Cleveland Heights continues work on a development agreement on the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook site

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio – City officials and residents recently took a closer look at the $ 50 million Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook mixed-use development project, a concept believed to be at least 17 years in the works.

This was long before Flaherty & Collins, with City Architecture, entered the scene with a plan to complement the vision begun in 2004 by creating a mixed-use neighborhood “allowing for greater density and mixed uses – including residential – in certain commercial areas, ”noted Planning Director Eric Zamft earlier this month.

“Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook was at the heart of their concerns when they developed this ‘C2-X mixed-use neighborhood,’ Zamft added at the September 1 planning and development committee meeting focused on urban planning in the council chamber, with a house housed downstairs in the atrium of the town hall.

Along the way there were many stops and starts, especially at the 1.07 acre “Meadowbrook site”, which Zamft says is now part of what amounts to a “three site” plan. which is about 4.8 acres, although the “total buildable area” is closer to about 3 acres.

This is in large part due to the 377-space parking lot the city built in 2007 on the 2.11-acre “Lee Site” in anticipation of an earlier development proposal that was scrapped with the Great Recession of 2008.

Flaherty & Collins, also the developers of the $ 83 million Top of the Hill project, and their new architect, based in Cleveland on Larchmere Boulevard, are now proposing to “take full advantage” of the underutilized parking lot by integrating it into the residential development, with some of the 200 to 225 luxury apartments surrounding it.

That leaves the 1.62 acre “Cedar Site”, primarily an 189-space surface parking lot behind the Cedar-Lee Theater, where Alex Pesta, director of City Architecture and a resident of Cleveland Heights, said most of the development residential would take place.

Brandon Bogan, F&C vice president for pre-construction and design services, said most units will have patios and balconies, as well as 9-foot ceilings and amenities including a swimming pool and deck. complex style, a club room, co-working lounge and meeting spaces.

Regarding the 10,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, Pesta added that “outdoor dining is even more necessary after COVID”, with allowances for it, as well as an urban park. of about a third of an acre at the Meadowbrook site which can resolve any remaining issues with an underground AT&T easement.

Meanwhile, supporters of a one-acre event park had until the afternoon of September 14 to file 3,600 valid signatures with the Cuyahoga County Electoral Board to gain their initiative when of the November ballot.

City Architecture also wants to provide a “continuation” of the existing mini-park between Boss Dog Brewing and Heights Arts in the new development, which will also include a new “shared street”.

Overall, “it’s a lot bigger than ‘sticks and bricks’,” Pesta said. “It’s about Cedar-Lee and the ‘missing tooth’ that’s in the neighborhood right now.”

Of the 20 or so people participating in the September 1 “focus group” which included architects, city planners and representatives from Future Heights like Paul Volpe.

In addition to being all of the above, Volpe is also one of the founders of City Architecture, which transferred ownership of it in 2014.

At Monday’s city council meeting (September 13), Volpe made further recommendations on the project, as city officials continue to work towards a development deal with F&C.

While he thought the September 1 focus group meeting was productive, Volpe believes the proposal “hasn’t changed one iota since December,” when it was introduced.

“We need to answer all questions before the development deal is done,” Volpe said, city officials having set a target of 60 days earlier when they reached a memorandum of understanding. preliminary and non-binding on June 28.

“If not, what does the development agreement consist of? Volpe asked, with the council later requesting a copy of his comments.

In addition to public community meetings, the City continues to solicit feedback on its website at www.clevelandheights.com/clm.

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