Saturday, March 03, 2007

Flats Falling Down

Wrecking crews have arrived to the East Bank of the Flats where Scott Wolstein has proposed a $230 million residential and retail development, a project in which the City of Cleveland, the Port Authority, Flats Oxbow Association and Cuyahoga County have all placed their support behind.

While the City has issued demolition permits for eight properties north of the Main Avenue Bridge, half a dozen property owners still control parcels within the boundaries of the proposed development. Not surpisingly, demolition has started on the old Joe's Crab Shack directly across the street from a couple of the holdout properties - Larry Flynt's Hustler strip club and Heaven and Earth night club. Barring legal action that would prevent demolition, the former entertainment district will soon be flattened, excepting the handful of holdouts.
While I respect the commitment of the involved entities, I will reserve futher opinion on the project until I see evidence of new construction. My only suggestion until then... if there comes a day in the next several months where immediate plans for construction are postponed due to whatever unsurmountable circumstance (it has certainly happened before in the last decades), scatter a little grass seed, plant a few trees, and allow the public to enjoy this new riverfront open space.

Below, along Old River Road, the properties ready for demolition:

Looking from the West Bank of the Cuyahoga, buildings soon to be demolished...

...and the existing East Bank to remain


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