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Author Topic: Cleveland: Downtown: The Avenue District  (Read 9158 times)

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Offline Map Boy

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #30 on: March 04, 2005, 11:06:02 AM »
come on guys!  I'm stranded here in NYC and I need the goods!  I need pictures and drawings and other goodies!

Offline Map Boy

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2005, 11:23:44 AM »
Here are some photos of the neighborhood, circa March 10th, 2005!  The location of each photo should be apparent by the file name...

It is SO clear that this neighborhood wants some action!!!

North Side of St. Clair & 12th, looking east:

St. Clair & 12th, looking southeast:

Another from that intersection:

Superior & 12th, looking southeast:

Another from that intersection, featuring the Reserve Square Embassy Suites

Across the street from Reserve Square: the soon-to-be rehabbed Perk Park:

Another view of Perk Park:

Chester & 12th, looking north:

Chester & 12th, looking south towards Euclid:

Attractive building on the southwest corner of Chester & 12th:

Chester & 13th, looking northeast:

Lot not listed as "potential development site" on the southeast corner of Chester & 13th:

« Last Edit: March 19, 2005, 03:50:18 PM by Mister Good Day »

Offline clvlndr

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2005, 12:16:05 PM »
I guess I’m happy to see any new high-density housing development in Cleveland, PARTICULARLY DOWNTOWN, but I must be a fly in this good-news ointment because:

1st -- can we just finish off one neighborhood before jumping to a new one?
As KJP correctly notes, any aerial shot of the WHD, alone, shows that there is a lot more sq footage of empty surface parking than there are buildings.  And what about that huge and ugly diagonal building-less/surface lot hole extending from the corner if W. 6th & St. Clair all the way to the NW quadrant of Public Sq., 4 blocks away!  And THIS IN OUR PREMEIRE DOWNTOWN RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL/ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT!!.  Excuse me, but our collective urban attention spans are about 2 minutes long.  And for all our praise of the Warehouse Dist as THE hotspot, there are only 2 new high density developments --- the Pinnacle and Crittenden Court (and THAT was built nearly 10 years ago!).  And now with the apparent demise of the Marous Bros' massive, promising District Park complex, the WHD seems in limbo right now particularly with all the new found interest in Gateway (and if a spanking new apt/condo high-rise is built on the now-a building 515 Euclid parking garage/ground retail building as is planned, it will signal (I think) a complete shift away from the WHD, which can’t be good.

2nd.  This development is a shadow of what the old Davenport Bluffs development would have been.  Remember Davenport?  You know, the one that was proposed under Mike White which was fought (by the Miller/Ratners I believe) and was allowed to die before we effectively walled off the lakefront from ANY attractive, high-density residential development we've always complained we lack on the lakefront at this location with those huge, ugly, people-unfriendly FBI and Channel 3 HQs?  Isn't this sooooo Cleveland???? 

I mean, we are so damned quick to start planning the 'next thing' (which, itself, will probably never materialize but while its flash and dash helps divert attention from all we AREN’T DOING) when our biggest obstacles to downtown sit unaddressed.  Things like: 1) the aforementioned unfinished downtown neighborhoods and the lack of plans for their development, 2) the lack of a coherent plan to lure companies and/or jobs to downtown (or Cleveland, generally), 3) the lack of a major downtown department store, 4) the stalling of the mayor's nice-but-short-on-details amorphous, long term (and I mean REALLY long term, as in  decades; a half century, even) Lakefront Redevelopment plan, 5) no cogent plan for a downtown convention center, 6) ditto, for a major new hotel which we're told can only come with #5, the lack of diversification in restaurant/entertainment downtown (like say a people-generating mega Borders/Barnes & Noble) other than bar/restaurants with lots of blue jeans, booming rock music, fried food and elevated, big-screen TV's tuned into ESPN all the time...

I could go on, and I’m sorry to seem so negative, but..... so, as you can see, I'm not doing back flips over this new "exciting" plan... I guess you can see why... whoopee!

Offline clvlndr

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2005, 12:30:37 PM »
Thanks for the pics Mister Good Day.  It's amazing just how massive and handsome the 33-year-old Park Centre-now Reserve Sq/Embassy Suites complex is.  With the recent, once elegant Chesterfield apts across the street, we were on our way to really creating a vertical, dense Chicago-style ritzy neighborhood.  And unlike the admirable adaptive reuse of what was left in the WHD, these were all new buildings!!!!.. Now close your eyes and imagine how great this area, along w/ Playhouse Square next door would have been if we HADN'T ALLOWED Albert S. Porter to kill off the Rapid/subway extension/loop to this important downtown neighborhood that the voters had already approved.  Amazing and sad, isn't it?   It just one of many examples of how, unlike places like Chicago, Boston and Toronto, we’ve been so tremendously ill served by our “leaders” over such along period.   And the current crop shows this trend isn’t letting up.  The most reason example?  How about the most recent Whisky Island fight btw Jane and the County Commissioners (aka the 3 Stooges – the same trio swayed by the aforementioned Bert Porter to kill off the aforementioned downtown subway loop) which seems so pointless and is stalling development.

Offline MayDay

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #34 on: March 14, 2005, 12:54:42 PM »
Welcome to the forum, clvlndr.

I agree with some of your sentiment, but I have to respectfully disagree with some of your points.

"And what about that huge and ugly diagonal building-less/surface lot hole extending from the corner if W. 6th & St. Clair all the way to the NW quadrant of Public Sq., 4 blocks away"

Unfortunately, until we get an administration bold enough to start a 'land tax' and make it less profitable to run a parking empire, the parking lots aren't going anywhere. Besides, other than being floated as a potential site for the Federal Courts tower, I don't know of any *recent* proposals to do anything noteworthy with that site. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see something happen but without legislation, I don't see it happening.

"And now with the apparent demise of the Marous Bros' massive, promising District Park complex,"

From what I understand, it's being redesigned - if it truly has been scrapped then I might be inclined to agree. Again, this seems like a case of a lot of things working against Marous at the same time (steel prices, other projects, etc.)

"it will signal (I think) a complete shift away from the WHD, which can’t be good."

I disagree - I see the WHD as being fine along with the new interest in Gateway. The residents of each area DO cross-pollinate, so to speak. And the nice thing about East 4th and West 6th is that they're in reasonable walking (or stumbling) distance of each other. Look at the clientele of the Warehouse District - you have high-end restaurants, casual spots, nightclubs, and bars. It's a great mix and a healthy mix. It's not my first choice of nightspots but it is for just about everyone. It's healthy enough and I think it's getting stronger.

"Remember Davenport?"

Sure do - and I remember how White tried to strong-arm parts of the site away from Kassouf. It was a public relations disaster even though the White plan was far better than the Micro-tel that Kassouf suggested. Again, it's not just a matter of Zaremba saying "we want to plunk down our project on such and such site". Land acquisition is a b!tch in this town - speaking of, I've heard that the Public Square site was shopped to the committee planning the Federal Courts tower and the cost of that site was almost as expensive as the entire cost of the tower itself!!! 

"I'm not doing back flips over this new "exciting" plan"

When someone offers criticism (and thank you for keeping it constructive and informative) - I'm not asking you to do back flips, but I will ask - what are you doing?   :wink:

Offline clvlndr

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #35 on: March 14, 2005, 02:56:34 PM »
Good points, MayDay, and thanks for the welcome.  I've eyed this board for a couple months now and have been attracted by the higher level of urban discussion here but haven't had time until a day off today -- so I finally decided to weigh in (btw, if I could figure out how to transfer/post my digital pictures – I’m a techno-phobe, I admit it), I've got some nice ones of Chicago from this past weekend).

A couple things: I know the Marous' (whom I have the utmost of confidence in) said what you said: that Dist Pk is being redeveloped b/c of construction costs; that they had robust enough presales to kick-start the project -- if it had been anyone else, I'd be more skeptical... let's keep our fingers crossed.

As to your point about the WHD, somewhere on an urban discussions thread I noted the history of downtown compared to where we are now (if I recall, the tread was about "critical mass" for a healthy downtown population), and that downtown living for Cleveland, since it became a major city, is brand new in our history; so anything's a plus.  Unfortunately, I take some issue w/ your slant about not being worried about the WHD.  Yes, it's the best thing we've got going downtown.  But our history of doing one thing at a time (which only under Mike White were we able to move on several projects at once), I think if we focus on Gateway, WHD will suffer.  I HOPE I'M WRONG, DEFINITELY, but...

Let's see.  It seems counterintuitive to think that developing one part of downtown could in any way be adverse to another part, but we are going through bad economic and political times right now (and yes, I mean Jane), and all our building projects are stagnating except for a very, very few -- like the magnificent Stonebridge on the Flats' West Bank – with its nifty, elegant little Italian restaurant overlooking the Flats – I can’t wait till warm weather when they open the bridge to alfresco dining.  I will all be watching closely to see if a condo tower can go up at 515 Euclid because that could be the linchpin in REALLY helping Gateway take off.

And despite the total incompetency of Miller/Ratner at Tower City -- who, I understand from Crain's is quietly hinting at getting out of TC and Cleveland RE all together --  Tower City is humming w/ the best and most diverse set of restaurants in downtown right now, and it's getting very little notice. 

... and what am I doing?  I write, I call and, most importantly, I patronize what's here...

Offline punch

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #36 on: March 14, 2005, 03:06:58 PM »
Mike White was able to get a lot of things done, as long as Sam Miller and FCE profited.

Offline StrangeBrew

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #37 on: March 14, 2005, 03:35:22 PM »
The real trick is land aquasition.  The reason the Avenue District makes sense is a) existing residential density (the already mentioned complexes of Reser. Sq., Chesterfield, etc.) and b)the fact that you have a willing seller in the City of Cleveland, who needs to unload that land.  Cities issues bonds to pay for acquaistion of property (amongst other things), and when those bonds come due, they either unload the land/items to pay off bonds or renew the bonds and incure more debt.  In this case, the City probably wants to pay off the bonds on the parking lots behind Erieview and float a new bond to purchase another parking lot (say...in the gateway dist.), and start all over again.  It's backwards, but it IS the only way you are going to wrestle property away from parking lot owners. 

Offline MayDay

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #38 on: March 15, 2005, 07:38:53 AM »
"A couple things: I know the Marous' (whom I have the utmost of confidence in) ... I'd be more skeptical... let's keep our fingers crossed."

To be honest, I acknowledge that they have done (and continue to do) some incredible work in Cleveland. I absolutely wish them the best with all of their projects. However, I have to say it's a little disconcerting to know that the following projects are on hold (for whatever reasons): Districk Park, Battery Park, and the Rockwell Condominiums. I want them to succeed and I hope they can get those projects rolling again.

"But our history of doing one thing at a time (which only under Mike White were we able to move on several projects at once), I think if we focus on Gateway, WHD will suffer."

I see what you're saying but I think if you're worried about West 6th becoming the new East bank of the Flats, I don't see that happening. Could the Warehouse District decline? Perhaps but I think the fact that it's downtown's largest concentration of residential units will keep it from becoming a ghost town like Old River Road. Remember, what happened to the Flats happened because of a lack of mixed-uses - it was all about drinking. A LOT of drinking. Another thing, Gateway and the Warehouse District are different enough (imho) to play well off each other. Gateway is more "experience" entertainment (a la Gateway stadia, Pickwick and HOB) and residential living whereas the Warehouse District is more for club/bar hopping, dining and residential living. The Avenue District plans by themselves may not seem to work - but when you consider (as StrangeBrew pointed out) that in that same stretch you have the Statler, Chesterfield, and Reserve Square... I think that the Avenue District would add vibrancy to an area that's attempted to have a residential component but thus far has lacked.
 
"It seems counterintuitive to think that developing one part of downtown could in any way be adverse to another part, but we are going through bad economic and political times right now (and yes, I mean Jane)"
I'm not her biggest fan, but I will say that Jane is like the teacher who walks into a room full of screaming kids. She's done a good job of getting everyone to settle down enough to communicate. Unfortunately she doesn't inspire those who have communicated to get motivated to do things. And I truly think she needs to drop the niceness - it comes off as patronizing, especially when it comes to volatile situations. In other words, she needs to stop being afraid of being labeled a b!tch.


"I will all be watching closely to see if a condo tower can go up at 515 Euclid because that could be the linchpin in REALLY helping Gateway take off."
I think a lot of people are keeping their fingers crossed for that one.

And despite the total incompetency of Miller/Ratner at Tower City -- who, I understand from Crain's is quietly hinting at getting out of TC and Cleveland RE all together --  Tower City is humming w/ the best and most diverse set of restaurants in downtown right now, and it's getting very little notice."
My take is that Tower City was never meant to be the ultra-luxury place that it was when it first opened. However, it's ridiculous that it can't maintain mid-market status (i.e. chains that you'd find at say, Great Northern). And when I read the retail manager of Tower City Center say that J. Crew wouldn't close in spite of a location at Crocker Park? Incompetence is a diplomatic way to put it.
 

"... and what am I doing?  I write, I call and, most importantly, I patronize what's here..."

Awesome. Keep it up. And imagine the possibilities if half of the population of Greater Cleveland would follow your example  :-)

Offline Map Boy

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #39 on: March 15, 2005, 09:25:38 AM »
Wow!  A lot of talk here since yesterday afternoon!  I'm glad to see it and I, of course, have lots to say in response...

Fortunately, I'm not the only one here who has things to say, so a lot of my points have already been made, which should make this quicker!

On the subject of concentration of development in one part of town hurting another part...I believe that a new building on E. 12th makes a new building on W. 6th more attractive.  And as MayDay and StrangeBrew pointed out, this E. 12th project may be possible because the land aquisition problem has been dealt with.  There's been a LOT of talk on here about the parking lots that separate the WHD from Public Square and we have all had to admit, however frustrated, that there are engrained finance issues that will need to be dealt with before a developer will be able to build on those sites.  We've all seen the pretty drawings of what the outcome would look like, but it's just sitting flat right now...so, we move on to where development is realistic at present.  And we find that we DO have a hot Downtown market that people want to build in and buy in and rent in. 

More on the subject...I spent two days walking around downtown last week, considering it as a place to live and go to school, and I came away with the feeling that we have several distinct and separate pockets of activity such as the Flats (east and west), WHD, Gateway, E.12th, Playhouse Square, and increasingly Cleveland State and the E. 20s by the Plain Dealer offices and Tower Press.  However, they are not contiguous!  With a development here and another there, we can sew these together to create a fabulous inner city that stretches from West 25th to the Inner Belt (East 25th or so)!  That's 50 blocks of dense urban activity...throw in a river and some bridges and a lake and hoo boy!  We've got ourselves a city!

The Warehouse District is not going to suffer from disinvestment.  Pinnacle, District Park (stalled, not canned!) and other proposals over there prove that.  Plus, we've got a project in the works directly adjacent to the district on the East Bank of the Flats that involves over $100 million of investment, new amenities, extended street grid and more connections to the river. 

Maybe I'm a sucker, but I'm incredibly optimistic...

And my brother, the mechanical engineer, tells me that the steel price thing will work itself out over the next couple years...I could speak to this more, but it would be stretching the subject of this thread a little too far!
« Last Edit: March 15, 2005, 09:28:46 AM by Mister Good Day »

Offline 3231

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #40 on: March 15, 2005, 10:17:29 AM »
MDD,

I very much agree with you about how the separate pockets can grow together.  I believe we are already seeing that happen with Ohio City and the West 65th/Detroit areas. 

Offline Map Boy

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #41 on: March 15, 2005, 10:28:38 AM »
very true...the possibilities are endless!

Offline zaceman

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2005, 07:15:57 PM »
ZAREMBA DOWNTOWN HOUSING PACT UNVEILED

As many as 400 units of housing might rise on the Erieview urban renewal parcels downtown if the Campbell administration and home builder Nathan Zaremba have their way. The parcels have been city-owned surface parking lots for a generation. The mayor last week submitted legislation to City Council to authorize the sale of the parcels on East 12th and 13th streets between St. Clair and Superior avenues to Mr. Zaremba. Chief of staff Chris Ronayne said the city would require Mr. Zaremba to break ground this year and repay the $5.5 million cost of the three parcels when the new units sell. - Stan Bullard and Jay Miller



found this on the cleveland.com message boards, its from Crains i guess?  this sounds promising as well along with the flats project and lower euclid projects

Offline Map Boy

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #43 on: May 12, 2005, 07:23:54 PM »
these stories have been dormant for months and now it's springtime and they're all budding again...beautiful!  this helps my cleveland self esteem levels considerably.

Offline WoollyBear

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #44 on: May 12, 2005, 10:19:07 PM »
^
Or its election time. But anyways it is good to hear.

Offline zaceman

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #45 on: May 12, 2005, 10:33:28 PM »
we should have elections every year... heh

Offline Map Boy

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #46 on: May 13, 2005, 08:02:00 AM »
well, if being a proactive mayor is what it takes to get things done, then so be it! 

Offline WoollyBear

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2005, 08:28:08 AM »
I kind of had a feeling that we would start hearing about all of this news right now. The same thing is happening here in Toledo, and actually a reporter from the Blade called Mayor Jack Ford out. But anyways with ground breaking sometime this year, hopefully we see some drawings or models soon. 300 residential units in the Flats and now 400 in this area is a pretty good week for us.

Offline 3231

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #48 on: May 13, 2005, 06:55:18 PM »
From what I've heard, this is not necessarily an election year project.  Someone said before that some bonds were due on the property in November.  If Clelveland didn't sell before then, we would be stuck with some large payments.  But, you could look at it a different way...they could have done the project last year.  Somehow, I don't think that the timing is so politically motivated.  They could have waited till prime election season to announce the project.  Anyways, hope more news is forthcoming.

Offline zaceman

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2005, 07:58:02 AM »
Upscale housing project gets OK
Condos, galleries in downtown plan
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Susan Vinella
Plain Dealer Reporter


A downtown neighborhood with upscale homes, cafes and art galleries could sprout as early as next year near the Galleria at Erieview.

Cleveland City Council on Monday approved the sale of three city-owned parking lots on East 12th and East 13th streets, near St. Clair and Superior avenues, to developer Zaremba Inc.

City officials want to complete the sale by Oct. 15 so that construction on the project can start in spring 2006.

The $150 million Avenue District development would create what Nathan Zaremba envisions as a quiet, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with 423 condominiums and townhomes, coffee shops and galleries. Housing prices would range from $187,000 to $333,000.

More at cleveland.com http://www.cleveland.com
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 06:19:00 AM by MayDay »

Offline WoollyBear

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #50 on: May 24, 2005, 08:13:06 AM »
This is really good news, another potential 800 residents living down town. I think that these units will sell quickly, due to their relatively low price. Hopefully this one gets underway and they are completed in a timely manner.

Offline zaceman

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #51 on: May 24, 2005, 08:18:39 AM »
now if only FC had this kind of idea where to help fix the mall they should build some residential stuff near it. 

Offline mrnyc

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #52 on: May 24, 2005, 08:50:22 AM »
^forest city does indeed have this kind of idea. its called atlantic yards. oh sorry its in brooklyn. well wait there is that big project in denver too. oh yeah its in denver. err, well....ahh.

Offline bizbiz

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #53 on: May 24, 2005, 01:15:41 PM »
I really like E. 12th but I have always been disheartened by the fact that downtown literally ends right there. With the Tower At Erieview and One Cleveland Center right there, you got nothing but surface lots beyond that to the east. Now this project definately will expand the outer limits in that direction, pushing outwards towards CSU/PD/Artists Row/Etc. If this project has 'art' in mind, I definately think they have a plan in place, because that is where I would also choose to build it up at.. especially with all of the studio's along Superior around E. 20th to E. 30th. Its about time that artsy people have an area to call their own in downtown.. Coventry and Univ. Circle watch out!!!!!!!!! Buildings don't have to be 100 years old and falling apart to attract artsy people. I think if this area develops in the right way, it will easily be #1 on my list of places for myself to move someday - right now I still like the lofts along Euclid most.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2005, 01:21:25 PM by bizbiz »

Offline punch

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2005, 01:29:55 PM »
University Circle connected to Midtown, Midtown connected to Artists Row/CSU, Artists Row connected to the Avenue district, the Avenue District connected to Downtown, Downtown connected to Warehouse Dist, Warehouse District connected to East Bank, East Bank connected to West Bank/Stonebridge, West Bank connected to Ohio City..............

Hopefully the islands of our community are starting to link up

Now if FC would only do something (like sell) the Scranton Penninsula
« Last Edit: May 24, 2005, 01:32:05 PM by punch »

Offline MayDay

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #55 on: May 24, 2005, 01:33:21 PM »
Buildings don't have to be 100 years old and falling apart to attract artsy people.

Well there are artists and there are artsy people. Artsy people by nature certainly have an appreciation for visual art - but they don't want to live with the actual production of it.

Making art (in most cases, but especially with ceramics, glassblowing, sculpture, metalsmithing, and painting to a degree) usually involves a lot of messy chemicals and materials. That kind of use tends to lower property values, unfortunately - thus artists like buildings that are 100 years old and falling apart because they don't have to worry about Betty BananaRepublic or Bob BeachwoodPlace crying foul about their condo association's rules against hazardous materials. See what I'm getting at? :-)

Offline FerrariEnzo

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #56 on: May 24, 2005, 01:48:07 PM »
This project went from 300 units a while ago to 430+, awesome!

Offline MyTwoSense

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #57 on: May 24, 2005, 04:11:49 PM »
University Circle connected to Hough (Hough & lexington village nabes are located here), connected to Goodrich-Kirtland(Quay, Asian village and Sterling/Payne Artist neighborhoods are located here), Connected to Upper Prospect, connected to CSU, CSU connected to the Playhouse Sq/Avenue district, the Avenue District connected to CBD/Gateway, CBD/Gateway connected to Warehouse Dist, Warehouse District connected to East Bank, East Bank connected to West Bank/Stonebridge, West Bank connected to Ohio City..............

Hopefully the islands of our community are starting to link up  YES YES YES  and if they were connected by rail...wouldn't that make the city just that much more attractive??

Now if FC would only do something (like sell) the Scranton Penninsula.  How about FC doing something about TowerCity first??

Lets start to give props to the proper neighborhoods on the eastside "lumping" them all in as "midtown" isn't doing them any justice nor helping properly identify them.  We dont call Ohio City and Tremont "the near west side".

Offline zaceman

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #58 on: May 24, 2005, 07:13:33 PM »
they don't have to worry about Betty BananaRepublic or Bob BeachwoodPlace crying foul about their condo association's rules against hazardous materials. See what I'm getting at? :-)

yes exactly, we dont like that all too much haha

although strangely enough i did see an ad for artist studios in the city club building...??  for 150/month.  im not sure if i would consider it that ideal of a place to have one of those in. 

Offline Map Boy

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Re: Cleveland: The Avenue District
« Reply #59 on: May 24, 2005, 07:32:10 PM »
Yeah, I particularly like the thought of this district connecting with the lower-cost, more industrial district just to the east in the 20s-40s along St. Clair, etc.  This would be the commercial, mainstream version of that and both would be able to benefit from each other.  Not to mention the Galleria, CSU, and the rest of Downtown connecting...

I was wondering when this "sleeper" would awaken amongst all the other big project announcements in the past week or so!  And let's not forget Battery Park as another MAJOR development that gained momentum recently.