as a 157-room Doubletree Hotel.

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.

Hospice of Western Reserve is completing the deconstruction of the former St. Joseph Christian Life Center in Cleveland. They hope to finish by the end of the month.

University Circle Incorporated is raising funds to create Circle Walk, a series of self-guided walking tours. The one to two-mile long path could draw attention to as many as 85 sites.

Local wind turbine initiatives have been highlighted in the media:

The Ohio Department of Development awarded a $1.95 million Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant to the City of Cleveland. The funds will be used to demolish three buildings at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center. The hospital plans to begin building a surgery center on the site in 2013.

Smart Growth America looked at Ohio's brownfield redevelopment initiatives and their potential to spur economic development. The Ohio EPA declared (PDF) that the City of Cleveland has finished cleanup of a 0.75-acre brownfield site at Euclid Avenue and East 55th Street.

Cleveland's Euclid Corridor Design Review Committee approved conceptual designs for public spaces at the Uptown development in University Circle, including a plaza outside of MOCA's planned building at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road.

CMHA recently celebrated the grand opening of its Heritage View Homes, the redevelopment of the Garden Valley Estates in Cleveland. The first phase of the development along Kinsman Road includes 81 units of public housing (PDF) in 20 townhouse buildings.

Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer and Chris Ronayne of University Circle Incorporated were the guests on Wednesday's Sound of Ideas program. They discussed University Circle's successes, the role of the community development corporation, and ways to improve conditions in surrounding neighborhoods.

The new Syrian Cultural Garden, under construction in Cleveland's Rockefeller Park, is scheduled to be dedicated in May. The garden was first proposed in 1929, and will be the first Arab-American garden in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

Cleveland's Euclid Corridor Design Review Committee approved the design for the planned Courtyard by Marriott hotel in University Circle, but members said that design needs more work.

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.

Living Cities announced that it will provide at least $80 million to five cities, including Cleveland, through its new Integration Initiative. Over the next three years, Living Cities will invest $14.75 million in Cleveland, with much of it supporting new worker-owned cooperatives and initiatives in the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor. Cleveland was named a finalist in April.

Update: guests on The Takeaway talked about the awards.

Update 2: a Plain Dealer editorial praised the initiative.

Local, state, and federal officials unveiled plans to establish an urban agriculture demonstration project in Kinsman. The three-year, $1.1 million Cleveland Urban Agriculture Incubator Pilot Project will start by creating a six-acre farm at East 83rd Street and Gill Avenue. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $740,096 in funding, and the City of Cleveland intends to eventually expand the project to cover 20 acres in the Forgotten Triangle.

Update: the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition supplied more details.

Congressional offices have revealed some recipients of TIGER II grants, and the U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to officially announce the awards later this week. Sherrod Brown announced that RTA received a $10.5 million grant for the planned reconstruction of the University Circle rapid transit station.

Update: 75 projects in 40 states received funding. The RTA project was the only one in Ohio. An RTA press release offers more details.

The U.S. EPA awarded $4 million in grants for communities to develop area-wide approaches to brownfield redevelopment. The City of Cleveland was among the 23 recipients, and will use its $175,000 award to facilitate community involvement (PDF) in prioritizing brownfield remediation along the route of the planned Opportunity Corridor in Kinsman and Buckeye.

Snavely Development of Chagrin Falls and Concord Hospitality Enterprises of North Carolina plan to built an eight-story, 150-room hotel in University Circle. The $27 million Courtyard by Marriott project is on Cornell Road, near Euclid Avenue and adjacent to the University Hospitals campus. They intend to start construction early next year and open the hotel by fall 2012.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club are appealing a permit recently issued by the Ohio EPA for the Lake Shore Power Plant in Cleveland. The permit authorizes the FirstEnergy facility to continue discharging mercury into Lake Erie.

Members of a local group report that they have reached an agreement with the Cleveland Catholic Diocese to purchase the former St. George's Lithuanian Church in Cleveland "to create a local-food centric business development district centered around an 18,000 sq.ft. greenhouse." The effort is modeled on Will Allen's Growing Power project in Milwaukee.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials presented plans for the Opportunity Corridor (PDF) at six public meetings in Cleveland this week. Residents in Central and Kinsman were skeptical about the project's benefits, while Slavic Village residents expressed mixed opinions.

Meanwhile, the City of Lakewood held its first Bikeway Planning Community Workshop on Tuesday evening. More than 60 people attended. The City plans to hold its next workshop in mid-November.

Update: Lakewood residents who were unable to attend the workshop can still provide input.

The planned Opportunity Corridor will affect residents and business in Cleveland's Buckeye, Fairfax, Kinsman, and Slavic Village neighborhoods, and area leaders intend to ensure that the proposed boulevard benefits their neighborhoods. The Ohio Department of Transportation will hold six public meetings between October 5 and October 7.

The new Armenian Cultural Garden in Rockefeller Park will be dedicated on Sunday as part of the annual One World Day celebration. Work is also beginning on the upcoming Syrian Cultural Garden.

Update: the Plain Dealer posted pictures of the event.

As University Hospitals nears the completion of its Vision 2010 plan, the Plain Dealer examined the $1.2 billion expansion project. Its two largest components, the $298 million Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood and the $250 million cancer hospital in University Circle will open next year.

Developer John Ferchill wants to build an "innovation center campus" on the site of the current Cleveland Third District police station at Chester Avenue and East 107th Street. The $98.6 million office and research project succeeds his unrealized plans for the MidTown Technology Center on Euclid Avenue.

Update: MedCity News provides some analysis.

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.

Architect Miguel Rosales may design two pedestrian bridges in Cleveland, in addition to the planned bridge at North Coast Harbor. Cuyahoga County is negotiating with Rosales to design a bridge to Whiskey Island, and he is working with Case Western Reserve University to study possibilities for a bridge to its future West Campus.

A study conducted for University Circle Incorporated and developer the Fitch Group forecasts that institutions in University Circle will add 2,900 jobs within five years and that the area will offer opportunities for residential development.

Steven Litt toured the Tudor Arms building at Carnegie Avenue and East 107th Street. The University Circle landmark is currently under renovation, and is scheduled to reopen next year as a Doubletree Hotel.

Citing reduced demand and proposed federal regulations, FirstEnergy announced plans to reduce operations at four of its smaller coal-fired power plants in Ohio. The changes include plans (PDF) to temporarily idle the Lake Shore Plant in Cleveland and to operate the Eastlake Plant only during the summer and winter.

The nonprofit utility that provides power to institutions in University Circle is seeking a permit renewal for its coal-fired power plant. Members of the Sierra Club and other environmental groups oppose the permit, and stated their opinions at a public meeting (PDF) yesterday. The company intends to complete a plan by the end of 2011 for how it will become a coal-free operation. The Ohio EPA posted the draft permit (PDF).

Update: a final decision could take several months.

Yesterday, the Collaborative Campus Project unveiled plans for connecting the major institutions in Cleveland's Campus District with a series of pedestrian corridors.

Developer MRN Ltd. has arranged financing for the $44.5 million first phase of the Uptown project in University Circle, and plans to break ground on Monday. Phase one, which includes two buildings with 102 apartments and 56,000 square feet of retail, is scheduled to open in fall 2011.

The State of Ohio awarded a $3.5 million grant to the MidTown Tech Park, a 128,500-square-foot office, laboratory, and research project in the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor. Developers intend to break ground in November for the $22 million development, formerly known as the Euclid Tech Center. The project was one of 14 sites that received grants from the state's Job Ready Sites program.

The Cleveland Clinic broke ground for its 135,000 square-foot medical testing laboratory at Carnegie Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland. Construction of the $75 million building should be completed by the end of 2011.

Organizers of the Evergreen Cooperatives are preparing to launch their third employee-owned business. The Green City Growers Cooperative will operate a 5½-acre hydroponic greenhouse in Cleveland's Central neighborhood.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial concludes that the "commitment to go from grit to green offers a healthier future not just for neighborhoods but for the local economy."

The Ohio Department of Development awarded $600,000 in federal stimulus funds for brownfield redevelopment. The Famicos Foundation received $100,000 of the funds to help with asbestos remediation at a building on East Boulevard in Cleveland.

Maingate Business Development Corporation hopes to develop an east side market at East 55th Street and Woodland Avenue in Cleveland. Maingate Market Place is a $30 million proposal that would include a farmers market, restaurants, retail, offices, and warehouse space. Maingate intends to partner with a private developer on the 10-acre project.

Last Thursday, MOCA unveiled Farshid Moussavi's designs for the museum's planned University Circle building, and on Friday, the Cleveland City Planning Commission approved them. The abstract building's six facets will be clad in black stainless steel and glass. MOCA hopes to break ground by late fall on the $26 million project at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that "the new building will allow MOCA to burst out of its shell."

The board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland unanimously voted to proceed with construction of a new building in University Circle. A December groundbreaking is planned, and architect Farshid Moussavi's designs for the museum will be unveiled on Thursday. The Gund Foundation recently contributed $2.5 million in grants and loans to the project.

Landscape architect James Corner of Field Operations, who also developed the Public Square redesign concepts, will design the public spaces of the Uptown development in University Circle. At nearby Hazel Road, WXZ Development announced plans to build 60 upscale apartments near the Western Reserve Historical Society and Cleveland Institute of Music.

Euclid Beach Park Now and the Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society announced plans to partner with the Western Reserve Historical Society to rebuild the Euclid Beach Park Carousel on the grounds of the Historical Society. They launched a $6 million fundraising campaign and hope to have the restored carousel running in University Circle by 2013.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial supports the effort.

WCPN looked at two creative reuses of underutilized space in Cleveland, Ray's MTB Indoor Park in Midtown and the Gardens Under Glass at the Galleria.

Participants on Wednesday's Sound of Ideas program discussed the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor and economic development in Cleveland.

Case Western Reserve University will build a field house adjacent to its Village at 115 complex. The 24,000-square-foot Wyant Field House will feature weight training and cardiovascular areas, a lounge, and multipurpose space.

Governor Strickland designated the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor as an Ohio Hub of Innovation and Opportunity, the second in the state. The status is accompanied by a $250,000 grant and priority status for millions of dollars in grants and loans. Philips Healthcare will open a $33.4 million research center in the corridor at University Hospitals.

Channel 3 visited the Vineyards of Chateau Hough, one of the 58 neighborhood projects that received Re-Imagining Cleveland grants.

Update: the station followed up with a report on other Re-Imagining Cleveland greenspaces.

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.

More than 150 sites were selected to participate in a two-year pilot program for the Sustainable Sites Initiative. The interdisciplinary initiative is an effort to establish a national rating system for sustainable landscape design. The projects in Ohio are at the Cleveland Botanical Garden in Cleveland, the West Creek Reservation in Parma, and the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland.

Update: the Plain Dealer published more details about the Botanical Garden's participation.

Update 2: the Parma Sun Post described the project at the West Creek Reservation.

The landmark Prince Hall Masonic Temple on East 55th Street in Cleveland was heavily damaged in a Wednesday night fire. The cause is under investigation, but arson is suspected. Crews are preparing to demolish the building.

Update: the fire was ruled arson.

The Cleveland Clinic hired Foster + Partners of London to conduct a 20-year master plan for the Clinic's main campus in Cleveland. The Clinic is also developing plans for two new buildings at its Cleveland campus.

The Veale Foundation donated $20 million to Case Western Reserve University for a new student center. The Tinkham Veale University Center will be built at the corner of East Boulevard and Bellflower Road.

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's new headquarters building is under construction at East 80th Street and Kinsman Avenue in Cleveland's Forgotten Triangle. The offices are scheduled to open in summer 2011.

The board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland will ask Westlake Reed Leskosky to produce final construction drawings for its planned University Circle building. The board will vote again on June 15, and may then reveal Farshid Moussavi's concept for the museum. A November groundbreaking is possible.

The new Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor is an effort to redevelop Euclid Avenue in Cleveland by leveraging the area's strengths in the biomedical, health care, and high-tech industries.

Fairhill Partners continues to raise funds for its planned Kinship Village, which would offer 29 kinship care residences at its Cleveland campus.

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).

Developer MRN Ltd. has secured financing for the $44 million first phase of the mixed-use Uptown development in University Circle, and hopes to break ground this summer. Architect Stanley Saitowitz created conceptual designs for apartments over retail along both sides of Euclid Avenue, and presented them to the Euclid Corridor Design Review Committee. The committee unanimously approved the plans, but criticized the presentation for lacking detail.

Update: the Cleveland City Planning Commission also unanimously approved the designs.

Cleveland City Council's City Planning Committee approved an agreement for the planned Croatian Cultural Garden in Rockefeller Park. A spring groundbreaking is possible.

The landmark Euclid Avenue Congregational Church in Cleveland was destroyed by an early Tuesday morning fire. The cause is not known, but a lightning strike is suspected. The blaze left the sandstone walls standing, but fire inspectors deemed them too unstable and the remains are being demolished.

Update: Cleveland Area History asks if it would have been possible to preserve part of the church. A few elements were saved.

Update 2: Lightning was confirmed as the cause of the fire.

The Temple–Tifereth Israel and Case Western Reserve University announced that the congregation's historic University Circle synagogue will be renovated as the Milton and Tamar Maltz Center for Performing Arts. It will be the home of the University's performing arts programs, while continuing to serve as a place of worship on holidays and other occasions. The Maltz Family Foundation donated $12 million for the $25.6 million project.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial calls it "a win-win -- and then some."

Steven Litt says that the Circle 118 townhouses at Euclid Avenue and East 118th Street have "brightened a once dreary corner" in University Circle. When completed, the development will have 17 units.

In January, the Cleveland Clinic demolished the former Hathaway Brown School building on Chester Avenue without a public hearing. Because the Clinic's campus lies in a gap between design review districts, less public oversight is required. Historic preservationists would like to expand the districts to include the Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Play House properties, among other sites. Bill Barrow believes that the local approach to preservation "is too unplanned, piecemeal and last-minute to be effective."

A new food co-op opened on Carnegie Avenue. The Central Community Co-op will supply fresh produce to residents of Cleveland's Central neighborhood.

The City of Cleveland hired Panzica Construction to build the new Collinwood Community Recreation Center. The conversion of the former Big Lots store near Euclid Beach State Park is scheduled to begin this spring.

Cindy Barber wants artists to relocate to North Collinwood. She proposes making houses owned by the Cuyahoga County Land Bank available to artists at reduced prices.

Architect and real estate investor Richard Bowen wants to redevelop the former Key Gas Components facility as a $35 million mixed-use project. The development near Chester Avenue and East 66th Street in Cleveland's Midtown neighborhood would include a 70,000-square-foot medical office building, 150 senior housing units, 14,000 square feet of retail space, and two restaurants. The City of Cleveland is applying for a $191,947 Clean Ohio Assistance Fund grant that would help fund a Phase II environmental site assessment (PDF) and an asbestos survey.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has an update on the rescue and renaissance of the Cozad-Bates House in University Circle.

An article in this week's Scene is critical of the plans for the Opportunity Corridor. Residents in Cleveland's Forgotten Triangle do not think it will help their neighborhood.

On Friday and Saturday, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland held MOCAmentum, an invitation-only Appreciative Inquiry summit. The museum has raised most of the funds needed for its planned new University Circle building, and may unveil Farshid Moussavi's architectural plans in late March.

Fast Track Cycling announced today that it has entered into a purchase agreement with the City of Cleveland for the nine-acre St. Michael Hospital site in Slavic Village. The nonprofit plans to build a $6.5 million velodrome complex on the property at Broadway and McBride Avenues, and will spend the next six to 12 months raising funds for the project.

Update: Channel 5 has more details.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency used federal stimulus funds to approve more than $53 million in tax credits. Three projects in Cuyahoga County were among the recipients: Emerald Alliance V on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Independence Place at the Prospect Avenue YWCA in Cleveland, and the Library Court senior housing development on Chagrin Boulevard in Shaker Heights.

Steven Litt critiqued the design of the new Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center building (PDF) on Euclid Avenue in University Circle. He said that the "four-story building is a strong urban presence" and that "Bostwick designed the building as a contributor to an evolving neighborhood, not a stand-alone star."

A Plain Dealer editorial about Cleveland's Campus District concludes that "it's an ambitious to-do list for a group that still has to sell a vision to its own stakeholders, then to City Hall, potential funders and the broader community. But given the opportunities that exist in the area and the need for bold thinking in Cleveland, it's also a refreshing agenda for a new year."

RTA plans to demolish the closed Rockefeller Avenue bridge in Cleveland. They do not intend to replace it.

The trustees of the Cleveland Museum of Art voted unanimously to proceed with Step C of the museum's building campaign, the second major phase of its $350 million expansion and renovation. The phase will include the construction of the west wing and central atrium.

The Dike 14 Nature Preserve Committee, League of Women Voters of the Cleveland Area, and the Northeast Ohio Sierra Group formed the Cleveland Lakefront Alliance to oppose the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's planned relocation to a site north of East 55th Street.

Jacob Van Sickle of Slavic Village Development described how the Morgana Run Trail has been "an important asset in selling houses and revitalizing the neighborhood."

The community development corporation for the area directly east of downtown Cleveland is rebranding the district. Formerly known as the Quadrangle, the area's new name is the Campus District. Its new connection plan establishes goals for the repositioning, redevelopment, and reorganization of the district centered around the campuses of Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, and St. Vincent Charity Hospital.

This week's edition of Cool Cleveland includes an overview of the new University Circle signage and wayfinding program executed by Studio Graphique and University Circle Incorporated.

Details about the upheaval at the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority continue to trickle in:

In Sunday's Plain Dealer, Harvey Webster advocated for establishing the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve at Dike 14 in Cleveland.

Members of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority board revealed today that they are reconsidering plans to relocate to new facilities north of East 55th Street and efforts to attract container shipping. They also indicated that the Port Authority faces a budget shortfall this year and reflected on recent events. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told the Port Authority that failure to establish a new confined disposal facility by 2015 could halt dredging of the Cuyahoga River and the Port of Cleveland.

The owners of the Quay 55 apartments asserted that board member John Carney has conflicts of interest and called for his removal. Longtime port staffer Rose Ann DeLeon resigned on Wednesday, becoming the third official to leave in the last six weeks.

The Euclid Tech Center is a proposed 98,000-square-foot office/research & development building at Euclid Avenue and East 69th Street in Cleveland. Its developers are seeking financial assistance from the City and State to build the $20 million project.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority again declined to share the reasons for CEO Adam Wasserman's recent exit, and the Plain Dealer repeated its call for better communication and transparency from the Port Authority. An article in this week's Scene tells the story of Wasserman's two-year tenure.

Meanwhile, the Port Authority board today delayed the port's planned move to a new dike near East 55th Street. The Port Authority also admitted that it cannot meet the deadline to supply the $158 million local match for the construction of the dike.

The Earth Day Coalition highlighted the Cleveland Clinic's efforts to encourage bicycle commuting.

The historic Tudor Arms in University Circle is under renovation and is scheduled to reopen as a 154-room Doubletree Hotel in spring 2011. It will also house a restaurant and 25,000 square feet of office space.

Brent Larkin thinks that the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority needs to provide better leadership and accelerate the timetable of its planned move. Cleveland leaders expressed mixed reactions.

The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine today announced the establishment of the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods. With funding from the Centers for Disease Control, the new center will "address common health issues faced in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods in and around Greater Cleveland."

Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer praised City Architecture's design for the planned new Collinwood Community Recreation Center. The $10.8 million conversion of a former Big Lots store will strive for a LEED Gold rating.

The Cleveland Clinic completed the purchase of the Cleveland Play House property on Euclid Avenue, buying the 11.29-acre site for $13 million. The Clinic will lease the complex back to the Play House for free until at least the end of 2011. The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland will leave the facilities when the Play House completes its move to Playhouse Square.

Update: the Plain Dealer published more details.

Sunday's Plain Dealer included several opinion pieces on the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's proposed relocation. Former Cleveland Planning Director Hunter Morrison said that the planning efforts "should look beyond the corporate limits of Cleveland and include all of the region's industrial port assets—including the ports of Lorain, Grand River, Ashtabula and Conneaut". Adam Wasserman and Steven Williams of the Port Authority said that the facts support the planned move, and released a draft of the Port's five-year maritime business plan (PDF). Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and mayoral candidate Bill Patmon also weighed in.

This week's Scene took a skeptical look at the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's relocation plans.

A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge dissolved a restraining order, freeing the City of Cleveland to resume the demolition of the former Howard Johnson's hotel near the East Shoreway and East 55th Street. Cleveland City Council members are pleased. Demolition of the condemned building is expected to resume in the next few weeks.

Update: the demolition is underway.

Today's Plain Dealer presents additional details about the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's unwillingness to support a grant proposal for a trail at Dike 14 in Cleveland.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that "port officials need to be far more forthcoming" about their decision. Port Authority President Adam Wasserman said that there are ownership questions about the site that must be resolved.

More than 100 people gathered on Saturday to celebrate the rededication of the Irish Cultural Garden in Rockefeller Park.

Northeast Shores Development Corporation purchased the LaSalle Theater in North Collinwood and intends to renovate the landmark building.

Channel 3's Jeff Maynor toured the Tyler Village complex in Cleveland.

As anticipated, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommended building a new 157-acre confined disposal facility north of East 55th Street in Cleveland. The $277 million project would provide capacity for 20 years of dredge material from the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland Harbor.

Residents and business owners along the path of the proposed Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland are skeptical that its construction would benefit them. Marc Lefkowitz noted that "the city will walk a tightrope between satisfying the traffic concerns of west siders commuting to The Clinic and University Circle and its promises to make this a boulevard with land-uses consistent with a healthy urban fabric."

The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority was one of 36 public housing authorities (DOC) awarded federal stimulus grants. CMHA will receive $17.7 million for the redevelopment of its Garden Valley Estates in Kinsman.

The topic of this morning's Sound of Ideas show on WCPN was the proposed Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland. Phyllis Cleveland, Deb Janik, and Steven Litt appeared as guests.

Hospice of the Western Reserve recently purchased the 12-acre St. Joseph Christian Life Center property from the Cleveland Catholic Diocese. The hospice intends to eventually demolish the site's landmark four-story retreat house.

The first phase of the Cleveland Institute of Art's Campus Unification Project, the renovation of its McCullough Center, began earlier this year and will continue through fall 2010. The planned expansion is scheduled to begin in January 2011.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority withdrew its support from a proposal to build a trail at Dike 14 in Cleveland, because it wants more time to consider how Dike 14 relates to the planned port relocation. On September 26, the Dike 14 Education Collaborative will hold Migration Mania (PDF), an open house with self-guided walking tours (PDF).

The Ohio Department of Transportation's Transportation Review Advisory Council authorized an additional $10 million in funding for preliminary planning of the proposed Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland.

RTA held a groundbreaking ceremony today for the new East 55th Street rapid transit station. The $8.5 million project is scheduled for completion in fall 2011.

On Thursday, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority CEO Adam Wasserman and architect Stanton Eckstut described the downtown Cleveland port redevelopment plan at the City Club (MP3, 55.8 MB). On Friday, they presented the plan to the Cleveland City Planning Commission, where members had many questions about the concept. Adam Wasserman and the Port's Luke Frazier outlined the plan on Channel 3. Also on Friday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave its tentative approval to the Port's relocation plan, issuing a 241-page draft of its Cleveland Harbor Dredged Material Management Plan & Environmental Impact Statement (PDF, 8.4 MB). A Plain Dealer editorial says that the relocation and redevelopment plans need "a good deal more attention to detail". The Port Authority is preparing My Cleveland Waterfront, a website about the plans.

Update: Port Authority Chairman Steven Williams disputed several items in a Plain Dealer story.

Chris Warren, Cleveland's Chief of Regional Development, responded to Tom Bier's op-ed from a week earlier. Warren said that "the city of Cleveland has not walked away from its long-standing efforts to promote economic development in Cleveland's Midtown neighborhood."

Cleveland State's Tom Bier disapproves of the plans to build a psychiatric hospital and subsidized housing along Euclid Avenue in Cleveland's Midtown neighborhood. Dr. Bier, Bill Denihan, and Chris Warren were guests on yesterday's Sound of Ideas program on WCPN, where they discussed the issues.

Plain Dealer theater critic Tony Brown said that the Cleveland Play House's plan to move from Fairfax to Playhouse Square "looks like the best deal under the circumstances."

The owners of the former Howard Johnson's hotel near the East Shoreway and East 55th Street now have until August 20 to demonstrate progress in their plans to redevelop the tower. A Cuyahoga County judge extended the deadline for a second time on Friday. Two members of Cleveland City Council want the temporary restraining order lifted.

The Cleveland Clinic will purchase the 295,000-square foot Cleveland Play House and its 12-acre property at Euclid Avenue and at East 85th Street. The price was not disclosed, but the Plain Dealer reports it will be in the $13–15 million range. The agreement includes a two-year leaseback clause (PDF) that will allow the Play House time to arrange its planned move to the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square.

With two other local Hungarian Catholic churches scheduled to close by next summer, parishioners at St. Elizabeth of Hungary hope that the area's Hungarian American community will show a renewed interest in Cleveland's Buckeye neighborhood.

Monday's Plain Dealer included updates on the redevelopment of the former St. Luke's Medical Center campus in Buckeye and the plans to restore a portion of Doan Brook in Cleveland.

As the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority continues planning for its relocation to a site north of East 55th Street and for the redevelopment of its current downtown facilities, the Plain Dealer's Joe Frolik considered ways to enliven nearby Voinovich Park.

A group of history teachers recently toured the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, and CSU's Center for Public and Digital Humanities documented the visit with stories, audio, and photographs. The local Albanian community intends to place a larger-than-life statue of Mother Teresa in the new Albanian Cultural Garden.

Construction of an office building and parking garage to accompany the new Veterans Affairs Medical Center in University Circle may begin later this month, if the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority issues bonds to help fund the project.

Update: the Port Authority approved up to $115 million in bonds for the project.

Different groups have different visions for the best place to rebuild the 1909 Euclid Beach carousel. Northeast Shores Development Corporation and Euclid Beach Park Now want to install it near its original location and a planned recreation center and pier. They say it could be ready in two years. Another group, the Cleveland Carousel, is raising money to rebuild it elsewhere in Cleveland.

Panelists at an Urban Land Institute event last week spoke about collaboration in University Circle. At the Heights Observer, Cleveland Heights City Council candidate Mary Dunbar wrote about the the opportunities for Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights created by the rejuvenation of University Circle.

The Ohio Department of Mental Health selected a site along Euclid Avenue between East 55th and East 63rd streets for the new $84 million regional psychiatric hospital. It will replace aging facilities at the MetroHealth campus on Cleveland's west side and in Sagamore Hills Township. The 14-acre site was previously targeted for redevelopment as the Midtown Technology Center. Meanwhile, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency awarded affordable housing tax credits to six projects in Cuyahoga County, including two controversial planned developments in Midtown. Emerald Alliance V, a permanent supportive housing development, received $1 million. A neighboring planned senior housing development received $915,122.

Yesterday, RTA's board of trustees approved several resolutions, including contracts for the design of the new Brookpark rapid station, for a study of the Warrensville Center Road-Van Aken Boulevard intersection in Shaker Heights, and for the construction of the new East 55th Street rapid station. The board also authorized spending to complete the overhaul of its light rail fleet and to purchase 6.7 acres for the expansion of the Westlake Park-N-Ride facility.

Architect Mehrdad Yazdani presented his design concept for the new University Circle rapid transit station at a recent public meeting in Cleveland Heights. Construction of the $10 million project is scheduled to begin in fall 2010.

Valdis Krebs used network mapping to illustrate the connections between individuals and organizations involved in illegal house flipping in Slavic Village.

In a Plain Dealer op-ed, Tom Bier expresses his concern that the planning for the proposed Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland "is infected by the City Hall virus that stunts economic development and repels employers." Roldo Bartimole has a different perspective.

The deadline for the owners to show progress at the condemned former Howard Johnson's hotel in Cleveland was extended until July 20.

Local stakeholders differ in their visions for the future of the Euclid Avenue corridor in Cleveland's Midtown neighborhood. MidTown Cleveland Inc.'s master plan calls for redeveloping the area as a technology and health district, yet current development proposals are more heavily institutional and residential. The City of Cleveland is promoting the proposed Midtown Technology Center site as a location for a new state psychiatric hospital. MidTown Cleveland is not opposing the hospital concept, but objects to the Cleveland Housing Networks plans to build permanent supportive housing and Pirhl's proposed senior housing project. Carole Cohen considers the flexibility of master plans.

Steven Litt identified the challenges facing the new Opportunity Corridor Steering Committee as it begins its efforts to guide the planning of the proposed boulevard.

A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge gave the owners of the old Howard Johnson's hotel in Cleveland a three-week deadline to demonstrate progress in their plans to redevelop the tower. Contractors for the City of Cleveland began razing the building in April, but were halted last week.

Officials with the Cleveland Play House and the Cleveland Clinic confirmed that they are negotiating a sale of the Play House property at East 85th Street. The Plain Dealer reported that the price will be around $13 million to $15 million.

Update: Tony Brown and Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer discussed the anticipated sale.

The Western Reserve Studies Symposium's Regionally Speaking conversations resume with a two-part look at the Greater University Circle Initiative.

The 19-member Opportunity Corridor Steering Committee held its first meeting on Friday. The panel includes political, civic, business, and neighborhood representatives.

The board of the the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority officially notified the Army Corps of Engineers that they are interested in moving to new facilities north of East 55th Street.

A judge temporarily halted the demolition of the former Howard Johnson's hotel near the East Shoreway and East 55th Street.

When it begins work, the new Cuyahoga County land bank will first focus on Cleveland's Slavic Village and Glenville neighborhoods. The Plain Dealer looked at the efforts to reinvigorate Slavic Village with an op-ed by Marie Kittredge of the Slavic Village Development Corporation and a column by Joe Frolik.

Goodrich Corporation donated roughly three acres of land in Slavic Village to the city of Cleveland. The property is adjacent to the company's landing gear facility on Marble Avenue and will be used to improve the area around South High School.

The former Howard Johnson's near the East Shoreway and East 55th Street will soon be demolished. The 12-story hotel closed in 1992, and several developers have unsuccessfully attempted to rehabilitate the long-vacant tower. The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's planned new facilities are not far from the property.

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.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership named Terri Hamilton Brown as project director for the Opportunity Corridor project. She will serve as a liaison to ODOT and will coordinate planning for the proposed 2¾-mile boulevard. The Partnership also announced the creation of an Opportunity Corridor Steering Committee, which will be chaired by Terry Egger and Jamie Ireland.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority held three open houses this week about the Port's planned relocation. Cleveland residents raised concerns about a loss of public access to the lakefront.

The Wall Street Journal looked at the role of artists as urban pioneers during the foreclosure crisis, focusing on examples in Cleveland's Collinwood and Detroit-Shoreway neighborhoods.

Recent reports by Francisca Richter and Lisa Nelson of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland compared the way the foreclosure crisis has played out in Cleveland's North Collinwood neighborhood and the Pittsburgh borough of Braddock. Although the two areas look similar on paper, the foreclosure rate has been much higher in Collinwood. The difference may be attributable to the different regulatory environments of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

With the Greater Circle Seniors Design Charette starting today, WCPN spoke with Rob Hilton, President of the McGregor Foundation and Margaret Calkins of IDEAS, Inc., one of the judges.

The Cleveland Play House has entered into talks to join Cleveland State University's drama program in a move to the Allen Theater (PDF) at Playhouse Square. Reconfiguring and expanding the Allen Theater would cost an estimated $30 million, and the Play House's longtime home in Midtown is for sale. The Cleveland Clinic is believed to be interested in the 12-acre site, which abuts its main campus. Steven Litt notes that the future of the existing Play House complex is now uncertain. The complex includes two historic 1926 theaters and a notable 1983 postmodern addition designed by Philip Johnson, and is not protected by any landmark ordinances.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial enthusiastically supports the concept.

The Cleveland Clinic will soon raze the Art Deco Carnegie Medical Building at Carnegie Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland. The Clinic has no immediate plans to build on the site, which will be used as a surface parking lot.

University Circle Incorporated shared a conceptual design for the development of Lot 45, a 200-space parking lot near the Uptown development. Early plans call for building a residence hall for Cleveland Institute of Art students, a 1,000-space parking garage, and 100,000 square feet of office and retail space.

Construction of several residential developments in Cleveland will soon be underway. Work on the Circle 118 townhouses in University Circle began last week, and a ceremonial groundbreaking for the nearby 27 Coltman condominiums in Little Italy will be held on Friday. Construction of the University Lofts condominiums near Cleveland State has also started.

A conceptual plan (PDF) by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority calls for relocating the East 55th Street Marina to nearby Gordon Park. The existing marina would be displaced by the planned relocation of the port. The proposal has been met with mixed reactions.

Update: the Cleveland City Planning Commission was mostly positive about the proposal. The Port Authority will hold public meetings to gather additional input.

The Cleveland Institute of Art will break ground in May on the expansion of its McCullough Center on Euclid Avenue. It will be the first project underway in the Uptown development in University Circle. When construction is completed in 2010, the Institute will consolidate its campus and sell or lease its East Boulevard location.

MOCA was scheduled to unveil the designs for its new University Circle building this month and enter the public phase of its fundraising campaign, but delayed the announcement because of the recession. The museum has raised about half of its target.

On April 16-19, participants in the McGregor Foundation's Greater Circle Seniors Design Charette will generate ideas for affordable senior housing at four sites in Cleveland's Glenville, Fairfax, and Buckeye-Shaker neighborhoods.

The New York Times Magazine focused national attention on Cleveland with a feature about how the foreclosure crisis has disrupted life in Slavic Village. National and international media outlets have used the neighborhood to highlight the weight of the problem, and many expect that the repercussions experienced in Cleveland will soon be felt in cities across the country. The Plain Dealer, meanwhile, posted maps and databases of the more than 45,000 foreclosures in Cuyahoga County since January 2006, and published a story about the implications of low housing prices. While Cleveland neighborhoods no longer have the nation's highest foreclosure rate, Cuyahoga County remains in the top 35. Rust Wire has a photo essay of the impacts on Cleveland's St. Clair-Superior neighborhood.

Update: Charles Buki says that the New York Times article illustrates the need to rethink community development processes and reimagine cities.

The Cleveland Clinic plans to build a national reference laboratory on an unidentified site at its main campus in Cleveland. Construction on the 100,000-square-foot, $25 million lab is expected to begin by midyear.

Update: WKSU and MedCity News have more information.

Oberlin College Professor Anne Trubek did not find what she expected when exploring East 73rd Street in Cleveland. Through the efforts of organized residents, some areas hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis remain viable neighborhoods.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that building a disposal dike north of East 55th Street would cost between $250 million and $300 million. The site has been proposed as the new home for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority

Conceptual designs for the new University-Cedar (PDF) transit station were presented to the RTA board's Planning and Development Committee on Tuesday.

(via Urban Ohio)

Governor Strickland's proposal to fund new road construction through tolls has raised the possibility of building the Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland as a toll road.

In a Plain Dealer op-ed, Dominic LoGalbo questions the need for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to move to proposed new facilities and the process used to reach the proposal. Meanwhile, a Plain Dealer editorial encourages the Port Authority to be less secretive.

The Village at 115 residence hall complex at Case Western Reserve University was awarded a LEED Silver rating by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority has begun planning for the 1,000-acre international trade district it envisions near its proposed new facilities in Cleveland, and intends to complete the plans this year.

Deconstruction crews are learning how to dismantle old buildings more efficiently. Urban Lumberjacks of Cleveland crews were able to deconstruct two abandoned Glenville houses more quickly and inexpensively than in an earlier pilot project in Slavic Village.

The Dike 14 Preservation Committee opposes the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's plans to relocate their facilities to a new site north of East 55th Street. The group says that the move threatens the East 55th Street Marina, Gordon Park, and Dike 14.

"The Enduring Challenge of Concentrated Poverty in America" is a new report from the Federal Reserve System and the Brookings Institution. It features case studies of 16 diverse communities from across the United States, including Cleveland's Central neighborhood (PDF). Alan Berube of the Brookings Institution offers suggestions for federal policies to address concentrated poverty.

In a Plain Dealer op-ed, outgoing Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Chairman Michael Wager says that "the relocation of the port and creation of new port land is an opportunity to change not only the size and scope of the port's operations and to create the new trade district, but also an opportunity to remake the city's downtown lakefront and replace its aging infrastructure."

The Plain Dealer looked at the renovation plans for the closed Variety Theater on Lorain Avenue in Cleveland's West Boulevard neighborhood and the La Salle Theater on East 185th Street in North Collinwood.

Steven Litt feels that the Innerbelt Bridge and Opportunity Corridor projects should be "viewed as part of a comprehensive system that could boost the city's economy for decades to come." He says that the planning of the two projects has been slowed by mediocre work by ODOT and a lack of advocacy from local leaders. He also encourages ODOT to reconsider the proposed southern alignment for a new Innerbelt Bridge.

The jury of the Fairfax intergenerational housing architecture competition awarded first place to a design by Fernando Bonilla of Maryland. The Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation will pursue funding to further develop the plans and build the project.

The University Circle Design Review Committee approved the Cleveland Institute of Art's revised plans for an expansion of its McCullough Center. The previous design included banners covering the entire west facade, while the updated renderings show an unobscured northwest corner of the building.

Developers secured financing for 27 Coltman, a luxury townhouse development at Coltman Road between East 119th and East 120th Streets in Little Italy. They plan to begin work within a few weeks. Starting prices for the 27 townhouses will be between $299,000 and $499,000.

The Hope VI redevelopment of CMHA's Garden Valley Estates in Kinsman is underway, and so far, 19 of the 23 buildings have been demolished. Burten, Bell, Carr has photographs of the progress.

Steven Litt urges Cleveland Institute of Art leaders to drop plans for covering the majority of its planned expansion with large banners, calling it a "strangely comical" idea.

University Circle Incorporated President Chris Ronayne appeared on WKYC's Between the Lines yesterday to discuss the future of the district.

Editorials in the Plain Dealer express optimism about the movement in the Medical Mart talks and about the continued reinvestment in University Circle. Another editorial follows up on the newspaper's recent feature on Pittsburgh, and says that Cleveland's leaders can learn much from Pittsburgh. However, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Colin McNickle feels that "the Plain Dealer story might go down in history as the most uninformed look at Pittsburgh ever written."

(via Callahan's Cleveland Diary and Blog 5)

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Chairman Michael Wager told a City Club audience yesterday that state and local leaders should support the Port's planned move to new facilities.

The old Commodore Theater in Collinwood has been demolished.

Carol Coletta reflected on her recent visit to University Circle and the definition of the term "premier urban district". She also shared her hopes for the Obama administration's urban agenda.

Update: she also posted her keynote address from University Circle Incorporated's annual meeting.

The University Circle Design Review Committee tabled the plans for an expansion of the Cleveland Institute of Art, saying that the ideas needed refinement. Winy Maas of MVRDV is collaborating with the Pittsburgh office of Burt Hill on the design.

Planning efforts continue for University Circle developments, including two hotels, the Uptown project, and several townhome developments. University Circle Incorporated is taking a more active role in planning and promoting proposed projects.

Update: Carol Coletta was the keynote speaker at UCI's annual meeting, and discussed reasons to be optimistic about the future of cities. UCI's 2008 annual report is available online.

Plans to convert the former Howard Johnson's near the East Shoreway and East 55th Street to condominiums remain on the drawing board.

The developer of Circle 118 is preparing to break ground on the townhouse development at Euclid Avenue and East 118th Street in University Circle. Work on the first of four phases could start within the next month.

Update: Crain's Cleveland Business confirmed the news.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is continuing to develop plans for a renovation and expansion. Architect Curt Fentress recently shared his latest ideas and floor plans. The museum hopes to obtain a LEED Platinum rating and remain open during construction.

The renovation of the Baker Electric Building on Euclid Avenue in Midtown has revealed many historic elements that had been obscured. The $7.1 million project already has attracted a half-dozen tenants.

The Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation is sponsoring a national architecture competition for an intergenerational housing development. Its objective is to "provide an innovative, affordable, sustainable and supportive environment for families in which grandparents are the primary caregivers of their grandchildren." Kent State's Urban Design Collaborative is coordinating the competition.

The Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation is striving to increase homeownership and revitalize the east side neighborhood. Among other activities, the CDC rehabilitates neglected houses for resale and manages the Greater Circle Living initiative.

The Euclid Beach Fishing Pier Feasibility Study (PDF, 8.9 MB) is now available. It concludes that construction of a new pier is feasible, and estimates that design and construction would cost approximately $4 million.

While black churches are facing pressure to follow their congregants to the suburbs, many of them remain committed to their Cleveland neighborhoods. The Plain Dealer used a multimedia presentation to illustrate the role of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Fairfax.

The new Serbian Cultural Garden in Cleveland's Rockefeller Park was dedicated on Sunday. It is located on Martin Luther King Boulevard, across from the new Azerbaijan Cultural Garden.

Steven Litt is not impressed by the exterior architecture of the Cleveland Clinic's new Miller Family Pavilion and Glickman Tower, but is more pleased with their interiors and the work of landscape architect Peter Walker. He also writes about the work of Justin Glanville at Building Cleveland by Design.

University Hospitals held a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for three new buildings at its University Circle campus. Steven Litt feels that the "major buildings in the expansion are shaping up as a missed opportunity to create a powerful, lively and welcoming new face for the hospital along Euclid Avenue".

Cleveland's neighborhoods may soon start to realize the impacts of community reinvestments. Several community development efforts are underway in the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood, including a plan to redevelop the shuttered St. Luke's Hospital. In Central, the Weed & Seed initiative is combating blight, and public improvements are being made across the city. In addition, the three neighborhoods participating in the pilot LEED for Neighborhood Development program could have their plans certified in December.

Update: the Plain Dealer published additional information about the neighborhood improvements.

The nonprofit Siegel and Shuster Society is raising funds to restore the former Glenville home of Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel. The first of four auctions raised $34,459 of the $50,000 goal. Owners Hattie and Jefferson Gray agreed to give the Society first rights to buy the house if they decide to sell.

As the Cleveland Clinic prepares to open the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Pavilion and the Glickman Tower at its Cleveland campus, the Plain Dealer published a set of articles that explore the impacts of the new buildings. They represent the Clinic's largest expansion ever, an addition of more than 1.25 million square feet.

While the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's relocation plans include moving the East 55th Street Marina, the Dike 14 Nature Preserve Committee is concerned it will lead to a loss of open space at Gordon Park.

Shaker Heights City Council passed a resolution in support of the proposed Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland, with one councilman dissenting.

The old Commodore Theater at Lake Shore Boulevard and East 152nd Street in Collinwood may be demolished this year.

Developers of the Uptown project in University Circle shared information about the planned mixed-use development at a meeting on Tuesday night. They launched a redesigned website today.

Walk+Roll Cleveland's signature event will be held on Sunday in Cleveland's Rockefeller Park, and provides an opportunity to reflect on the renewed interest in the park's Cultural Gardens. Steven Litt is encouraged by the recent activity, but feels that the park and gardens "need to be re-envisioned". ParkWorks and University Circle Incorporated are engaged in a strategic planning process to improve the park.

The Plain Dealer examined Cuyahoga County's purchase of the site for the new juvenile justice center in Fairfax and the events that led up to it. County Commissioners purchased the site in 2000 from a subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises for $2.75 million.

The Plain Dealer continues its "Elegant Cleveland" series with a piece on the history of the Moreland Courts towers near Shaker Square.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority unveiled a conceptual draft of its proposed new facilities north of East 55th Street in Cleveland. Port Authority officials intend to reach an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers by next August on building a new dike, with work on the dike to start in 2012 and construction of the port to begin in 2020.

Case Western Reserve University's West Quad project, now known as the West Campus, has been scaled back to one $50 million building, the Case Innovation Center for Energy and Medicine.

While the Tyler Village complex in Cleveland's St. Clair-Superior neighborhood has attracted office, retail, and educational tenants, the sluggish residential market has delayed plans to add 300 residential units to the development.

University Circle Incorporated President Chris Ronayne advocates for the construction of the Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland, and suggests that work should start at East 105th Street in University Circle.

University Circle Inc. and University Hospitals jointly issued an RFP for the construction of a hotel on the site of a parking lot at Euclid Avenue and Cornell Road, directly across the street from UH's planned cancer hospital.

The Politician: A Toy sculpture at Chester Avenue and East 66th Street in Cleveland will move to a new home at Chester Avenue and East 18th Street on the campus of Cleveland State University. The relocation should be completed by the end October.

At the second "Cleveland Plus: Turning the Corner" panel discussion, Wes Finch, Ari Maron, Chris Ronayne, and Randy Stickler spoke about University Circle developments at the City Club (MP3, 28.1 MB). The next talk, on September 10, will focus on infrastructure and transportation.

Plain Dealer architecture critic Steven Litt finds the renderings of new residential and retail buildings for the Uptown development in University Circle to be "highly encouraging", but cautions that "it's far too soon to declare the project a success."

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that the construction "will lead to a well-rounded University Circle".

Preservationist Steve McQuillin shares his thoughts about the restoration and renovation of the Cleveland Museum of Art's 1916 building, and encourages the museum to continue a public dialogue about the remainder of the expansion plans.

At a real estate meeting yesterday, MRN Ltd. announced plans to convert the landmark Tudor Arms on Carnegie Avenue to a hotel. The University Circle building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in February.

University Circle Inc. today opened a new storefront visitors center at Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road and launched a redesigned website.

Developers MRN and Zaremba hope to break ground next spring for the Uptown project, the University Circle arts and retail district. Three residential and retail buildings on Euclid Avenue could be completed as soon as late 2010.

Although the development has been delayed, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority still plans to build a new headquarters in Cleveland's Forgotten Triangle.

The Plain Dealer explored the opportunities and challenges of the proposed Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland, comparing its potential to that of the Phalen Corridor in St. Paul.

Architect Winy Mass will continue to work on designs for an expansion of the Cleveland Institute of Art. His first proposal for the expansion was dropped because construction costs would have been too high.

A Slavic Village house is being deconstructed through a pilot project funded by the Cleveland Foundation and managed by Neighborhood Progress Inc. Cleveland's Citywide Plan calls for increased support of deconstruction.

A Plain Dealer editorial calls the Opportunity Corridor funding announcement "a great step for a great project."

At a public meeting last evening, users of the East 55th Street Marina in Cleveland expressed their skepticism about the port relocation plans. The Port Authority's plans call for removing and replacing the marina.

The most recent community dialogues from Case's Western Reserve Studies Symposium are about Cleveland's Slavic Village neighborhood.

Governor Strickland directed $4 million in state funds to the planning of the Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland. Financing sources for the $250 to $500 million project remain unclear.

A group of local developers purchased six acres in Midtown for a project that could include retail and offices or homes. The site is across the street from the Dunham Tavern on Euclid.

The Cleveland Museum of Art's board of trustees yesterday voted unanimously to proceed with the second and final phase of the Museum's expansion project. The completion date for the $350 million expansion was pushed back one year to 2012.

Chris Ronayne of University Circle Inc. is interested in creating an "uptown community alliance" that would market Shaker Heights "as housing stock in University Circle."

In addition to the other projects mentioned earlier, the Ohio capital budget bill includes $500,000 for lakefront development in Euclid.

Update: the bill also includes $150,000 for the renovation of League Park, $100,000 for the redesign of the Euclid Beach Pier, and $15,000 for the completion of a walking trail in Parma Heights.

Construction of the Casa Romana townhomes on Warren Road in Cleveland began last week. In South Euclid, the 16 unit Stoneridge Place subdivision may not be built.

The newest discussions in Case's Regionally Speaking series are about the Glenville-Wade Park neighborhood in Cleveland.

Gladys Haddad of the Western Reserve Studies Symposium continues her series of community dialogues with a pair of conversations about Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood.

Citing concerns that construction costs may be too high for the new convention center and Medical Mart at the two leading sites (the Mall and Tower City), Commissioner Hagan asked the Greater Cleveland Partnership's site selection committee to consider a fifth potential location at East 55th Street and Chester Avenue in Midtown.

The Greater Circle Living program was officially launched today. The initiative will supply forgivable loans and rental reimbursements to an estimated 700 homebuyers in portions of seven adjacent neighborhoods in Cleveland and East Cleveland.

An estimate projects that the design for the Cleveland Institute of Art expansion will cost well over the $55 million budgeted for the project. The school's next steps are unclear, but leaders hope to continue working with architect Winy Maas of MVRDV.

This week's Scene asks questions about the benefits of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's planned move from downtown to a new site north of East 55th Street.

The Azerbaijan Cultural Garden in Cleveland's Rockefeller Park was dedicated yesterday. It features "Hearth", an eight ton stainless steel sculpture by Azerbaijani sculptor Khanlar Gasimov.

Participants at a meeting last month viewed a conceptual design for rebuilding the Euclid Beach Pier at Euclid Beach State Park. URS Corporation is conducting a feasibility study funded by a grant from ODNR's Office of Coastal Management.

An editorial in the Plain Dealer looks to the Phalen Corridor Initiative in St. Paul as a model for the proposed Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland.

On Thursday, OneCommunity announced the official launch of a wireless Internet cloud covering most of University Circle and parts of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland. They also rolled out Linked Communities, a new web portal for the University Circle area.

Cleveland's Board of Zoning Appeals approved variances for the planned Mayfield Lofts condominiums in Little Italy, and did not request additional changes in its design.

Cleveland State University's Cauldron looked at the construction history of the Euclid Corridor project.

A section of the Euclid Corridor from East 55th to East 86th Streets is scheduled to open on Sunday. Work on the segment between East 17th and East 55th Streets was completed in November.

Steven Litt feels that the developers of the proposed Mayfield Lofts condominiums in Little Italy should be granted the zoning variances that they are seeking. Some residents feels that the six story, 24,000 square foot building at Mayfield Road and East 119th Street would be too tall.

Case Western Reserve University is pursuing plans to build the Case Innovation Center for Energy and Medicine at its West Quad. The $105 million project includes a 100,000 square foot building that would house three of the University's cutting-edge programs.

The Cleveland Clinic will partner with the North Union Farmers Market, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, and the OSU Extension to establish a new farmers market and two new farms on Clinic-owned land in Cleveland.

The University Circle Design Review Committee unanimously approved colorful designs for the Circle 118 Townhomes, a proposed 17 unit townhouse development at Euclid Avenue and East 118th Street.

GreenCityBlueLake examined the green renovation of the historic Baker Electric Building on Euclid Avenue in Midtown.

In an editorial, the Plain Dealer described the proposed Opportunity Corridor as "a broad-spectrum development" that is "entitled to more, rather than less, Statehouse help."

A vacant gas station at Chester Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland has become an eyesore, and serves as an example of how a determined landowner can create difficulties for redevelopment efforts.

Yesterday's Sound of Ideas show on WCPN was devoted to a discussion of the of the Euclid Corridor project and its anticipated economic impacts.

Olivet Institutional Baptist Church dropped its plans to move from Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood to Twinsburg. The church will instead refurbish its Quincy Avenue campus.

Update: the Twinsburg Sun offers additional details.

The Plain Dealer's Brent Larkin says that the planned Opportunity Corridor through Cleveland is the most important highway project in Greater Cleveland, and that the project's champions need to make it clear to state officials that further delays are not acceptable.

The Plain Dealer took a brief look at the history of the Sidaway Bridge in Cleveland.

Budget shortfalls have delayed the planned renovation of League Park by one year. Ken Silliman, Mayor Jackson's chief of staff, said that "It's every bit of a project as it was last summer. It's just set back a little in time."

The Cleveland Museum of Art is almost halfway through its construction project, and the first renovated portions will reopen to the public on June 29. The reopened galleries are on the second floor of the museum's 1916 building. The first floor is scheduled to reopen a year later.

The Tudor Arms in University Circle and Strongsville's Old Town Hall were recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Steven Litt says that the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's planned move "is the kind of big, farsighted planning initiative that could dramatically change the city's future for the better." The Port Authority has begun planning for an international trade district surrounding the new port facilites, and the move also creates the opportunity for redeveloping the Port's existing facilities. He warns, however, that "an Oklahoma-style land rush on the lakefront could bleed the core business district of vital energy". The Port Authority launched a new website with information about the plans.

Yesterday, the Cuyahoga County Commissioners awarded $40 million in contracts for the construction of the new juvenile justice center at East 93rd Street and Quincy Avenue in Cleveland. More contracts will be awarded this spring.

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.

Today the Cleveland City Planning Commission approved the demolition of the remaining buildings on the site of the planned Flats east bank development, and also approved the relocation of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to a new site north of East 55th Street. Steven Litt suggests that the Port's move "could create immediate pressure on the city and the port to allow downtown corporations to abandon the business core for sites on the waterfront."

Update: Bradley Fink of the Design Rag has similar concerns.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History shared an early conceptual model of its planned expansion. It includes a new glass lobby and a new parking garage. The project will aim for a LEED Platinum rating.

The Cleveland Clinic is free to demolish the Art Deco Carnegie Medical Building at Carnegie Avenue and East 105th Street, now that it has obtained permission from the University Circle Design Review Committee. The Cleveland Planning Commission approved the demolition last month. By 2009, the eight story building will be replaced by a 206 space parking lot.

Steven Litt critiqued City Architecture's preliminary plans for the Upper Chester development near University Circle and found much to like, although he feels that the firm "needs to settle down with a simpler, stronger and cleaner approach" for the project's first apartment building.

The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals purchased the naming rights for RTA's Euclid Corridor BRT line, which will be known as the HealthLine. It was previously called the Silver Line.

A Plain Dealer editorial about the Port Authority's proposed move concludes that "people who care about Cleveland's future must insist on a plan that allows the city to make the most of its priceless proximity to Lake Erie."

At a public meeting yesterday, prominent Cleveland municipal and business leaders backed the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's proposed move to new facilities.

A Plain Dealer feature on University Circle looks at the efforts to turn the institutional archipelago into a more cohesive neighborhood. A companion piece calls the area a "critical engine of growth" in Greater Cleveland.

Roldo Bartimole shares his thoughts about the sale of the Ameritrust complex, Medical Mart negotiations, and Euclid Corridor reinvestment figures.

Reminder: at a public meeting this evening, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority will present plans to relocate the port from downtown Cleveland to a man-made site north of East 55th Street. The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Philip Neri Community Center.

CMHA is planning a five-year, $100 million reconstruction of the 30 acre Garden Valley Family Estates in Kinsman. The plans call for demolishing and replacing the townhomes, and adding a new elementary school and a YMCA branch.

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.

An estimated $4.3 billion in new construction has been or will be built along Euclid Avenue between Public Square and University Circle. RTA's $200 million Euclid Corridor project is serving as a catalyst for investments by developers and nonprofit organizations, and may lead to a rebirth of Cleveland's main street.

On February 19, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority will hold a public meeting about the Port's proposed move to a new facility north of East 55th Street.

The Cleveland Catholic Diocese has the former St. Joseph Christian Life Center on Lake Shore Boulevard listed for sale at $2.75 million. The Cleveland Landmarks Commission has proposed designating the 1927 building and its 11½ acre lakefront site as a historic landmark.

The Cleveland Clinic would like to demolish the Art Deco Carnegie Medical Building (the former home of the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine) at Carnegie Avenue and East 105th Street and use the site as a parking lot and for possible future development. The University Circle Design Review Committee (PDF) tabled the request, citing incomplete information about the Clinic's proposal.

Plain Dealer architecture critic Steven Litt remains unimpressed with the designs for a new cancer center at the University Hospitals campus in University Circle, saying it "shows only marginal improvement since the hospital unveiled its disappointing initial concept in the spring."

Steven Litt revisited his critique of the new Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations building at Case Western Reserve University, and had a change of heart. He now feels that the "Mandel building shows how you can have solid, contemporary architecture and a strong, neighborhood-sensitive design that fits well in its setting."

The Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center plans to build a new home at Euclid Avenue and East 117th Street in University Circle. Steven Litt feels that the Bostwick Design Partnership's preliminary designs for the four-story building are good, but could be better.

Officials with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority say that their proposed facility north of East 55th Street in Cleveland will allow the Port to accommodate containerized shipping.

A press release from the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority says that the Port's planned move to an East 55th Street site should result in "expanded maritime capacity, a dynamic and accessible waterfront, and the potential redevelopment of more than 500 acres of underutilized inner-city land".

This morning, the board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority unanimously designated a site in Lake Erie north of East 55th Street as the port's future home. Creation of the proposed 200 acre peninsula cannot proceed without approval from the City of Cleveland. Neighbors of the proposed site were not pleased by the announcement.

Fairhill Center and Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation announced that they have raised enough money to begin work on building a 29-unit Kinship Village in six buildings at Fairhill Center's campus. It's expected to open in 2010.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that the program makes sense.

A Plain Dealer editorial praises the Greater University Circle Initiative's homebuyer assistance program, concluding, "When local employers help workers put down roots and revitalize neighborhoods, that helps all of Greater Cleveland."

The LaSalle Theater on East 185th Street in Cleveland was recently acquired by its lender in a foreclosure sale. The Northeast Shores Development Corporation is seeking ideas from the public for the best use of the building's former theater space.

Yesterday, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's maritime committee unanimously recommended moving the Port's facilities to a new 200 acre site north of East 55th Street in Cleveland. The Port's Board of Directors is scheduled to discuss the proposal on December 21.

The Plain Dealer is presenting a special series this week, in conjunction with WCPN, on Cleveland's Mount Pleasant neighborhood. The series tells stories about the area's history, residents, problems, and potential solutions.

Major University Circle employers cooperating (MP3) through the Greater University Circle Initiative will offer $5 million in grants and forgivable loans over the next five years to employees who purchase, rent, or renovate homes in University Circle and its surrounding neighborhoods. The program is an expansion of Case's Employer Assisted Housing Program.

The Gund Foundation awarded $6.5 million in grants, including $1.2 million to the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization for the Gordon Square Arts District and $1 million to University Circle Incorporated for the Bring Back Euclid Avenue campaign. The Foundation also gave $300,000 to Shorebank Enterprise Group Cleveland and $70,000 to Entrepreneurs for Sustainability.

The Plain Dealer reports that the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority narrowed its list of potential relocation sites to two: a man-made island north of Whiskey Island and a man-made site north of East 55th Street, and they appear to favor the East 55th Street site.

The Cuyahoga County Soil and Water Conservation District will hold public meetings today and tomorrow to discuss the results of recently completed environmental assessments of Dike 14 in Cleveland.

RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese appeared on Sunday's Behind the Lines on WKYC to discuss the Euclid Corridor Project and other transit issues.

When the section of the Euclid Corridor between East 17th and East 55th Streets opens on Monday, drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and transit users will have to learn new traffic patterns.

(Update: a Plain Dealer graphic illustrates the changes.)

The Saint Luke's Foundation awarded a $1 million grant to ParkWorks to create walking trails, an outdoor reading garden, public-art displays, and performance areas in Cleveland's Buckeye neighborhood. The former hospital building will be at the heart of a five-acre learning campus.

At a public forum in Midtown yesterday, Euclid Avenue business owners and patrons expressed their concerns and frustrations about Euclid Corridor Project construction. The segment from East 17th Street to East 55th Street is slated to open on November 26.

A Plain Dealer editorial says that the Cleveland Institute of Art's planned expansion of the McCullough Center will be "a boon for the college and for the Triangle development nearby."

A Plain Dealer editorial says that the new convention center and the Medical Mart belongs in downtown Cleveland, and not near University Circle.

The Cleveland Institute of Art unveiled the designs for an expansion of the McCullough Center on upper Euclid Avenue in University Circle. Designed by architect Winy Maas of MVRDV, the 80,000 square foot structure is scheduled to open in 2009.

As in 2005, local leaders are focusing their plans for a new convention center on two downtown Cleveland locations, a site near Tower City Center and the existing Convention Center. Officials with Merchandise Mart Properties are interested in exploring University Circle as a site for the convention center and Medical Mart.

Cleveland Councilman Michael Polensek met with Bishop Lennon to discuss the future of the St. Joseph Christian Life Center property.

A Plain Dealer editorial says that ODOT is signaling that it would like to divert funding away from the proposed Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland, and that local leaders need to "tell the Strickland administration that this idea has too much potential to brush aside."

University Circle Incorporated has raised nearly half of its $7 million target for the Bring Back Euclid Avenue campaign. UCI is also celebrating its 50th anniversary.

This week's Free Times includes a look at the evolution of Cleveland's AsiaTown neighborhood and the plans of entrepreneurs and nonprofits to "put Cleveland's Chinatown on the nation's map."

Developers hope to break ground in November on a building to support the expansion of the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Medical Center at University Circle. It will include 150,000 square feet of office space, a 122 bed residence for homeless veterans, and a 2,080 space parking garage.

The Plain Dealer explored the emerging arts and cultural district along Waterloo Road and its rejuvenating effects on North Collinwood.

With the Euclid Corridor project scheduled for completion next year, reinvestment in Euclid Avenue buildings is underway. The Victory Building at East 71st Street will be converted to loft apartments with ground floor retail, and Cuyahoga County provided an $800,000 construction loan for University Lofts, 30 apartments on the upper floors of two buildings at 2010 and 2020 Euclid.

Developers revealed a shortlist of six architecture firms as candidates to design the Arts and Retail District in University Circle. It includes several highly respected national firms, and the developers may select more than one. They expect to make a decision in a week to ten days.

Professor Robert Bruegmann will give a free public lecture titled "Cleveland and Sprawl: A Global Perspective" on September 27 at 4:30 p.m. in the Thwing Center ballroom at Case Western Reserve University. His most recent book, Sprawl: A Compact History, offers a contrarian view of urban sprawl.

The Cleveland Cultural Garden Committee approved the creation of an Albanian garden in the Cultural Gardens at Cleveland's Rockefeller Park. The area's Albanian-American community has begun raising funds for its design.

Four new developments in the Greater Cleveland area will become pilot projects for the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development program to build sustainable neighborhoods. These projects are:

(Via Tech Futures)

University Circle and Little Italy can be transformed by RTA's new E. 120th Street rapid station, according to Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer.

RTA revealed its plans for a new rapid station at East 120th Street in Little Italy. In addition to a new station, the plans prepared by Studio Techne feature transit-oriented development elements including a parking garage, a transit transfer station, retail space, and apartments. The plans also offer a first glimpse of massings for the Arts and Retail District in University Circle, including tentative footprints of new buildings for MOCA and and the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Cleveland's Azerbaijani and Serbian communities plan to soon break ground on their Cultural Gardens in Rockefeller Park, and they may be joined by Armenian, Native American, and Albanian gardens.

Steven Litt praises the design of the new Mixon Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music, calling it "one of the most beautiful new music venues in the region." It's scheduled to open in November.

Scott Muscatello provides images of the planned expansion of the Veterans Administration facility in University Circle.

The Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board was unable to align funding for their planned new building on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland.

The Plain Dealer examined the promise, problems, plans, and schedule for the ongoing construction of the Euclid Corridor project, which is roughly two-thirds complete.

The colorful The Politician: A Toy sculpture on Chester Avenue in Cleveland may be moved to a more pedestrian-friendly location.

(Update: MidTown Cleveland notes that funds are being raised to relocate the sculpture to East 55th Street and Euclid Avenue.)

RTA officials say that the Euclid Corridor project is on time and budget. Construction is roughly halfway finished and should be completed in October or November 2008. The first bus station was finished in June.

The contentious Doan Brook restoration project has been scaled back because of higher than expected costs. The most recent proposal calls for restoring two sections covering one mile of the brook through Cleveland.

In this week's Free Times, William Bostwick reviews the OPEN: New Designs for Public Space exhibit at MOCA. "Though it highlights dozens of new buildings that re-imagine things like plazas, parks and performance spaces, it leaves the viewer with more questions than answers. But don't worry: That's a good thing."

Foreign Office Architects devised a design for the new MOCA building at Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road in University Circle, but MOCA will not unveil the design until they complete a fundraising feasibility study. MOCA Director Jill Snyder said that the four story museum will qualify for a LEED rating.

Brownfields remediation was completed at the 24.6 acre site of the planned new CMHA headquarters in Cleveland's Forgotten Triangle, and the Ohio EPA issued a covenant not to sue. Meanwhile, the Clean Ohio Council awarded $2,046,713 to the City of Cleveland for the cleanup of the 5.1 acre Morgana East site in Slavic Village.

If local officials can agree on a site for a detention center for nonviolent felons and establish advisory boards by January, the State of Ohio will contribute $10.6 million to build the 200 bed facility. Cuyahoga County officials are considering a four acre property at East 34th Street and Croton Avenue in Cleveland. Cuyahoga County is the only metropolitan county in Ohio without a center.

The Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board will vote on Wednesday on whether to proceed with plans to build a new headquarters on Euclid Avenue at East 69th Street.

A group of residents of Cleveland's Union-Miles neighborhood protested yesterday about the condition of abandoned houses in the neighborhood. They want the City to tear down the houses or board them up more effectively.

The Cultural Gardens Federation is working with the National Park Service to have the 50 acre Cleveland Cultural Gardens designated as a national monument. The designation would require Congressional approval.

Fast Track Cycling continues to examine sites for their proposed velodrome, including the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea, a property south of the Gateway complex in downtown Cleveland, and a site south of I-90 between Broadway and Orange Avenues in Cleveland.

The Gund Foundation awarded $5.9 million in grants, including $250,000 to the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation for the redevelopment of the former Langston Hughes Library at East 79th Street to house Senior Outreach Services. The Foundation also gave a $500,000 loan to Neighborhood Progress Inc. for the redevelopment of the former St. Luke's Hospital site.

Case Western Reserve University's Village at 115 complex received the 2007 Honor Award for Excellence in Planning for a District or Campus Component from the Society for College and University Planning.

Mixed-use and residential development is increasing along Chester Avenue near University Circle. In addition to the nearly complete Park Lane Villa restoration and the planned University Circle Arts and Retail District, Vintage Development Group will soon break ground on the 34 unit Chester 82 condominiums on the site of the former Madonna Hall, and the Finch Group is considering plans to build a mixed-use development somewhere between East 89th Street and East 101st Street.

In his talk at the City Club yesterday, University Circle Incorporated President Chris Ronayne outlined the organization's 7 campaigns for 2007.

(Update: the talk is now available online (MP3, 20.4 MB))

The Euclid Avenue traffic circles at East 89th and East 100th Streets proposed by the Cleveland Clinic will not be built because of their projected negative impacts on traffic flow.

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."

The Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board is still trying to identify a site for the planned new State Mental Health Hospital. Councilperson Phyllis Cleveland objects to the proposed site on Quincy Road in Cleveland, so the Board is considering alternative sites in Warrensville Heights and East Cleveland.

In the first article in a series, the Free Times looks at the nationwide foreclosure crisis and its detrimental impacts on Slavic Village, which is "perhaps the epicenter of a nationwide foreclosure epidemic."

RTA reports that the first two Euclid Corridor stations, one in Midtown and one in East Cleveland, will soon be complete.

Steven Litt reviews the exhibit Open: New Designs for Public Space, an exhibit on the work of Foreign Office Architects, and the Uptown Launch Pad, all on display at MOCA. "The shows suggest that Cleveland -- a poor, shrinking city suffering from low self-esteem -- could become more lively and cosmopolitan if it emulates or surpasses the examples on view." He also notes that MOCA has started a new weblog.

The Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board plans to build a $10-16 million headquarters building on Euclid Avenue in Midtown. The agency intends to move from their rented space on West 25th Street to the new 45,000 square foot building by fall 2008.

The repaired Euclid Beach Park Gateway Arch was rededicated this morning.

The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt interviewed architects Curt Fentress, Farshid Moussavi, and Winy Maas, each of whom is designing a major construction project for a University Circle institution.

The City of Cleveland is planning renovations to historic League Park in Hough that include restoring the ballfield, building a replica of the outfield wall, and renovating the ticket house, a tunnel, and the original brick wall. The project is expected to cost $8.5 million, of which the City will supply $5 million. Officials hope to raise the rest of the money through private donations.

National City Bank sold its branch near Euclid Avenue and Stokes Boulevard to University Circle Incorporated for $418,000. The bank will build a new branch south of its current location on land it will lease from UCI, which wants to redevelop the site of the existing building as part of a mixed-use multi-story gateway.

The most recent Regionally Speaking podcasts are interviews with Anne Helmreich (Part 1, Part 2) and Latisha James (Part 1, Part 2). Anne Helmreich, Associate Professor of Art History at CWRU and Associate Director of the Baker-Nord Center for Humanities, spoke about the Center's role and the 2007 Baker-Nord Seminar, titled Cityscapes. Latisha James of the Center for Community Partnerships talked about the ways the University influences the quality of life in University Circle and other nearby neighborhoods.

The Ohio Department of Natural resources awarded $250,000 in Coastal Management Assistance Grants. The awards included $19,950 to the Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization to conduct the Big Creek Watershed Management Plan, and $11,000 to Northeast Shores Development Corporation for the Euclid Beach Fishing Pier Feasibility Study.

MOCA will host OPEN: new designs for public space from June 1 through August 19. The exhibit presents innovative public space projects from around the world. Architect Farshid Moussavi of Foreign Office Architects, the firm designing MOCA's new building, will speak at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on May 31 at 6:00 p.m.

(via Rockitecture)

The $28 million renovation of University Circle's Park Lane Villa is nearing completion (PDF), and its owners will begin leasing the first of the building's 96 luxury apartments this summer.

The Cleveland Museum of Art opened an exhibition that highlights the museum's expansion and renovation plans. Construction remains on schedule for completion in 2011.

(Update: the Akron Beacon Journal presents additional details.)

Blue Pike Farm is a new one-acre farm on East 72nd Street between I-90 and St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland. Carl Skalak named the farm after the extinct Great Lakes fish, and grows organic vegetables and herbs. Crops will be sold at the farm and at other Cleveland locations.

The second Regionally Speaking podcast features an interview with Richard Baznik, Case Western Reserve University Historian and Director of the Institute for the Study of the University: Part 1, Part 2.

The initial Regionally Speaking podcast, an interview with University Circle Incorporated President Chris Ronayne, is now online: part 1, part 2.

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."

Yesterday, Charter One Bank announced that it was adding new programs to its UPtown Initiative. The effort was launched last spring, and is aimed at investing $150 million in University Circle and its surrounding neighborhoods over a three year period.

On Friday, the Cleveland City Planning Commission approved conceptual designs for the new Cuyahoga County juvenile justice center planned for East 93rd Street and Quincy Avenue in Fairfax. The 581,000 square foot facility is now scheduled to open in 2009.

GreenCityBlueLake recaps one of the community workshops led by the Project for Public Spaces earlier this week on plans for the redesigned and relocated East 120th rapid station in Little Italy.

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.

Plain Dealer architecture critic Steven Litt is not impressed by the designs of three new buildings planned by University Hospitals for their University Circle campus. Conceptual plans for the three buildings were recently approved by the Cleveland City Planning Commission. The new buildings are part of UH's Vision 2010 plan.

Great Lakes Resources was the only company to submit a bid to CMHA to develop a shopping center adjacent to the planned CMHA headquarters at East 80th Street and Kinsman Road in Cleveland's Forgotten Triangle. Great Lakes offered to purchase five acres for $825,000 to build a 52,000 square foot center, or to lease 3.25 acres to build a 21,000 square foot center.

Case Western Reserve University is in the planning stages for a new $40 million, 75,000 square foot campus center near Thwing Center and Kelvin Smith Library. A fall 2008 groundbreaking is planned, with completion expected by spring 2011.

Trustees of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History selected Fentress Bradburn Architects of Denver to design the museum's expansion and renovation. The firm will develop a preliminary design by September.

University Circle Incorporated will hold a public meeting on March 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Judson Manor to discuss implementing the recommendations of the MLK Corridor Urban Design Study (PDF) and reconfiguring the traffic circle at MLK Drive and East 105th Street.

A Plain Dealer editorial says that Frank Jackson's plan to delay construction of the planned Collinwood Recreation Center and consider new locations looks like old-school politics.

Cleveland Councilwoman Nina Turner asked the FBI to investigate the defunct Amistad Development Corporation in order to account for $200,000 that had been given to the organization.

A Plain Dealer editorial backs University Circle Incorporated's campaigns to transform the neighborhood, which include the Bring Back Euclid Avenue initiative and plans to build 1,000 new homes in the next five years.

The Plain Dealer offers additional details about Frank Jackson's decision to delay work on the planned Collinwood recreation center until 2010.

University Circle Incorporated is planning Bring Back Euclid Avenue, an initiative intended to compliment Euclid Corridor improvements by adding new signs, a visitors center, decorative lighting, and other streetscape improvements. They have already raised half of $7 million needed for the project.

The Cleveland Clinic re-introduced plans for modifications to Euclid Avenue. Instead of closing the street to automotive traffic as they initially proposed, their compromise proposal calls for adding traffic circles at East 89th and East 100th Streets and reducing traffic to one lane in each direction, with the Silver Line BRT in the median.

The Cleveland Institute of Art selected MVRDV to design their new building on upper Euclid Avenue in the University Circle Arts and Retail District. The cutting-edge Dutch architecture firm is known for "designing apartment slabs and towers with colorful and eccentric window patterns, giant rectangular holes cut into their middles, and highly pronounced staircases that zigzag across their facades."

The Plain Dealer continues its examination of the controversial Forgotten Triangle land deal, and attempts to establish what Frank Jackson knew about it. "How is it possible that Jackson claims ignorance about the land deal?" asks Sam Fulwood.

The Cuyahoga County Commissioners bought several properties on Folsom Avenue in Cleveland to use as surface parking for the planned new juvenile detention center and courthouse. They are also in negotiations to purchase a two story parking garage on Prospect Avenue in downtown Cleveland near the Breuer tower.

As part of Black History Month, Channel 3 looked at the restoration efforts for the landmark Cozad-Bates House in University Circle. Activists hope it will become an Underground Railroad education center.

Plans for the Collinwood Recreation Center suffered a setback when funding for the project did not appear in Mayor Jackson's new capital improvement plan until 2010. The former Big Lots store purchased by the City may or may not be redeveloped as the recreation center, which will be "in either Ward 10 or Ward 11."

The landmark Euclid Beach Park Gateway Arch in Cleveland was seriously damaged early this morning by a hit-and-run driver.

Municipal and nonprofit officials in Cleveland are pleased by the creation of the University Circle Design District. It should create increased transparency in the design process and allow greater public oversight.

Cleveland officials hope to begin construction of the Collinwood Recreation Center in 2007. Detailed design work should start this spring, a contractor may be selected this summer, and construction could start before the year ends.

Cleveland City Council established the proposed University Circle Design District. City Council also enacted an emergency ordinance that alters the procedure for designating city landmarks and landmark districts. Both changes became effective on December 15.

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