TOD update from Richard McDougald Enty, Planning Team Leader, Programming & Planning Department, GCRTA

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 03/28/2007 - 17:02.

I received an informative email this afternoon from Richard McDougald Enty, Planning Team Leader, Programming & Planning Department, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, about some of their Transit Oriented Development initiatives and vision. It is very exciting to see this as an active subject for discussion and planning here. I am a strong supporter of Transit Oriented Development and consider it the core foundation on which we should rebuild the City of Cleveland and surrounding suburbs.  Here is the vision from RTA:

RTA held its TOD Forum at Cleveland State University's Levin College of Urban Affairs last month.   It was co-sponsored by RTA, the Ohio Planning Conference and Cleveland State University and received generous support from Telecommunications Insight Group (TIG) of Boston, MA.   TIG does telecom and utility siting for numerous Forest City Enterprise development projects across the country, including Ohio.

Along with a national speaker, RTA's Joe Calabrese, Maribeth Feke/Programming & Planning and James DeRosa/Euclid Corridor addressed the more than 100 attendees about RTA's TOD initiatives and guidelines. 
RTA Citizen Advisory Board president asks an important question of guest speaker Jeff Tumlin in the first Q&A sessionn, so be sure to see/hear that.

TOD Forum Program 

The video of all TOD Forum remarks is found here; click on "Watch Video" 
(Note:  event date is shown as 2/22/07 although it occurred on 2/20/07.) 

I believe you'll find the videos of the proceedings very informative.

Thanks to all who worked very hard to make this program a big success!
And apologies to anyone who'd received this earlier.


Following is related information on RTA's TOD initiatives.


RTA to sell Euclid Ave. sites to rev development


6:00 am, March 5, 2007

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority is preparing to offer for sale three RTA-owned properties that border the path of the Silver Line bus-rapid transit that is under construction on Euclid Avenue.

RTA wants to make the properties available to developers in order to prime the pump for future development along the rebuilt Euclid. The properties are at 4601 Euclid, 6611 Euclid and adjacent to the East 120th Street Red Line rapid transit station.

The property at 4601 Euclid is home to RTA’s paratransit operation. The agency plans to move that operation to a site adjacent to a bus garage in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland. The property at 6611 Euclid is currently a seven-story warehouse.

Maribeth Feke, RTA director of programming and planning, said RTA also owns other parcels in the Midtown neighborhood that eventually will be put up for sale. RTA also bought and demolished buildings at 6809 Euclid and 5508 Euclid because it needed parts of the parcels to make room for the transit corridor. Once the roadway is rebuilt, it can offer the remaining portions of those properties for development.

A key selling point to the federal, state and local financial backers of the $168 million bus-rapid transit line was that a restyled Euclid corridor with modern public transportation would stimulate what urban planners call “transit-oriented development” along its path. New vehicles are expected to be running up and down Euclid between Public Square and the Stokes rapid transit station in East Cleveland late in 2008.

The avenue is being rebuilt, and new transit stops will be integrated into a fresh, pedestrian-friendly streetscape. While RTA has no takers yet for its land, the grand plan for Euclid envisions housing, shops and office space that will be attractive to users who live or work elsewhere along the corridor.

RTA and others believe redevelopment can happen.

A chance to ditch a car

“Transit-oriented development was a difficult concept to put forth in Cleveland,” said RTA executive director Joseph Calabrese. “People didn’t understand it, or didn’t feel that the economy or the attitudes were right for it, but we’ve seen a significant change for the better in the last 24 months. People want to live closer to the city core and want to have one less car.”

Ms. Feke cites the redevelopment along Prospect Avenue and East Fourth Street, in the shadow of Gateway, as a good comparison. The Euclid transit line, she said, “can attract as much density * it just depends on how well it’s done.”

The Center for Transit Oriented Development believes demand is growing for housing near public transit. The center is an affiliate of Reconnecting America, an Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit that promotes ties between transit and community development.

Center research argues that the number of households that live in neighborhoods with a strong transit presence will grow from 6.2 million in 2005 to 15.2 million in 2030. For the Cleveland area, it predicts a growth in transit-zone housing to 86,700 households, which would be up 62% from 53,600 during that 25-year period.

One of the principal beneficiaries of that redevelopment would be Midtown, the neighborhood between downtown and the hospitals and educational institutions at University Circle.

‘Electrifying’ prospects

MidTown Cleveland Inc., a nonprofit development group, saw the new transit line coming and revised its master plan more than two years ago. It won city approval for a change in the area’s zoning to allow for mixed-use developments that have become more attractive to many people and businesses. That move is beginning to pay off.

“There is new interest by developers in coming to Midtown, people who believe the time is now,” said James Haviland, executive director of MidTown Cleveland Inc. “We have some very real projects.”

Among those developments are a 50,000-square-foot office building at 4600 Euclid for the Cowden, Humphrey, Nagorney & Lovett law firm, which will move from downtown and is taking a 50% interest in the structure.

The co-developer of that project, Gordon Priemer of Heartland Developers Inc., owns several buildings along Euclid and has been developing housing projects along RTA’s Blue Line in Shaker Heights for nearly a decade. Mr. Priemer said he believes transit-oriented development will happen along a freshly scrubbed Euclid Avenue, first among young, single people.

“Euclid had gotten so crappy; it used to be such a glamorous street,” he said. “Just the physical appearance (of the rebuilt avenue) will be electrifying.”

Richard McDougald Enty, Planning Team Leader
Programming & Planning Department
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
1240 W. 6th Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113-1331
Phone:  216.566.5260
Fax:       216.771.4424
Email:    renty [at] gcrta [dot] org

GCRTA's Mission 

To enhance the quality of life in Greater Cleveland
by providing outstanding, cost-effective public transportation services.


TOD Forum

I have started a forum about Transit Oriented Design ( ).  Give it a look and comment on all things TOD...or what should  be TOD.

Derek Arnold -