Former St. Roberts Property Serves as Construction Staging Area
The City of Euclid owns 310 parcels of property of various shapes and sizes scattered throughout the City. Some parcels make up larger pieces of property – such as City Hall or the sledding hill on Euclid Avenue, while others are oddly configured leftover properties that serve little purpose. In a continuing exploration of this issue, this space will look at several key properties to understand why the City owns the property and its long term plans for these properties.
For many years the former St. Roberts Parish Campus was home to a local Catholic Church and grade school. Approximately 10 years ago, the Cleveland Catholic Diocese evaluated a number of parishes and schools, deciding to close or combine parishes that were seen as overlapping or serving similar areas. St. Robert Bellarmine’s parish closed in December of 2009 when the parish combined with the former St. William’s parish.
In 2011 the former St. Roberts Parish Campus, including all the properties, was bought by the City of Euclid for a cost of $674,000. According to Allison Lukacsy-Love, Community Projects Manager with the City of Euclid, the price paid for the property was below the fair market appraisal. City Council voted in favor of the purchase by an 8-1 margin. Current Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer-Gail was among the supporters of the purchase with former Councilman John Wojtila being the only one to oppose the purchase. (Wojtila has since been re-elected to his former Council position.)
Euclid obtained a grant by the US EPA to remediate the site of contaminants and grant funds were used to demolish the buildings on the site in September of 2015. Located on the south side of Lakeshore Blvd between E. 242 and E. 238 streets, a fence was installed and paid for by a contractor in 2016 that used the site as a staging area for construction materials and equipment for the Euclid Wastewater Treatment Facility project in downtown Euclid. A Veteran’s group was authorized to temporarily operate a garden on the site.
Adjacent to the City-owned property is a small retail establishment and the site of the former Happy’s Pizza. Several other properties connected to these properties create a zig-zag boundary that could prove challenging to future development efforts.
According to Lukacsy-Love, the properties were acquired for the purpose of assembling land in the vicinity of the planned lakefront development. While it is still unclear what the final plans are for this publicly owned property, she said “the site is intended for future redevelopment and installation of complimentary public improvements as recommended in the Euclid Waterfront Improvement Plan within the next five years.”
This property sits several hundred feet to the east, and on the other side of Lakeshore Blvd., of a planned gateway park for the Euclid Waterfront Improvement Plan. For the near term, the site will continue to serve as a staging area for construction equipment and materials. Longer term there are no specific plans for the property’s use.
In the next issue, this space will explore how the City of Euclid came to own 183 properties while similar sized communities hold far less than half that number of properties.
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