Center Mayfield demolition is imminent

Construction fencing surrounds the Center Mayfield Building in preparation for demolition. Photos by Graig Kluge.

The building for which the Center Mayfield Business District in Cleveland Heights is named will soon be demolished. On Jan. 9, residents noted that construction fencing and heavy machinery had been put in place. That evening, Allan Butler, housing programs director for the city of Cleveland Heights, confirmed that a demolition permit had been issued to Independence Excavating on Dec. 14, 2016.

In the city of Cleveland Heights, if the owner of a commercial property wants to demolish a structure, he must file for a demolition permit and pay a permit fee of $100, plus $5 per $1,000 value of the property. No city board or commission must review the request before the permit is issued. Independence Excavating paid a permit fee of $128.75.

The Center Mayfield Building, 3907–3927 Mayfield Road, is the most prominent building located in the "Triangle”—the district bounded by Mayfield, Noble and Warrensville Center roads. Constructed in 1917, the building contains a 1936 theater addition and had been mostly vacant for the last six years. The site also includes the Mayfield Noble Building, 2966 Noble Road, which will also be demolished.

Residents have known since early last year that the owner of the Center Mayfield Building, Keyes-Treuhaft Co., intended to demolish it if a buyer could not be found—the property is currently valued at $1.2 million by the county. The owner had such a purchase offer from Circle K, which planned to demolish the existing structure in order to build a 16-pump gas station and convenience store. Residents voiced their opposition to the proposed project at a public hearing on March 3, 2016. At its March 7 meeting, Cleveland Heights City Council voted to deny the developer’s request to rezone two adjacent residential properties on Vandemar Street to commercial, so that the properties could be added to the development site.

The Mayfield and Noble road buildings are located in a C-2 Local Retail District, which, according to the city’s zoning code, is established for “the continued operation of small neighborhood commercial establishments and to concentrate new retail businesses in buildings that typically locate side by side in order to create and encourage pedestrian activity.” Given the denial of the rezoning request, the property owner’s intentions for redevelopment remain unclear.

Although the Cleveland Heights 2011 Strategic Development Plan called for the city to “encourage restoration of Center Mayfield Theater marquee to highlight its historic architectural character,” the city will soon have a vacant lot instead.

Deanna Bremer Fisher

Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 12:24 PM, 01.10.2017