Author Topic: Cleveland: Downtown: Gateway District: Development and News  (Read 175351 times)

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Offline SixthCity

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #105 on: August 16, 2013, 09:01:21 AM »
Michelle - do you have access to the case number so we can view the docket?

Welcome SixthCity. Sorry to jump in here, but I searched the docket using "L&R" and came up with this.....

https://pa.clevelandmunicipalcourt.org/pa/prodpa.urd/pamw2000.o_case_sum?3760851

Go to the "dockets" tab to read the disposition of the case.

KJP - Thanks for looking this up, I appreciate it.  Its interesting to see that the City has fined them in the past.  I'm thinking, however, because this case was closed in 2010 - there is a pending case file floating around out there regarding the current lawsuit which is not closed.
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Offline SixthCity

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #106 on: August 16, 2013, 09:02:40 AM »
Hey all -

L&R owns the small parking lot next to the 310 Prospect building. It's just north of the Harry Buffalo, and it's easy to overlook -- plus, it's closed right now because of the city's concerns about safety. The address of the lot is 320 Prospect.

On the Historic Gateway front, the organization led the effort to put the Herold Building, Record Rendezvous and the Kendel Building on the National Register of Historic Places, and they've been involved with the predevelopment work for a potential mixed-use redevelopment of the block. It also happens that their board chairman, one of several directors, is an attorney, and L&R is one of his clients. I felt that fact was worth noting in the story; however, you'll notice that I also quoted the executive director of Historic Gateway, who talked about preservation of the block. So there is a mix of viewpoints here.

The attorney, Michael Swearengen, told me he is very supportive of historic preservation and disagreed with the demolition of the Stanley Block and the Columbia Building. But he believes 310 Prospect is not significant and not worth saving.

This is a strange Housing Court case, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Michelle

Michelle - do you have access to the case number so we can view the docket?

The new Cleveland Housing Court case is 13 CVG 0011713. You can find it through the Housing Court docket search, or search for LR 310 Prospect Investors. Interestingly, this is a civil case. The city usually pursues criminal cases against property owners in Housing Court. FYI - the hearing set for Aug. 30 has been turned into a pre-trial conference, so it likely will happen in a conference room, behind closed doors, instead of the courtroom. We'll see.

Michelle

Thanks!  That was a huge help!
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Offline Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #107 on: August 16, 2013, 10:40:23 AM »
A slight correction -- eminent domain is the taking of private property for public BENEFIT. For example, a blighted property where the owner has refused to comply with multiple attempts to rectify the blight can be taken, the property assessed, any structures beyond saving are demolished, and the property re-sold through a public bid or auction.

The Ohio Constitution uses the term public USE.  A public benefit may be considered in the analysis, but is not the determining factor in Ohio (although SCOTUS has ruled that public benefit alone is sufficient under the Federal Constitution).  And I don't know when the ED proceedings you cited took place, but the law here in Ohio was addressed in 2006 following Kelo....  http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/docs/pdf/0/2006/2006-ohio-3799.pdf..... in a case which dealt directly with the public taking of private property for the purpose of transferring it to a private entity for redevelopment.  The court was constrained by the Ohio GA's reaction to Kelo.

From the Norwood case:

"We hold that although economic factors may be considered in determining whether private property may be appropriated, the fact that the appropriation would provide an economic benefit to the government and community, standing alone, does not satisfy the public-use requirement of Section 19, Article I of the Ohio Constitution."

*  *  *  *  *

In this early period, “public use” was often equated to “public benefit.”

*  *  *  *  *

In some jurisdictions, a belief has taken hold that general economic development is a public use *  *  * Kelo confirmed this view for purposes of federal constitutional analysis

*  *  *  *  *

In addressing the meaning of the public-use clause in Ohio’s Constitution, we are not bound to follow the United States Supreme Court’s determinations of the scope of the Public Use Clause in the federal constitution *  *  * and we decline to hold that the Takings Clause in Ohio’s Constitution has the sweeping breadth that the Supreme
Court attributed to the United States Constitution’s Takings Clause
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Offline StrapHanger

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #108 on: August 16, 2013, 12:00:24 PM »
^Does ED for blight removal still works under Ohio's constitution and any anti-Kelo statutes? I'm not up on Ohio law, but I thought the distinction between blight and economic development was meaningful.
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Offline ClevelandOhio

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #109 on: August 16, 2013, 12:15:19 PM »
If you look at the origins of Eminent Domain in this country it shows public benefit was never supposed to happen. Public Use is what it was strictly for, and only as a compromise.

Offline Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #110 on: August 16, 2013, 12:18:22 PM »
^^Yes.  Kelo didn't require blight.  I'm not positive on the current and specific state of the law in Ohio, but have a general idea.  There are generally two aspects of 'blight' for the purpose of ED proceedings.  One would be a 'blighted area'.  In such cases, ED may be used if a substantial majority (approx. 75%?) of the area is properly considered blighted and individual properties can be taken regardless of their state of disrepair.  Assigning 'blight' to a particular property is more difficult.  To be considered 'blighted', the property must be unsafe for habitation, pose a threat to public safety, or have unpaid taxes exceeding its value IIRC.  The local government must also jumpt through some additional hoops by presenting a comprehensive plan of what would be done if the property was taken.  But the key factor for our discussion is that blight cannot be assigned simply because the government determines there is a better use comparatively (i.e. surface parking vs. structures) or that a different use would generate higher tax revenue.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 12:21:02 PM by Hts121 »
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Offline StrapHanger

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #111 on: August 16, 2013, 12:33:32 PM »
^Thanks!  And yeah, I completely agree with your comments re. blight vs. econ dev in this case.  The fact that the owners are trying to remove the blight via demo pretty much kills that hypothetical legal justification for ED.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 12:33:48 PM by StrapHanger »
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Offline Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #112 on: August 16, 2013, 12:46:52 PM »
^Which is why the City should continue to keep denying the demo permits and all of you who rallied so hard for saving the Columbia building should be backing the City up on this RIGHT NOW...... not down the road when the wrecking balls are on their way.
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Offline Punch

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #113 on: August 16, 2013, 01:09:03 PM »
With the Stanley Block, you had a historic, landmarked building that (one of) the owners wanted torn down for parking.  The city Landmarks commission came in and said it couldn't be torn down.  Then the owner let the building deteriorate, and claimed it was a danger to its parking business next door.
The city agreed and said that it had deteriorated to the point it was a threat to public safety, and ordered the building torn down, not to perform emergency repairs to the landmark building.

The Herold building's owners want to tear down a historic building for parking.  The city did not want them to tear it down, so the owners let the building deteriorate, to the point now that the city has classified it as a public safety hazard by not letting people use the parking next door.
This time the city is suing for renovations, not for an emergency tear down.  So, when these owners go to court and say they are in the exact same situation, in nearly the exact same location as the Stanley Block, the city will not have a leg to stand on.
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Offline Mendo

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #114 on: August 16, 2013, 01:27:36 PM »
^^ The city clearly played favorites with Gilbert versus the Columbia and Stanley buildings. I agree, it's going to bite them in court. The Stanley block was torn down in the interest of public safety. Why not the Herold?

In this case we have somebody actively trying to buy the building for renovation. I hope that's enough.

Offline Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #115 on: August 16, 2013, 02:28:53 PM »
Is the Herold in nearly as bad shape as the Stanley Block was in prior to demo?  Is the Herold landmarked? 
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Offline ClevelandOhio

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #116 on: August 16, 2013, 02:38:20 PM »
1873

« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 02:39:43 PM by ClevelandOhio »

Offline Punch

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #117 on: August 16, 2013, 02:48:58 PM »
Is the Herold in nearly as bad shape as the Stanley Block was in prior to demo?  Is the Herold landmarked? 
It has to be in worse shape, because the city has prohibited the next door lot from operating.  They never did that with the Stanley. 
From Michelle's article, I don't think it's landmarked.
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Offline Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #118 on: August 16, 2013, 02:55:22 PM »
Yeah.... but the lot is the same owner, right?  It could just be a tactic the City is using to force the repairs.  With the SB, I think the biggest issue was that the building was no longer weather tight, leaving it exposed to the elements (recall the giant hole in the roof) and causing it to deterioriate beyond the point of feasible repair.

I see from the article that the building is on the national register, but does not appear to be landmarked by the City or State.
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Offline SixthCity

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #119 on: August 16, 2013, 03:00:46 PM »
Yeah.... but the lot is the same owner, right?  It could just be a tactic the City is using to force the repairs.  With the SB, I think the biggest issue was that the building was no longer weather tight, leaving it exposed to the elements (recall the giant hole in the roof) and causing it to deterioriate beyond the point of feasible repair.

I see from the article that the building is on the national register, but does not appear to be landmarked by the City or State.

Exactly - like the article said: this shut down the property's only income stream.  Now L&R has to eat a loss on those parcels every tax day.
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Offline pgn711

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #120 on: August 17, 2013, 03:01:51 PM »
It should also be noted that L&R is not only trying to sell these buildings, but lease them --- not to mention the huge parking lot across the street which it also owns.

Some more interesting paragraphs from the article.....

City lawsuit over downtown Cleveland's Herold Building sets up restore-or-raze fight (slideshow, poll)
By Michelle Jarboe McFee, The Plain Dealer
on August 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM, updated August 15, 2013 at 5:18 PM

....Real estate records show that Weston Inc., a Warrensville Heights developer, and Bobby George, a real estate and restaurant investor, are trying to gain control of the block. In October, they paid $300,000 for the Record Rendezvous building. In July, a company affiliated with Weston bought the mortgage note on the Kendel Building -- a move that could position them to acquire the property through foreclosure.

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/08/city_lawsuit_over_downtown_cle.html

FYI - Bobby George owns Barley House and I believe the newly opened restaurant/bar in W 25th, Town Hall. It would be pretty cool to see a place as busy at Town Hall go into this block. Also, if they plan on book ending the block in new construction, a portion of the Goldfish store would have to come down.

Offline Dumbledore

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #121 on: August 29, 2013, 07:51:23 PM »

^ the Housing Court hearing is tomorrow
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Offline freethink

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #122 on: September 04, 2013, 11:12:26 PM »
This was on the Sept. 6th CPC agenda.

DOWNTOWN/FLATS DESIGN REVIEW
1.   DF2013-060- Proposed Demolition of Office Building
Project Address: 306-310 Prospect Avenue
Project Representative: Michael K. Swearengen, Esq.
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Offline mjarboe

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #123 on: September 05, 2013, 10:26:18 AM »
Hi all -

Just an update on the Herold Building. I went to the Housing Court hearing (which was a behind-closed-doors conference). Nothing really happened -- they just set dates for future meetings and filings. Re: the Planning Commission item, I don't believe that will be on the agenda. An attorney for L&R told me last week that they don't plan to appear at design review or Planning Commission, and I heard Tuesday that the CPC agenda item has been pulled.

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Offline SixthCity

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #124 on: September 05, 2013, 11:34:29 AM »
Hi all -

Just an update on the Herold Building. I went to the Housing Court hearing (which was a behind-closed-doors conference). Nothing really happened -- they just set dates for future meetings and filings. Re: the Planning Commission item, I don't believe that will be on the agenda. An attorney for L&R told me last week that they don't plan to appear at design review or Planning Commission, and I heard Tuesday that the CPC agenda item has been pulled.

Michelle

Thanks Michelle,

In your opinion, what can we infer from the demolition request removal from the CPC and design review agendas?  Might it hint at a larger deal between the owner and Weston or do you view it as a routine move for a property tied up in litigation?
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Offline mjarboe

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #125 on: September 05, 2013, 01:00:03 PM »
Hi all -

Just an update on the Herold Building. I went to the Housing Court hearing (which was a behind-closed-doors conference). Nothing really happened -- they just set dates for future meetings and filings. Re: the Planning Commission item, I don't believe that will be on the agenda. An attorney for L&R told me last week that they don't plan to appear at design review or Planning Commission, and I heard Tuesday that the CPC agenda item has been pulled.

Michelle

Thanks Michelle,

In your opinion, what can we infer from the demolition request removal from the CPC and design review agendas?  Might it hint at a larger deal between the owner and Weston or do you view it as a routine move for a property tied up in litigation?

Attorneys for L&R have said they believe going before the Planning Commission would be an exercise in futility. Since city officials have stated that they're opposed to demolition of the Herold Building, the attorneys believe they have no shot at getting CPC approval and would just end up going through a lengthy appeals process. That said, they have not tried. They believe they have a better chance of prevailing in Cleveland Housing Court, making the argument that the city's focus on renovation over demolition violates L&R's rights as a property owner. The next pre-trial hearing (also likely to take place in a conference room, behind closed doors) is set for early October. There's a November filing deadline for a motion for summary judgement.

Michelle
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Offline Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #126 on: September 05, 2013, 01:06:25 PM »
^And then a month for a response.... and then two weeks for a reply... and then 2-6 mos. (on average) for a decision.... and then another 2 years of appeals (at least).  As long as the City sticks to its guns, a deal should be able to come together during that timeframe.

Thanks for heading off the meltdown, Michelle.
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Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #127 on: September 05, 2013, 01:13:54 PM »
From a practical standpoint this makes no sense to me.  They have an interested buyer.  They are generating no income (since they city closed the lot on East 4th) and they have costs associated with ownership (property taxes and I would hope insurance).  More significantly they are paying a Benisch attorney (that ain't going to be cheap) to defend litigation that might drag out forever with appeals.  Even if they are far apart in price why doesn't somebody do the math and deduct the attorney's fees from the price they want and avoid the aggravation of litigation.  The only people winning here are the lawyers (which of course is not a bad thing  :wink:)  Seems like your classic my b@#ls are bigger than yours.

Offline SixthCity

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #128 on: September 05, 2013, 01:22:42 PM »
From a practical standpoint this makes no sense to me.  They have an interested buyer.  They are generating no income (since they city closed the lot on East 4th) and they have costs associated with ownership (property taxes and I would hope insurance).  More significantly they are paying a Benisch attorney (that ain't going to be cheap) to defend litigation that might drag out forever with appeals.  Even if they are far apart in price why doesn't somebody do the math and deduct the attorney's fees from the price they want and avoid the aggravation of litigation.  The only people winning here are the lawyers (which of course is not a bad thing  :wink:)  Seems like your classic my b@#ls are bigger than yours.

Thanks Michelle.

Here's to hoping they'll cave.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 01:23:18 PM by SixthCity »
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Offline Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #129 on: September 05, 2013, 01:36:51 PM »
It's a game.  If they are trying to dump a vacant building which is generating no income and, in fact, poses a potential financial liability in the form of violations and fines, their bargaining power is greatly reduced compared to trying to sell a parcel which they have the green light to put to a profitable use.  In the end, they will get a far greater offer than whatever they pay their attorneys.  If not, their attorneys are not doing a very good job.

Weston is now approaching them saying, "look, you can't demolish the building because the City won't let you, and you don't have the will nor the means to repurpose it, so why don't we take it off your hands for this (bargain) price"

They want Weston to have to say, "I know you have the wrecking ball scheduled, but we would like to buy the building from you and repurpose it ourselves.... name your price"
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Offline YO to the CLE

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #130 on: September 05, 2013, 02:23:02 PM »
Michelle,

Do we know if Weston has made any progress with persuading these guys to sell them the building, or is it still the same situation? Your last article had mentioned the "talks" were still underway. This could be such an important development, but L&R is throwing a wrench in everything. They need to take their crappy parking lots back to California.

Offline mjarboe

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #131 on: September 05, 2013, 03:37:25 PM »
Michelle,

Do we know if Weston has made any progress with persuading these guys to sell them the building, or is it still the same situation? Your last article had mentioned the "talks" were still underway. This could be such an important development, but L&R is throwing a wrench in everything. They need to take their crappy parking lots back to California.

I have not heard about any new developments from any of the parties involved here.

Michelle
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Offline jfristik

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #132 on: September 05, 2013, 11:03:56 PM »
Does anyone know what is going on with the At&t building and The Clevelander?

Offline Punch

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #133 on: September 05, 2013, 11:26:39 PM »
It's a game.  If they are trying to dump a vacant building which is generating no income and, in fact, poses a potential financial liability in the form of violations and fines, their bargaining power is greatly reduced compared to trying to sell a parcel which they have the green light to put to a profitable use.  In the end, they will get a far greater offer than whatever they pay their attorneys.  If not, their attorneys are not doing a very good job.

Weston is now approaching them saying, "look, you can't demolish the building because the City won't let you, and you don't have the will nor the means to repurpose it, so why don't we take it off your hands for this (bargain) price"

They want Weston to have to say, "I know you have the wrecking ball scheduled, but we would like to buy the building from you and repurpose it ourselves.... name your price"

Isn't that pretty close to what happened with the Stanley?  One owner wanted to develop, had partners, one wanted the building leveled.
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Offline pgn711

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #134 on: September 06, 2013, 07:47:59 AM »
Does anyone know what is going on with the At&t building and The Clevelander?

I stare out at the AT&T building from my window and they've been sealing, replacing mortar and washing/painting the entire building. They've been at it for at least 6 months, hopefully they will be done soon and can get rid of all that ugly scaffolding and the annoying cherry picker.

Offline sky

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #135 on: September 06, 2013, 09:25:46 AM »
The Clevelander property will be a ugly dead zone as long as it is owned by the Knights Of Columbus. 

Offline Hts121

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #136 on: September 06, 2013, 10:00:31 AM »
Isn't that pretty close to what happened with the Stanley?  One owner wanted to develop, had partners, one wanted the building leveled.

Not really.  With the Stanley, you had co-ownership.  Here, Weston does not have a stake in the building (yet).  Plus the co-owner of the Stanley is not comparable to Weston.  They didn't have the means/resources to get the job done.  Similarly, while I'm sure L&R is fine with the idea of making the parcel into a surface lot, it does not have the same burning desire to see the building demolished as the Casino folks had with the Stanley.  It's a very different situation.  What concerns me is that Weston is a very calculated development team.  They won't take any chances.  They seemingly feel they have to get the drastically better end of any deal to make anything happen.
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Offline jfristik

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #137 on: September 10, 2013, 12:12:49 PM »
Per the Campus District pdf ( http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/designreview/drcagenda/2011/12022011/2011-08-15CampusDistrictTLCI_FINALl.pdf?bcsi_scan_0f1700ec298a9f1d=0&bcsi_scan_filename=2011-08-15CampusDistrictTLCI_FINALl.pdf ), the Gateway District TLCI is referenced (see page 32). Is there a seperate presentation for these improvements? The images are very small but look promising.

Offline w28th

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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #138 on: September 10, 2013, 03:22:22 PM »
The Clevelander property will be a ugly dead zone as long as it is owned by the Knights Of Columbus. 

This is absolute truth.
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Re: Cleveland: Gateway District Developments
« Reply #139 on: September 11, 2013, 11:27:42 AM »
I don't even understand what this means.  Why do you think The Clevelander is an ugly dead zone?  Who are the Knights of Columbus?  Why do they like ugly dead zones?

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