TOH is not for the middle class

To the Editor:

At a recent CH City Council meeting I heard a couple of council members say that the Top of the Hill (TOH) project will have a positive impact on Cleveland Heights' middle class. May I suggest that no members of the middle class will be able or willing to live there; it is not aimed at us.

TOH is a "luxury" project. Comparing it with the nearby One University Circle, a similar project, is instructive in learning what we are in for. At One University Circle, studio, or efficiency, apartments start at $1,500 per month. Each bedroom adds about $1,000 per month, so two- and three-bedroom units cost about $3,500 and $4,500 per month, respectively.

I'm a member of the middle class and the age of many "empty nesters”—a demographic the developers and city leadership have said TOH is trying to attract. I'm certainly not interested in moving into an efficiency apartment, and I'm not about to move into a $3,500 to $4,500 apartment. Most of us didn't become members of the middle class by spending these rates on rental housing!

We have been promised that TOH will bring with it green space. There are, in fact, three "green" spaces; but one of these is a proposed dog park that will be fenced in under lock and key. It is aimed at the luxury tenants of the project, and its greenness will actually come from AstroTurf—as if painting plastic green still constitutes a "green" space. So my neighbors and I in the Buckingham Condominium (surrounded by TOH) will be able to enjoy all the noise and odor from a dog park, but not actually take part in it.

Top of the Hill seems to be coming, like it or not. I just hope that most of our Cleveland Heights citizenry understand the scope of what we're looking at.

Don King

Don King
Cleveland Heights

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 10:02 AM, 01.03.2020