JCU proposes new South Gateway
On Dec. 1, at a meeting of the University Heights Planning Commission, John Carroll University (JCU) outlined preliminary plans to redevelop its South Gateway at Fairmount Circle.
Once complete, the project will comprise new retail and commercial development that will include current businesses as well as new ones, plus student housing, and additional parking.
Phase 1 is a new parking garage. It will provide parking for this new, mixed-use development, and replace parking that will be lost with the construction of a new fieldhouse, planned for South Belvoir Boulevard.
Phase 2 is the redevelopment of the northern side of the gateway, currently occupied by BP, Mr. Tire, and a commuter [parking] lot. This mixed-use development plan calls for retail/commercial on the first level, with student apartments on levels 2 through 5. Living space depicted in the floor plan on level 1 could be converted to retail, upon market demand.
Phase 3 is the redevelopment of the southern side of the gateway, straddling Shaker Heights. JCU plans to raze and replace the current [shopping] plaza there, which the university owns. The current tenants will have the option of moving into the new building that will have been constructed in Phase 2 of the redevelopment plan.
“We welcome JCU's investment in itself and in our community,” said UH Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan. “This project is a culmination of efforts by JCU and the city, working together over the course of the past year. John Carroll University is our city’s largest employer, largest economic driver, and of course, our city’s namesake—there would be no University Heights without the university.”
JCU has submitted preliminary drawings for purposes of discussion. These drawings illustrate where the new buildings will be located. Their presentation also includes ideas for what the building facades could look like. The illustrations are posted online at www.universityheights.com.
JCU will be back before the city's Planning Commission in early 2023, and plans to solicit feedback from University Heights residents.
Mike Cook is the communications and civic engagement director for University Heights.