Hello from the
Van Aken District
. I am standing on the rooftop of the
restaurant which is currently under construction and expected to open later this summer. From here you can get a bird’s eye view of how far the District has come.
In this month’s Mayor’s Report I want to highlight all that is happening not only in the District but also in the surrounding area. The District continues to announce new retailers including an exciting array of food and beverage establishments from
Restore Cold Pressed
Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink
. The office building is almost fully occupied and the Upstairs apartments are more than 90% leased. As a result of this momentum, preparation for Phase II of the development is already underway.
In addition, many of the most popular District events from the past are returning. On May 10, Bloom and Buzz, a family-friendly event kicks off. Other upcoming events include the return of the
North Union Farmer’s Markets
on Thursday evenings,
pop-up events, more of the District’s Beer Gardens, as well as three movie nights co-sponsored by the City’s
. Additional bike racks have been installed near Mitchell’s, which will make it easy to bike to these events.
The District has created ripple effects in all directions as economic development activity and growth are picking up. Just down the street,
design is expanding in the Bloc at Almar,
Around the Table Yarns
opened on the south side of Shaker Plaza,
Mannik & Smith Group
, a consulting firm, moved into Tower East, and the much-anticipated
climbing gym is now open for business. In addition, the existing Wendy’s restaurant is scheduled to be demolished in May to make way for a brand new Wendy’s built on the same site.
It’s worth noting that the City has provided support and assistance to help facilitate this growth. In addition, new streetscape improvements along Warrensville Center Road from the southern city border to Shaker Rocks begin soon. City staff secured grant funding for these improvements. Various public art installations are also planned.
I think we can all agree that the Van Aken District is a destination that upholds our long tradition of quality, thoughtful design and a commitment to inclusive, community-focused planning. I am pleased to note that our efforts were recently recognized by the
American Planning Association
, which awarded the City its Gold 2019 National Planning Achievement Award for Implementation.
So that’s just a quick update on the District. With all the activity here and throughout the City and warmer days ahead, I hope to see you around town.