Cleveland Heights makes progress on economic development objectives
The city of Cleveland Heights is moving forward with its plans to redevelop two large vacant parcels within the city: the Top of the Hill site and the Lee/Meadowbrook site.
Tim Boland, the city's economic development director, presented a draft RFQ/RFP for the 1.07-acre Lee/Meadowbrook site to CH City Council at its Feb. 12 Committee of the Whole meeting, and requested council’s authorization to move forward. In his report, Boland stated, “Based on current economic conditions, recent significant investments by the city, school district and the private sector in and around the Cedar Lee Corridor, and the momentum for redevelopment these activities have generated, we have concluded that the timing is right to proceed with issuing an RFQ/RFP for redevelopment.”
The goal of the development would be “to create a dense, vibrant, pedestrian-friendly and unique commercial, office, residential or potentially mixed-use development that leverages the place-making opportunities of the site.” In 2007, the city constructedf a 377-space parking garage nearby, with 82 spaces designed with a separate entrance, to support a future project.
Council authorized Boland to issue the RFQ/RFP, which he did on Feb. 26. April 16 is the application deadline.
On Feb. 20, CH City Council approved legislation to authorize the city manager to enter into a development agreement with Flaherty & Collins Properties (F&C) for the Top of the Hill Project, the four-acre city-owned property at the top of Cedar Hill at Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard. With passage of this legislation, the project can move into the design and construction planning stage.
The projected $75 million project is proposed to consist of market-rate luxury apartments, retail and restaurant space, a nationally branded or boutique hotel, structured parking, and the potential opportunity to include for-sale townhomes and Class A office components.
The city and F&C are asking the school board for tax increment financing (TIF) of 100 percent for 30 years on the increase in valuation.
Scott Wortman, coordinator of communications for the CH-UH City School District, said in an e-mail, "At present, the schools receive $21,000 annually on the vacant properties, which they will continue to receive through the life of the TIF. In addition, the district will receive an additional $400,000 annually as soon as the project is completed until the 30-year TIF expires. At the end of the 30-year TIF the district will receive 100% of property taxes on the value of the project. Additionally, the district will receive 100% of any new levies passed after the project is completed."
The school board is considering the request.
More information can be found on the city's website at http://www.clevelandheights.com/index.aspx?page=2134.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.