Monday, October 30, 2006

Things To do For The Holidays - Prt I

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cleveland Colectivo Has Opened the Next Round of Funding

Do you have an idea that you think would make a difference in Cleveland? We’d like to help you make it happen. The Cleveland Colectivo is seeking projects to support.

The Colectivo is a group of friends, neighborhoods and colleagues. We pool our funds and share our energy to invest it back into projects that we see as worthwhile and exciting in Cleveland. Each member contributes to the Colectivo quarterly and together we choose projects to support. Every month we gather to discuss ideas, learn about area initiatives and organizations, network with a growing circle of members, and continue building the Colectivo.

So now we are again looking for innovative ideas in which to invest. That’s where you come in!

If you have a project that you would like to make a reality, take the first step—visit and send us your answers to these three simple questions.
Or send your answers to

1) What is your proposal?

2) How will this project strengthen our community?

3) What makes your project unique, and why are you the right person to do this?

We welcome individuals, new businesses, and community projects to participate. Grant amounts will range between $500 and $5,000, based on the number of projects selected.
The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2007.
Please keep your response to one page.

Bring your idea to life, and let us help!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Memphis Drive-In Final Images

I almost for got about these. I was lucky enough to take the kids to the Memphis Drive-In for a couple of flicks one last time before they closed this year. So if you were not able to make it this year, enjoy the shots.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Prendergrast Innerbelt Proposal - Updated Photo

Ken was kind enough to update the proposal I posted yesterday with easy to read lables (for those of you who get dizzy reading things from outerspace). Thank you Ken

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Innerbelt Redesign at a Stand Still - 2 Year Delay

As reported in todays Plain Dealer, the State of Ohio has delayed the Innerbelt redesign because of costs over runs and design flaws.

Ohio delays Inner Belt redesign; city officials applaud

Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Susan Vinella
Plain Dealer Reporter

Commuters can expect an extra year or two of traffic snarls on the Inner Belt and continued danger at Dead Man's Curve, the most perilous stretch of highway in Ohio.

The state will delay for up to two years the launch of Cleveland's Inner Belt redesign project to deal with rising costs and design flaws.

The state also might scale back renovations of the Inner Belt Bridge over the Cuyahoga River. Instead of fixing the bridge to last 50 years, at a cost of $266 million, the state proposes a 20-year rehab.

"The downside," says an Ohio Department of Transportation memo obtained by The Plain Dealer, "is that in 20 years, ODOT will have to fund a second bridge."

To some local officials and downtown business leaders, delaying the highway redesign means the state finally has recognized the flaws of its plan and will work with the community to fix them.

"They heard us. They recognize there are issues, and they want to talk to us about them," said Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman, who represents downtown and has been critical of the plan.

Cimperman and others in Cleveland say the state's proposal to eliminate key downtown exits off Interstate 90 and alter others will hurt businesses, impede traffic and hamper economic development. The state also plans to straighten Dead Man's Curve to make it safer.

The memo says the Inner Belt Bridge project will be delayed from 2009 until 2010 or 2011, to allow more time to resolve conflicts over intersections. It says intersection designs near Jacobs Field and other locations must be modified.

One change, the memo said, could be a different ramp from Ontario Street to westbound I-90. The memo also says the state wants to scrap a $30 million plan to build a bike path on the bridge because of safety concerns.

Lora Hummer, a spokeswoman for the local office of the Ohio Department of Transportation, said no officials were available Tuesday to discuss the reasons for the delay or possible changes in the plan. David Coyle, a deputy director in the local office, declined to provide specifics when reached at home.

Jim Haviland, who represents businesses in the Midtown neighborhood as executive director of Midtown Cleveland Inc., said he's pleased the state is taking more time to evaluate its plan.

"Clearly they're listening and re-evaluating and are coming to similar conclusions that we've had for some time," Haviland said. "That's the best news for Cleveland and Northeast Ohio at this particular point in time."

City Council will hold a hearing on the Inner Belt project on Nov. 1.

This figures, I had just finished reading the billion page plan update this weekend, including all of the options that were taken off the table early on. It could have just been a snowball effect, but from what I saw, they looked at all options (within there limited vision).

Not that it matters now, but these were the section alternatives that were being/not being carried forward as of the middle of August:

12.1 Innerbelt Curve Section
Innerbelt Curve Alternative F is selected to be carried forward as a Feasible Alternative analysis phase of the Project.
Innerbelt Curve Alternative E is not being carried forward.

12.2 Innerbelt Trench Section
The Far Eastern Alignment Alternative, the Chester Avenue (No Payne Avenue) Alternative, and the MidTown Corridor Extension are being carried forward.
The Minimum, Western Alignment, and Central Alignment Alternatives are not being carried forward.

12.3 Central Interchange Section
the Dual Intersections and Southern Alternatives are selected to be carried forward.
The Dedicated, Shared, and Indirect I-77 Connections Alternatives are not being carried forward.

12.4 Central Viaduct Bridge Section
The Northern and Southern Hybrid Alternatives are selected to be carried forward.
The Widen / Rehabilitate Existing Alternative with Clark Avenue Interchange is not being carried forward.

12.5 Southern Innerbelt Section
The Mainline Widening with Jennings Freeway Add Alternative is selected to be carried forward.
The Mainline Widening with Jennings Freeway Merge Alternative is not being carried forward.

12.6 C-D Roadways Section
The C-D Roadways Relocation Alternative including a Type II noise analysis for the C-D Roadways section, is selected to continue under ODOT’s noise wall and multi-lane reconstruction programs.

12.7 I-77 Access Section
The I-77 Access Improvements Alternative is selected to be carried forward.

12.8 West 7th Street Interchange Section
The No-Build Alternative is selected.
The Fully Directional West 7th Street Interchange Alternative is not being carried forward.

What does this mean to all of the stakeholders?

Well, the Cleveland Police Horse Stables will still have a home, as will the brand new Fire Department Training Facility. Tastebuds will be serving awesome food for at least two more years longer then first thought.

Meanwhile, many people think that likely change in administration coming to Columbus will be of great benefit to Cleveland. Some, like transportation guru and Sun News writer Ken Prendergrast, have even proposed their own plans that will not only correct many of the problems ODOT has claimed to want to fix, but "adds only 45 seconds to the travel time through downtown [and] opens up a massive development area that can help reimburse the state's costs of paying for the Inner Belt project."
(In the image, the black line is the Norfolk Southern tracks for the proposed Lakefront Bypass, and the teal line is an extension of the Waterfront Line to create a downtown loop.)

Some features of this new Innerbelt concept from Ken include:

> New routing adds only 45 seconds (or an additional 4,000 feet of distance) to the trip of an I-90 motorist passing through downtown.

> Assumes the Opportunity Corridor is built and that transit services to the suburbs are enhanced (such as regional rail, express bus, etc.).

> Demolished for the new section of highway are several old public housing complexes, Central Cadillac, a park and some additional structures. Each of these would be relocated or put back once construction is complete (public housing would be replaced with scattered-site subsidized units mixed with market-rate housing, such as where the Central Interchange was located).

> Access to downtown from the south and west is via an extension of State Route 176, which I've dubbed the "Downtown Access Boulevard" -- a landscaped, at-grade roadway north of the I-90/490 interchange that opens up land for development in Tremont and is less of a physical barrier between Tremont and Ohio City.

> The new Cuyahoga Valley Viaduct incorporates the NS tracks, which would become the Lakefront Bypass route for nearly all freight train traffic. The old two-track NS viaduct would be replaced with a three-track bridge and have about 10 feet more clearance than the old span to avoid opening as often for river traffic. In the new bridge, the lower rail deck only could be raised some 20 feet to clear even the largest of lake-borne ships.

> Sale of land on which the Central Interchange was located could net ODOT $1 million to $3 million per acre for the 60-acre site. This may win favor with the Federal Highway Administration, as the Federal Highways Trust Fund is faced with bankruptcy by 2009 (see ).

> The Inner Belt trench on the east side of downtown is a mix of ODOT's proposal to remove ramps, and the locals' desire to keep them. It continues ODOT's proposed access roadway south to near Community College Avenue.

> Also a new center exit/entrance for downtown-bound I-77 motorists only would be built just north of I-490 for an enhanced thoroughfare providing quick access to downtown. Location proposed is to use Broadway, but could be adjusted one block farther north to Orange. The enhanced thoroughfare would likely be no slower than I-77 is during rush hours, along I-77's last mile entering downtown.

> The new highway routing and demolition of the Central Interchange would reunite the Central neighborhood with downtown. Caps over the new highway would create a visually seamless neighborhood streetscape in the affected areas.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Memphis Drive-In Update

Well, it is official. The county's last drive-in theater has been sold. The Brooklyn Sun Journal reported the sale last Thursday.

Farewell, Memphis

Thursday, October 12, 2006
Brooklyn Sun Journal

BROOKLYN _ The Memphis Drive-In Theater officially was sold as of Tuesday.

Those who work at the drive-in were told they had to remove everything from the establishment by Monday. Memphis Entertainment Group Manager Mike Kissel said he has not been told what will move in now that official word has come down about the sale.

He is in the process of trying to sell items from the theater, including things like deep fryers and an ice machine. Other larger items were also up for sale, but they had planned to wait to sell things until official word came. That will be hard now, he said, because there is such short notice. He plans to put items that cannot be sold before Monday into storage. Those interested in purchasing items can call Kissel at (440) 781-4495.

The drive-in theater is one of the few remaining in the area. It was open for 52 years.

However, the sale was not officially finalized until yesterday, according to the county auditor site (transfer date - October 16).
The property had an estimated market value of $1,608,900, but according to the auditor data it sold for $3,000,000. I guess the drive-in owner wasn't kidding when he said an offer was presented that he could not refuse.
So who is the new owner?
There were many rumors going around: furniture warehouse, big box, condos.
It looks like none of these are true - at least not at first glance. The new owner, or 'Grantee,' is a company called Custom Holdings, INC. After Googling the name I found that it could be one of two companies.
It is either a company owned by Circleville Metal Works based in Circleville, Ohio, or one of many affiliates wholly owned by none other then American Greetings.
I choose the later. I called the public relations office at American Greetings to confirm this but that call has not been returned. So as of now, I will speculate that AG is not in the big box, or condo business and is instead looking to expand.
If they call me back, I will update.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Giant Eagle Likely Not Coming to Target Project on West 117th Street

The shell of the new Target on West 117th Street is progressing, but there was no development on the other lots on the former Ryser Property project. Giant Eagle is notorius for waiting until the last minute before commiting to a project. With the October 10 announcement of the Topps Grocery sale to Giant Eagle, it now looks like there will not be a Giant Eagle on the Target property. From Crain's Cleveland:
Giant Eagle to buy 18 Tops stores

3:33 pm, October 10, 2006

Giant Eagle has agreed to buy 18 Northeast Ohio Tops supermarkets, then sell four of them to Cleveland-based Dave’s Supermarkets, and one to a local Giant Eagle independent operator in a deal announced Tuesday.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. Terms were not released.

Tops parent company, Netherlands-based Royal Ahold N.V., put 46 area Tops up for sale in July. A statement on the sale says Tops “will be finalizing additional agreements by the end of the year.”

“We have every hope that those agreements will include all the (Northeast Ohio) stores,” Tops spokeswoman Tracy Pawelski said.

Giant Eagle spokesman Rob Borella explained that the new Dave’s stores will remain closely tied to the Pittsburgh-based company.

“We supply Dave’s Supermarkets on the grocery side and, additionally, we’re going to extend our relationship with Dave’s and, probably sometime in early December, begin to operate Giant Eagle pharmacies inside of those four Dave’s Supermarkets locations,” Mr. Borella said.

Mr. Borella also said Gillombardo’s Giant Eagle, which runs an independently-owned store at 5841 Broadway Ave., will turn the Tops at 1825 Snow Road in Parma into a second Gillombardo’s Giant Eagle.

Officials at Dave’s and Gillombardos referred inquiries on the deal to Mr. Borella.

Tops’ inventory should be liquidated by early December, after which the stores will close temporarily for restocking.

Giant Eagle new store opening timeline

Giant Eagle locations opening mid-December 2006
14100 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood (will replace existing Giant Eagle location)

Giant Eagle locations opening in January 2007
870 N. Court St. in Medina
80 Whittlesey Ave. in Norwalk
21593 Lorain Road in Fairview Park
821 Cleveland St. in Elyria
24601 Chagrin Blvd. in Cleveland
230 Howe Ave. in Cuyahoga Falls
10950 Lorain Ave. in Cleveland
3628 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights
6259 Mayfield Road in Mayfield Heights
3750 W. Market St. in Fairlawn

Giant Eagle Supermarkets replacing existing Giant Eagle locations in late summer 2007
1825 Snow Road in Parma (independently owned location)
7919 Day Drive in Parma
22777 Rockside Road in Bedford

New Dave’s Supermarket locations with Giant Eagle Pharmacies

22501 Shore Center Drive in Euclid
4948 Turney Road in Garfield Heights
11501 Buckeye Road in Cleveland
16820 Harvard Ave. in Cleveland
According to the site plans, you can see where Giant Eagle would have gone. With the two outlots (on the right - West 117th Street) most people were expecting a Get-Go as well. Since one of the stores they are acquiring is on Lorain Avenue in Westown Shopping Center, there is no point in them building a new store on West 117th. I suppose there is still the chance to build a Get-Go in Westown. There is plenty of room in their parking lot.

It is still a mystery what other stores are going to be built on the Target property. Target controls the property now so I doubt it would be something that would compete with them. I've been told to look at other Targets and see what stores are usually around them.

After talking with a few people, I found out there already other big box type stores that are inquiring about the second lot next to Target. The rumor going around now is that Ryser is looking at properties across the street from the Target site to do see if they can have the same success there.
Things are looking busy for the West 117th Street corridor.

September 15, 2006 Cleveland Planning Commission Summary

This one took me longer to type up then expected. As you read it you will see why.
The next one will probably take a while as well - there is a lot of information.

9:05 AM



ZONING (all approved)

1. Ordinance No. 1214-06: Changes the Use and Area Districts of lands on the westerly side of East 55 th Street between Sweeney Avenue (vacated) and Track Road to a Residence Industry District and a “B” Area District.
Many residents in the area of the proposed rezoning were present. Those in favor include:
Coucilman Bracatelli - "Trying to clean up the conflicting zoning issues in the area."
Tracey Reed (resident) - "The scrapyard is under an induction... recent explosions."
Joseph Hughs (resident) - "...debris left from semis on the road... health hazard"
Peter Bazuk (resident) - "...constant path of mud on the road left from the trucks"
Joyce C (resident) - "...weeds along the tracks"
Gary H. (resident) - "I used to work at the railyards formerly occupied in the area. It is has not, as previously stated, always been a scrapyard."
Marlene W. (resident) - "The scrapyard has not been a good neighbor."
Susan Gorden (resident) - spoke on behalf of a resident who could not be there
Eric Mitchell (resident) - "This place is having a detrimental effect on the youth of the area. They do not want to go to school - they want to be scrapers."
Tom O'Bian (resident) - Reiterated previous comment
Carolyn S. (resident) - "This does not help a neighborhood that is trying to regrow."
Councilwoman Cleveland - Introduce legislation, "This can make or break the neighborhood... We need businesses, but not ones that break the law."

Those that spoke against the rezoning:
Megan Roberts, attorney for Ian Abrams owner of Scrapyard, LLC. - "Abrams employees 31 truckers as sub-contractors and 12 contracted, on-site workers."
"My client works with local steelyards"
"They do not take scrap from people off of the street."
"Once before, the parcel in question was rezoned to Residence Industry but then was rezoned back."
"The proposed parcel rezoning is not, as was previously stated, adjacent - nor will it ever be - to residential land."
"The CSX tracks act as a natural buffer between my clients business and the residential area."

Greg Abrams (son of owner) -
"..fourth generation business... have worked hard with the neighborhood and stakeholders..."
"We were no the tenants three years ago when the yard was cited"
"We have offered to make parkland at some areas of the neighborhood."
"We do not have a wheel washer but have paved 80% of the of the drivable area of the yard."
"We do not take in peddlers."
"2% of incoming scrap is from small trucks... we take down license plate numbers"
re: Public Health: "We have an OSHA rep on site."
They dispute the claim they are not neighborly or charitable.

A motion for approval was made and passed with five votes and one abstention by Lumpkin.

2. Ordinance No. 1285-06: Changes the Use Districts of parcels fronting on East 140th St. from Lakeshore Boulevard to Saint Clair Avenue; from a General Retail and Semi-Industry to Local Retail Business.
The owner of a parcel in the proposed area (City Rose) spoke up against the zoning change. He is concerned about the wording regarding the setback for parking and whether or not this would be a taking.
The rezoning was approved with exception of the previously mentioned parcel which was tabled for another date.

3. Ordinance No. 1549-06: Former Law Director and counsel for affected business owner asks that the ordinance be tabled for two weeks. The issue regards the wording in the ordinance that states a business has 18 months to vacate a parcel that has been rezoned from a General Industry to a Residence Use.


1. Ordinance No. 1447-06: Authorizes the sale of City-owned property located at East 30th Street off of Hamilton Avenue to State Industrial Products, Inc. (SIP - Formerly State Chemical)
Because of the impending construction on the Innerbelt and relocation of the Innerbelt curve, the bridge structure (14,300 sq ft) that currently is used for 40 parking spaces for SIP is proposed to come down. SIP will demo 38,000 sq ft of their manufacturing building to make room for a new employee parking lot and construct a new manufacturing facility on land on East 30th Street and Hamilton Avenue that will be vacated.

2. Ordinance 1456-06: Authorizes the application and acceptance of a grant from the United States Environmental Agency to implement the Morgana Run Project, and to employ one or more professional consultants to perform an environmental clean up of the property located at 3542 East5 71st Street.

3. Ordinance No. 1477-06: Authorizes the director of Parks, Recreation ad Properties and Port Control to enter into a Second Amendment to the Mather Museum Lease Agreement with the Harbor Heritage Society to allow assignment of the Lease Agreement to The Great Lakes Museum of Science. Environment and Technology d/b/a The Great Lakes Science Center.


1. ORDINANCE NO. 1450-06: Amends Sections 3, 4 and 5 of Ordinance 971-05, passed June 6, 2005, relating to the improvement of Euclid Avenue between Public Square and East 70th Street by reconstructing or abandoning sidewalk vaults.
This will help reduce the cost to property owners due to the Euclid Corridor construction

SUMMARY CALENDAR (all approved)

1. Ordinance No. 1269-06: Vacates a portion of Penn Court N.W.

2. Ordinance No. 1288-06: To add the name John Melvin Street as a secondary name to east 115th St. between Mayfield Rd. and Cornell Rd.

3. Ordinance 1268-06: Gives consent of the City of Cleveland to the Board of County Commissioners for the repair of the West 49th Street/Herman Avenue Bridge No. 194 over the West Shoreway

4. Ordinance No. 1270-06: Authorizes the acquisition of certain easement interests from Cleveland State University for the public improvement of the Euclid Corridor

5. Ordinance No. 1288-06: To add the name John Melvin Street as a secondary name to East 115th Street between Mayfield road and Cornell Road.

6. Ordinance No. XXXX-06 (To be Introduced): Union Miles District Business Revitalization District Expansion.

7. Three additional Landbank Ordinances were added to the summary calender regarding properties on East 172nd, 127th and 83rd streets

LOT SPLITS (all approved)

Fulton Road and Mabel Court

2. 1856 East 89th Street


Ohio & Erie Canalway National Scenic Byway: Broadway leg, Proposed route changes.

DESIGN REVIEW (all approved)

1. DRC 06-128: East 118th Street, between Euclid and Wade Park, Wade Park Townhomes, new construction.
These homes are designed by City Architecture. From Weatherheadlines: Alumni Connection
Five NY-style townhouses are being built on the Case campus directly across from the new $120 million athletic fields and dormitories. The front door is the new baseball diamond. The $280-315,000 townhouses have full basements, attics and 2.5 car garages with private, fully-sprinklered yards. Standard luxury features include a pantry desk center, mudroom, double height kitchen cabinets, real hardwood floors, built-in book shelves at the top and bottom of the stairs, laundry chutes and granite, marble and travertine countertops in the kitchens and bathrooms. Energy efficient features include sprayed insulation, tankless hot water heaters and double and triple-pane windows. Buyers receive a Case Community Access Card for the athletic fields, sporting events, check-out privileges at Kelvin Smith Library and discounted membership to use the Veale Athletic Center and indoor pool. The project is a unique partnership between University Circle, Case and The Doan Brook Company.
1a. DC 06-129: East 86th to East 89th Streets and Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland Clinic, Underground Service Center and Parking Garage, Foundation Permit/Footprint Approval
The architects of this new 200,000 sq ft garage are Collins Gordon Bostwick. The new 7-story garage will hold 4,000 cars. There will also be an attached logistic center and 14 - 16 receiving docks to support the Heart Center. The lower area of the garage will house services such as materials distribution which will connect to the rest of the Clinic through a network of tunnels
The QQ lot will be demoed and retained as a green space but may have a possible building on the southern portion adjacent to the P Building (formerly the Clinic Inn) and the PP Garage. Additionally, there will be a 12,000 sq ft structure attached to the Carnegie side of the building which will house the IT Department.

2. DRC 06-081: 4315 West 140th Street, Artemus Ward K-8 School, New Construction, Final Review
The new building size is 64,298 sq ft. It will house 450 students and 41 staff, and will have 51 parking spaces. It is replacing a school built in 1949.
The concerns addressed by the Commission previously (the angled portion of the building, parking access, location of service dock, cut-through/service entrance, central portion of the east elevation and its lack of animation) have all been addressed and resolved.
The angled portion has been straightened out. The curb cut to West 140th Street to the Kindergarten drop-off and parking has been eliminated.
Approved with the condition that no chain link fence be installed around the perimeter.

3. DRC 06-082: 4550 West 150th Street, R.G. Jones K-8 School, New Construction, Final Review
This new 64,298 sq ft building will house 450 students, 41 staff members and have 51 parking spaces. The school will continue to have the 1.65 acre community garden. It is replacing a school built in 1951.
The concern addressed previously (pedestrian pathways from the neighborhood to the school) were addressed. Other revisions include the reconfiguration of the parking lot and relocation of the kindergarten drop off, and the relocation of the flag pole along the walkway from the parent drop-off to the main entry. The building was shifted to the north. There is now a sidewalk to the playground and a security vehicle access drive through the center of the site
Kuri: Noted that she is uncomfortable with the similarity of R.G. Jones and Artemus Ward, both done by the same architectural firm.

4. DRC 06-062: 3800 West 140 th Street, Garfield K-8, New Construction, Final Review
This is a new building designed by Bowen and Associates. It is replacing one built in 1924. It is 61,770 sq ft in size and will house 426 students, 38 staff members and will have 57 parking spaces. The existing community garden will be retained.
Previously the Commission asked that the south portion of the entry drive be moved to provide a buffer and easier pedestrian access to the entry and the community garden. This was done. Other revisions include the the addition of a walkway along the north property line and to the south of the school connecting the play area to West 140th Street, a community artwork wall tile area to the stone feature wall on the east elevation, and a canopy has been added over the entry doors to the individual kindergarten classrooms.

5. DRC 06-090: 1600 Buhrer Avenue, Buhrer School K-8, New Construction, Final Review
This is a new building of 53,747 sq ft. It will house 350 students. 33 staff and have 47 parking spaces. It is replacing a school built in 1969.
When this (and the previously mentioned schools) were conceptually approved in the June 20, 2006 meeting, the Commission asked that the architects reconsider the need for three separate parking lots to provide more green space and to study the use of the pedestrian bridge over I-71 as part of the entry area for the school. Revisions include the addition of a clearly defined walkway from the pedestrian bridge to the playground with lights that will illuminate it at night.
Issues regarding the safety of the pedestrian bridge were referred to ODOT, which were present because of the next presentation.

6. DRC 05-131: Inner Belt Bridge (Central Viaduct) Design Concept Options (no action required)
The same presentation that was given to the public was presented here.
Toward the end of the presentation, Marty Cader was given time to speak about the apparent lack of pedestrian or bike access that is to be included in the new bridge. His presentation can be read here. (10 mb)
Finally, Ed Hauser was given some time to speak. He provided two documents which can be view here (3 mb)and here (13 mb). [The second item is related to Wendy Park]

The links should be working now. I am sorry for the trouble. If somebody has an alternative for hosting files that is free, please let me know.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

10.5.6 - Fulton Road Bridge Update

This was published in this past Thursday's Brooklyn Sun News:

Fulton bridge is falling down

Nearby fire station reopens because of span's closure
Thursday, October 05, 2006
By Ken Prendergast
Brooklyn Sun Journal

CLEVELAND _ There's good news and bad news arriving with the closing today of the Fulton Road bridge. The 74-year-old arched concrete span over the Big Creek valley and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will be replaced with a nearly identical bridge during the next 21/2 years.

The bad news, of course, is the bridge's closing, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. today and end in the summer of 2009. Detours will either divert traffic away from some businesses or bring too much past others, especially on Pearl or Ridge roads. Downtown-bound commuters likely will face a crush of traffic on detour routes, especially Pearl.

It's hard to avoid that as the detour, said Ward 15 Councilman Kevin Kelley. It's going to be quite an inconvenience for a number of years.

The good news is that the bridge's closing will result in the fire department fully staffing Ladder Co. 42, based at Station 42 at Pearl and Stickney avenues. That will start Friday and continue at least throughout the construction period.

City officials promised to restore the ladder truck with the bridge's closing, since the expected increase in traffic on Pearl would likely cause response times from the next-closest fire station to exceed minimum standards. Station 20, the next closest, is located north of Pearl's bridge over the Big Creek valley.

In April, staffing for Ladder 42 was reduced, or browned out, limiting the truck's availability.

Staffing Ladder Co. 42 while this bridge is under construction will give our firefighters another tool for providing Clevelanders with the quality service they deserve, said Mayor Frank Jackson in a written statement.

Jackson and his staff will discuss the ladder truck and other issues at a public meeting at 6 p.m. today at the Estabrook Recreation Center, 4125 Fulton Road. And, at 6 p.m. Friday, a community celebration will be held at Station 42.

It's absolutely great, Station 42 firefighter Tom Keco said of Ladder 42 becoming fully active. Our response time will revert back to the way it was. They won't have to wait for (Station) 20.

Also impacted will be the zoo, which has its Northern Trek exhibits and overflow parking west of the Fulton bridge and the main part of the zoo east of the bridge.

Implosion of the Fulton bridge in December or January, and the construction of the new bridge thereafter, will have to be done in such a way to allow zoo employees and visitors to travel back and forth between the two parts of the park. The wolf exhibit, which is next to the bridge, will likely have to be moved, said Sue Allen, the zoo's public relations manager.

Zoo officials will post updates about access to the park and changes to exhibits on its Web site, at, she said.

Two pedestrian and two vehicular routes within the zoo will be provided. The zoo's access drive from Fulton also will remain open during the project, said officials at the Ohio Department of Transportation which is administering the $45.8 million bridge replacement. Kokosing Construction Co. crews are doing the construction work.

The goal is for minimal disturbance of the zoo, said ODOT Project Engineer Ray Bencivengo. Over the next two months, work crews will remove asphalt, concrete barriers, fencing and steel plates from the top of the bridge, he said. Below the bridge, crews will work with zoo employees to get things out of the way of the coming implosion.

Anytime you take a bridge down of this magnitude, there's going to be a lot of noise and dust, Kelley said. How that affects the residential neighborhoods I don't know yet.

Although the bridge is city owned, Cleveland couldn't afford to shoulder the entire cost of replacing it. Also, residents were able to convince officials to reject simpler, less expensive designs and instead rebuild the bridge as it was. Federal funding passed through ODOT will provide 80 percent of the project cost, with the remainder split between city, county and state sources, Bencivengo said.

Amazingly, the Fulton Road Bridge website still has not been updated.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

September 1, 2006 Cleveland Planning Commission Summary

And here is the second of three Planning Commission reports that will be posted
The next one will probably not be up until Thursday.

Cleveland Planning Commission – September 1, 2006

9:10 AM




1. Ordinance 1264-06: An agreement with Case Western University to allow and accept the right-of-way improvements to East 105th Street between Euclid Avenue and Bellflower Road as a gift to the city.

2. Ordinance 1265-06: Amends the Title and Section 1 of Ordinance 1989-05, passed February 13, 2006 relating to a permit to encroach into Superior Avenue by installing, using and maintaining 16 bollard lights and 7 planters at 1100 Superior Avenue.

3. Ordinance 1268-06: Gives consent of the City of Cleveland to the Board of County Commissioners for the repair of the West 49th Street/Herman Avenue Bridge over the West Shoreway – specifically, structural steel repairs.

4. Ordinance 1270-06: Authorizes the acquisition of certain easement rights from Cleveland State University for the public improvement of Euclid Corridor

5. Ordinance 1275-06: Authorizes the lease of property located at 9801 Walford Avenue from Walford Industrial Park, LLC, for a term of ten years, for the public purpose of operating an emergency medical services base station and for ancillary uses related to the base station.

6. Ordinance 1282-06: Amends sections of various ordinances related to wall murals and airport land protective districts, and authorizes the city to enter into a lease with Clear Channel Outdoor to erect a billboard on land at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
The wall murals will be located within the CBD and Flats Oxbow District. There will be six total –one will be public art. They can only go up on walls that are unsightly, needs to cover 8% of the unsightly wall, and can contain no more then 30% text. The Planning Commission has yes/no authority over any particular wall, location and the way the sign is placed on the wall. Once the wall is chosen, the image (which will be high resolution art/photo) can change every six months without review. The community will review the one wall that will contain the public art element.
Coyne: Expressed concern about how the ordinance ties the city’s hands s far as regulation is concerned.
(Passed: 4 to 2)

7. Ordinance 1283-06: Amends part of the codified ordinances of Cleveland relating to Local Retail Business Districts

8. Ordinance xxx1-06: Union Miles District Business Revitalization District Expansion

9. Ordinance xxx2-06: Authorizes the sale of property as part of the Land Reutilization Program located on East 70th Street, Zoeter and Lawnview Avenues to New Mount Zion Baptist Church

Summary Calendar (all approved)

1. Ordinance 1234-06: Authorizes the sale of property as part of the Land Reutilization Program located on1467 East 65th Street to Deborah Gray

2. Ordinance 1235-06: Authorizes the sale of property as part of the Land Reutilization Program located on East 82nd Street to Leemar Sutton

3. Ordinance 1254-06: Related to the public improvement of constructing the Keller II Water Tower at the City of Brunswick

4. Ordinance 1266-06: Related to the rehabilitation, renovating reconstruction and improvement of Cleveland Browns Stadium

5. Ordnance 1274-06: Related to the public improvement of renovating the city kennels

6. Ordinance 1277-06: Authorizes the sale of property as part of the Land Reutilization Program located at 1723-25 East 55th Street; 1733 East 55th Street and 5607 Lexington Avenue to Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church


1. Ordinance 1280-06: Related to public improvement of abating asbestos, and demolishing the remaining structure and concrete pad at the former Midland Steel property located at 10615 Madison Avenue, and environmental remediation

2. Ordinance No. 1281-06: Amends Section 161.04 of the Codified Ordinances of Cleveland passed June 19, 1972, relating to designation of landmarks and landmarks districts

3. Ordinance No. 1284-06: Establishing the Burten-Bell-Carr Business Revitalization District

4. Ordinance No. 1288-06: To add the name John Melvin Street as a secondary name to East 115th Street between Mayfield road and Cornell Road

DESIGN REVIEW (all approved)

1. DRC 05-113-B: 3447 West 150th Street, Single Family House designed by Fred Leonard, Front Setback Revision (Ward 21) (Fr CPC April 21, 2006)

2. DRC 06-123: West 14th Street & Quigley Avenue Traffic Circle, Public Art Installation
This is possible through a grant from NPI and Steel Yard Commons developer, Mitch Snyder ($45,000). Local artist, Michael Murphy is the designer. The installation, poles holding up various cut metal sheets that when looked at from a certain direction will show a hand holding a lotus flower (signifies the act of giving), will be 8 feet in diameter and range from 12 to 16 feet high. The traffic circle is 128 feet in diameter. The landscaping will have Thornberry bushes around it to prevent people from getting to close to the art. The lighting element is still under discussion. The installation will be up by the end of the year.
(Approved with commendations)

*Note: There is a four minute video on the artist website that "was part of the presentation that I prepared for the project selection committee. It's a video portrait of the site and the mill within it's view. It discusses the imagery used and how it relates to modern, art, architecture , the site and the associated individuals."

3. DRC 06-124: 601 Erieside Avenue, Great Lakes Science Center, Public Art for the Wind Turbine: “Windworks: Shadow Walks”
Project Description from Cleveland Public Art:
WindWorks will make visual and personal the idea that our homes’ electricity can be created by the wind; turn attention towards the turbine’s function as a producer of clean energy; create an environment that invites and encourages exploration of the wind turbine; be intriguing when the artwork is viewed from above (City Hall, Cleveland Browns Stadium, blimp during football games); draw people to the turbine from the main street sidewalk and from the GLSC; highlight the connections between art and science, form and function; transform the turbine into sculpture before our eyes. Specifically, WindWorks will create two pedestrian pathways whose forms are derived from the actual shadows of the wind turbine on the day of the equinox.
Walking the "shadow pathways" will draw eyes upward to consider the beautiful form and function of the wind turbine. After walking one of the shadows, viewers will converge at a plaza ringing the turbine's base. Divided into 24 sections symbolizing 24 hours, inside the plaza they will encounter a series of sculptural seating arrangement created in cast concrete.
The sculptural arrangements will be based on calculations of the average American's home electricity consumption, represented by the traditional one hundred watt light bulb. Based on calculations provided by the US Department of Energy, 4,167 one hundred watt bulbs, illuminated for a full 24 hours, is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of one American household. Artists Allan and Ellen Wexler’s “sitable sculpture” is comprised of 4,167 cast concrete bulbs. In addition, on the floor of the plaza, bronze text will be inlaid into the concrete to present related facts such as calculating wind direction and other environmental factors present on Cleveland’s lakefront.
Note: This was originally posted here. I now official retract any negative statements I originally made about this project. After seeing the final work, I can honestly say that this will addition will greatly enhance the City's catalog of public art and is yet another excellent piece brought to us by CPA.

4. DRC 06-125: The Avenue District: Mixed-Use Development, including Phase 1 Loft Building & Parking Garage, etc.
They are one contract shy of construction. They are now submitting applications for permits and seeking final approval in order to break ground.

August 4, 2006 Cleveland Planning Commission Meeting Summary

I have fallen behind on my Planning Commission reports - life called.
I went to the meetings and had started typing them out, I just had not finished formating them... until now.
Here are the previous three meetings starting with August 4. The next two will follow shortly

Cleveland Planning Commission Summary - 4 August 2006


Coyne (vacation)

Zoning (all approved)

Ordinance No. 1156-06: Changes the Use and Height District of the rear half parcel fronting West 11th Street from a General Industry District and "3" Height District to a Two-Family Residential District and a "1" Height District. The parcels being rezoned are near an area that was being used as a chicken farm for cockfights. The owner of the parcel (Cooper) is proposing to open a greenhouse and horticultural center for the Tremont neighborhood that will include an educational component.

Ordinance No 1158-06: Changes the Use District of land bounded by West 110th Street, Detroit Avenue, Norfolk & Southern Railroad and West Boulevard to a Residence Office District. The south side of Detroit from Berea Road to West 110th Street is already zoned Residence/Office. This area is near the recently refurbished Chickle Building. The area is proposed to have an additional mix of up to 40 townhouses plus an additional 80 - 90 units across the street.

Ordinance 1156-06: Changes the Use District of land bounded by Addison Road, Saint Clair Avenue and East 66th Street to a Residence Industry District

Ordinance 1160-06: Changes the zoning of land on the southeast corner of East 79th street and Kinsman Road, and the land on the southeast corner of East 93rd and Kinsman to a Residence Office District, a "C" Area District and a "2" Height District. This is part of the "Forgotten Triangle" area. Within the next two years, the new zoning will permit the construction of 20,000 sq ft of retail for the neighborhood.


Ordinance 1115-06: Authorizes the Director of Community Development to transfer eight parcels for the purpose of the Treadway Creek Greenway Restoration Project and will be part of the Tow Path Trail.

Ordinance 990-06: Authorizes the sale of property as part of the Land Reutilization Program located on East 55th Street to East 55th Street Properties LLC. This will allow for the expansion of a Shell Gas Station on the corner of Kinsman and East 55th Street


Ordinance 1065-06: Changes the name of Gray Avenue to Ted Ginn Sr. Avenue.

Ordinance 1128-06: Changes the name of Sunny Glen Avenue to Sunny Glen Drive. This road is a cul de sac.

Summary Calendar (all approved)

Ordinance 981-06: Authorizes Dominion East Ohio Gas Company easements rights in property located on West 130th Street at Brooklawn Avenue and declaring the easement rights not needed for public use

Ordinance 1106-06: Issues a permit to the Little Italy Redevelopment Corporation to encroach into the public right-of-way of Mayfield Road and Murray Hill Road with 50 hanging floral baskets to be attached to C.E.I. and Cleveland Public Power utility poles

Ordinance 1130-06: Authorizes the sale of property as part of the Land Reutilization Program located on Lexington Avenue to Pamela Yvette Campbell

Broadway BRD (approved)

BC 2006-005: 8411 Broadway Avenue – Demolition of the structure at 8411 Broadway for future development of a women’s treatment and outpatient facility operated by Community Assessment and Treatment Services.
The current building was a former car dealership and now houses 30 – 40 men. The proposed building, which is currently in fundraising mode, is proposed to recycle as much of the old building as possible and will be LEED Certified. The new structure will have parking in the back

DESIGN REVIEW (all approved)

DRC 06-102: 11110 Euclid Avenue, University Hospitals, Nurses Dormitories, proposed demolition. (Postponed to August 18)

DRC 06-103: 2060 Cornell Road, University Hospitals, Lerner Tower, skyline signs.
The Shield symbolizes the protection, strength and academic dimension of UH. The three bars: to heal; to teach; and to discover. The singular “UH” symbolizes the synergy between the medical and academic aspects of the facility and reinforces how the public has come to know the University Hospital system. The “person” symbolizes the commitment to people/patients/employees/community; exhibits health, hope and vitality; and brings the logo as a whole to life with a confident and forward-looking tonality. (Approved with commendation)

DRC 06-031: Reserve Square, Streetscape Improvements, East 12th Street Streetscape Plan, final approval.
Features angled parking, removal of median and bike path.

Building Bridges Mural Program Dedication

Please come and support
Building Bridges Mural Program
Providing Leadership Development and Job Training to Youth through the Creation of Public Murals
West 25th Street Mural Dedication
Dedication will take place on site, in front of the Route 2 Bridge at the corner of West 25th and Detroit Avenue
Friday October 13th, 2006 5:00 - 7:00p.m.
Artist: Katherine Chilcote
Panel 3 of 5, 12ft by 8 ft
Summer 2006 Interns: Jerome Harris, Kareem Stittman, Adam Prince, Chris Drake, Denzel Hammett, Angelo Jessup, Antonio Harris

Special Thanks to: Cleveland Collectivo, Cuyahoga County Engineers, Neighborhood Connections, The Cleveland Foundation, West Side Ecumenical Ministry, Urban Hope, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries, The Raymond John Wean Foundation, Shared Ministries, St.Paul’s Community Church, Inter-Act Cleveland, and over 200 individual and family donors.

Click on St. Malichi's Church Driving directions after opening this attachment. Rt. 2 Mural is Directly across w.25th from St. Malichi Church at the corner of W. 25th and Detroit.
(Contact: Katherine Chilcote at 216-374-9339 or

Memphis Drive-In Closure News

October 1 was supposed to be the last day for movies and flea markets at the 52 year old Memphis Drive-In Theater. There have been all sorts of rumors around speculating on who the mystery buyer is and what they are going to do with the 10 acres of land. These rumors include a possible, but highly unlikely location for Ikea, a furniture warehouse, and even condos.

(I don't understand why somebody would want to buy their ten acres when there are about six 'green' acres on the corner of Memphis and Tiedemen , and at least another ten acres in the former Ames lot.)

I saw an interesting thing when I started looking on the County Auditors site to figure out who was buying the property. I went to the Memphis Drive-In website to look for their address and saw this statement on their home page

Now....we wait and see !

Although we have not yet sold the theater, offers are being accepted for concession and projection equipment.
This equipment will not be sold, until, if, and when, the final property purchase documents are signed
Until documentation is signed IT IS NOT a DONE DEAL !
It then lists the property that is for sale but then has this disclaimer:
So, all is not lost.
(spoken like a true Cleveland sport's fan)

If the sale does go through and you are looking to install a big screen TV in your backyard, they have a blog that will update the public on any property sales questions