Shaker Heights

Local projects may benefit from federal incentives

Having too much office space, not enough housing inventory and tight private financing to address those conditions isn’t just a Greater Cleveland phenomenon. It’s a nationwide problem. So the federal government on Friday announced incentives to encourage the conversion of high-vacancy commercial buildings to residential use and develop surplus land owned by transit agencies.

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GCRTA stations: lots of opportunity

In recent months, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) has served notice that its rail system isn’t going anywhere. And that could be interpreted in one of two ways. In one way, GCRTA plans to invest $540 million by the end of this decade to rebuild its 34-mile rail system including a new, standardized light-rail fleet plus rebuilt tracks and stations on the Red, Blue and Green lines. Greater Cleveland’s “Rapid” is sticking around for decades to come. But taking it another way, there are no expansion plans while ridership on GCRTA buses and trains fell nearly 60 percent from 2013 to 2021 “led” by its rail system which fell even farther, from 9.3 million boardings in 2013 to 2.9 million in 2021.

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GCRTA wins $130m for new trains

In 2021, as chair of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over public transportation, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) championed the creation of a new federal program to fund the replacement of aging rail transit cars. Today, he shared the news that the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) was awarded $130 million from this program to narrow a funding gap in its $393 million effort to replace its four-decade-old rail car fleet. The award represents the largest single grant to the GCRTA in its 48-year history.

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$208m Shaker Rapid rebuild down the line

Starting next year and continuing until 2028, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) plans to completely rebuild its two rail rapid transit lines in Shaker Heights, east of Cleveland’s Shaker Square. Called the Blue and Green lines, this would be their first major infrastructure rebuilding since 1980. But not everyone is on board with this $208.2 million initiative that is included in GCRTA’s proposed capital budget, scheduled to get its first hearing May 2.

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GCRTA gives final OK to new rail car purchase

After at least eight years of discussion and planning, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) Board Members unanimously voted to approve the Rail Car Replacement Team’s recommendation of Siemens Mobility Incorporated as the preferred vendor to replace their aging rail fleet during today’s GCRTA Board meeting. This follows a detailed presentation and committee recommendation made on April 4.

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Shaker Hts, developer reach deal for ex-car dealership site

The City of Shaker Heights has entered into a preliminary agreement with a Columbus-based developer interested in constructing an architecturally distinctive, mixed-use building on vacant city-owned land, formerly the Qua Buick-Pontiac car dealership, across Warrensville Center Road from the existing first phase of the Van Aken District.

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Shaker Square commercial district sold

Community developments groups Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Burten Bell Carr Development have purchased the historic Shaker Square shopping center. The sale keeps the property under local, community-minded ownership and triggers a process by which deferred maintenance issues can be addressed and a strategy can be developed that will stabilize the center short-term and ensure it flourishes long-term.

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Ohio megaproject applications released

When real estate developer Bob Stark thought up the Ohio Transformational Mixed Use Development (TMUD) tax credit several years ago, he envisioned it as a means to transition from tapping historic tax credits for renovating old buildings in downtown Cleveland to afford building new ones. His rationale was that, with the supply of obsolete commercial buildings dwindling to provide new residential inventory, a new financial incentive would be needed to overcome Cleveland’s high construction costs and low rents to satisfy downtown housing demand.

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Van Aken District high-rises may start next month

In a sudden development, a major real estate construction project that was rejected for state financial incentives earlier this year has found its salvation from its host city Shaker Heights. And not only were the planned high-rises in phase two of the Van Aken District blessed with city incentives, a proposed office building in phase three was also a beneficiary of the city’s generosity.

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Megaproject candidates — a partial list

While a complete list of applicants for so-called “megaproject” tax credits won’t be available until sometime next week, NEOtrans has learned who a few of the local applicants are and aren’t, including at least one surprise. The deadline was today at 5 p.m. for submitting applications to the Ohio Department of Development for the second round of Transformational Mixed Use Development (TMUD) tax credits that could total $100 million.

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