Friday, November 7, 2014

$13 Million Larchmere Streetscape Complete, Jackson Touts Investment in Neighborhoods

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 4:54 PM

click to enlarge Mayor Jackson holds the ribbon steady for City Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell - RUGGERO FATICA, CITY OF CLEVELAND
  • Ruggero Fatica, City of Cleveland
  • Mayor Jackson holds the ribbon steady for City Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell
Thursday evening was wet and cold and prematurely dark, but Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson was all smiles as he attended a ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of the $13 million Larchmere Streetscape Project. 

In addition to the complete repaving of Larchmere, MLK Jr. Drive and four area streets — not to mention a new 13-mile bike path — the re-imagined streetscape features gleaming trashcans, gumless benches, and colorful public art installations. 

According to a city press release Friday, the $13 million investment emphatically demonstrates Jackson’s ongoing plan to invest and rehabilitate Cleveland's neighborhoods (i.e. as opposed to just downtown).

In fact, the release went on to say, since 2006, Cleveland has dedicated 93 percent of all capital expenditures on projects outside the downtown business district, projects exceeding — get this — $450 million. (Think Gordon Square, Kamm's Corners, Waterloo, Cedar Road, etc.) Still, the news comes as a shock, given what certainly has seemed like fiendish public funding of downtown projects during the past two years, fiendishness which has only intensified, in the public and private spheres, since the announcement of the RNC.  

“When I first ran for Mayor of Cleveland in 2005, I wrote that public-private partnerships must help finance neighborhood streetscape, greening, and beautification projects throughout the city," Jackson said in the statement. "The investment you see here in Larchmere is a real-world representation of that vision. Revival does not happen in isolation, we must continue
cooperation between public and private entities in order to fully transform our communities into neighborhoods of choice.”
click to enlarge Jackson, laying down some sick rhetoric. - RUGGERO FATICA, CITY OF CLEVELAND
  • Ruggero Fatica, City of Cleveland
  • Jackson, laying down some sick rhetoric.

Harriet Logan, owner and proprietor of Loganberry Books on Larchmere, says she's thrilled the work is finally done.

"They worked hard and consistently," she told Scene by phone, "but it was a long five months of construction."

Logan said her business hasn't been particularly hurt by the construction. (Nor was it hurt or helped, she added, by the closing of Tremont's Visible Voice Books in September.) Her steady, loyal customers have stayed the course through worse than this, she said, so she's not expecting a sudden rush of new patrons now that the streetscape is complete. Still, she said, it's beautiful.
"What brings people to Larchmere is the press; what keeps them coming back is the beauty," she said.  

Loganberry Books will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on December 6th, a daylong party with food and merriment and local literary celebs, but it's only one in a vast array of events and festivities sweeping through Larchmere this fall. And you'll be able to celebrate all of them while traversing a five-foot wide permeable paver amenity strip

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