Author Topic: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News  (Read 186403 times)

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Offline KJP

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Offline mam178

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #736 on: May 11, 2017, 08:45:12 PM »
Is this the guy??

http://www.thompsonhine.com/professionals/watson-david

Could be. The name certainly matches, and he could probably afford a nice Coltman home.

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #737 on: May 11, 2017, 11:09:49 PM »

Could be. The name certainly matches, and he could probably afford a nice Coltman home.

Yes, and he can have his high-density housing but others cannot, right? I guess he'd rather have a vacant, run-down property across the street from his home than a nice apartment building. But, to some snobs, "nice" and "rental apartment" are oxymorons.
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Offline cle

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #738 on: May 12, 2017, 08:42:23 AM »
Doesn't this guy understand that he bought a place in an urban environment and density and development are typically a good thing? IMHO, he should be cheering for a new apartment building that adds more eyes on the street and more activity for the retail in the neighborhood. Pretty much anything else would hurt the value of his house. More townhouses would compete with his if he ever wanted to sell. Leaving it as a vacant lot certainly isn't preferable to new construction. Does he think someone will buy it and turn it into a nice park or something? I'd love to know his reasoning for spending so much time and tens of thousands of dollars on a lawsuit.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 08:43:44 AM by cle »

Offline clvlndr

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #739 on: May 12, 2017, 09:05:29 AM »
Excellent sleuthing guys... This guy should be exposed publicly for this. I know court records are per se public, but obviously in this case it's not enough...it should not be the mere secret that it currently is...his narrow self interest is hurting both the neighborhood and the City.

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #740 on: May 12, 2017, 09:05:51 AM »
I suspect he's not opposed to density, but to the rental apartments. Some people associate rentals with crime and noise and letting in the wrong people.

Furthermore, do a street view of what's across the street from the Coltman townhouses. Use the address 1850 Coleman Road. How is what's there now better than a new apartment building?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 09:07:20 AM by KJP »
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Offline down4cle

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #741 on: May 12, 2017, 09:08:29 AM »
I bet if they proposed condos there would be no opposition.

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #742 on: May 12, 2017, 09:12:32 AM »
Yep. Notice that there was no opposition to the Random Road condos next to Tony Brush Park period but the Mayfield Station apartments got significant pushback.
"Greater Cleveland is last in the country in number of jobs accessible in typical commute distance, creating a huge drag on economy and more air & water pollution."-- Vibrant NEO

Offline down4cle

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #743 on: May 12, 2017, 09:18:34 AM »
but apartments are for "those people"

Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #744 on: May 12, 2017, 10:03:10 AM »
Mam178....thanks for the detective work and the find.

I briefly perused the record and briefs.  My take is that everybody in the neighborhood is on board including Little Italy Re-development Corp. (after lots of input and changes to the project by Visconsi) except Watson and a couple of other Coltman owners.  The purported "objection" is the size of the development.  Interestingly, Coltman residents  right next to the project have no objections while these dimwits do.

The good news is that the city has won so far and seems well represented by counsel and appears (to my uneducated eye) to have a good case.

The bad news is that the litigation appears to have a while to go.  It has been in the court of appeals for almost a year and was fully briefed and ready for oral argument when the court remanded it back to the Common Pleas court due to a technical error with the final judgment.  That was fixed and it is back with the appellate court but it looks like it will have to be briefed again.  I cannot imagine the briefs will change much (from what was originally submitted) but I imagine they are now behind other cases (that they were ahead of) in terms of oral argument so it might be another 6-8 months before a decision.

If Watson loses he can of course appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.  The Court has the discretion to accept the appeal, but even this process requires extensive briefing so it could be another 8-10 months in the Supreme Court even the court decides not to accept the appeal.

My big concern is that Visconsi loses interest or the delay might make the project less viable in terms of financing if interest rates go up in the meantime.  Maybe that is what Watson is hoping for.  Delay might be his ultimate weapon.




Offline StrapHanger

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #745 on: May 12, 2017, 10:54:00 AM »
Just a periodic reminder that requiring developers to get discretionary approvals for pretty much every project opens the door to this kind of thing.
"Cleveland, as you see, is not an apple, but a bunch of grapes each of which has its own particular pattern-some large, others small, some round, others long and narrow, some sweet, others sour, some sound, others rotten throughout."  -Howard Whipple Green, 1932

Offline YABO713

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #746 on: May 12, 2017, 11:13:03 AM »
Just a periodic reminder that requiring developers to get discretionary approvals for pretty much every project opens the door to this kind of thing.

Like x 1,000,000
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Offline mam178

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #747 on: May 12, 2017, 11:24:51 AM »

My big concern is that Visconsi loses interest or the delay might make the project less viable in terms of financing if interest rates go up in the meantime.  Maybe that is what Watson is hoping for.  Delay might be his ultimate weapon.

This is the crux of it, especially if he is an attorney. Also, to the comments of others saying the opposition is because of apartments, I believe that to be 100% the issue. Woodhill supply is a dump. Who wouldn't want it cleaned up? But if you say renters will live here (renters who, by the way, will likely be college or med/graduate students), no thank you. I see it in Tremont. Unfortunately, it is usually dog whistle racism, the same kind of racism that hurt Cleveland back in the '50s, '60s' and '70s.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 11:25:41 AM by mam178 »

Offline E Rocc

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #748 on: May 12, 2017, 11:52:58 AM »
Is this the guy??

http://www.thompsonhine.com/professionals/watson-david

Could be. The name certainly matches, and he could probably afford a nice Coltman home.

I'm about 99% sure I knew him at Case, pretty well actually.  His dad was Dick Watson, who was the Gund's attorney and was key to the purchase that kept the Cavaliers in town.   He had (has?) the huge house on North Park Lane in CH.

People can change in 30 years (I knew Jeff Johnson at the same time) but he was a pretty good guy then, not really arrogant at all, maybe a little smug on a low key basis.   I suspect he has his reasons, perhaps some inside information.

If you want wealthier people to live in denser city locations, you have to expect them to try to impact their surroundings.
"I mean, this man just can't be president of the US. I mean, they got this button, it's in a briefcase, he's gonna find it."
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Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #749 on: May 12, 2017, 12:07:24 PM »
^His Thompson Hine profile has him earning a BA from Harvard (1986) and his law degree from Georgetown.

Offline E Rocc

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #750 on: May 12, 2017, 12:14:19 PM »
^His Thompson Hine profile has him earning a BA from Harvard (1986) and his law degree from Georgetown.

I graduated in 1985, I believe he was transferring the next.   His dad was an alumni and his brother went there.   

His dad also owned the "Button" in Fort Lauderdale.  Back then it was so popular only certain schools could go on certain days. Except Harvard and Case.
"I mean, this man just can't be president of the US. I mean, they got this button, it's in a briefcase, he's gonna find it."
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Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #751 on: May 12, 2017, 12:19:32 PM »
If you want wealthier people to live in denser city locations, you have to expect them to try to impact their surroundings.[/color]

And not always positively. Again, the northeast side of Coltman Road is the posterchild lot for a dead city. That is what is being preserved by the lawsuit....

So when is the first group of pictures EVER better than the second group?

First group (from Aug. 2016):








Second group:



« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 12:22:55 PM by KJP »
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Offline clvlndr

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #752 on: May 12, 2017, 01:42:25 PM »
I did not reread, in detail, last year's article about this project, but I wouldn't be surprised if, like the apts planed for the Golden Bowl site, these units would be converted to condos once the market is right.

Offline E Rocc

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #753 on: May 14, 2017, 12:29:11 PM »
If you want wealthier people to live in denser city locations, you have to expect them to try to impact their surroundings.[/color]

And not always positively. Again, the northeast side of Coltman Road is the posterchild lot for a dead city. That is what is being preserved by the lawsuit....

So when is the first group of pictures EVER better than the second group?


The second group is artist's impressions.   What will it look like built?  Or perhaps more to the point five years later?

Another possibility:  the language of the suit is what one would expect if the plaintiff suspected, or knew of, some dealings that were less than aboveboard.  You can't say such things, out loud, without proof.
"I mean, this man just can't be president of the US. I mean, they got this button, it's in a briefcase, he's gonna find it."
- P. J. O'Rourke

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #754 on: May 14, 2017, 12:38:31 PM »
What will the vacant lot look like in five years? And what is it doing to the resale value of the Coltman townhomes?
"Greater Cleveland is last in the country in number of jobs accessible in typical commute distance, creating a huge drag on economy and more air & water pollution."-- Vibrant NEO

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #755 on: June 06, 2017, 02:01:14 PM »
Now up for Landmarks Commission approval. More pics at....

http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/landmark/agenda/2017/06082017/index.php

4. Case 17-029 (Concept 5/11/17)
Little Italy Historic District
Apartment Building 12302-04 Mayfield Road
New Construction
Ward 6
Griffin
Nick Muhvic
LDA Architects
Hemingway Development









« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 02:03:33 PM by KJP »
"Greater Cleveland is last in the country in number of jobs accessible in typical commute distance, creating a huge drag on economy and more air & water pollution."-- Vibrant NEO

Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #756 on: June 06, 2017, 02:09:51 PM »
Normally, I don't post single home developments unless there multiples of them being sought at the same time by the same developer. This one is interesting to me....

http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/landmark/agenda/2017/06082017/index.php

5. Case 17-033
Little Italy Historic District
1961 East 126th Street
New Construction of a Single-Family House
Ward 6
Griffin
Mathew Wymer
WXZ Development
Ron Lloyd /Bob Reighard
RDL Architects



"Greater Cleveland is last in the country in number of jobs accessible in typical commute distance, creating a huge drag on economy and more air & water pollution."-- Vibrant NEO

Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #757 on: June 12, 2017, 07:29:30 PM »
Some bad news in connection with the Woodhill Supply litigation.

In a 2-1 decision the court found in favor of the homeowner, David Watson, and remanded the case back to the trial court.

The appellate court did not rule on the merits but found that the trial court did not put in the record an "evidentiary analysis" in upholding the zoning boards decision in favor of the city.  Without such an analysis, given the detailed record, the court found it could not determine the basis of the trial courts decision and it was not the role of the appellate court to review the record de novo.  In other words the court politely said the trial court was lazy and was trying to get this sucker off its docket.

The matter is now remanded so the trial court can provide its written analysis. I would imagine it will still rule in favor of the city.  The case will then most likely (in fact I am 100% sure unless this guy croaks in the meantime) go back up on appeal and have to be briefed anew in that court.  Bottom line is that this litigation is going to drag on for quite some time before the court of appeals renders a decision (my best guess a year...maybe more if the trial judge is now pissed and takes a long time to prep the required written record).

As I have expressed before, it seems the city and the developer have a strong case but my fear is that the continuing delay will make the project less appealing if interest rates and construction costs go up in the meantime, or Visconsi just moves on to other less problematic projects (say some greenfield in Streetsboro).

Offline clvlndr

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #758 on: June 13, 2017, 12:22:59 AM »
^That really sucks.  David Watson should be proud of himself as an upstanding public citizen.

Offline E Rocc

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #759 on: June 13, 2017, 06:30:56 AM »
^That really sucks.  David Watson should be proud of himself as an upstanding public citizen.

Um, did you read the synopsis?   The court, and most likely by extension the zoning board, didn't document why they decided as they did.

So the suit had merit.   That even leaves aside why the decision might have been weak on documentation.
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Offline KJP

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #760 on: June 13, 2017, 07:05:43 AM »
If I'm the developer, I make a small change to my design and resubmit my application, reflecting that change, to give BZA second chance at doing this right.
"Greater Cleveland is last in the country in number of jobs accessible in typical commute distance, creating a huge drag on economy and more air & water pollution."-- Vibrant NEO

Offline E Rocc

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #761 on: June 13, 2017, 07:17:45 AM »
If I'm the developer, I make a small change to my design and resubmit my application, reflecting that change, to give BZA second chance at doing this right.

Pretty much a given, even in business you always change something before resubmitting.

Would this new development inherently reduce the value of Dave's property (I am assuming he owns the condo, knowing of his family it may be their building)?  Or is their something about the Visconti design that does so?
"I mean, this man just can't be president of the US. I mean, they got this button, it's in a briefcase, he's gonna find it."
- P. J. O'Rourke

Offline Htsguy

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #762 on: June 13, 2017, 08:28:53 AM »
^That really sucks.  David Watson should be proud of himself as an upstanding public citizen.

Um, did you read the synopsis?   The court, and most likely by extension the zoning board, didn't document why they decided as they did.

So the suit had merit.   That even leaves aside why the decision might have been weak on documentation.

If I'm the developer, I make a small change to my design and resubmit my application, reflecting that change, to give BZA second chance at doing this right.

Pretty much a given, even in business you always change something before resubmitting.

Would this new development inherently reduce the value of Dave's property (I am assuming he owns the condo, knowing of his family it may be their building)?  Or is their something about the Visconti design that does so?


Actually, what E Rocco is suggesting is incorrect and actually it is the exact opposite.

From the briefs in the court of appeals it is clear that the record at the Zoning Board level is exhaustive and includes expert testimony and at least two lengthy hearings.  In fact that is what the court of appeals was "complaining" about in its decision.  Its decision was more procedural than substantive and it said that the trial court did not provide it with its analysis so it could determine whether the trial court applied the correct standard of review relative to this large and detailed record and it was not its role to review the huge record de novo.  The purported error was at the trial level (which in this case is the first appellate level since it is reviewing an appeal  from the zoning board) and not at the zoning board level.

I am not a zoning expert but I read both parties briefs in the court of appeals and substantively  it looked, to my uneducated eye, that the city has a stronger argument from a legal standpoint.  I do not see any need to re-submit as I think the city and developer will eventually win when the court of appeals rules substantively.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 09:50:21 AM by Htsguy »

Offline MuRrAy HiLL

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Re: Cleveland: Little Italy: Development and News
« Reply #763 on: June 23, 2017, 04:06:43 PM »
Bravo!

RTA fixes nasty sidewalks under CSX bridge between University Circle and Little Italy (photos)

BY STEVEN LITT, THE PLAIN DEALER
CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority has kept a promise to fix what may have been the nastiest pair of sidewalks in the city.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, RTA held a ribbon cutting to mark completion of a $1.6 million project to refurbish 500 feet of Mayfield Road as it passes beneath rapid transit and CSX rail tracks between University Circle and Little Italy.

The project is a follow-up to the 2015 completion of the new $15 million Mayfield Road-Little Italy rapid transit station, designed by City Architecture of Cleveland.

http://www.cleveland.com/architecture/index.ssf/2017/06/rta_fixes_ugly_sidewalks_under.html
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood. " -- Daniel Burnham

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