Author Topic: Cleveland: Flats East Bank  (Read 1571724 times)

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Offline gotribe

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #735 on: March 03, 2007, 06:00:42 PM »
^It wasn't.  In fact, it was just re-built in the past 12 or so years.  I don't know what bridge that could be in reference to. 

Offline From Heights to Harlem

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #736 on: March 03, 2007, 06:12:31 PM »
The bridge is really nice, I love driving from the Westside looking at downtown.  Its really cool.
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Offline 3231

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #737 on: March 03, 2007, 06:28:19 PM »
Driving over the Main Ave. Bridge provides the best entrance into downtown, imho.  I was driving my wife and a suburban friend into the WHD last weekend. When we were over the Flats, the friend said "wow, our city looks really nice".

Offline Punch

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #738 on: March 03, 2007, 10:51:56 PM »
There has been some consideration of reconfiguring the east end of the bridge.  This is detailed in the Pesht thread.  Right now, the east end of the bridge doesn't mesh very well with the Warehouse district.
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Offline StrapHanger

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #739 on: March 04, 2007, 11:08:18 AM »
^True dat.  The west side of the bridge doesn't exactly mesh so well with its part of town either.
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Offline sky

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #740 on: March 04, 2007, 12:46:07 PM »
There has been talk of lowering the eastern end of the bridge so that it touches down on West 9th (instead of West 6th).

Offline clvlndr

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #741 on: March 04, 2007, 01:34:56 PM »
Let me be clear: I don't hate the Main Ave bridge.  In fact, when the Flats thrived in its, er, recent, prior life, one could argue the big blue, girder-ed bridge added a certain urban romance to the waterfront... but that's gone now, as is the old concept of the Flats.  I hate we let it slide, but we've got to let it go.  The new Flats to some, myself included, will be, comparatively, more sterile; more processed and more like what you see in other thriving waterfront towns... In other words, it won't be as uniquely Cleveland as it used to be, and I say that knowing that, yes, there were a bunch of chains and, often, fly-by-night operations down there...

... But the new, Wolstein version, esp with such things as the Lighthouse Landing towers, promises to be much more solid, lasting and 24-7, as it will have a solid, high-density base of residents LIVING THERE and not just weekend warriors from Westlake, Strongsville, Mayfield and the like.... I thought the WCPN discussion, posted here a year or so ago, stated that in the current incarnation of Flats planning (including Price/Corna and, perhaps, Jacobs planning on the West Bank), the bridge was to come down to clear land for development, with West (ex-Shoreway) "boulevard" drivers being routed elsewhere -- Detroit-Superior, I thought, but I'm certainly not the Gospel on such things.

If that's truly the case, I'm for moving on and getting rid of the thing for, really, it would serve no real useful purpose -- maybe, what you guys are mentioning, is a plan to keep the bridge but having it terminate into the WHD while the eastern Shoreway would end at E. 9th (as a freeway, at least) continuing a level route to W. 3rd... I'm not wedded to either proposal accept I'm all for ending the current version of the West Shoreway as the car/truck commuter route it now is... If we can, for once, turn the tables and kill at least one local freeway feeding into downtown Cleveland -- and maybe convert 1 or 2 people to transit commuting -- I am 4-square for it!!!!

Online w28th

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #742 on: March 04, 2007, 02:18:52 PM »
...regardless, the bridge isn't and shouldn't come down.  You are thinking of the part of the bridge that goes over W6th.  That may very well come down (it would help Stark's plans for sure), but it's a different structure than the main bridge component that physically crosses the river.
Yeah, the Flats will be more sterile, and that's not a good thing.  Your idea of wanting the bridge torn down would push it even further into sterility.  You're contradicting yourself.
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Offline mrnyc

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #743 on: March 04, 2007, 03:03:35 PM »
so how many times did you all play that video of joes crap shack getting knocked down? im up to 4 -- woo hoo!
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Offline Map Boy

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #744 on: March 05, 2007, 11:58:50 AM »
Fado was in shambles last night, too.  I was down there around 6:00 pm and there were quite a few people around...mostly going to the naughty bar.  I hadn't been on ORR in a while and was reminded that there are a few nice 4-story brick buildings on the east side of the street.  Didn't we have a photo thread on here somewhere that took us through the buildings?  I can't find it...

Offline Punch

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #745 on: March 05, 2007, 05:24:58 PM »
^where is the video?
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Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #746 on: March 07, 2007, 06:58:53 PM »
I note from the court docket that some of the property owner defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment and even more troublesome a motion to convert the March 26 trial  date into oral arguments on the motion for summary judgment.  As I don't believe the court would grant summary judgment in a million years (a first year law student could raise a question of fact resulting in the denial of such a motion), if the companion motion to convert is granted all this will end up doing is delay the trial even more (I believe the trial date has now been continued at least 3 times so this may be a 4th), perhaps into summer.

I also cannot believe all the money the property owner defendants must be spending in connection with this case.  The have filed almost 40 deposition transcripts with the court.  Even if they were just average length transcripts (and I am sure they are not with all the attorneys involved), you are probably looking at almost $40,000.00 in costs just to have the depositions transcribed.  Throw in another $20,000.00 (probably more) for the attendance of the court reporter at the depositions and for the preparation and service of subpoenas.  Now throw in attorney time.  I would guess attorney time for just ONE of the defendants (and of course each defendant will have representation at each of the depositions so multiple by the number of defendants) for depo prep and attendance at all these depositions at close to 100,000.  Also note that this is attorney fees for just one aspect of the case, taking the depositions.  They are also incurring fees for everything from taking phone calls, to conducting legal research to writing memos and briefs and court appearance among many other things.  I would guess from the docket that just one property owner defendant has incurred fees and cost to date of close to 300,000 (may be on the low side especially since they all had to hire real estate experts to testify at trial as to valuation) and they still have not had a trial (where you really start running up the fees).  They really must think they have a great case.  All  I can think is that if they lose the first part of the trial and go to valuation, they have blown any $$ they might have realized by securing a judgment in excess of the settlement offers.  Does any one know if you can recover attorney fees if you win the first part (I mean the property owners).  I would imagine there is a provision in the statute that allows for this or they would not be spending this kind of money.

Offline 3231

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #747 on: March 07, 2007, 08:09:35 PM »
Why would you think that they have a great case? I'm guessing that they are doing all this work just to try to scare Wolstein into settling at a much higher rate.

Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #748 on: March 07, 2007, 09:33:42 PM »
^I didn't say I thought the property owners had a great case.  In fact, without knowing all the facts as uncovered in discovery I would have absolutely no idea.  I said the property owners in "their own minds" must think they have a good case or they would not be spending so much $$ on attorney fees.  That or their attorneys are really leading them around by their noses.  Plus if they are trying to scare Wolstein to settle at a higher amount, whatever they get in settlement at this higher amount will probably go to their attorneys since they incurred so much in fees.  Even if Wolstein decides to over pay he is not going to pay an unreasonable price.

Offline 3231

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #749 on: March 07, 2007, 10:01:40 PM »
^sorry. I misread your intonation.



Offline Oldmanladyluck

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #750 on: March 08, 2007, 09:46:31 PM »
Whatever the case may be with the current property owners, the more time it takes to go through the eminent domain process, the more it costs Wolstein in the end, since he more than likely had to take out construction loans for the project.
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Online surfohio

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #751 on: March 08, 2007, 10:02:02 PM »
Just for the record, the front door to Max and Erma's is wide open.  There's a large, industrial size stainless steel sink right inside.

Also, I have to add the the J.J. Shepard building (The old Basement) will be a great loss. That is one cool building. I wish they could plan around it. I don't know much about the building's history, but here's an old ad I found:

http://www.hhpl.on.ca/GreatLakes/scripts/Page.asp?PageID=3052

Offline smith

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #752 on: March 13, 2007, 11:28:48 AM »
Was a blight study done for this project?  If so, is it public?  Does anyone know where I can get a copy of it?

Thanks!

Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #753 on: March 13, 2007, 01:12:13 PM »
I believe the city of Cleveland did the blight study a number of years ago for that portion of the Flats and I am sure you can get it at City Hall (what dept.???) as it is a public record.  The whole thing or portions of it maybe kicking around in the Probate litigation file as it may have been made part of the record in connection with the motion for summary judgment which was filed.  I am sure that file itself is huge and not well organized.  You will find it at the Old County Courthouse where the Probate Court is located.  I doubt the file is in the file room.  It is probably in the judges chambers since the trial is so close and so much have been going on lately.  Best bet would be city hall.

Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #754 on: March 13, 2007, 01:51:47 PM »
Some minor good news.  It appears from the court docket that the court decided, rather than convert the trial date into oral arguments relating to the motion for summary judgment, to hold a hearing on the motion on March 21, 2007.  As such, it looks as though the March 26, 2007 trial date is still a go, at least for now.

Offline gavster

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #755 on: March 13, 2007, 10:38:09 PM »
the port and wolstein are down to 3 holdout landowners with a fourth close to settling

Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #756 on: March 13, 2007, 10:53:27 PM »
Great news.  Do you know which parcel?

Offline gavster

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #757 on: March 13, 2007, 11:38:16 PM »
nope...thats all i got

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #758 on: March 18, 2007, 08:00:59 AM »
Interest high in Flats' eminent domain case
Foes to challenge economic benefit
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Tom Breckenridge
Plain Dealer Reporter

The $230 million Flats East Bank Neighborhood development is either illegally taking land to benefit a favored developer, or it is a laudable plan for a blighted neighborhood.

Those are the sides staked out in Cuyahoga County Probate Court, where the local port authority, working with developer Scott Wolstein and the city of Cleveland, is wielding eminent domain to take nine properties at prices that the owners say are unfair.

More at http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/1174208085212470.xml&coll=2
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 10:52:12 AM by MayDay »
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Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #759 on: March 18, 2007, 08:11:31 AM »
Someone forgot to mention the nuisance argument. Certain property owners in the Flats repeatedly failed to control their customers. Their failure to maintain control created an atmosphere of unruliness in the Flats where drunkeness, fights, drownings and even murders became all too familiar occurrences. Their negligence caused the city to incur higher costs to its safety, service and law departments. And, it drove away responsible businesses and customers, affecting property values and income tax revenues.

The only option left is forcibly remove the nuisance and redevelop the site with a calmer mix of uses. I hope the port authority makes that argument.
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Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #760 on: March 18, 2007, 09:45:55 AM »
I wish the article would have identified which landowner recently settled as mentioned above.

Offline musky

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #761 on: March 18, 2007, 11:43:02 AM »
Is the fact that many of the landowners had for years sought to have their land devalued in order to have their taxes lowered?


Quote
For land held by Droe, including the Beach Club on Old River Road, the port started at $1 million and eventually raised its offer to $1.7 million.
Droe countered at $5 million and dropped to $3.5 million. At one point, Droe threatened to have an appraiser arrested if he came back to the property, according to the port.
Droe said an appraiser visited without first notifying him, and he didn't want it to happen again.
"My offer is back to $5 million," Droe said Friday.


I'm confused about this part. I drove through the area on Friday and half of the Beach Club was already in blight heaven.

Online surfohio

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #762 on: March 18, 2007, 12:18:57 PM »
Amazing that the appraiser just happened to work for Wolstein. As much as I want to see the Flats become a vibrant waterfront community, there's something about this whole thing that doesn't sit well with me.

Offline clvlndr

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #763 on: March 18, 2007, 01:58:10 PM »
Someone forgot to mention the nuisance argument. Certain property owners in the Flats repeatedly failed to control their customers. Their failure to maintain control created an atmosphere of unruliness in the Flats where drunkenness, fights, drownings and even murders became all too familiar occurrences. Their negligence caused the city to incur higher costs to its safety, service and law departments. And, it drove away responsible businesses and customers, affecting property values and income tax revenues.

The only option left is forcibly remove the nuisance and redevelop the site with a calmer mix of uses. I hope the port authority makes that argument.

As deplorable as the oft-illegal behavior these owners allowed on their properties, I'm not sure nuisance, per se, would be a factor in an ED case like this which hinges on blight and its definition under Cleveland's statutory law which, quite predictably, the plaintiff owners claim is "vague" and, thus, unconstitutional as not putting them adequately on notice of what does, or does not, subject their properties to potential ED.  While, no question, the uses, legal or illegal, play a part in blight, it would be hard to argue that bar onwers serving liquor underaged teens, or at worst turning their heads on illegal drug activities, would alone make such high-visibility property "blighted" -- even though the end result: largely vacant properties that now remain, certainly would. .. It may come down to a reasonableness, case-by-case standard where, perhaps, a sympathy (for the plaintiffs) comes into play... In the Norwood case, blue-collar homeowners were ticketed to lose their homes because of vague, empty definition of a "blighted area" in a case where, clearly, the city was in bed with the developer to strong-arm these innocents out of their decent neighborhood to the obvious financial benefit of the wealthy developer... It'll be very hard, indeed, to generate this kind of sympathy for these Flats owners: not only are these properties nonresidential, these owners clearly are on record as down-valuing their properties to get tax advantages: essentially, "blighting" their properties, voluntarily.  Droe's actions, alone, support this and since when does a property owner have the right to receive notice to have his property appraised; what, does he want to have a heads up to destroy contraband?... Still, I have the uneasy feeling that if Corrigan, predictably, rules against these 9 owners, they will appeal based on their belief Norwood was unconstitutionally narrowed.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2007, 02:12:09 PM by clvlndr »

Offline clvlndr

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #764 on: March 18, 2007, 02:18:06 PM »
Amazing that the appraiser just happened to work for Wolstein. As much as I want to see the Flats become a vibrant waterfront community, there's something about this whole thing that doesn't sit well with me.

Such a cozy relationship doesn't seem to pass the smell test... It would be a shame if Wolstein loses based on such overzealousness because, certainly, he has a much stronger case for use of these properties than these sleaze owners who could care less about positive development and are sitting on dump properties merely looking to "get paid."

Offline glutmax

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #765 on: March 18, 2007, 04:13:24 PM »
^^
"In the Norwood case, blue-collar homeowners were ticketed to lose their homes because of vague, empty definition of a "blighted area" in a case where, clearly, the city was in bed with the developer to strong-arm these innocents out of their decent neighborhood to the obvious financial benefit of the wealthy developer"

EXACTLY, in Norwood the city was basically taking away well-maintained residential properties from relatively non-affluent persons to provide a place for affluent persons in a neighboring community (Hyde Park) to do their shopping.  The FEB is commercial/industrial that is 1) becoming primarily abandoned, 2) becoming more dangerous do to abandonment/illegal activities/and clientele at the remaining businesses, 3) located in a prime area for redevelopment for the city as far as parks/marina/civic activites are concerned.  I think the park and marina may make the difference as far as the Ohio court system goes, as this will provide a modicum of "public good/interest" for the city.

In the future, look for OH's municipalities to make extensive improvements in the specifics of their eminent domain laws to defend themselves from the "vaguity" accusations that seem to have swayed the OH supreme court. 
Born in Paine, livin the 'Wood. . .

Offline 3231

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #766 on: March 18, 2007, 05:33:06 PM »
Amazing that the appraiser just happened to work for Wolstein. As much as I want to see the Flats become a vibrant waterfront community, there's something about this whole thing that doesn't sit well with me.

I'd have more sympathy if the hold-outs weren't the likes of Tony George.

Offline CH Jake

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #767 on: March 18, 2007, 05:47:43 PM »
The "holdouts" have been complaining about the valuations of their properties and the way negotiations were conducted.  If the same appraiser first said that their property values were high, and then came back later and said his valuations were off by half, my first instinct is that something stinks.  What changed since the first valuation? 

I don't know what Mr. Droe's property is worth or whether his asking price is reasonable.  It is a functioning business, however, with an ongoing revenue stream.  That at least gives him a leg to stand on that his property is not blighted.  Even if he loses the trial, he can appeal the eminent domain decision and appeal the valuation ultimately set by the court.  Meanwhile, we will all pay the lawyers and the project will be slowed down, construction costs will rise, and tax revenues won't be increasing any time soon.  In view of all that, I hope the Port Authority considers offering something closer to the original valuations for these properties to move the project along. 

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #768 on: March 18, 2007, 05:48:21 PM »
Amazing that the appraiser just happened to work for Wolstein. As much as I want to see the Flats become a vibrant waterfront community, there's something about this whole thing that doesn't sit well with me.

Who else did the appraiser work for? If he worked exclusively, or almost exclusively for Wolstein, then it wouldn't pass the smell test. But if the appraiser worked for many different clients, especially developers, then this is merely an attempt by the Flats property owners to conjure the appearance of impropriety.

And, if anyone doesn't pass the smell test, it's Tony George.
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Offline musky

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Re: Cleveland: Flats East Bank
« Reply #769 on: March 18, 2007, 06:02:24 PM »
At what point in the process is the decision made whether or not Norwood can be used as an argument for the current landowners? My thinking, and I'm no legal expert, but Norwood dealt specifically with residential takings, so that case should not have any bearing on this one.

Or am I completely looking at this the wrong way?

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