Thursday, March 15, 2007

Connecting Cleveland Includes Makeovers for The Variety and Capital Theatres

The majestic blue and white mosaic tiling announced Gunning Recreation Center, the last in a series of Connecting Cleveland meetings held by the City of Cleveland's Planning Commission. These were public meetings to 'dog and pony' the Commissions suggested changes to Cleveland's Master Plan. Some good stuff here and a seemingly aggressive series of ideas to help revitalize our neighborhoods.

Some of the highlights:
1. Encourage mixed use development (shops, housing, offices)
2. Sustain our industrial parkways
3. Look into a specialized high school dedicated to industrial design
4. Continue to foster public/private/non profit cooperation

You have heard our Metropark system referred to as the Emerald Necklace? Well the City is now calling their bike/tow path system the Emerald Bracelet. The idea is to finish connecting the 'trail' dots so that a circle of bicycle trails exists.
The Commission feels we should focus on 'pockets' of retail, because our population is down and trying to sustain, for example, the entire length of Lorain Avenue as a thriving retail district is not as feasible anymore. So they want to foster 'retail clusters.' Already in the works an example of two of these retail clusters:

Kamms Corner - whose 'Streetscaping' project is set to begin next month
Gordon Square - W. 65th and Detroit - most definitely already in the works

One highlight would be the tale of two theatres: The Variety and The Capital. Both exist as shells of their former selves but they are about to get the equivalent of Ty Pennington's Extreme Makeover.

The Capital will now be the West Side version of the Cedar Lee in Cleveland Heights, hosting Independent and Art films (I for one am extremely excited about this!)

The Variety near W. 117th on Lorain will show off her makeover in a different kind of mixed use: everything from children's shows, second run movies and a dinner theatre! I can't wait to see the marquee working on the Variety! The exterior work will be completed in 2007
Of course there was a lot of discussion as well about TODs, population shifts, etc. Check out the Planning Commission Website to get all the details for each district and your own neighborhoods. Peace Out - 3C

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