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What’s happening in Flats South with Cleveland Whiskey?

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Posted at 10:28 AM, Dec 12, 2020

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Whiskey selling bonds to help with Flats South location.

Cleveland Whiskey is trying to raise at least $1 million through Whiskey Bonds to help pay for the renovation at its new location, 601 Stones Levee Road.

The early name for the neighborhood is Flats South and it hopes to one day be a space for artists, makers, and entertainment underneath the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge.

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Flats South give visitors uncommon views of downtown Cleveland from underneath the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge.

Cleveland Whiskey founder Tom Lix tells News 5 this is different from the company’s first two crowdfunding campaigns in 2016 and 2018. Those campaigns sold equity in the company, bringing in roughly 1,600 people and allowing the business to grow.

Whiskey Bonds will be an asset that’s backed up by the company’s whiskey. When the six-year bond matures, bond holders will have the option to get their money back, with interest, or to take a certain amount of it in whiskey.

Renovation and relocation into Flats South is a multi-million dollar undertaking to first outfit the building for distilling and then build out the restaurant features of the space. Lix says he’s still gathering estimates on what that will cost, but that he expects the new space to increase production 20-fold over what he produces now.

Lix says part of the renovation will also involve getting the building declared a historic landmark, potentially unlocking historic tax credits to help finance the work.

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The loading dock area of Cleveland Whiskey's new home could eventually be an outdoor dining and entertainment area.

Lakewood formalizes its negotiations with Lakewood Hospital site developer

Lakewood’s City Council approved a resolution allowing Mayor Meghan George to enter formal negotiations with CASTO and North Pointe Realty, INC. to redevelop the former Lakewood Hospital site.

This comes after Carnegie Management and Development Corporation, left the project in early 2020.

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Renderings from CASTO/North Pointe's initial proposal show what its project at the former Lakewood Hospital site might eventually look like.

The original process started in 2017 when CASTO/North Pointe was one of the two finalists for the project. Lakewood ultimately chose Carnegie, the other finalist.

“Although three years ago we weren’t selected as the winner, we remained interested in the site and have been keeping tabs on the project,” said CASTO Vice President of Residential Development Kolby Turnock.

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An overhead view shows how CASTO/North Pointe's initial proposal would fit into downtown Lakewood.

Turnock then showed the City Council members four CASTO projects that happened since 2017, including the Dexter in Ohio City, that mirrored the stated goals for a project on the former hospital site.

Lakewood Director of Planning and Development Shawn Leininger told the group that the city’s goals for the project are still to create as much office, retail, and residential space as the market can support.

Once the city and CASTO/North Pointe negotiate a term sheet, there are expected to be many chances for residents to provide feedback about what they want from the project.

TMUD Bill passes Ohio Legislature

Senate Bill 39, creating a new financial tool for investment in large real estate development projects, passed the Ohio Legislature and goes to Governor DeWine’s desk for his signature.

The bill only applies to projects called “ transformational mixed use developments” (TMUDs).

“The bill defines ‘transformational mixed-use development’ to mean a project that will have a transformational economic impact within the project area approved by the Director; is a mixed-use development that integrates some combination of retail, office, residential, recreation, structured parking, and other similar uses,” according to the legislation’s summary.

The TMUD legislation could help a number of projects in and around downtown Cleveland pull the financing they need together.

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The Millennia Companies has said that passing Senate Bill 39 is a large part of how it expects to complete its renovation of The Centennial at the corner of Euclid and East 9th Street.

Stark Enterprise's NuCLEus is one of them. The project has stopped and started since 2014 and has been redesigned for the open parking lot between East 4th Street and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Stark Enterprises declined to comment on Senate Bill 39 passing.

Another project that could use the financing tool is The Centennial at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 9th Street, developed by Millennia.

We are thrilled that Senate Bill 39 has passed and grateful to the legislators who sponsored and supported this bill designed to spur economic and community development throughout the state.
This important bill, coupled with the immense support we have received from the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, will propel forward the historic restoration and reactivation of one of Cleveland’s most important landmarks, The Centennial.
As a result of this bill, new, catalytic development projects are positioned to create jobs, boost the economy and support not only Cleveland, but communities throughout Ohio.
The Millennia Companies

Flats East Bank gets TIF Extension

The Flats East Bank development received a 30-year extension on its Tax Increment Financing (TIF), allowing it to refinance debt it owes to the city of Cleveland.

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The TIF extension for Flats East Bank comes as the next phase of its development (left) continues to be built along the Cuyahoga River.

The Wolstein Group won’t have to pay non-school property tax until 2071. Cleveland Director of Economic Development David Ebersole explained to the City Council that the move will help Wolstein catch up on $6.5 million in payments it owes to the city.

Pedestrian Improvement Public Comment

The city of Cleveland and the Ohio Department of Transportation are working together to bring pedestrian safety improvements to 62 locations across Cleveland.

You can see a full list and map of the improvements here.

To help navigate the acronyms on the map, Cleveland City Planning explains:

"RRFB stands for rectangular rapid flashing beacon. These are the bright neon yellow flashers that have a pedestrian-activated push button at mid-block crosswalks to increase yielding behavior by drivers. The crosswalks aligned with the malls on Lakeside and St. Clair have RRFBs, as a local reference."

"PHB stands for pedestrian hybrid beacon, also sometimes called a HAWK (High-intensity Activated Crosswalk beacon), and is made up of red-light flashers activated when a pedestrian pushes the button to cross the street. These are used in the same way as RRFBs, but are typically reserved for roadways with higher speeds and traffic volumes."

Public Comment will be accepted through Dec. 30.

You can contact the City’s Project Engineer, Ron Mason, P.E., at (216) 664-3705 or through e-mail at rmason@city.cleveland.oh.us..

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

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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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