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Two developments along Detroit Avenue get the green light to move forward on Cleveland's West Side

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Posted at 8:16 AM, May 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-08 08:16:38-04

CLEVELAND — Wavery & Oak moves forward

The 126 unit apartment project with 17,000 square feet of retail space along Detroit Avenue got its Certificate of Appropriateness from the Cleveland Landmarks Commission in April.

Approval was delayed in May when additional stakeholders opposed the building’s demolition despite the fact that the developers had been in conversations with the owners of Club Azteca and the surrounding parcels, as well as community stakeholders, city planners and the Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Organization for nearly a year.

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Additional stakeholders came forward to make sure the new development properly recognized Club Azteca before it is demolished.

Bond Street Group principal Jason Strizzi told the Commission that the additional delay allowed his development group to talk to additional community members and ultimately get everyone behind the project.

Strizzi says the project will be pedestrian-focused, with setbacks from the street, gathering space on the ground floor, and no curb cuts for cars along Detroit Avenue.

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The new buildings will bring residents into the heart of Gordon Square.

“We’re envisioning and designing for where the neighborhood and the city are going,” said Strizzi. “What we believe Gordon Square and Cleveland can be in 5, 10, 15, 20 years form how, which we believe to be a walkable, dense, vibrant community.”

Instead, the 97 underground spaces will be accessible from behind the building, off of Tillman Avenue. Strizzi says additional agreements with neighbors will allow 40 additional spaces to be available for residents.

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The development is walking distance to Ohio City and Lake Erie.

“We are trying to leverage existing, under-utilized parking assets to meet today’s demand, but we want to avoid building new parking or raising buildings specifically for parking to meet a demand that we hope is less in the future,” said Strizzi.

Bridgeworks gets final approval

Bridgeworks’ updated plans got final approval from the Cleveland Landmarks Commission in April, and construction could start in the Spring of 2021, according to the project's Courbanize site.

Earlier versions of the project were criticized for how it incorporated public space on the corner of Detroit Avenue and West 25th Street, and how the property would be configured next to St. Malachi’s Church next-door and Lakeview Terrace further down West 25th Street.

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The Bridgeworks would be one of the tallest buildings in the Ohio City area at about 200 feet tall.

The project will be 16 stories with the bottom floors used for apartments and the upper floors used as a hotel on the site of a garage and test facility formerly used by Cuyahoga County’s Department of Public Works.

The project’s Courbanize site says there will be “170 apartments: 18 two-bedroom, 71 one-bedroom, and 81 studio. The hotel includes 130 guest rooms and a large lobby area that will include a coffee-shop.”

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A key piece of the reworked designs is how the building allows for a public space and sidewalk area that is inviting to pedestrians.

The original plans had the structure coming right up to the sidewalk on West 25th Street. Refined plans put the hotel on top of the apartment structure and moved the entire building back on the property, preserving a large public space at the intersection.

A 1960s era addition to the County buildings will be demolished on the condition that some of the materials be salvaged to help reconstruct other county buildings that will be part of the project.

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Pedestrians will be able to walk completely through the project and might be able to us it to access the streetcar level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge if it is eventually opened to the public.

Pedestrians will be able to walk through the entire ground level of the property, accessing commercial space that appears to be slated to be a coffee shop. This also preserves the possibility of eventually allowing pedestrians to access the streetcar level of the Detroit-Superior Bridge at a future date through the old streetcar level access.

Demolition for Irishtown Bend is bringing that project closer to becoming a reality across Detroit.

Have you ever noticed something interesting in Northeast Ohio and wondered, “Hey…what’s going on there?”

Us, too. We love learning more about what shapes the world around us -- the buildings, the spaces and the ways we move between them.

Next time you're wondering about some building, project or piece of land, send me an email at Kevin.Barry@wews.com and I'll look into it for a possible story.

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