TOH 2016 to 2020: What has been lost?
In 2016, when interviewed by the city, developer Flaherty & Collins (F&C) presented to CH City Council the idea of an iconic development and community gathering place [for Top of the Hill (TOH)].
In April 2018, the signed development agreement stipulated 20 for-sale town homes (now gone from the plan), a five-story height maximum (gone), Port Authority financing (not chosen because it required prevailing wages), public gathering and green space (gone, with the nominal exception of a small knoll, intersected by a retaining wall, west of Nighttown).
F&C has been skilled in leading our city's project leaders down the primrose path ending in maximum monetization of a highly desirable 4-acre site.
Where is the public realm that citizens were promised and deserve to enjoy?
This public/private partnership seems almost entirely to have been skewed for short-term private gain. To allocate $1.8 million in city money for a neighborhood that doesn't want the F&C version of TOH, and will be confronted by it every time residents drive up Cedar Hill, seems the height of folly.
Cleveland Heights' housing stock is a point of pride, a drawing card, and its quality and character should be enhanced by anything built at the city's most prominent and heavily traveled entrance.
No more city time and money (bonds or other) should be spent on this dreadful project, which was presented with such high aspirations, but has diminished in its desirability every time a new set of drawings has appeared.
Joyce and Steve Rajki
Joyce and Steve Rajki, 49-year residents of Cleveland Heights, are advocating for quality design and construction that will stand the test of time.