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University Circle to showcase transportation with new shuttle, walkability, public transit

With newcomers such as MOCA and the utterly transformed Uptown District, University Circle (UC) has exploded with new activity that has easily blended in amid funky Hessler Street, the towering puppets of Parade the Circle and the venerable cultural institutions lining Wade Oval.
 
If you build it, they will come. So goes the saying and so it is for UC, a development that University Circle Inc. (UCI) and its partners have noted and then some.
 
"I really think transportation is on a lot of people's minds lately. It's certainly on our minds here in University Circle and the surrounding area," says Laura Kleinman, UCI's vice president of services. "Such substantial growth means a greater volume of people in the area," she adds, noting that the influx increases pressure on the environment, the infrastructure and most importantly, the people.
 
To ease it all, UCI, along with some 20 area partners, has developed the expansive Moving Greater University Circle's Transportation and Mobility Plan. At more than 140 pages, the document is daunting, but it's implementation and intent are already evidenced in the UC area in the friendliest of ways, starting most notably with a familiar link that's just expanded and aims to make navigating the area easier than ever.
 
The free CircleLink shuttle has historically catered to the area's education and medical industries. A new yearlong pilot program, however, will expand coverage to the Little Italy neighborhood, complete with a new vehicle.
 
"We added a smaller bus so it could navigate Little Italy more easily," says Kleinman, noting that the tiny enclave isn't conducive to maneuvering large vehicles.


 
The new BlueLink, which launched today, will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The free shuttle will circulate every 20 or 30 minutes and will stop at the new Little Italy – University Circle RTA Station; points along Mayfield, Murray Hill and Cornell Roads; and the cultural attractions lining Wade Oval and Magnolia Drive. The addition increases the small but mighty CircleLink fleet from two to three shuttles.
 
The newly named GreenLink will follow a route similar to that of the former shuttle service, with stops along Adelbert, Juniper and Bellflower Roads, as well as East 115 Street.
 
Both routes will help promote the "park-once" concept, by which UC advocates encourage visitors to park in one spot and visit the Circle's amenities throughout the day without moving their car. It will also encourage visitors to enjoy the new CircleWalk program, with it's 40 inviting 'Story Poles' that now pepper the area and draw attention to points of interest such as Rockefeller Park and the Commodore Hotel.
 
Others who initially travel to the area via RTA's Healthline or the recently improved Cedar – University Rapid or the Little Italy stations may opt for two wheels and partake in the forthcoming bike share program. Initially announced last year, University Hospitals was tapped as title sponsor of the citywide UHBikes program last month. The program will be rolling out over the coming weeks. The University Circle area is slated for 10 stations that will house approximately 50 bikes to let.
 
"We're encouraging people to use public transportation get to the Circle and either walk or hop on CircleLink to take them anywhere else in Circle," says Kleinman. "We're working closely with RTA to promote that."
 
To that end, Joe Calabrese, RTA's CEO and general manager, will deliver the keynote at the 2016 Uptown Business Association Showcase in the Circle on Thursday, June 16 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
 
With all this talk of how people can get around the Circle, Kleinman sees Calabrese as a perfect fit for the event.


 
"I think Joe is a super champion of public transit in the region and even around the country," she says. "I know he's excited about the investments that they have made recently in University Circle, particularly with the two Rapid stations. He's just a great supporter and believer in public transportation and the benefits it can have on infrastructure, on our communities, on our health and on the economics in the region."
 
Calabrese will talk about the Moving Greater University Circle Plan, its components and how RTA has been involved in it all. He'll also discuss RTA's Transit Benefits Fare Program, by which employers can save up to 7.65 percent on average in payroll tax and employees can save up to 40 percent on commuting costs.
 
"People need to be able to get to their jobs easily and cost effectively," says Kleinman, adding that she believes attendees – employees and employers alike – will appreciate hearing about the program.
 
The June 16 event will also include announcements of a number of awards:
 
The Best Nonprofit/Local Business Relationship Award honors a business relationship between a University Circle nonprofit and a neighborhood business. Last year's winners: DeeJay Doc FRESH Camp and Bon Appétit
 
The Best Start Up Business Award honors a neighborhood business that has been in existence less than three years. Last year's winner: Cleveland Yoga Uptown
 
The Best Multi-Generational or Family-Owned Business Award honors a neighborhood business that has been passed on from one generation to the next, or in which two or more family members are employed, share ownership, or are primary decision makers. Last year's winner: The Barking Spider Tavern
 
The Uptown Business Association (UBA) Champion Award honors the UBA member that champions the organization’s mission to promote and support businesses in the Uptown neighborhoods to increase profitability and enhance the quality of life for the community.  Last year's winners: Mark Balogh, The Coffee House at University Circle and Ben Williams Jr., Ben’s Auto Body Specialists
 
Also last year, the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Neighborhood Leadership Award, which honors the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones and her legacy of service to the University Circle community, was given to Sara Mierke, Hawken School, and Sally and Bob Gries, The Gries Center.
 
"The [UBA] seeks to engage not only business owners from the Circle, but from the surrounding neighborhoods to help them network with one another and raise awareness of the local business community," says Kleinman, adding that this is the fourth year the Showcase event will include awards.
 
"We'll be celebrating local businesses," she says of the forthcoming event. "We'll also be connecting with a really important topic: public transportation."
 
 
Citizens Bank is the presenting sponsor for the 2016 Uptown Business Association Showcase in the Circle event, with additional promotional support from the Council of Small Enterprise (COSE). The George Gund Foundation and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency's (NOACA) Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative funded the Moving Greater University Circle Plan. University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University are funding the pilot BlueLink shuttle program.

This article was made possible by a partnership with University Circle Inc.

 
 

2016 Vibrant City Award winners announced

Earlier this week Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) honored the 2016 Vibrant City Award winners amid 600 guests gathered at the Cleveland Masonic Auditorium. The winners were chosen from a field of 21 finalists.
 
CNP president Joel Ratner honored Cleveland Metroparks with the first-ever Vibrant City Impact Award. The community partner was recognized for its role in managing the city’s lakefront parks, rejuvenating Rivergate Park and bringing back a water taxi service.
 
Ratner also bestowed the Morton L. Mandel Leadership in Community Development Award upon Joe Cimperman.
 
"Joe is a true champion of the city of Cleveland and Cleveland’s neighborhoods," said Ratner. "He truly is a visionary for making Cleveland a fair and equitable place to call home for all city residents."
 
Cimperman recently left Cleveland City Council after 19 years and is now the President of Global Cleveland.
 
The seven other Vibrant City Award winners include:
 
CDC Community Collaboration Award: Stockyards, Clark Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office
 
La Placita – A Hispanic-themed open-air market providing business development opportunities to entrepreneurs and access to local goods and fresh foods for residents.
 
CDC Placemaking Award: University Circle Inc.
 
Wade Oval improvements - the main greenspace in the University Circle neighborhood received a musical themed amenity boost and became an even more attractive and comforting destination for residents and visitors.
 
CDC Economic Opportunity Award: Famicos Foundation
 
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program management – This organization has excelled in focusing on the financial well being of its residents and had a record-breaking year with its EITC work. 
 
CDC Neighborhood Branding & Marketing Award: St. Clair Superior Development Corp. & Campus District, Inc.
 
Night Market Cleveland  -  the two CDCs partnered and capitalized on past successes and momentum in the AsiaTown and Superior Arts District neighborhoods to create a new destination event that brought exposure to the neighborhood and appreciation for the diverse cultures that surround the area.
 
Corporate Partner Award: Dave’s Supermarkets
 
The local grocery chain stayed committed to Cleveland and provides a much-needed amenity to city residents, providing access to fresh food and produce and on-going constant community support.
 
Urban Developer Award: Case Development, Mike DeCesare 
 
A residential developer that has successfully completed development projects in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood and is actively pursuing new developments in other city neighborhoods
 
Civic Champion Award: Joseph Black, Central neighborhood
 
The Neighborhood Engagement Manager for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland that possesses a passion to serve at-risk communities and has aided and mentored Cleveland’s children and families for years.

Cleveland motorcycle entrepreneur rides into CIA to inspire, guide students

Though it's been a decade since Cleveland CycleWerks owner Scott Colosimo graduated from Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), he has stayed connected to the school as both a teacher and professor.
 
This spring, Colosimo has returned to his formative digs once more as sponsor of CIA's transportation design class, which "exposes students to the basic knowledge, skills and qualities that are important for a career in transportation design." The semester-long role is part-time, as the Parma native spends most days running his small-volume motorcycle manufacturing facility in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, where he builds custom bikes and restorations of British, Japanese and Italian motorcycles.
 
At CIA, Colosimo serves as a motivator and critic in helping students solve real-world transportation design questions. The role is more instructional than professorial, and is meant to reflect a designer/client relationship in the professional world.  
 
"My work is to push students further than they would be by the traditional OEM (original equipment manufacturer)," says Colosimo, who graduated from CIA in 2004. "Companies tend to pull students back in to make concepts more contemporary. I'm pushing them out and making sure they're looking well off into the future."
 
That conceptual outlook includes designing vehicles for racing along the surface of distant planetary bodies. Colosimo, who wrote the class curriculum with Professor Haishan Deng, oversees teams tackling the challenge of building vehicles for transportation on Mars.
 
"The vehicles take on a more unique design, proportion and function than cars of today," says Colosimo, 35. "This kind of problem-solving is key to developing a young designer's ability to step beyond the surface and become a competent, well-rounded designer."
 
Colosimo's partnership with CIA emerged as part of a long-standing CIA tradition of bringing in automotive officials to offer students professional-level feedback. The self-proclaimed "motorcycle geek" is proud to present his particular brand of two-wheeled insight to a creative, energetic classroom.
 
"These students are already thinking and sketching on a professional level, so I like to think of them as professionals," Colosimo says. "I'm there at a design director level to push them in the right direction when they get off track."
 
Though the entrepreneur has been in the motorcycle-building game since 2009, returning to school has illuminated new innovations unburdened by the limits of running a bottom-line manufacturing business.
 
"Students are working on unique propulsion, suspension and wheel solutions that I never would have thought of," says Colosimo. "They're so quick to adapt and think of ways to use that technology. It's amazing how natural it comes to them."

The Cleveland Institute of Art is part of Fresh Water's underwriting support community.
 

RTA on track for new East 34th Street rapid station, say officials

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is making progress on a new rapid station set for the site of the current station at 2830 E. 34th St. A community meeting to discuss the proposed improvements will take place tonight at 6 p.m. at Cuyahoga Community College's Metro Campus Student Center.
 
The preliminary design for the $7.5 million project was shown to RTA's board of trustees on March 1, while an updated station design proposal was completed earlier this month. The new station, which like its current iteration on East 34th Street, will serve all three rapid lines, and be upgraded with better lighting and ADA-compliant features.
 
Attendees of tonight's get-together will see the same design concept presented to board members, says Mike Schipper, RTA assistant general manager of engineering.

"Our next step is to get feedback from the public," says Schipper.
 
The plan's design phase will wrap by December, when RTA also expects to begin the construction bidding process. Work is scheduled to start next spring and will take a year to complete, officials say.  
 
Plans for the new station include relocating the main entrance to the intersection of East 34th Street and Broadway Avenue, a space which will also offer a covered waiting area for riders, says Schipper. New LED lighting and a disabled-accessible ramp are among the project's other highlights. 

Though close to Tri-C's metro campus, the East 34th Street station currently does not get much use, Schipper says. However, thanks in part to the advocacy of Campus District stakeholders, RTA agreed to design and build a new facility instead of closing it altogether. 
 
The district's community development group has committed to work with RTA after the new station is finished to promote increased ridership. Proximity to Tri-C as well as special rates for students could give those figures an additional boost.
 
"We hope as we rebuild the station Tri-C will engage surrounding businesses and the Campus District as a whole," says Schipper, adding that a built-out rapid facility can also compliment a community that's undergone heavy development in recent years.
 
"This is our investment in the area," says Schipper. "We look forward to growing with the neighborhood."

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress announces finalists for Vibrant City Awards

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) has announced 21 finalists for its 2016 Vibrant City Awards. Winners will be revealed on May 2 at the second annual Vibrant City Awards Lunch, hosted by CNP and presented by Key Bank and Community Blight Solutions.
 
“We are proud to convene community partners and stakeholders to celebrate city neighborhoods. These leading efforts in neighborhood revitalization are what help us all create a vibrant city,” says Joel Ratner, president and CEO of CNP. “The organizations and individuals being honored have displayed tremendous passion, dedication and collaboration. We’re excited to recognize them for their successful efforts in community development.”
 
CNP received more than 70 nominations for this year's awards.
 
“The complete list of nominations tells an inspiring story of neighborhood transformation that is taking place in Cleveland," says Jeff Kipp, CNP's director of neighborhood marketing for the organization. "From community development corporations to corporate partners and everyone in between, there are amazing people performing incredible work in our neighborhoods.”
 
Additionally, CNP will present the Morton L. Mandel Leadership in Community Development Award and the first ever Vibrant City Impact Award at the May 2 luncheon. During the event, civic leaders, community development professionals, local developers, investors, realtors and passionate Clevelanders will gather to celebrate neighborhoods at the Cleveland Masonic Auditorium, 3615 Euclid Ave., an iconic structure located in Midtown on the RTA Healthline. A locally sourced meal catered by chef Chris Hodgson of Driftwood Catering will be served. This event is open to the public. More information and registration details are available online.
 
The 2016 Vibrant City Awards finalists include:
 
• CDC Community Collaboration Award
 
Ohio City Inc. – Station Hope
Held in May 2015, Station Hope, a collaboration of Ohio City, Inc., Cleveland Public Theatre, Saint John’s Episcopal Church and Councilman Joe Cimperman, was a free multi-arts event that celebrated the history of St. John’s Church, the triumphs of the Underground Railroad, and contemporary struggles for freedom and justice. Station Hope featured a diverse selection of theatre and performance ensembles, including more than 30 companies and 150 individual artists.


 
Slavic Village Development – Cleveland Orchestra at Home in Slavic Village
In spring 2015, The Cleveland Orchestra At Home in Slavic Village residency brought a world-class orchestra to the Broadway Slavic Village neighborhood. Partners included Slavic Village Development, the Cleveland Orchestra, Broadway School of Music and the Arts, the Broadway Boys and Girls Club, cultural organizations, and area churches and schools. In April, the orchestra performed a free public concert for an audience of 1,000 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. The residency continued throughout the year with a host of events.
 
Stockyards, Clark Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office – La Placita
In 2015, the Stockyard, Clark Fulton and Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office partnered with the Hispanic Business Center and local businesses and entrepreneurs to launch La Placita, an open air market near the intersection of Clark Avenue and West 25th Street that featured 24 local vendors and cultural offerings for five Saturday events that attracted thousands. The events also served as an effective venue to showcase “La Villa Hispana,” which is home to a growing ethnic population in the City of Cleveland.
 
• CDC Placemaking Award
 
MidTown Cleveland – East 55th Street railroad bridge mural
The railroad bridge above the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East 55th Street has been transformed into a symbol of the innovation and emerging economy embodied in the MidTown neighborhood and the Health-Tech Corridor. The mural, designed by Twist Creative, Inc., includes a graphic of DNA molecules, and logos of MidTown Cleveland, the City of Cleveland, BioEnterprise and the Cleveland Foundation.


 
Slavic Village Development – Cycle of Arches
The Cycle of Arches installation evokes allusions to nature such as trees or grasses bending in the wind, while nodding to the industrial heritage of the community by representing the neighborhood's "steel roots" with its steel tube construction. Part of the $8 million Broadway Streetscape and Road Improvement Project, the installation is located at the intersection of E.49th Street and Broadway Avenue. Jonathan Kurtz, AIA, designed Cycle of Arches. Partners included Slavic Village Development, Land Studio and the City of Cleveland.
 
University Circle Inc. – Wade Oval improvements
University Circle Inc. recently invested in several improvements to Wade Oval including a permanent musical park that offers four large-scale instruments, benches, Adirondack chairs and a chalkboard with the “This is CLE to Me…” tagline emblazoned across the top. Visitors are encouraged to creatively express themselves in this eclectic area.


 
• CDC Economic Opportunity Award
 
Famicos Foundation – Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program management
Famicos Foundation weaves together a diverse portfolio of economic opportunity programming to aid family financial stability in the Glenville neighborhood. In 2015, the organization helped complete 1,917 tax returns with a total refund of $2.3 million for residents. 549 of those returns were for EITC clients and those individuals received $869,000 in refunds. Also in 2015, while participating in a pilot program, Famicos referred 90 tax preparation clients interested in receiving one-on-one financial counseling to the Community Financial Centers.
 
Stockyards, Clark Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office – La Placita
The Stockyard, Clark Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office was instrumental in the planning and implementation of "La Placita," which served as a catalyst project encouraging collaboration between the local CDC and stakeholders in the community. This initiative served as a business incubator for new businesses with free business training and as an accelerator for established businesses. Situated in an economically challenged food dessert, "La Placita" also served as an access point for fresh, affordable produce and culturally relevant prepared foods and ingredients.
 
University Circle, Inc. – Business outreach and development efforts
In 2015, University Circle Inc's business outreach and development efforts included three key components: the Uptown Business Association (UBA), NextStep: Strategies for Business Growth and a financial literacy and QuickBooks bookkeeping program, all of which fostered networking amid business owners in the greater University Circle area. UCI consistently convenes the 17 NextStep alumni, a current class of nine business owners, 65 UBA members, and seven bookkeeping program participants at UBA meetings to network, enhance their skills and find new opportunities. 
 
• CDC Neighborhood Branding & Marketing Award
 
Northeast Shores Development Corp. – Welcome to Collinwood website
With the help of the CDC, the neighborhood has taken its brand as Cleveland's premiere artists’ neighborhood to a new level with the Welcome to Collinwood website. The homepage offers an artistic display of images and designs, and visitors are met with compelling copy that boasts the compelling opportunities available to artists in Collinwood. 
 
Slavic Village Development – Rooms to Let
St. Rooms To Let, a temporary art installation in vacant homes created by Slavic Village Development, was a successful marketing event that changed perceptions about the surrounding neighborhood. In May 2015, more than 1,000 visitors toured St. Rooms to Let, which included installations by 30 artists, live music performances and activities for children.


 
Clair Superior Development Corp. & Campus District, Inc. – Night Market Cleveland
St. Clair Superior Development Corp. and Campus District Inc. teamed up last summer to spark awareness, foster a creative economy, and bring attention to the hidden gems of AsiaTown and the Superior Arts District with Night Market Cleveland - a series of four summer events with local art vendors, Asian food and cultural entertainment. The inaugural season attracted a staggering 50,000 attendees and garnered coverage in 22 media publications.
 
• Corporate Partner Award
 
Community Blight Solutions
Community Blight Solutions focuses on understanding, solving, and eliminating blight. Prominent solutions currently include promotion of the organization's SecureView product and the Slavic Village Recovery Project, which aims to align demolition and rehabilitation to eradicate blight one block at a time and fosters corporate volunteerism amid the area's for-profit partners. The project is also focused on gaining access to a critical mass of real estate owned properties and those that are abandoned with the intention of either demolition or rehabilitation.
 
Dave’s Supermarkets
Dave’s Supermarkets' portfolio of stores sells products that match the profile of the communities they serve while their employees and customer base reflect Cleveland’s diverse population. Asian, Hispanic, African American and Caucasian residents all feel at home at Dave’s Supermarket. Dave’s has provided significant financial support in the form of food donations to community organizations, churches, and neighborhood groups. The local chain employs over 1,000 people in 14 stores, providing health care and retirement benefits to hard-working Cleveland residents.
 
PNC Bank
PNC was the lead sponsor of UCI’s summer concert series, Wade Oval Wednesdays – WOW! - a free weekly concert that draws up to 5,000 attendees. In addition, PNC supported UCI’s Clean and Safe Ambassador program expansion from seasonal to year-round with twice as many staff.  Additionally, PNC supported the creation and development of a children’s map and activity book to complement UCI’s newest education initiative, Circle Walk, a 40-point interpretive program set to launch in May 2016.
 
• Urban Developer Award:
 
Case Development – Mike DeCesare
Mike DeCesare of Case Development has been a pioneer in residential development in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, which he also calls home. He successfully finished the Waverly Station community in 2015 and completed the Harborview development at Herman Avenue and West 54th Street.
 
Geis Companies – Fred Geis
Fred Geis instigated the MidTown Tech Park, which boasts nearly 250,000 square feet of office and laboratory space leased to health and technology firms, and is part of the growing Health-Tech corridor. One of Geis’s most transformational projects is The 9, into which Geis moved its headquarters from Streetsboro. This spring, Geis will break ground on an Ohio City project converting the industrial Storer Meat Co. facility into 67 market-rate apartments. Fred Geis was also recently appointed to the Cleveland Planning Commission and will donate his stipend to the Dream Neighborhood refugee housing initiative.
 
Vintage Development Group – Chip Marous
Vintage Development Group provides well-built multi-family residential properties in Detroit Shoreway and Ohio City, thereby helping to support the associated commercial districts with residential opportunities and financial support. Not to be content with the footprint of his Battery Park project, Marous has executed plans for expanding it. His passion for complete, walkable urban development is made possible through established relationships in Cleveland’s urban neighborhoods.
 
• Civic Champion Award:
 
Joseph Black – Central neighborhood
Joe Black is committed to Central neighborhood youth. He is currently the Neighborhood Engagement Manager for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. As the leader of the engagement team, he is responsible for fostering a seamless experience for youth and families to progress through their education from cradle to career. Black’s passion was sparked by personal experiences with the inequities linked to men of color, and has since matured into a responsibility to serve “at risk” communities. He is a tireless, dedicated community volunteer, mentoring youth at his day job as well as during his free time.
 
Charles Gliha – Slavic Village neighborhood
Lifelong Slavic Village resident Charles Gliha strives to improve the neighborhood with art, civic engagement and business development. As founder of Broadway Public Art, he has championed the Warszawa Music Festival, is the founder of Street Repair Music Festival, organizes the Polish Constitution Day Parade, and volunteers at Rooms to Let. Gliha is an active member of the Slavic Village Neighborhood Summit planning committee and hosts cash mobs and live music events in area retail establishments. He also created a printed business directory and garnered $25,000 in grants for the neighborhood.


 
Alison Lukacsy – Collinwood neighborhood
A Cleveland transplant turned North Collinwood artist, advocate and promoter, Alison Lukacsy sees opportunities where others see problems. She has secured over $20,000 in grants, resulting in projects such as Storefront Activation utilizing debris from Adopt-a-Beach cleanups, Phone Gallery - Cleveland's smallest curated art gallery, a Collinwood Vibrancy Project, Yarn n’ Yoga on Euclid Beach Pier, Euclid Beach Book Box, and Bus Stop Moves RTA shelter exercises.
 

Millennials are flocking to Cleveland, report shows, but city must prepare for the future

Cleveland ranks eighth in the country for population growth among college-educated millennials, a report commissioned by the Cleveland Foundation shows, but officials say the city has to make sure the city continues to make Cleveland an attractive place to this generation going forward.
 
The study, “The Fifth Migration: A Study of Cleveland Millennials,” was done by the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University and shows that downtown Cleveland saw a 76 percent increase in residents ages 25 to 34 since 2000. The term “fifth migration” refers to the re-urbanization of metro areas.
 
Additionally, the study shows a higher concentration of millennial residents overall in Cleveland, regardless of education. In 2013, 24 percent of Greater Cleveland’s population was comprised of millennials ages 18 to 34, up from 20 percent in 2006. The report notes that Cleveland ranks eighth, tied with Seattle and Miami, for its millennial growth from 2011 to 2013 and for those with advanced degrees.
 
But just because millennials are choosing to settle in Cleveland – 63 percent of the downtown population were millennials in 2012 – does not mean city planners can relax.
 
“This fifth migration, the force of the millennial generation in the United States, is real and powerful,” says Lillian Kuri, program director for arts and urban design at the Cleveland Foundation. “This study makes it clear that we have to start planning. All of the things they’re interested in are different than the fourth migration, or baby boomers. We have to attract them.”
 
Millennials are moving here from places like Brooklyn because of the low cost of living and job opportunities, Kuri says, but officials need to ensure that the opportunities continue.
 
“We need to continue to do that,” she stresses. “There are policy changes we need to think about. This generation finds it easier to work out of the house. We need to not just allow that, but encourage people to start their own home businesses.”
 
Kuri stresses that this is just the beginning of the fifth migration, and Cleveland needs to keep up with the millennial population if it is to continue to attract this generation. “All of the things they are interested in, we have to attract them,” Kuri explains.
 
For instance, this generation demands a variety of transportation options. “Transportation is important,” says Kuri. “Millennials want multiple forms of transportation. They’re okay with having one car and sharing the car. We need to have choices of transportation and be robust in it moving forward.”
 
While the numbers show that well educated millennials are moving to the city, officials need to maintain a diverse population and create an urban environment that attracts all ethnicities, races and education levels. “We have to think about diversity,” she says. “How do we keep millennials here who don’t have college degrees? We have to think about leveraging technology education and creating jobs for these people.”
 
Housing is another factor. Kuri says millennials are marrying later and therefore enjoy the array of rental housing now available downtown and around University Circle. But they may eventually want to buy homes.
 
“How do we create the next generation of products?” Kuri asks. “We don’t think they’re just going to move to the suburbs. Eventually millennials will want to buy [homes].”
 
Kuri cites Lakewood, which has a high millennial population, as an example of a city that’s doing things right -- with a good mix of both rentals and homes for sale.
 
“Lakewood has the highest concentration of millennials, both college and non-college educated,” she explains. “One should understand what’s going on in Lakewood. Their focus on housing there is really interesting.”
 
Kuri stresses that Cleveland has to harness this trend to ensure a prospering city in the future. “The millennial generation is such a large percentage of the population that is emerging as a force in the city,” she says. If we don’t continue this trend we’re not going to see any growth in this region. The question is, who’s going to do it best, who’s going to make it sustainable. If we don’t have good product, they will go to another city.”

RTA Red Line public art to celebrate diversity with a literary twist

The Cleveland Foundation has announced a $150,000 grant to LAND Studio to create public art along five to seven stops on the RTA Red Line from downtown to the airport. The public art will celebrate diversity. The grant follows support from the city’s economic development department and $357,000 in funding from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA).

The money will go toward the first phase of a project that will eventually span the Red, Green, Blue and Waterfront RTA rapid lines to become one of the largest outdoor public art galleries in the country. The goal is to get the first phase done in time for the Republican National Convention next year.

The plan for public art along the RTA route came about after Valerie McCall, Cleveland mayor Frank Jackson’s chief of government and international affairs, and other interested officials rode the route that ushers passengers from the airport to downtown.

“They asked, what type of welcome mat are we putting out,” says Tiffany Graham, project director for LAND studio. “The RNC was the impetus for getting this done quickly, but it will endure over time.”

The art, which will include photography and paintings, will be based on winners of the Anisfield-Wolf book awards, the only juried prize in the nation for books that confront racism and celebrate diversity. Named for Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield-Wolf and presented by the Cleveland Foundation, past winners include Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X. The 80th awards ceremony was held last week and honored five authors.

"Social equity is what public transportation is all about,” says Maribeth Feke, RTA director of programming and planning, adding that the Red Line is a perfect route for art installments. “Transportation is all about movement and motion and a lot of stations have very long, linear corridors. It will be about ‘what are you going to see next.’ A lot of pieces work as you are in motion.”

Lillian Kuri, Cleveland Foundation program director for architecture, urban design and sustainable development, says the project evolved at the right time. “From our end this was a really critical moment of time to help get something done,” she says. “Over many years it can create a cultural aspect of Cleveland through a collection of murals and photos. For us it connected the dots for many things.”

Local, national and international artists will be chosen by a curatorial team led by LAND Studio. The artists will then work with the authors whose work will be represented. Graham says a meeting is planned this week to review and choose the artists.

“This will look at issues Cleveland has struggled with for so long,” says Graham. “It will be a platform for these types of issues to be addressed -- conversations can be started and healing can happen.”

University Hospitals, Geis could create hundreds of jobs in the Health-Tech Corridor

University Hospitals announced earlier this month that it plans to build a community care center, called the UH Rainbow Center for Women’s and Children’s Health, on East 57th Street and Euclid Avenue on a part of 12 acres in MidTown’s Health-Tech Corridor.

Along with the facility, Geis Companies’ Hemingway Development will develop the rest of the land for a second Midtown Tech Park with mixed-use medical companies, retail, restaurants and other commercial space. Bike trails will also be created, and a new bus stop in front of the UH facility are planned, according to Fred Geis.

“We’re engaging the community with public spaces, restaurants with healthy eating and possibly a small market,” Geis says. “This will connect E. 59th Street, connect the Hough neighborhood and League Park. With the bike trails, people can easily walk to the facility.”

HTC director Jeff Epstein says the two projects mean jobs and more development in MidTown. "The additional traffic that comes as a result of development adds to the critical mass to add restaurants," he says. "The intersection of a healthcare provider and technology in the corridor provides opportunities for residents. And University Hospitals' major commitment is using strength to bring additional jobs."

Cleveland City Council, which owns the land, approved the purchase last week. Geis says they are scheduled to go before council again on May 4th for approval of the plans. The deal preserves $13 million in Housing and Urban Development loans and grants originally set for renovating the Warner and Swasey building on Carnegie Avenue and East 55th Street.

The UH facility will provide maternity, post-natal and medical care, and will employ as many as 100 people by June of 2016. UH also plans to house healthy living programming at the facility and provide more than 200 parking spaces. Hospital officials predict the 30,000-40,000 square foot facility will see 47,000 visits a year.

As a whole, Geis conservatively predicts the project will create at least 400 jobs. “Based on experience from down the street at the Midtown Tech Park, it should create 600-800 jobs,” he says. “The Midtown Tech Park provides 600 jobs currently. And employment statistics show female and minorities are in half of those jobs.”

Geis says he wants to attract companies from outside the region to the new park. “Our sincerest goal is to entice people from outside the region,” he says. “This is a brand new area, brand new to the region.”

UH officials are pleased with the services the hospital system will offer in MidTown. “As we plan for future growth, it is clear a new and more convenient location for women’s and children’s services is a priority,” says Steve Standley, UH chief administrative officer. “The MidTown Corridor site is ideal for the patients we serve and aligns with University Hospitals’ economic impact goals to help generate the local economy by attracting more businesses to this urban area.”

Hemingway’s Maura Maresh says the center is exactly what the neighborhood needs. “It’s the opportunity they needed to build this facility instead of building in the usual places,” she says. “It shows the power of what you can do with one project.”

Geis points out that residents in most suburban areas have easy access to community medical centers. Other medical centers, including the Cleveland Foot and Ankle Clinic and two divisions of the Veterans Administration, have already successfully established themselves in MidTown.

“They realized years ago it’s difficult to make it down to University Circle,” Geis says. “This is long overdue that someone comes out here to serve these communities. University Hospitals is the first of the institutions to invest in this type of infiltration of a neighborhood.”

Groundbreaking is scheduled for May 2016.

university circle inks deal with zipcar, the world's leading carsharing network

At the University Circle Incorporated (UCI) annual meeting last week, President Chris Ronayne touted the district's roots in innovation as well as impressive present-day growth. In short, University Circle is now returning full circle and has become an area that's not only rife with arts institutions and top schools, but is also spinning out some of the region's fastest-growing companies and ideas.

Ronayne also stated that innovation begins and ends, in many ways, with connectivity, something that University Circle has in spades. "The key to innovation is density, connectivity, diversity and experience," he said. "Creating an environment that is inspiring and pulls people together."

Now University Circle is about to get even better connected thanks to a new partnership with Zipcar, the world's leading carshare company. Initially, four vehicles will be available for lease in designated parking spots in the garage at 1980 Ford Road and the University Circle Inc. Lot at 10831 Magnolia Drive. The cars, which will be available 24/7 on demand, can be leased for as low as $7.50 per hour and $69 per day with gas, insurance and up to 180 miles of driving per day included in the rate. College students age 18 and older as well as community members age 21 and older will be able to take advantage of the program.

“As University Circle continues to grow, so does its need for innovative transportation,” said Ronayne in a release. “Partnering with Zipcar allows us to address this need by giving students, employees, and community members access to vehicles on a short term basis. It’s a great, sustainable solution.”

Community members, students and businesses can join Zipcar here. The Occasional Driving Plan is available for $60 a year or $6 a month, allowing users access to the four Zipcar’s in University Circle as well as more than 10,000 vehicles worldwide. UCI has also helped to establish a special university rate -- college students, faculty and staff at participating universities in the area can join for just $25 to use a set of wheels for as little as an hour or for several days.
 
There's also a Zipcar for Business program for local businesses that offers discounted driving rates Monday through Friday. The goal of this program is to help businesses save cash, meet sustainability goals, and reduce parking needs by providing employees with access to the cars as a way to get around town.

Users can employ their smartphones to make reservations, lock and unlock the vehicle, and even honk the horn to locate their vehicle. Reservations are available over the phone or through Zipcar's website.

all aboard the west side shuffle for a safe way to bar and restaurant hop

Chris Tarr has a vision of uniting Cleveland’s west side neighborhoods into one big, fun playground of great restaurants and tasty taphouses. The establishments already exist, but getting around safely, affordably and easily is another challenge.
 
After being stranded at Brew 133 in Lakewood during a snow storm last year, Tarr came up with the idea for the West Side Shuffle -- a school bus painted black with a big white sign advertising the phone number to call to get on board -- that takes passengers from Lakewood to Ohio City and everywhere in between. The bus runs from 9 p.m. to 2:45 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
 
“I had this idea to unify all of these neighborhoods,” Tarr explains. “You should be able to go to any of the bars and restaurants in the neighborhood. People who live here love it here, and I wanted them to be more connected to the area.”
 
Tarr has been running the West Side Shuffle for the past two weekends, and by Saturday night he'd turned a profit. “Saturday was fantastic,” he says. “We filled the bus two times. Some people called our number for a pickup; some people flagged us down on our route. People were very receptive, and everyone was nice and courteous.”
 
While Tarr rides the bus, collects the fares and mingles with the passengers, he employs a head driver, insured with a commercial driver’s license, and has two back-up drivers.
 
After two weekends, Tarr has already made some changes, based on riders’ requests. He is in the process of creating route maps, flyers and easier access to the Shuffle’s phone number – (216) 673-4222. He’s been working with some of the bars to create coasters that advertise the Shuffle service. Tarr also now allows riders to play their own music from their phones on the bus’ sound system.
 
While the normal fare is $4 cash or $6 with a credit card, Tarr has instituted a discount deal for certain bars. If riders are already on W. 25th, they can ride the West Side Shuffle to Porco Lounge and Tikki Room, Platform Beer Co. or Jukebox for just $2.
 
As business grows, Tarr plans to expand service to West Park, W. 6th Street and E. 4th Street.
 

ohio city-based north coast courier is first worker-owned bike courier service in town

Navigating the streets of Cleveland on a bicycle is nothing new to Will Ansley; he's an experienced and dedicated bike messenger. “A lot of people do it for a little bit and either can’t handle it or don’t like it,” Ansley says of the high rate of turnover in his vocation.
 
The only problem Ansley has encountered is that he wasn't earning his fair share. “A lot of [messenger] companies these days don’t give you a fair percentage of the rate they are charging,” Ansley says. “Since you’re not getting that much money and the company doesn’t care about their workers, people leave.”
 
So Ansley decided to take matters into his own hands. This past March he launched Ohio City-based North Coast Courier, the only employee-owned bike courier service in Cleveland. He based the company on a trend he’d seen in Chicago, where many courier companies are worker-owned and everyone gets a say in company decisions.
 
Right now, North Coast Courier is focused on personal deliveries, like food and groceries. But the company will deliver pretty much whatever a customer wants. The delivery zones are downtown from the lake to Carnegie Avenue and E. 30th Street, Tremont, Ohio City and Gordon Square. The cost is only $5 for delivery in any of these zones and $7 for delivery beyond E. 9th Street.
 
There are a few spots that North Coast Courier also will deliver to: The Hildebrandt Building, 78th Street Studios, the Flats and Jakprints. “It’s because we know a lot of people in those buildings and lots of them are worker-owned businesses or solo-owned,” explains Ansley.
 

numerous cle organizations recognized for their economic development efforts

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) recently awarded its Excellence in Economic Development Awards to organizations involved in three ongoing efforts to improve Cleveland.
 
The city of Cleveland was recognized for its collaborative effort in developing the Flats East Bank. The Jumpstart Entrepreneurial Network received two silver awards for its work in leveraging resources for area entrepreneurs. RTA, the city of Cleveland, Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) and the Northeast Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) earned a bronze award for the expansion of free trolley service around downtown.
 
The Flats redevelopment effort, led by the city, Wolstein Group and Fairmount Properties, is revitalizing a blighted, once-thriving entertainment district into a mixed-use neighborhood featuring apartments, restaurants, shopping and other entertainment. In their comments, the IEDC judges said, “Big project with incredible collaboration and complex funding…. It will be interesting to see its impact when completed.”
 
JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network received two silver awards -- for entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development -- in its support of entrepreneurs and collaboration with other organizations to ensure the businesses' success.
 
“I think it’s a testament to JumpStart and its partners,” says Samantha Fryberger, JumpStart’s vice president of marketing. “JumpStart, seed funds, incubators and mentoring groups all work together to ensure a company has success. That’s most unique to Northeast Ohio.”
 
RTA, DCA, NOACA and Cleveland received a bronze award for expanding three free trolley lines: The E Line along Euclid Avenue from the Warehouse District to E. 20th Street and Prospect Avenue; The C Line, which connects the Horseshoe Casino, PlayhouseSquare, the Rock Hall, FirstEnergy Stadium and the Great Lakes Science Center; and the NineTwelve Line, which runs along East 9th Street.
 
“It helps connect the activities downtown,” says Joe Marinucci, DCA CFO and president. “It’s been a great collaborative effort that has visitor benefits but also strong business benefits.”
 
The winners were recognized earlier this month at IEDC’s annual conference in Philadelphia.

 
Sources: Samantha Fryberger, Joe Marinucci
Writer: Karin Connelly

hit the road on a rented bmw motorcycle for a day, week, or longer

Motorcycle enthusiasts who want to take to the open road for an afternoon will be able to rent a BMW motorcycle through Eagle Rider Cleveland BMW, starting April 1. The company, a spinoff of Sill’s Motor Sales on Brookpark Road, will rent out six BMW motorcycles in four models, including the new BMW scooter and BMW’s top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles.
 
Customers can rent the bikes for a day or longer, or even do a one-way rental and drop the motorcycle off at one of nearly 60 Eagle Rider locations across the country. Pamela Dengler, president of Sill’s and partner of the rental venture, decided to offer the rentals after seeing Cleveland visitors longing for a ride.
 
“My staff and I for the past four or five years noticed customers come in with a ‘motorcycle fix,’” Dengler explains. “They are here, usually visiting the Cleveland Clinic, and they have time on their hands and they’re motorcycle people. They come in because they want to see what we have and then ask, Can I rent one?"
 
Locals who are curious about the BMW brand also can experience the bikes for a lengthy test drive. “In our demo program, you can’t take it for an extended ride,” Dengler says. “Now they can take it for a weekend, a week, or a month to try it out. We see it as an enhancement to our sales.” Riders who no longer have their own bikes can get their fix in, too.
 
The only requirement is renters must have a motorcycle license. Rentals go for $119 to $230 a day, with discounts available for longer term rentals. Sill’s Motor Sales has 11 people on staff to help with the rental venture. Dengler says if all goes well, she will be hiring additional staff. 

 
Source: Pamela Dengler
Writer: Karin Connelly

flydrive's regenerative braking flywheel replaces battery in hybrid, electric cars

What started as a design project in CWRU mechanical and aerospace engineering student Kristen Brouwer’s senior design class has evolved into a full-blown business. Brouwer and three of her classmates took an existing patent for a regenerative braking flywheel and created FlyDrive, which makes a flywheel that replaces the battery in electric and hybrid cars. They are bringing their flywheel to market.

“In a Prius, for instance, when you brake, the electric motors are charged, which then charge the battery,” says Brouwer. “With our flywheel, it’s just as efficient in returning energy and doesn’t have to be replaced. And it’s environmentally better than batteries because it doesn’t use chemicals.”
 
Brouwer and teammates Jordan Lajoie, Luke Voigt, Kris Bosma and Cleveland Institute of Art industrial design student Adam Lauser have been developing the flywheel for market since September. “Most of our developments have stemmed from market identification and development as well as creating a preliminary concept for implementing the flywheel in a transportation system,” says Brouwer.

FlyDrive will be competing in the Ohio Clean Energy Challenge semi-finals next week, where they will compete for $10,000 and the chance to move on the Midwest regional competition in Chicago. The company has been assessing licensing options in the meantime.

“We’re waiting to see if we make it to the next level of competition,” says Brouwer. “It’s been a great learning experience.”


Source: Kristen Brouwer
Writer: Karin Connelly

revolutionary bike pedal improves efficiency while reducing fatigue

About 15 years ago Nick Stevovich was experiencing the familiar burn in his legs from bike racing. He thought to himself, there has to be a better way to pedal a bicycle.

“I thought how do I overcome leg fatigue and still get the same performance,” he says. “About the same time I was rollerblading.” With that the idea for Motion Resolution was born.

Stevovich is developing an improved bike pedal that uses some of the concepts of rollerblading. “It changes the stroke cycle, has greater efficiencies and uses different muscles for greater speed,” he says. “It distributes the work of your legs a little more evenly, and the pedals stride in and out in a skating motion.”
 
Stevovich plans to market the pedal to tri-athletes and racing cyclists. “The pedals fit on any bike -- if you saw them you probably couldn’t tell the difference,” he says. “I’m hoping it changes the way people look at bike pedals.”
 
Working out of the Incubator at MAGNET, Stevovich recently received $25,000 from the Lorain County Community College Foundation Innovation Fund. He plans to use the money to develop additional prototypes and show proof of concept.
 
For now, Stevovich’s wife is working on marketing and a Kent State graduate student is writing her thesis on the bike pedal concept. He plans to show his product at a bike show in Las Vegas in September, and hopes to bring the pedals to market by 2014.

 
Source: Nick Stevovich
Writer: Karin Connelly
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