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A wrinkle in the plans for Irishtown Bend at the corner of Detroit Avenue and West 25th

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Posted at 3:22 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 19:15:18-04

CLEVELAND — A new wrinkle in the plans to build a signature park in Ohio City developed when renovation plans were recently submitted to the City of Cleveland for 1435 West 25th Street.

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1435 had graffiti on the outside until it was largely painted over in brown paint

The building is next to two other properties that had been recently demolished as part of the Irishtown Bend project. Irishtown Bend would stabilize the hill where Ohio City and the Cuyahoga River meet, creating a large park that would help connect multi-use trails along the Cuyahoga River and the west side of Cleveland.

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Renderings show what Irishtown Bend could look like in a few years when the hillside is stable and landscaping creates public space.

The owner of 1435 is restaurateur and entrepreneur Bobby George. He says he's been talking to the City of Cleveland about what it would take to make the property part of the Irishtown Bend project. County records show he bought it in 2018 for about $250,000.

George's plans, which were created in early 2020 and submitted to the City of Cleveland in June 2021, call for a wellness center. George says he hopes to move his existing wellness center Lyv there from a small space on West 25th Street, near his restaurant TownHall.

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Renderings show what could be possible at the corner of West 25th Street and Detroit Avenue in Ohio City if developer Bobby George is able to carry out his plan for the abandoned building.

George tells News 5 he originally became interested in the building as a potential location for a medical marijuana dispensary. That development wouldn’t be allowed because of state regulations governing where those dispensaries can be placed.

“To me, it’s one of the top properties in Cleveland,” said George in a phone conversation Wednesday. “It has the best view. It’s better than being in downtown because it’s looking at downtown.”

The plans show space for yoga, treatment and therapy rooms, as well as a rooftop cafe.

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Renderings show a rooftop cafe above the wellness center with a view of downtown Cleveland near what will eventually be Irishtown Bend.

George says he’d be willing to work with the city to figure out how to best incorporate his development into Irishtown Bend.

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Demolition has already started and is nearly finished on the buildings that used to stand next to George's property.

George says that he asked local stakeholders about development plans near the property before buying it in 2018, and that talks with the city about selling it or swapping it started after it became clear the parcel was included in Irishtown Bend plans. The City of Cleveland told News 5 in an email, "Because of the current negotiations, it would not be appropriate to respond to these questions. We will let you know if anything changes in the future." Other community leaders didn't respond to News 5’s request for comment on this story.

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George says this rendering shows what could be possible if he traded land with the city to allow an entrance to Irishtown Bend at the corner for a parking lot on what is now slated to be park land.

Irishtown Bend already has tens of millions of dollars in federal money and grants dedicated to stabilizing the hill and creating the park on top of it.

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