future perfect: program to look at the exciting possibilities for university circle

University Circle already holds claim as Cleveland's premier medical, cultural and educational district. But what does the future hold for the rich, square-mile enclave and the neighborhoods around it?

"Building the Circle 2035: Height, Density and Social Equity" will attempt to answer that question during a free panel discussion on April 10 in the Cleveland Museum of Art's Gartner Auditorium. The program is part of the Circle Neighbors lecture series sponsored by the art museum's Womens Council in collaboration with the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, The Women's Committee of The Cleveland Orchestra, and the Western Reserve Historical Society.

University Circle is an ever-active neighborhood of "arts, ed and med," says Circle Neighbors co-chair Sabrina Inkley. With development on the rise, the district just four miles east of downtown Cleveland has become an anchor for a city that certainly needs one.

"As Clevelanders we have this inferiority complex," says Inkley. "University Circle is the one of the most unique one-square-mile areas in the nation."

The panel talk, moderated by Plain Dealer architecture critic Steven Litt, will peer two decades into the future to imagine what University Circle might look like, and how the district's rising wealth could benefit struggling surrounding neighborhoods. Panelists will include Chris Ronayne of UCI Inc, developer Ari Maron of MRN Ltd. and India Pierce Lee of the Cleveland Foundation.

Inkley doesn't have all the answers, but she knows University Circle is an enormous linchpin for Cleveland's economic future. New rental apartments and various institutions constructing new facilities are just two examples of the growth taking place.

"It's just very exciting," Inkley says. "There is something for everyone here."

SOURCE: Sabrina Inkley
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
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