CH issues RFQ/RFP for Top of the Hill site
In April, the City of Cleveland Heights issued a request for qualification/proposals (RFQ/RFP) for development of the city-owned Top of the Hill property. The site is on the western edge of the Cedar Fairmount Business District and is convenient to University Circle, Greater Cleveland's second-largest employment hub. The city asked prospective developers to submit their qualifications and proposed visions for the site. Because input from the city and the public will help shape the final development plan, conceptual drawings or renderings were not required.
The 3.9-acre site currently comprises a 225-space parking lot and some vacant land. Developers were also invited to consider incorporating any of eight other nearby, but noncontiguous, city properties into their proposals. Some of the other parcels, which cover under two acres in total, are used for parking. Any new development would be required to satisfy its own parking needs and replace any lost parking. Developers were invited to approach the project creatively, and a preference was stated for a mix of dense residential uses, first-floor retail, office space, and perhaps a hotel.
As to why the city chose the present time to issue the RFQ/RFP, City Planner Kara Hamley O'Donnell stated, "Urban real estate development activity in the region is quite robust now, particularly in the University Circle area. Other recent and planned projects demonstrate current demand for pedestrian-friendly mixed-use developments, which the Top of the Hill site is well suited for." She noted that the city had been contacted about the land by several interested developers before the RFQ/RFP was issued. Several more have made inquiries since.
The Edgehill Apartments were constructed on the site in 1913 and consisted of an eight- and a four-story building. In 1946, the apartment buildings were converted into the 200-bed Doctors' Hospital, which remained there until 1968, when it moved to Mayfield Heights and became Hillcrest Hospital. The city acquired the property soon afterward, and demolished the buildings for the parking lot that is there now.
The city will resurface Cedar Road in this vicinity and make streetscape improvements in 2017, at which time a multi-purpose path will be extended down Cedar Hill. Cedar Fairmount is up Cedar Hill from the Cedar-University station on RTA's Red Line rapid transit service, and is served directly by bus lines 7 and 32.
Responses from potential developers were due on May 23. More information is available at www.clevelandheights.com/toh.
Vince Reddy is a FutureHeights board member and a 19-year resident of Cleveland Heights.