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The Development Cluster's roles and responsibilities include facilitating, supporting, and leading economic development initiatives, including institutional, commercial, residential, and infrastructure development in and around University Circle's traditional boundaries. The cluster consists of 10 full-time staff members with knowledge and skills in planning, urban and landscape design, real estate development, and graphic design and presentation.
UCI's goal is to create a premier urban district and neighborhood of choice open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This includes improving the visitor experience with access to University Circle, linking public spaces throughout the district, streetscape improvements, wayfinding, pedestrian signage and some recent successes include:
UCI is working with Studio Graphique to extend the wayfinding program with a series of multi-point directional signs, area maps, and kiosks that will be installed at key locations throughout the Circle in spring, 2010. UCI is finalizing the design and content for the Wade Oval kiosk, which will be installed in spring, 2010 as an extension of the Visitor Center and UCI's focus on the visitor experience.
University East Building Lighting
The University East Building Lighting project is the latest iteration of University Circle Inc’s Euclid Gateway Vision. It will bring light and energy to University Circle’s Central Gateway and further highlight Uptown as the epicenter of art and technology. The building will come alive with colors to celebrate the season, or put on a show for Euclid Avenue with choreographed color changes.The lighting scheme was designed by Ron Friedman of Art & Science Lighting Design and installed by Harrington Electric.
The UE Building will occasionally light up in support of nationally recognized holidays, commemorations, and non-profit awareness campaigns and to show support for events and activities in the Circle. Learn how to request a color here.
UCI raised more than $9 million in public and private funding needed to refinance and renovate Commodore Place, formerly the Commodore Hotel, a 1920s, 12-story apartment building with 198 apartment units and street-level retail located at Ford Drive and Euclid Avenue. Improvements include a new storefronts system, entranceways, awnings, lighting, windows, and masonry restoration, in addition to improved residential living and energy efficiencies.
UCI, in collaboration with ParkWorks and Cleveland Public Art, selected landscape architect CMG of San Francisco to redesign the plaza at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road. Stakeholder focus groups informed the new design, which includes multiple levels and a variety of seating options, pervious concrete, increased bike parking capacity, native plantings, reclaimed timber benches, and a custom-built LED light fixture that doubles as a public art feature. Local landscape architect McKnight Associates and general contractor F. Buddie Contracting helped make the project a reality.
As part of its Euclid Gateway Vision, UCI has been working to enhance Euclid Avenue within the Circle, following the opening of the Health Line in fall, 2008. In addition to wayfinding improvements UCI plans to continue upgrades with a series of additions to the Euclid Avenue streetscape in spring, 2010. Plans are underway for new benches, bike racks, recycle bins, and landscape areas. The first of these improvements will coincide with the installation of the pedestrian wayfinding program to help make Euclid Avenue a more welcoming place for visitors, residents, and workers.
Bring Back Euclid Avenue
UCI raised more than $7 million for this campaign, and is making ongoing investments along the Avenue. The central gateway at Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road is quickly becoming the epicenter of activity in the Circle, and the area's public spaces need to complement this exciting activity. UCI is renovating existing buildings, supporting institutional expansion, and investing in new developments that will create the perfect entryway into the Circle.
Greater Circle Living
In June 2008, UCI, joined by the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation and the Cleveland Foundation, created an incentive program designed to attract new homebuyers and renters to live in Greater University Circle and to inspire existing homeowners to make improvements. The program is funded by Case, Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Foundation, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Judson at University Circle, The Kent H. Smith Charitable Trust, the Surdna Foundation and University Hospitals. In the first year and a half of the program, Greater Circle Living successfully awarded 14 Circle employees with down payment assistance to purchase a home in the Greater Circle area, in addition to 3 set to close by the end of November, 14 employees were approved for a matching home improvement grant to their existing home, and 8 employees received 1 month's rental assistance to move into the Greater Circle.
Linking Public Spaces
Even with the buildings rising and expanding in and around University Circle, UCI is maintaining, programming, and connecting some of the region's best green spaces. From Rockefeller Park to Wade Oval to pocket parks all around, University Circle's public spaces make for great concert venues, the region's largest parade, extracurricular activities, weddings, restful and relaxing places, and much more.