Tuesday, April 30, 2024

PearlBrook’s ex-Peaches/Federal store to become RISE Dispensary

Built as the Federal Department Store and later became a Peaches record store,
the light-brick building with the tower along Pearl Road north of Brookpark
Road is about to become home to a RISE Dispensary for medical cannabis.
It is the latest change to the PearlBrook Shopping Center (Google).
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Here comes another change to the PearlBrook Shopping Center at the northwest corner of Pearl and Brookpark roads in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood. Plans were submitted to the city last week for a new RISE Dispensary of medical cannabis to be located in a building at 5100 Pearl Rd. that was built for a Federal Department Store and later became a Peaches Records & Tapes store.

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Monday, April 29, 2024

Browns want 50/50 public/private cost-sharing for either stadium site

Are the days numbered for Cleveland Browns Stadium on Downtown Cleveland’s lake-
front? They are if the public comes up with a way to fund half of the cost of a proposed
$2.5 billion domed stadium in suburban Brook Park, as the Browns’ owners repor-
tedly have requested (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

When Cleveland Browns representatives last week showed state lawmakers designs for optional stadiums in Downtown Cleveland or in suburban Brook Park, they also shared something else — a proposed public-private cost sharing arrangement.

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Friday, April 26, 2024

Irishtown Bend work to barge in on river traffic

Before there can be an Irishtown Bend Park, there has to be a stable hillside above
the Irishtown Bend in the Cuyahoga River. Crews have been working since late-
summer 2023 to re-grade the hillside with a more gentle slope. Soon, a steel
bulkhead along the water’s edge will be installed from a barge partially
blocking the navigable waterway almost daily for more than a year
(Jordan Abbott). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

In the coming weeks, the U.S. Coast Guard is expected to establish safety zone requirements for the barge-based installation of steel-wall bulkheads along the edge of the Cuyahoga River at Irishtown Bend in Cleveland. Those requirements will likely result in the daily closure of the river channel to commercial shipping for hours at a time but leisure and recreational boating is not expected to be significantly affected.

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Amtrak seeks $300m for Great Lakes-area stations

 Cleveland’s Amtrak station occasionally sees a daylight passenger train when
one of its nightly Chicago-East Coast trains is tardy enough. When that happens,
Clevelanders get to imagine what it might be like if had normal daytime train
service like its counterparts in neighboring states and a station more befit-
ting a major city (KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Cleveland and other Northern Ohio cities would gain new, larger train stations from a program proposed by passenger railroad Amtrak to improve its intercity services here. The program, a five-year, $300 million Great Lakes Stations Improvement initiative, represents the first time in Amtrak’s 53-year history that it has pursued such an aggressive development effort for this region and specifically for the Cleveland-Chicago route.

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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Downtown’s new AJ Rocco’s reopening in May

Built in 1880 as a saloon topped by apartments, this three-story building on Huron
Road just west of East 9th Street in Downtown Cleveland was added onto twice in
its history to become The American Savings Bank. One addition was in back and
the other was this terra cotta fa├žade that was cleaned and restored to its former
beauty to match the attention to detail of the renovations made inside for AJ
Rocco’s new home and new full restaurant concept (KJP).
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

If you remember AJ Rocco’s as a coffee shop in the neighboring Caxton Building in Downtown Cleveland, the new AJ Rocco’s is going to be a big change for you. Restaurant-bar owner Brendan Walton and building owner Paul Shaia spared no expense in renovating a 19th-century bank building at 828 Huron Rd. to its Gilded Age glory with all of the rich woodwork, brick walls and metal decorative elements one would expect in a cozy downtown pub.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Cleveland’s Central-Fairfax: the next hot zone?

This is where Cleveland’s Central and Fairfax neighborhoods meet, at Norfolk
Southern’s elevated railroad tracks near East 71st Street and Quincy Avenue.
The railroad was once a four-track line and had many industries clustered along
it. Now the area is largely devoid of employers and poverty is far above the
national average. City, county and private leaders are working to assembly and
clean properties to market them for redevelopment (Site Readiness Fund).

Cleveland’s Central and Fairfax neighborhoods haven’t been a hot zone for new real estate development since the Jazz Age of the 1920s and 30s. Back then, streets like Cedar, Central and Quincy were hopping with jazz clubs, speakeasies, flappers and gangsters. Aside the many night spots were factories that hummed with tens of thousands of jobs during the daytime hours. Most were tightly clustered along the four-tracked Pennsylvania Railroad that was elevated in 1915 to reduce traffic congestion.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Downtown’s next crane may be MIA for a while

It may look like Sherwin-Williams’ new headquarters tower and a potential con-
cept for a phase two tower in Downtown Cleveland. But it’s actually the Texas
Tower in Downtown Houston. Perhaps Sherwin-Williams could build a similar
tower for its expected second phase to handle its growing office employment
(Comprehensive Zoning Services). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

While the nation’s employment is high and incomes are rising, in many respects, the slowdown in new real estate construction projects is the worst the nation has seen since the credit crunch of 2008-10. Back then, everything stopped. Nothing new was getting built. Things aren’t too different now unless you’re building new data centers, warehouses or small housing projects.

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Monday, April 22, 2024

New Downtown Lakewood plan, grocery store announced

Downtown Lakewood’s redevelopment of the 6-acre site of a former hospital com-
plex has gone through multiple iterations since Lakewood Hospital closed eight
years ago. The latest plan proposes a sequence of construction like what was an-
nnounced last fall but with a new boutique grocery store tenant that may hopefully
make this project move forward. This view is looking southwest with Detroit
Avenue on the right of the site (Dimit). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Sitting dormant since Lakewood Hospital was closed in 2016 and demolished in 2019, a 6-acre city-owned site in Downtown Lakewood has a fresh strategy and a new tenant to potentially and finally reactivate it. While that strategy and a new tenant, a neighborhood grocery store, was enthusiastically received by City Council members at a committee meeting tonight, it remains to be seen whether it can overcome financing hurdles affecting it and all other projects nationwide.

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Tower City’s Astro lifts off tomorrow

Astro Boy, Groot and Darth Vader guide down (or up) the stairs to the restrooms
at Astro Restaurant at Tower City Center in Downtown Cleveland. They’re just
some of the characters that liven up the family-friendly restaurant (KJP).
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Yes, a new restaurant at Tower City Center in Downtown Cleveland really is out of this world. And The Astro Restaurant is going to lift off at 11 a.m. tomorrow, one block from the neighboring RocketMortage offices. But since the restaurant will be open only for dinner, it may prove to be popular for people attending evening events at the RocketMortgage FieldHouse just down the street.

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Friday, April 19, 2024

Sherwin-Williams: already outgrown its new HQ

With Sherwin-Williams’ new headquarters parking garage accommodating
fewer than one-third of the building’s employees, the company is developing
a parking and transportation plan to handle commuters for its new HQ and
possibly its HQ2 (KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

With the completion of Sherwin-Williams’ new Downtown Cleveland headquarters tower delayed well into next year, the global coatings giant has a some extra time to consider its options on how to handle various aspects of its unanticipated growth. Since the company has already outgrown its new HQ before it is finished, that means weighing a second HQ tower, expanding remote work, as well as addressing parking and commuting options.

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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Cleveland Museum of Art’s $8M lobby reno starts May 1

After a $320 million renovation and expansion that concluded in 2013, the
Cleveland Museum of Art is more popular than ever. But that has led to over-
crowding in its three lobbies. Those will be renovated from May to October to
allow for a more efficient movement of crowds, tour groups and special event
registrations (Iryna Tkachenko). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Increasingly crowded with students, tour groups and attendees of special events, three lobbies at Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) are about to be renovated thanks to $8 million worth of donations. Those gifts will help make those gathering locations in one of Cleveland’s most popular museums a place to enjoy rather than deal with.

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Downtown: Huron may close for street market

A recent study by Downtown Cleveland Inc. identified Huron Road near Euclid
Avenue as one of the best places in the central business district to try to provide
a street market of pop-up vendors and artists. The site is between Playhouse
Square and the Gateway District sports complexes and has many
residential and office buildings nearby (Google).
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Although early in the process, Playhouse Square Foundation is leading an effort in Downtown Cleveland that could result in the closure of Huron Road to vehicles. The goal is to effectively expand US Bank Plaza and create a venue for a street market of pop-up vendors and artists. The potential closure to cars and trucks could affect a short stretch of Huron that’s closest to Euclid Avenue.

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Progressive Insurance puts offices up for sale

Progressive Insurance’s offering puts a tremendous amount of office space on
the market, not just in Greater Cleveland but around the country, further straining
it and developers’ creativity on what do with it all. This is Progressive’s Campus 1
in Mayfield Village (Hines). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Although the global insurance provider cautioned that this day was coming, it doesn’t make its arrival any easier. Mayfield Village-based Progressive Insurance has announced that it will offer for sale millions of square feet of office space here in Greater Cleveland and around the country. This comes at a time when nearly every office-based employer is shedding office space in favor of remote work, too.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Superman statue, creators’ tribute plaza near to landing in Downtown Cleveland

Cleveland native Superman will gain a permanent home in Downtown Cleveland
at a newly landscaped plaza at the corner of Ontario Street and St. Clair Avenue,
outside the expanded Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. This exhibit
on the creation of Superman by two Cleveland natives is on display at the Cleve-
land Public Library downtown (CPL). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

There’s lots of stoic statues around downtown honoring Clevelanders and others who helped make the city and the United States great during their lives. But there could soon be a new statue and plaza downtown for a man who never lived at all except in comic books, on television and in movies. The statue of Superman is as much about honoring two men who did live — native Clevelanders Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster who created one of America’s first and most beloved superheroes.

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Rocky River apartments to open May 1

Workers are putting the finishing touches on the Orris apartments on Center Ridge Road
in Rocky River. Most of the interior work is done, meaning that residents could start
moving in as early as May 1 (KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

In recent years, Cleveland-based Krueger Group has been busily adding new apartments in Cleveland’s hottest neighborhoods in the urban core. But on May 1, they and partner RHM Real Estate Group of Lyndhurst are due to open ORRIS, 22655 Center Ridge Rd., the first new apartment building in suburban Rocky River in a decade.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Renovated Odeon in Flats to reopen this year

 Old River Road in Cleveland’s Flats East Bank has been relatively quiet since The
Odeon Concert Club closed more than a year ago and the neighboring Frozen
Daiquiri Bar & Restaurant soon followed. But the volume is due to rise again
later this year after planned renovations are made to the three-decade-
old concert venue (KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

With a new owner, a new venue manager and some freshening up planned in the coming months, The Odeon Concert Club, 1295 Old River Rd. on the East Bank of Cleveland’s Flats, is due to begin hosting new live performances again, perhaps before the end of this summer.

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Monday, April 15, 2024

Park Place Tech seals HQ deal

Park Place Technologies plans to renovate the former Progressive Direct Insurance’s
Alpha Campus for its own headquarters needs. This is what the renovated east
entrance to the new Park Place headquarters could look like (Park Place).
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

After a year-long search for a new headquarters, Park Place Technologies has closed on its deal to acquire Progressive Direct Insurance’s Alpha Campus in Highland Heights. Consummation of the purchase agreement sets the stage for renovating the multi-building campus and ultimately relocating to it 500 headquarters employees from neighboring Mayfield Heights. Warehouse operations in Solon will also be consolidated on the new site.

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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Phase 2 awaits: Innovation Square, Fairfax Market

Looking north on East 105th Street toward the Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, the
Aura at Innovation Square is in the foreground and the Medley at Fairfax Market just
beyond represent the first phase of their developments. But their second phases
may not be imminent (LoopNet). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Two mixed-market-rate apartment developments that just opened along East 105th Street in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood have phase-two projects proposed. But construction on the pair of follow-on projects may not occur for a year or more as lending remains tight and leasing activity has been uneven. But things could accelerate next year after interest rates fall and hiring starts for thousands of permanent jobs at several large Cleveland Clinic buildings under construction nearby.

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Friday, April 12, 2024

Cleveland’s Greyhound/Barons Bus station futures

Likely to be the new home for the foreseeable future of Greyhound’s
and Barons Bus’ Cleveland arrivals and departures is the Stephanie
Tubbs Jones Transit Center. But the long-term station site may be
a planned multi-modal transportation center on downtown’s lake-
front (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

While city-to-city bus services have vacated traditional downtown stations for remote, curbside boarding locations in Ohio cities like Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Cleveland travelers may be spared that treatment in a plan being worked out with the city. But city planners and advocates say the long-term station site may be a new multimodal transportation center linking all modes of intercity and intracity transportation elsewhere in Downtown Cleveland.

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Thursday, April 11, 2024

Fairview Hospital unveils North Campus options

In this massing — an image intended to show only the location and scale of
proposed structures — Cleveland Clinic shows how a new Medical Office
Building (MOB) and Cancer Center north of Lorain Avenue might overlook
the Rocky River valley and extend east with two floors below a new multi-
level parking garage (CannonDesign). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

At a community meeting this evening at Fairview Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Foundation officials showed five design options for developing a new clinical building containing the Moll Cancer Center and medical offices plus a new parking garage on Fairview Hospital’s North Campus, north of Lorain Avenue. While there were some variations in the scale and shaping of the clinical building, the greatest difference between the options was where and how to construct a new parking garage or three.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Rezoning recommended for Ohio City project

Facing Lorain Avenue could be a 45 West, a new development by My Place
Group, if Cleveland City Council approved a rezoning recommended by City
Planning Commission. Among other features, the project includes a new five-
story apartment building and a 159-year-old house on Lorain renovated as a
proposed retail space (Vocon). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

In February 2023, the first of many public meetings were held for a medium-sized development called 45 West proposed by Cleveland-based My Place Group on Lorain Avenue at West 45th Street in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. More than a year later, a rezoning request was recommended by the City Planning Commission to City Council to allow the project to move forward.

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Monday, April 8, 2024

Cleveland skyscraper’s new owner plans upgrades

Downtown Cleveland’s third-tallest skyscraper and the fourth-tallest in Ohio,
200 Public Square’s deed of ownership officially transferred last week to an
affiliate of Namdar Realty. The new owner has hired a building manager and
plans improvements to the building, although some were already underway
by the prior owner (KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Purchase of Downtown Cleveland’s third-tallest skyscraper last week was officially confirmed today by the skyscraper’s new owner. A partnership of Namdar Realty Group and Mason Asset Management, both of Long Island, NY, also said they have a formed a five-year capital plan to improve 200 Public Square and hired a new building manager to carry out that plan. Enhancing the retail offerings in the tower’s atrium for office tenants and nearby residential buildings is part of its goal.

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Sunday, April 7, 2024

County courthouse to have new address?

The days of going to the 1976-built, 26-story Justice Center tower in Downtown
Cleveland to attend a hearing at Cleveland Municipal Court or the Cuyahoga
County Court of Common Pleas appear to be numbered. Also at the Justice Cen-
ter is the Cleveland Division of Police, seen at left, and the two jail blocks
behind it. Those three buildings may be demolished after the police and jails
leave. If the courthouse tower survives, it will like have a new purpose
(Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM. 

A Cuyahoga County committee has reportedly rejected all but one of the proposals that could have kept a Consolidated Courthouse at the current site of Downtown Cleveland’s existing Justice Center. NEOtrans has learned that, of the four surviving proposals, one involves a complicated, time-consuming double-move of courthouse functions from the current site and back again. If rejected, it would end a five-decade run of the Justice Center site as a law enforcement, adjudication and penal facility and set the stage for its redevelopment.

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Friday, April 5, 2024

Playhouse Square arrives at Greyhound Station

Downtown Cleveland’s landmark-designated Greyhound station will repor-
tedly be redeveloped by the Playhouse Square Foundation as a performing
arts venue but could also combine dining and other nightlife, a source said.
Ultimately, the move was made by the foundation to expand Cleveland's
theater district (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Playhouse Square Foundation this week closed a deal to acquire the Greyhound station in Downtown Cleveland to expand the theater district northward and convert the station into an entertainment/dining venue, according to a source familiar with the transaction. While Playhouse Square officials were mum on their plans, a spokesperson told NEOtrans that Greyhound bus operations will be relocated on a schedule that works for them and their customers.

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Cleveland planners OK 150-foot-tall billboard in Flats

A 150-foot-tall billboard to be built at Flats East Bank and proposed by business-
man Tony George won City Planning Commission approval with little pushback.
It is one of three billboards resulting from a court-enforced settlement allowing
the demolition of George’s vandalized building for the Irishtown Bend
Park (CPC). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Cleveland City Planning Commission today approved placing a 150-foot-tall pole-mounted billboard at a Flats East Bank property owned by an affiliate of controversial local businessman Tony George. It is the second of three billboards that George has received city permission to build in order to fulfill a court-approved settlement prior to demolishing an oft-vandalized building for the Irishtown Bend Park in Ohio City.

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Thursday, April 4, 2024

Ohio City retail defies recent trends

Ohio City retail is on the upswing, unlike many traditional main street-style
retail districts facing competition from big-box retailers and e-commerce.
The Cleveland neighborhood’s growing population comprised of people
with healthy incomes supports its brick-and-mortar retail establishments
that include restaurants and cafes (KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

This spring, the flowers aren’t the only things blooming in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. So are the new stores and plans for more, including restaurants and cafes. While many new and renovated buildings have opened elsewhere in the city, their ground-floor retail spaces tend to fill with a pre-programmed routine of bank branches, coffee shops, the occasional bar/restaurant, art gallery, or stay empty for a long time.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Lorain Road corridor wins transit planning grant

Clifton Boulevard in Lakewood and Cleveland’s Edgewater neighborhood has
dedicated bus lanes during rush hours only. Euclid Avenue from Downtown Cleve-
land to University Circle has dedicated bus lines 24 hours a day. A mix of these
conditions may be developed on Lorain Avenue from Cleveland’s Ohio City
neighborhood, through Fairview Park and North Olmsted to near the Lorain
County line with transit-oriented development along the way (Cuyahoga
County Planning Commission). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

In a continuing effort to create more affordable housing and transportation choices for Americans, the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) yesterday announced $17.6 million in grants going to 20 communities in 16 states to support equitable Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). Greater Cleveland was among those communities.

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Monday, April 1, 2024

Lake Erie island stadium concept floated

“There is no place like dome” said Congressional sponsors of legislation that
created the Lake Erie Island Stadium Authority and awarded $1 billion toward
the expected $10 billion cost of building a huge island off-shore from downtown
Cleveland, connected by highway and public transportation (CSU Memory
Project. Seasteading Institute, KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Borrowing on the 1970s plan for a Lake Erie jetport, NEOtrans has learned that a $10 billion stadium concept considered for professional football in Cleveland could involve an off-shore site as well as its island gaining potential sovereign status and inclusion in a longstanding free trade program with the USA and potentially Canada.

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