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Lakewood News Archive

In their new book, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, co-authors Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube "paint a new picture of poverty in America as well as the best ways to combat it." The book explores the reasons behind the growth of suburban poverty in the United States and offers examples of promising policy models to address the issue. Their research presents profiles of metropolitan areas, including Greater Cleveland (PDF), and they highlight the challenges facing the City of Lakewood. Meanwhile, the Urban Institute posted a mapping tool that displays changes in poverty and race in metropolitan areas between 1980 and 2010.

West Life looked at how Lakewood's Birdtown neighborhood has become home to independent businesses and an urban farm. Lakewood City Council is considering a proposal to create a mixed use zoning overlay for the neighborhood.

Update: residents and city officials discussed neighborhood issues at a community meeting.

Mayor Summers of Lakewood and Mayor Clough of Westlake participated in a recent League of Women Voters forum (PDF) on regionalism. While they agreed on some aspects like service delivery, they offered different views on topics like tax-base sharing and the role of the central city.

The cities of Westlake and Lakewood continue to advance their bicycle planning initiatives. Westlake's draft Citywide Bike Plan (PDF, 10.3 MB) was approved by the Westlake Planning Commission, and identifies potential on-road and off-road routes for a citywide bicycle network. Lakewood is implementing its Bicycle Master Plan (PDF, 4.7 MB), adopted last year, by introducing a Bike Rack for Business Program and making infrastructure improvements. At the regional level, NOACA recently adopted an update to its Regional Bicycle Transportation Plan (PDF, 71.0 MB).

Local housing news:

Planners in Lakewood completed their update of the City's Community Vision document. The final public meeting was held in December, and the Lakewood Planning Commission is considering the update. City Council is expected to vote on the document this spring.

Lakewood officials are considering two requests concerning an Edgewater Drive mansion. Its owners have submitted a demolition request, while neighbors are seeking a historic landmark designation. The Lakewood Planning Commission determined that it's eligible to be named a landmark, but the owners hope to postpone a decision. In 2011, a developer proposed demolishing the mansion and building townhouses on the site, but eventually abandoned the plans. Meanwhile, a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge upheld the City's landmark designation of the former First Church of Christ, Scientist building.

Update: Lakewood's Architectural Board of Review delayed a decision on the demolition permit and the Planning Commission deferred a decision on the landmark designation.

Cuyahoga County residential development projects in the media:

The final public meetings for the Clifton Transportation Enhancement Program were held in November. Revised plans for the corridor include new bus shelters in Cleveland and Lakewood. The Cleveland portion will gain a landscaped median and will be widened by one foot in each direction. Construction could begin as early as spring 2013.

The Charter One Foundation awarded $100,000 in grants to area neighborhood nonprofits through its Growing Communities program. They include funding for projects in Cleveland and in Lakewood's Birdtown neighborhood.

Greater Cleveland residential projects in the news:

Update: a West Shore Sun editorial says that "things are looking up" for Rockport Shopping Center in Rocky River.

Update 2: Cleveland Heights Patch has more information about the plans for the Meadowbrook-Lee development.

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.

"What would cities around Cleveland look like if we grow the number of cyclists from hundreds to thousands traveling on its streets daily?" asked GreenCityBlueLake's Marc Lefkowitz. Meanwhile, Lakewood City Council approved funding to add sharrow markings to Detroit Avenue.

Fresh Water looked at how new investments in downtown Lakewood are creating a liveable neighborhood with a sense of place.

More bicycling news:

Update: Councilman Tom Bullock of Lakewood explained the sharrow proposal.

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.

The Lakewood Planning Commission designated the former First Church of Christ, Scientist building as a Lakewood landmark. It's the third building in the City to receive the landmark designation.

The City of Lakewood began the process of updating its 20-year-old Community Vision document (PDF) at its first Community Vision Workshop. Around 75 residents participated, sharing what they love about Lakewood, as well as their hopes and worries about the city.

Lakewood officials are focusing on maintaining the quality of the City's housing stock. They recently completed a citywide housing survey, which rated the condition of 12,661 homes (PDF). They also held a community forum to discuss the City's housing strategy and assistance programs available to residents. The fourth annual Old House Fair took place earlier this month, as well.

Lakewood City Council approved the City's bicycle master plan on Tuesday. The City will start implementing the plan by adding sharrows and bike racks. Michael Gill said the plan "is good news for cyclists and the city."

Update: the Sun Post-Herald has more details.

Giant Eagle increased the size of its proposed new Strongsville supermarket from 92,600 square feet to 110,000 square feet. It would be the first Northeast Ohio store to carry the retailer's Market District name. The first of three public meetings about the plans will be held on January 18 at St. John Neumann Church. Giant Eagle also may be interested in building a Market District store in Lakewood.

Update: more than 200 people attended the public meeting.

The Cuyahoga Land Bank and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development renewed their agreement for a second one-year term. HUD will continue to transfer low-value properties (PDF) to the land bank for $100.

The land bank will also partner with the International Services Center in the new Discovering Home program (PDF). Through the program, the land bank will provide houses to refugees settling in the county, and the refugees will participate in renovating the houses. The first house in the program is on Hopkins Avenue in Lakewood.

After scaling back the development from 19 to 17 units, Abode Living is finalizing its plans for the Clifton Pointe townhouses in Lakewood. Their plans call for reusing portions of the houses and trees currently on the site, and to begin construction this winter.

The City of Lakewood issued a draft of its its Bicycle Master Plan (PDF). It's meant to "establish bicycling as a main means of transportation and accommodate current bicyclists' needs through policies, programs & projects." Officials will present the plan to the Lakewood Planning Commission on December 1.

Update: the City continues to gather public input.

Despite protests by residents, the Lakewood Planning Commission unanimously approved plans for a McDonald's restaurant on the current site of the closed Detroit Theater. The company plans to begin work immediately. City officials hope to install a traffic light at the intersection of Detroit and Woodward avenues.

Update: the Sun Post-Herald has more details.

The City of Lakewood is completing its comprehensive bicycle study, and plans to release it in November. City officials hope to create a more bike-friendly environment.

A traffic study conducted for the proposed McDonald's in Lakewood said that the restaurant would not have an adverse impact on traffic. Neighbors were not satisfied with the report's recommendations. The City's Planning Commission postponed its vote on the proposal to build the McDonald's on the site of the closed Detroit Theater.

The Lakewood Architectural Board of Review approved revised plans for the townhouse development on Sloane Avenue. The project has been renamed again, and is now called Clifton Pointe. A spring groundbreaking is planned.

The City of Lakewood published a draft of its historic preservation mission statement and goals. The concepts were developed at a workshop in August. A second community meeting will be held later this fall.

Several local residential projects are under construction or being planned.

The Lakewood Architectural Board of Review approved designs for a McDonald's restaurant on the site of the closed Detroit Theater. The City's Planning Commission may discuss the plans in October.

Update: Lakewood Patch has more information.

McDonald's is pursuing its proposal to build a restaurant on the current site of the closed Detroit Theater in Lakewood, and submitted plans to the City. The Lakewood Architectural Board of Review will discuss the proposal at its September 8 meeting.

Lakewood's Architectural Board of Review approved plans for the next phase of the Rockport Square development on Detroit Avenue. Developers plan to build a four-story building that will include 40 loft-style condominiums.

Four smaller local sewer systems are developing plans to reduce combined sewer overflows. Systems operated by the cities of Avon Lake, Elyria, Euclid, and Lakewood currently discharge 274 million gallons of untreated wastewater per year. The work is addition to the plans of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and the City of Akron.

Update: a Plain Dealer editorial says that the improvements are worth the expense.

The Lakewood Planning Commission approved designs for the proposed Sloane Avenue townhouses. Now named Le Metro, the development has also received approval from the City's Architectural Board of Review and Board of Zoning Appeals.

At a Lakewood Architectural Board of Review meeting, McDonald's representatives shared a conceptual site plan for a restaurant on the site of the closed Detroit Theater. Members of the board had several concerns about the design. The company is expected to formally present plans at the board's next meeting on August 11. Michael Gill said that board members will need courage as the process proceeds.

Representatives of McDonald's will present conceptual designs for a restaurant on the site of the closed Detroit Theater at a Lakewood Architectural Board of Review work session on July 14. A group of residents is trying to save the theater.

Developer Andrew Brickman shared preliminary renderings of his proposed riverfront townhouse project in Lakewood. Tentatively named Metro Luxury Townhomes, the 19-unit Sloan Avenue development would include three-story buildings with units ranging in size from 1,600 to 3,000 square feet.

Update: the Plain Dealer provided more details.

Update 2: the City of Lakewood wants to designate the site as a community reinvestment area.

Developer Andrew Brickman wants to build a 19-unit townhouse development on the west side of Sloane Avenue in Lakewood. The City will hold a community forum on July 6 to discuss the proposed riverfront project.

The City of Lakewood is using GIS to make its housing inspections and other municipal services more efficient.

In late May, McDonald's informed the City of Lakewood that it was interested in building on the site of the closed Detroit Theater. More than 150 people attended a public forum on Wednesday evening, where City officials described the issues and the process. The residents in attendance overwhelmingly opposed demolition of the theater.

Plans to demolish the former St. Paul Lutheran Church on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood for a CVS store are proceeding through the review process. Meanwhile, Michael Gill looked to Cleveland's Hessler Road and Collinwood neighborhoods for ideas about saving the closed Detroit Theater from possible demolition. Several construction projects are also planned for the West 117th Street corridor along the Cleveland-Lakewood border.

The City of Lakewood received one response to its RFP for the redevelopment of the former Spitzer dealership on Detroit Avenue, a proposal for low-income senior housing from the NRP Group. The proposed $7.8 million Parkwood Pointe development would be three stories tall and include 40 rental units.

Update: Lakewood Patch published a brief article about the proposal.

Michael Gill is concerned that Lakewood may lose buildings that contribute to its architectural character. He considered the abandoned plans to demolish the Heideloff House and the proposals to raze the former St. Paul Lutheran Church and the closed Detroit Theater, which could be replaced with a CVS store and a McDonald's, respectively.

RTA will discontinue its two Weekly Shopper shuttle routes due to low ridership. Service on the Cleveland/Lakewood and West Park routes will end in late April.

On Tuesday, the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council approved $70 million for new transportation projects (PDF), making several changes to the draft recommendations it approved in December. In addition to the controversial withdrawal of $51.8 million from the Cincinnati streetcar project, the TRAC rejected the $7.1 million it earlier recommended for the Clifton Boulevard Transportation Enhancement Program in Cleveland and Lakewood. Local projects that were funded include the Pearl Road widening project in Strongsville and the planned widening of I-271 in southern Cuyahoga County.

The City of Lakewood issued a request for proposals for the the redevelopment of the 1.5-acre former Spitzer dealership on Detroit Avenue. The City will "entertain redevelopment proposals of this site for commercial, mixed use or residential and the proposal should not be limited solely by the existing zoning designation."

Officials from RTA and the City of Lakewood met last week, and agreed to proceed with a scaled-back implementation of the Clifton Boulevard Transportation Enhancement Program. The City's financial contribution will be reduced from $486,000 to $50,000. Approval from the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council is required.

Update: the Plain Dealer looked at the situation in more detail.

Citing budget cuts, Mayor Summers of Lakewood withdrew the City from the Clifton Boulevard Transportation Enhancement Program. In December, the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council recommended $7.1 million in funding for the project.

Update: RTA will continue to pursue the project.

Developer Andrew Brickman dropped his plans to build the 14-unit Townhomes of Edgewater in Lakewood. City officials said that the property's current zoning would permit no more than 12 units on the site, and the developer decided that the project would not be feasible with fewer than 14 units. Mayor Summers said that he "would welcome the opportunity to work with Mr. Brickman in the future."

The City of Lakewood and the Cuyahoga County Land Bank approved an agreement intended to address neglected properties. It authorizes the Land Bank to acquire and then demolish or rehabilitate the structures, preparing the sites for productive reuse.

Developer Andrew Brickman would like to demolish an Edgewater Drive estate in Lakewood and build the Townhomes of Edgewater on the 2.6-acre site. The new development would consist of 14 detached 1,800 to 2,000-square-foot townhouses. Lakewood officials are also considering a proposal to raze the former St. Paul Lutheran Church on Detroit Avenue to make way for a new 14,000-square-foot CVS store.

In May 2009, the Lakewood Board of Building Standards ruled that five neglected buildings required either rehabilitation or demolition. LoveLakewood.com observed the results.

LoveLakewood.com shares the latest ideas to emerge from the plans for Madison Avenue streetscape improvements, offers a critique, and looks to the future.

The Lakewood Observer summarized bicycle planning efforts in Lakewood, while the City of Lakewood provided a recap of the recent Birdtown/Madison community meeting. On November 9, LakewoodAlive will hold a community forum titled "Bailey Building & Beyond - Downtown Lakewood's Renaissance."

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.

Lakewood City Council's Public Works Committee recently met to discuss the status of freight rail and plans for passenger rail. LoveLakewood.com has a detailed summary of the meeting.

The City of Lakewood continues to gather public input on community planning initiatives, and recently held the second public work session for the Clifton Boulevard Enhancement Project. On August 21, a Birdtown Madison Community Action public meeting will take place.

Update: the Sun Post-Herald summarized the Clifton Boulevard work session.

Update 2: about 50 people attended the August 21 event. The City will hold two more community meetings.

In their first months of operation, RTA's two Weekly Shopper Service routes have seen very few riders. The shuttle buses in Lakewood and West Park supply a portion of the service formerly provided by community circulator routes.

The Lakewood Planning Commission approved a Historic Preservation Designation for St. James Church. The designation covers its exterior and interior, and it is the first time the City has protected a building's interior. St. James Parish will hold its final Mass on June 26.

The first public meeting for the Clifton Boulevard Transportation Enhancement Program took place on Wednesday in Lakewood. The stimulus-funded project's process will refine streetscape enhancement concepts first identified in a 2006 plan (PDF, 28.7 MB). One attendee shared her reactions.

Update: the City of Lakewood summarized the event and the Sun Post Herald published a report.

RTA's first Weekly Shopper Service will serve Lakewood and Cleveland's Clifton-Detroit neighborhood. The route, a successor to the canceled community circulator, will operate on Fridays and will begin on March 26. RTA is paying for half of the route's costs, and the two cities will supply the other half.

The City of Lakewood posted the Birdtown Action Plan (PDF), a comprehensive plan prepared by a group of Cleveland State graduate students. An earlier version of the plan for the southeastern Lakewood neighborhood was called the Birdtown Flight Plan.

Officials in Lakewood and in several Cleveland neighborhoods are working with RTA to identify potential routes for its new Weekly Shopper Service.

Lakewood City Council approved legislation that expands the City's historic preservation ordinance to include publicly-accessible building interiors. City officials say that it's not targeted at any particular building.

A group of Cleveland State University graduate students prepared the Birdtown Flight Plan, a guidebook for the historic Lakewood neighborhood. "It seeks to identify assets and build upon them, as well as introduce proposals that will highlight Birdtown/Madison East's historic uniqueness, and bolster the quality of life for those who call it home."

The City of Lakewood may establish a special improvement district for solar energy.

Lakewood City Council is scheduled to vote next week on legislation that would strengthen the City's historic preservation ordinance. It could be used to protect St. James Catholic Church, which is scheduled to close in June 2010.

The exterior renovation of the Bailey Building in downtown Lakewood began last week. The work is scheduled to finish in the spring.

Update: the Lakewood Observer and Sun Post-Herald have more details.

Officials in Cleveland, Euclid, and Lakewood have expressed interest in RTA's proposed new Weekly Shopper Service, a once-weekly shuttle that would succeed its discontinued community circulator routes. RTA will organize a series of community meetings.

Lakewood City Council is considering legislation that would expand the City's historic preservation ordinance to cover the interior of historic structures.

Update: the Plain Dealer has more information about the Lakewood proposal and similar legislation in Cleveland.

The owners of the Bailey Building in downtown Lakewood plan to remove its 1960s concrete facade to reveal the original 1920s brick building.

The Ohio EPA is considering a proposal to address erosion issues at Lakewood Park by rehabilitating a retaining wall and expanding the breakwater.

Phase two construction of Rockport Square on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood is continuing. Work on six new townhomes recently started. A date for beginning the third phase of construction has not been established.

The City of Lakewood is using a combination of nuisance abatement techniques and federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program dollars to eliminate blighted structures.

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $311,000 to the City of Lakewood for the implementation of some components of the Detroit Avenue Streetscape Plan.

The story of a Lakewood house illustrates the difficulties in breaking the cycle of foreclosure and disrepair, as well as one possible solution.

Update: Susan Condon Love wrote more about the house.

The owner of the deteriorating Hilliard Square Theatre in Lakewood hopes to sell the building to someone who would restore it.

RTA will use some of its federal stimulus money to initiate the planning and design a four-mile line along Clifton Boulevard in Cleveland and Lakewood. The entire project will cost an estimated $14 million. New articulated buses will enter service along the corridor this fall.

Lakewood City Council dropped a proposal that would have allowed residents to raise chickens, due to concerns about regulation, noise and odors, and the need to focus on other issues.

The City of Lakewood may join Cleveland in allowing residents to raise chickens in their yards. City Council discussed the proposal on Monday.

Update: the Lakewood Observer has more details.

While work continues on the second phase of improvements to Lakewood Park, City officials are considering future investments.

The Lakewood Observer has a summary of Mayor FitzGerald's proposed housing initiative. It focuses on encouraging homeowners to reinvest in their properties and on strengthening the City's housing enforcement activities.

The newly formed Madison Avenue Business Association in Lakewood is working to promote independent retailers and enhance the street's historical character.

LakewoodAlive merged with Lakewood Community Progress Inc. The combined nonprofit community development organization will operate under the LakewoodAlive name.

Lakewood officials are considering the creation of an arts district zoning overlay (PDF, p. 35) that would be applied to the areas surrounding the Beck Center for the Arts, Birdtown, and Virginia Marti College.

In anticipation of their construction, the City of Lakewood enacted new zoning rules regulating wind turbines. The Cuyahoga County Fair Board is also exploring the possibility of erecting a turbine on the Middleburg Heights portion of the fairgrounds.

The Lakewood Observer toured the vacant Hilliard Square Theatre on Hilliard Road. It is one of eight buildings that will be featured in the Lakewood Historical Society's House Tour on Sunday.

Steven Litt of the Plain Dealer critiqued the new Lakewood Public Library. He feels that architect Robert A.M. Stern's neoclassical building "is convincing in many ways, and full of passionate conviction. It's also emotionally cool to a fault and strangely anachronistic, as if the building could have been built 60 to 100 years ago." Construction was completed earlier this year, and the library was rededicated in June.

With assistance from the Grow Lakewood Housing Fund, a Lakewood resident is performing the City's second conversion of a duplex to a single-family house. Work on the Cranford Avenue house may be completed in a few months.

The Lakewood Planning Commission approved the placement of buildings for phase three of the Rockport Square development. The preliminary plans call for the construction of office space, a parking deck, and a restaurant, but not the condominiums that were previously part of the plans.

At a public meeting in Lakewood yesterday, residents voiced their opposition to proposed RTA service cuts. Leaders in other communities are also concerned about the impacts of the cuts.

Update: mayors of Westshore suburbs expressed their concerns about the proposed cuts.

The Plain Dealer began a new series about the "finest elements of Cleveland's stylish history" with a look at the history of the Lake Shore in Lakewood.

While the Lakewood City Schools planned to build or renovate seven elementary schools in its school construction program, the Ohio School Facilities Commission will only commit to funds for six, citing projected declines in enrollment. The District will form a task force to determine if residents want to independently fund construction of the seventh school.

The slow housing market has delayed the start of work on the Cliffs on Rocky River condominiums in Lakewood. Developer Rick Foran now hopes that the first units will be ready for occupancy by 2010.

Update: the Lakewood Sun Post supplies details about the extension of the TIF agreement.

The sluggish residential real estate market is making it difficult for developers to sell new condominiums in inner-ring suburbs. Several cities are offering incentives to spur investment, and developers are trying to entice buyers. Rysar is offering a free Smart car to purchasers at the Bluestone development in Cleveland Heights. Other developers have pulled out of projects. Al Neyer canceled the Terraces on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Experts predict that the market will rebound.

The Lakewood Observer reports that Lakewood officials signed a memorandum of understanding last year to sell Kauffman Park to developers, but that the new mayoral administration considers the agreement to be "off the table".

This week's Free Times looks at the rise of the local food movement in Greater Cleveland, using the City Fresh program and the new LEAF initiative in Lakewood as examples.

Cities such as Cleveland, Westlake, Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted, and Avon Lake are still dealing with the withdrawal of Tops Supermarkets from Northeast Ohio in 2006.

The Foran Group is projecting that the Cliffs on Rocky River condominiums will be completed by late 2011.

In Lakewood, construction of first two phases of Rockport Square is nearing completion, with phase 2 work scheduled to finish by the end of 2008. The construction of Phase 3 will depend on market demand.

Tom Jordan is North Royalton's new Director of Community Development. He previously served as the Director of Planning and Development in Lakewood, a position he held since 2004. Nathan Kelly now holds the Lakewood post.

The conversion of a Bunts Road duplex to a single-family house has been completed. The property is being marketed for sale at $185,000. Lakewood officials hope that this pilot project will be replicated at other duplexes in the City.

The City of Lakewood is planning to make the Detroit Avenue and Bunts Road area an eastern gateway to its central business district. The former Giant Eagle at the intersection's southwest corner will be demolished and replaced by new commercial and residential development, along with a parking deck. Preliminary recommendation in the Detroit Avenue Streetscape Study include making improvements to transit waiting environments.

Lakewood Planning and Development Director Tom Jordan reassured residents that the future of Kauffman Park will be determined by a public process with due diligence.

Last week, local architects offered advice to Beck Center leaders on how the current facilities could be restored and modernized. Increasing the efficiency of the complex is a priority.

The Plain Dealer notes that if Lakewood officials opt to sell Kauffman Park for commercial development, it would be an unusual decision.

The new RTA Red Line rapid transit station at West 117th Street opened at 9:30 this morning. Its official name is the W. 117th St.–Madison Avenue Highland Square Rapid Station. RTA officials also announced that bicycles will now be allowed on the rapid during rush hour.

Construction of the Cliffs on Rocky River was approved by Lakewood and Cuyahoga County officials. The condominium development has grown from a planned 46 units to as many as 60 units. A new access road should be completed by next spring, with the first units ready for occupancy in late 2008.

(Update: the Lakewood Sun Post has more details.)

Scene asked if the possible development of Kauffman Park in Lakewood will reduce the City's amount of greenspace, and Mayor George replied that there will be no net loss of park areas.

(Update: The Plain Dealer has more details.)

The Plain Dealer depicts the Rocky River Harbor neighborhood in Lakewood and Rocky River as a quirky and colorful place.

Developers are interested in purchasing Lakewood's Kaufmann Park for use in the redevelopment of a neighboring shopping center. They want to build a new shopping center that would be set back further from Detroit Road. The City hired consultants to prepare a study of the park, and it should be finished in September.

The Cities of Lakewood and Bedford reached water distribution agreements with the City of Cleveland. The agreements include the no poaching clause present in similar agreements. The Cities of Bedford Heights and Euclid also recently signed water main maintenance agreements with Cleveland.

The Lakewood Sun Post offers more details about Birdtown's recent listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

First Federal of Lakewood and the City of Lakewood are partnering to convert a Bunts Road duplex into a a single-family home. Work is scheduled to be complete in late summer.

The expanded main branch of the Lakewood Public Library opened yesterday. The 38,000 square foot expansion was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects of New York.

Construction of the new West 117th Street rapid station is nearing completion, and the main entrance and parking lot reopened earlier this week. The new station will be called Highland Square at West 117th Street, and a reopening ceremony is scheduled for mid-September.

The Lakewood Historical Society established a preservation fund to preserve and protect historic structures. It will first be used in an attempt to raise $30,000 to move the threatened Hall House.

Lakewood City Council has begun to examine the water main maintenance and no poaching agreement offered by the City of Cleveland. Because Lakewood buys water in bulk from Cleveland, the maintenance agreement would not apply, and Cleveland agreed to an immediate rate decrease as an incentive.

Real estate investor Sako Satka is close to completing a renovation of the historic Faerber/Morse House on Lake Avenue in Lakewood. An attempt by the home's previous owner to dismantle and auction its architectural details promted Lakewood officials to establish a waiting period for demolitions and to consider creating a landmark designation program.

As part of the reconstruction and repaving of Lake Road in Bay Village, Rocky River, and Lakewood, ODOT will incorporate some recommendations that have been gathered through traffic studies and area stakeholder outreach, including traffic calming, streetscaping, and pedestrian amenities.

Officials from Lakewood and Rocky River are discussing alternatives for improving water quality by reducing combined sewer overflows. Prices for the options range between $1.3 million and $3.1 million.

A group of Cleveland and Lakewood stakeholders have begun discussing the possibility of joint developments along the West 117th Street corridor. Kent State's Urban Design Center is helping to prepare a conceptual plan. Meanwhile, the fate of the former Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist on West 117th Street is again in question, because the option on the historic building held by Marous Brothers Construction will expire by the end of the month. Cleveland officials are meeting with Marous.

The Plain Dealer provides more details about the proposed arts districts in Lakewood that will be the subject of a forum on Tuesday evening.

LakewoodAlive will host a forum on the idea of a Lakewood arts district on March 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the Beck Center Armory. The panelists will be Art Falco of the Playhouse Square Association, Tom Schorgl of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, Daniel Cuffaro of the Cleveland Institute of Art, and Kathleen Cerveny of the Cleveland Foundation.

Lakewood officials have proposed adding preservation districts to the City's zoning code in order to preserve the character of neighborhoods. It would permit the City to implement design guidelines to "protect the integrity of the structures within the designated areas" and encourage restorations.

The school boards in Lakewood and Olmsted Falls approved May ballot measures for bonds to fund new school construction. Lakewood hopes to move ahead with phase two of their school construction project, and Olmsted Falls wants to build a new school for fourth and fifth graders.

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