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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Metroparks to Demolish Two Buildings on W. 25th Street for Irishtown Bend Project

Posted By on Thu, Jul 16, 2020 at 8:33 AM

click to enlarge Former CMHA administrative building on W. 25th Street. - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Former CMHA administrative building on W. 25th Street.
The Cleveland Metroparks will demolish two buildings on W. 25th Street in what will be the "first major visible step" in the forthcoming Irishtown Bend project, which aims to clear and stabilize the Cuyahoga River hillside along the eponymous bend and transform it into a 23-acre park.

The former Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) administrative building, pictured above, and the former CMHA multifamily housing complex known as "Big 8" are the two structures to be demolished.

Notice of the demolition appeared in the Metroparks board meeting agenda for Thursday. The agenda item said the parks district will oversee the demolition with funds obtained by LAND Studio from the Ohio Public Works Commission Clean Ohio Conservation Fund.

Greg Peckham, LAND Studio's Executive Director, confirmed to Scene by email that LAND had obtained roughly $1.4 million from the Clean Ohio Fund for a number of costs associated with the Irishtown Bend Project, including land acquisition, engineering, demolition and "cleaning and greening" the sites after demolition. The majority of those funds have already gone to HUD and CMHA for the land itself.

Regarding the demolitions, Peckham said that, because the Metroparks regularly issues RFPs for demolition projects, it made more financial sense to bundle the current demolitions with others going out to bid. 

"It’s a huge benefit and, hopefully, cost savings to have them bid and manage the demolition as one among many projects," Peckham wrote, "as opposed to LAND managing it as a stand alone project."

The former CMHA administrative building, near the  southeast corner of Detroit and W. 25th, is adjacent to the former Royal Castle fast food location now owned by Bobby George, who purchased it in 2018 in spite of the parcel's inclusion in the Irishtown Bend project.

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