Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Huge Cleveland Transit-Oriented Development To Move Forward

According to sources close to the proposed development, a major Transit Oriented Development in Cleveland's University Circle district is due to be announced publicly in a matter of days. And it features components that are more grand than were suggested in prior massings and proposals.

The site in question is Lot 45, a large surface parking lot owned by University Circle Inc. on Mayfield Road, west of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's Red Line and two sets of freight railroad tracks that border Little Italy. In June 2011, UCI issued a request for proposals from private firms to develop the 1.7-acre site with high-density mixed uses. Sources says Coral Company beat out NRP Group and Snavely Group as the winning firm.

Reportedly, the competition since last fall narrowed to just Coral and Snavely. Snavely is already building the eight-story, 153-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel in a wedge of land just off Euclid Avenue, bounded by Mayfield and Cornell roads. 

But what apparently gave Coral President Peter Rubin's proposal the edge are letters of intent he received from Google, Intel, Oracle and possibly others on locating research and development offices in a 27,000-square-foot "tech ribbon" on the lower floors of the proposed buildings. Also included in the proposal are luxury apartments, shops and a trackside parking garage. The scale of the proposed development, estimated at $100 million, is larger than what was originally envisioned in the massing graphic shown below, with one building up to 12 stories tall. Furthermore, development is proposed to be expanded to a University Hospitals-owned parking lot on the south side of Mayfield.

Rounding out Coral's proposal are those on its development team -- Panzica Construction and Bialosky & Partners Architects. Panzica offers a national portfolio of projects and recently joined with Gilbane Co. on the $250 million renovation and expansion of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Bialosky designed for Coral the mixed-use Domain on Lee in Cleveland Heights (subsequently dropped by Coral, revived as The Terraces by Al. Neyer, Inc. of Cincinnati and dropped again) and the Westhampton at Crocker Park townhouses in Westlake.

The Lot 45 development will include improved pedestrian access along Mayfield under the railroad bridges to the planned Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Red Line rail station and to Little Italy. The station, to be relocated from Euclid-East 120th Street, is fully funded thanks to $18 million in GCRTA and federal transit funds. Construction on the University Circle-Mayfield station could start by the end of 2012 or early 2013.

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