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Stormwater improvements begin at former Lakewood Hospital site as residents await new development

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Posted at 6:27 AM, Sep 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-23 06:27:13-04

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Take a stroll down Detroit Avenue in Lakewood and it’s not hard to find someone wondering how and why the space at the corner of Belle Avenue has sat vacant for as long as it has.

“It’s a big hole in the ground! Reminds me of an episode of Parks and Recreation with a big hole in the ground," said longtime resident Bob Butts. "Only in Lakewood can that happen."

Amidst controversy, Lakewood Hospital closed back in 2016.

The hospital was demolished at least three years ago.

There is some relief in sight.

The city recently started the next phase of stormwater improvements on the property.

Crews are now making grading adjustments and will relocate the stormwater pipe by removing trees at the corner.

Eventually, they will install a new water pipe. Additional details on the project can be found here.

Lifelong resident, William Pearce, says it’s essential for business owners and residents who have at times dealt with the aftermath of heavy rain events.

“Hopefully it improves in the water situation when it rains because it usually floods down here," said Pearce.

This will all pave the way for a $90 million mixed-use development by CASTO and North Pointe Realty.

Officials say the project would include 200 units of rental and for purchase housing, restaurants, retail, and significant office space.

Residents applaud the fact that the project includes affordable housing.

“That’d be great. I’d love it. Downtown Lakewood… have new housing? Tremendous idea," said Butts.

And while parking around the site is limited as crews continue stormwater improvements, the proposed project would include roughly 500 new spots and a parking garage.

Officials say patience is key as the city reports CASTO and North Pointe Realty continue to work through Lakewood's Planned Development review process.

They have already received preliminary plan approval from the Planning Commission.

The proposal is now before the City’s Architectural Board of Review.

“It’s taking forever, but I think if it all comes to fruition, it’ll be worth the wait," said Butts.

The work on the stormwater portion of the project will be finished by December.

No word on when official construction will begin on the redevelopment portion of the property.