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Friday, May 9, 2008

WTF: A Medical Mart by the Lake?

Posted By on Fri, May 9, 2008 at 3:49 PM

The county has narrowed down the potential sites for its infamously inept Medical Mart project, a project pushed through with less thought than what goes into choosing your cheese on a $5 Subway foot-long. Of the sites, one stands out. It’s the prospect of building the site to the west of Browns stadium, directly alongside the lakefront. A PD article broke the news yesterday that Commissioner Jimmy Dimora is pushing for this site, the current location of Port docks. That site will be totally vacated by 2014 if everything with the port’s East 55th project goes as planned. Let’s just hope the idea doesn’t get further than a guttural belch from Dimora’s furry mouth. ... In her story, PD reporter Sarah Hollander writes: “A convention center on the lake might also conflict with the city’s lakefront master plan, which envisions a ferry terminal, multipurpose parking deck and lake shore neighborhood.” Might? Actually, building a structure large enough to house a home-builders’ convention directly on the lake would completely wipe out that section of the lakefront plan. Gobbling up potential waterfront for a soon-to-be vacant convention is a shortsighted move that, once again, prevents Cleveland from accessing Lake Erie. But it seems any new development along the site will most likely go private instead of public. The commissioner’s idea follows the potential relocation of Eaton Corps, a manufacturing company close to a deal that would give it a significant a chunk of land alongside the lake. It’s like the dreamers of Cleveland are being charmed each night by developers wearing pixie costumes. And while they are snoozing away to visions of Cleveland bathed in sunshine rays and gold-feathered wonderment, they are forgetting the place we call home is a gray-lit town molting away like the inbred pigeons who lay about on top of our downtown parking structures. What they seem to forget is that there is plenty of empty space in Cleveland. It’s not that hard to notice old factories crumbling in on their once prosperous selves. Just take a drive down Carnegie for proof. Such areas are ready and available to use for corporate campuses. But such entities want to move their work closer to the lake. It’s sexy. And our trusted leaders are only too happy to bend over for them, as long as there’s a trough of cash and lobster at their feet. (If the Eaton Corps deal goes through, it will be the result of a hearty tax break for the company.) Cleveland is built like a waterfront home without a single window facing the water. The lakefront plan wanted to kick open a view. But with each new proposal and plan, our care-takers are placing more walls, blocking common folk from enjoying a natural wonder. Hey guys: Ever think about a turning the downtown lakefront into a park? Or would that make us too much like Chicago? – Bradley Campbell

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