Archive

Master developer sought for Hazelwood site | TribLIVE.com
News

Master developer sought for Hazelwood site

Efforts to bring a $400 million development with housing, commercial space, community amenities and greenspace to a 178-acre former LTV Corp. coke works property in Hazelwood will move forward under new direction, officials said.

A master developer is being sought to spearhead development of the prime riverfront site since Cleveland-based developer Forest City Enterprises Inc. is no longer actively involved.

“By mutual agreement with Forest City, we’ve decided to move in another direction,” Robert Stephenson, president of the Regional Industrial Development Corp., said this week.

The RIDC is the general partner in Almono L.P., a nonprofit partnership of four local foundations that purchased the site in September 2002. Buildout of the project is expected to take years and create 2,400 jobs.

Forest City, owner of Liberty Center, Downtown, and Station Square, in the South Side, had worked with the group to move the project forward. But it also became heavily involved in an effort to win state approval to build a slots casino at Station Square, losing out earlier this year to Majestic Star Casino’s proposal to build a casino on the North Shore.

Stephenson said Forest City never signed a development agreement with the ownership group, which includes the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon Foundation and the McCune Foundation.

Forest City officials could not be reached for comment.

“Forest City could still become involved at some point … but now our focus is to find a new master developer,” Stephenson said. “We’re talking to a half a dozen different folks. Our objective will be to get a new developer by the fall and be able to start the planning approval process with the city in the early part of 2008.”

The foundation owners and RIDC have decided that they no longer can wait to find out whether plans for the Mon-Fayette Expressway to go through the Hazelwood area will ever come to fruition.

Uncertainties about the roadway made it difficult to plan because one proposed path for the road could cut through a portion of the property.

“We’re moving beyond that,” Stephenson said. “We’re taking the attitude that we are going to go ahead with planning.”

Representatives of the Hazelwood community will continue to be involved in the process, he said.

“I think this is a good move on the part of Almono and the RIDC,” said Jim Richter, executive director of the Hazelwood Initiative, a nonprofit neighborhood group. “I’m still excited about the project.”

As described when it was announced in 2002, the project envisioned a mix of housing, offices, light industrial and university facilities, complemented by a blend of public park land, walking trails and other recreation and neighborhood amenities.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.