1 – From CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS (April 7, 2014)
Health care conference takes chance on Cleveland as host: CMSA president says group was won over by convention center
The first major health care conference at the Cleveland Convention Center is coming to town in June — a visit that the leader of the group holding the conference wouldn't have expected to make until she came to check out the city.
The Case Management Society of America (CMSA) will bring 2,000 of its members — mostly nurses and social workers — for its four-day annual conference June 17-20. The confab is branded with the phrase, “Embracing the Changing Rhythms of Healthcare.”
It's the first time the 24-year-old organization has gone outside a so-called “tier one” convention city, said association president Nancy Skinner, who was in Cleveland last week to iron out details of the conference.
“I want to say this in a kind way,” Skinner said during a visit to Crain's office two blocks from the convention center. “It was a little bit of a risk for us to go outside one of the true convention center cities; in 24 years of having conferences we've been to Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Florida (and) Boston.
“But Cleveland made us feel so comfortable — the people from (the convention center) and Positively Cleveland — that we were willing to take that step,” she said.
Skinner admitted that the city's tarnished national image, and not-uncommon worries about safety in an urban downtown, were concerns that ultimately were allayed by all the local people she met at Positively Cleveland and the hospitals.
She toured the new convention center in November and visited the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals last week. Skinner even was welcomed by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson at City Hall, who presented her with a welcoming proclamation and offered to kick off the conference with a few remarks at the opening session.
“This is the first time the mayor of any city has welcomed us,” Skinner said. “I think that demonstrates the partnership CMSA and Cleveland are forming to make this a good experience for our attendees and the city of Cleveland.”
CMSA expects to consume 4,000 hotel room-nights at four hotels. The Westin Cleveland Downtown, set to open May 1, will be the headquarters hotel. Attendees also will lodge at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown, the Hyatt Regency Cleveland and the Renaissance Cleveland.
The convention will be kicked off on its first night with a reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Dave Johnson, director of public relations and marketing for the convention center and the adjoining Global Center for Health Innovation, called the wooing and landing of CMSA's convention “a case study in how a community works together to overcome the fears and obstacles.”
Johnson said the Global Center for Health Innovation, formerly the medical mart, also was an attraction. Skinner mentioned in particular the under-construction State of the Art Patient Home, a showcase for the latest technology and equipment available for home health care.
“More and more people want to care for their loved ones at home,” and the exhibit will give her members help in advising patients and families about the value and limits of home care, Skinner said.
Case management is a growing part of health care, in which case managers act as intermediaries between patients and their doctors, and even their insurance providers. Skinner said most of her group's members come from nursing and social work backgrounds.
A job description in a recent posting for a nurse case manager at University Hospitals stated that the position requires coordinating patient care with other health care providers, completing patient documentation and practice utilization management. The latter refers to evaluating the appropriateness and value of health care services for the patient, the hospital and for the patient's healthcare plan.
Mike Burns, senior vice president of convention sales and services at Positively Cleveland, the city's convention and visitors' bureau, said his organization has been working with CMSA since early 2011, after one of the society's meetings consultants stopped at Positively Cleveland's booth at a convention industry gathering. That contact led to Positively Cleveland being offered the opportunity to put in a bid for the 2014 convention.
A CMSA site selection team first came to Cleveland in May 2012. The convention center was still under construction, but Burns said the team was shown drawings and layout maps. Brianne Baird, CMSA's director of communications, said the group chose Cleveland over Chicago and Philadelphia.
“They loved what they saw,” Burns said. “They liked the walkability of the city.”
2 – From the PLAIN DEALER EDITORIAL BOARD (April 6, 2014)
State capital bill is kind to Cleveland's waterfront and arts scene, despite political grousing: editorial
Greater Cleveland has landed a cornucopia of state-aided capital improvements thanks to a bill Republican Gov. John Kasich signed Tuesday. But former Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish, a Beachwood Democrat, seemingly wants to nestle sour grapes among the plums.
Budish, who is running to become Cuyahoga’s next county executive, claimed during House debate that Amended House Bill 497, which will fund $2.39 billion in state construction, shortchanges the county.
Mayor Frank Jackson and the Greater Cleveland Partnership don’t share Budish’s perspective. When H.B. 497 was introduced, Jackson said it would “help us continue the positive momentum we have as a region.” The partnership’s Joe Roman said the bill shows that Kasich and top legislators “understand the importance of encouraging private development in Cleveland’s lakefront and waterfront.”
Among many other features, the bill will help the city connect downtown to the lakefront and aid an arc of lakefront improvements.
Moreover, Kasich aides wrote the bill after seeking advice from regional business groups, such as the partnership, and from an arts and culture panel that included Greater Clevelanders George L. Forbes and Karen Gahl-Mills, executive director of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.
The bill, Budish said, isn’t equitable because it will finance about $50.62 in construction per Cuyahoga County resident, compared to $195.35 per Franklin County (Columbus) resident, and $91.52 per resident in Hamilton (Cincinnati).
That didn’t keep Budish from voting “yes” when the House passed the bill 89-2. And during Budish’s 2009-2010 speakership, the legislature didn’t pass a capital improvements bill.
For 198 years, Franklin County has housed Ohio’s capital and its countless state offices. Franklin also encompasses Ohio State University’s 57,466-student main campus. And the county differentials hardly seem partisan. Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman is a Democrat, as is Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley (albeit a conservative Democrat). And Barack Obama carried Franklin and Hamilton counties, as he carried Cuyahoga.
Moreover, Cuyahoga is likely a net beneficiary of Ohio’s operating budget. County-by-county Medicaid data weren’t readily available. But this year the state will send Cuyahoga’s school districts $489 million – Franklin’s, $389 million.
Yes, measuring “fairness” by comparing enrollment-driven school aid to (discretionary) construction spending compares apples and oranges. But so does comparing the 88 counties’ per-capita share of state-aided construction without considering specific local circumstances. That’s not math. That’s politics.
3 – From the PLAIN DEALER (April 5, 2014)
Great Lakes Fashion Show debuts spring and summer trends at Cleveland Convention Center: Kristel's CLE
CLEVELAND, Ohio— The Cleveland Convention Center at One St. Clair Ave. will transform into a runway today for the Great Lakes Fashion Show.
The semiannual event - the “Spring/Summer Couture Runway Show” - will feature this year’s hottest trends. Guests will also be treated to a health and beauty expo. Join me during the fashion festivities to get the scoop on the latest styles.
The Main Event: Great Lakes Fashion Show
The 411: The event will highlight clothes and accessories from up-and-coming designers and Great Lakes' fashionable elites. Guests will see designs by Dear Prudence, Karlene Lindsay Designs, TaShawna J. Couture, Yummi Lifestyle, and more. A portion of ticket sales from the “Couture Runway Show” will benefit the Lioness Foundation and Heartbeat of a Teddy Bear.
More Information: The fashion show will begin at 8:30 p.m. and VIP tickets are $50 or $25 for general admission. You can purchase tickets online at squareup.com or by calling 909-353-4539.
4 - From CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS (April 2, 2014)
Cleveland survives latest cut of cities in running for GOP 2016 convention
And then there were six. ... And Cleveland is one of them.
Cleveland is still in the running for the 2016 Republican National Convention, but Columbus is out.
The Republican National Committee's site selection committee today, April 2, voted to narrow the list of sites in contention for the 2016 Republican National Convention to six cities from eight.
Moving on to the next round of consideration are Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas.
Out of the running are Columbus and Phoenix.
Reacting to the news, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said, "We're pleased to be moving forward with our community partners. They (Republicans) are going to like what they see” in Cleveland.
Ohio Republican Party chairman Matt Borges said in a statement, "Ohio is now the only state with two cities advancing as potential host cities. We will do everything we can to support Cincinnati's and Cleveland's bids for the convention.
The RNC said in a news release that a “small team” of its staff will visit the six remaining cities “for a more in-depth and technical look at financing, convention venues, media workspace, and hotels.”
The site selection committee then will reconvene soon after the RNC's spring meeting “to make a determination on which of these six cities will receive official site visits from the full RNC delegation.”
A final decision is expected in late summer or early fall.
A team of Clevelanders led by Jackson trekked to Washington, D.C., on March 3 for a one-hour presentation before the Republican National Committee's site selection committee. At the time, RNC chairman Reince Priebus said the committee would evaluate the candidate cities' financial contribution first and foremost, followed by hotel space, ease of moving between hotels and convention events and, last, what he called the “delegate experience.”
The impact the host city might have on the party's chances of winning the state in 2016 would be a less-important consideration.
The 2012 Republican convention was held in Tampa, Fla. A study by a University of Tampa economics professor assessing the impact of the convention found that sales taxes collected in the Tampa area in August 2013 were $363 million higher than those collected for August 2012.
5 – From the PLAIN DEALER (April 2, 2014)
Design changes show that Cuyahoga County's new convention hotel is likely to include a rooftop bar
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- In a design shift prompted in part by public response to plans for a new convention hotel downtown, Cuyahoga County is thinking very seriously of adding a publicly accessible bar to the building’s 32nd floor.
At a public meeting in August, Clevelanders told architects of the new convention hotel – to be built adjacent to the Global Center for Health Innovation and the city’s new convention center – that they wanted the building to have a rooftop bar.
Jeffrey Appelbaum, the Cleveland lawyer managing the project for the county, said Tuesday that although the bar had not been considered a serious possibility in earlier stages of the design, now it is.
“This is a work in process,” he said, adding, “we’ve made the determination that this [a bar] is a desirable feature of the hotel.”
Appelbaum described the bar and other potential design changes in a 3 p.m. briefing to the Cuyahoga County Council.
The council is reviewing final agreements needed to trigger construction on the hotel in late April, including a hotel management agreement, a guaranteed maximum price agreement with the design-builder, and project financing. It will take action on those items later this month.
The $260 million, 600-room hotel, to be completed by 2016, will be called the Hilton Cleveland Downtown, Appelbaum said.
Initially, architects from Cooper Carry, the Atlanta-based firm designing the hotel, said they couldn’t include publicly accessible amenities such as a bar or restaurant near the top of the hotel because it would require adding additional elevators and stairwells, which would eat into space available for guest rooms through the entire hotel tower.
Appelbaum said Tuesday in an interview that the county and the hotel operator, Hilton, now consider the bar not only feasible, but a big plus.
“These things are extraordinarily desirable,” he said. “These are hot venues now.”
Having a publicly accessible space at the top of the hotel is also symbolically important, he said, because the building is to be publicly financed through certificates of participation involving county and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.
“The idea that this [the bar] can be accessed by the public is important so everyone can share in this venue,” Appelbaum said. “Hilton has agreed this can actually be a good revenue generator, which is obviously important -- just the wow factor in bringing people to the hotel.”
Initial plans show that the enclosed portion of the space would include approximately 58 seats plus a 14- or 15-seat bar. On the east side of the space, tables next to windows would appear to look directly down to the downtown Mall far below because the building cants out at that point, he said.
An outdoor terrace at the northern end of the bar would have room for 25 seats in addition to those inside. One possible variation would be to make the space usable year-round by enclosing it during the winter.
Conceptually, the county’s architects and planners, along with Hilton, refer to the watering hole by the working name "sky bar," although Appelbaum said an official name and theme for the bar would be developed. Themes could include the bar's potential specialization in wine, for example, or bubbly drinks.
When asked how likely it is that the proposed bar will be included, Appelbaum said: "I would say it is the working plan. It is the focus, unless something happens that derails it, but right now it's pretty definite."
Other design changes under discussion include moving the hotel’s health club and pool to a level near the base of the tower where the pool would have a view overlooking Lake Erie.
The architects are also considering including a number of rooms with their own cardio-exercise equipment or yoga exercise areas. This would reinforce the health theme appropriate to a hotel next to the Global Center for Health Innovation, Appelbaum said.
As for the bar, Appelbaum said the idea resonated with the hotel’s designers after the public meeting in August, one of two sessions in which Clevelanders were allowed to weigh in on the design in process.
“There was a guy [at the August meeting] that said, ‘I, Joe Public, want to make sure there’s a rooftop bar, and I want to go to the top of the building and buy a drink,’ ” Appelbaum said. “And you know what? We thought a lot about that. The public comment resonated, and I think we’re going to be able to satisfy that gentleman.”
6 – From the COLUMBUS DISPATCH (April 3, 2014)
Kasich, FitzGerald both get credit for Cleveland rebirth
CLEVELAND — As Gov. John Kasich was finishing a speech last night tailored specifically to his audience of about 1,200 Cleveland-area business professionals, he said, “This is a great city with great assets and great neighborhoods and great people.
“If you have any doubt, just look around you today at this convention center.”
The Cleveland Convention Center, where Kasich was speaking, could go by another name: the house that Ed FitzGerald built.
As Cuyahoga County’s elected executive, FitzGerald oversaw the construction of a roughly $400 million, 1 million-square-foot project in downtown Cleveland that included a new convention center and an adjacent office hub for medical companies. Although the project was started by FitzGerald’s predecessors, the now-defunct board of Cuyahoga County commissioners, the convention center and medical hub were finished ahead of schedule and under budget by at least $38 million. (FitzGerald’s team lists a higher figure.)
Democrats and Republicans in Cleveland give at least partial credit to FitzGerald, Kasich’s likely Democratic opponent this fall.
After Kasich’s speech, delivered to the Greater Cleveland Partnership, an aide to the governor said he was referring to the “people in the room” and not to the building itself. Either way, the speech was an example of the challenge before Kasich to connect with an important voting constituency that is governed by both him and, locally, by FitzGerald.
Kasich, a Republican native of McKees Rocks, Pa., near Pittsburgh, drew parallels between his hometown and Cleveland, called Democratic Mayor Frank Jackson “a fantastic guy,” and recounted the several high-profile projects on which he’s worked with Jackson, including a Cleveland schools reformation plan and road projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Kasich cited his push to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act as something Cleveland-area hospitals called for, and he said the state had either spent or committed to spend about $1 billion on infrastructure improvements for the region under his watch.
“This city is beginning to reclaim its great legacy,” Kasich said. “As Ohio does better, Cleveland does better, and as Cleveland does better, I have a greater and greater sense of satisfaction that that little boy who came to Ohio with his Uncle Harry and said, ‘Johnny, you’re in the promised land,’ ... I get the sense that I am able to fulfill my purpose with the people around me to help lift this great city and the great people who live in this city.”
The Greater Cleveland Partnership is the chamber of commerce for Cleveland and surrounding communities. It is also a member of Team NEO, a regional partner of JobsOhio, Kasich’s privatized development agency. Team NEO has received millions of dollars in Third Frontier and grant money to work with JobsOhio.
Christopher M. Connor, chairman and chief executive of Sherwin-Williams and past Greater Cleveland Partnership chief, said the Cleveland business community feels Kasich and FitzGerald have been “equally outstanding” to work with and that support wouldn’t automatically go to Kasich.
Connor, who contributed $11,000 to Kasich’s last campaign, said Kasich had devoted “resources, talent and support” to the region’s business initiatives. But Connor also called FitzGerald “an outstanding leader for our county” and said he hadn’t decided which candidate to support in 2014.
“Look at this convention center,” Connor said. “Business leaders see that kind of drive, energy and focus to do what’s right. Ed’s earned high marks. From my point of view, it’s going to be an interesting race, because both men have been good and can point to strong records of stewardship."
7 – From the ASSOCIATED PRESS (Cincinnati Bureau) (April 3, 2014)
Cleveland still in running to host GOP Convention
CINCINNATI (AP) — Cleveland and Cincinnati are the two Ohio cities still in contention to host the 2016 Republican National Convention with the list of possible cities narrowed to six on Wednesday.
Columbus, the third Ohio city to bid for the convention, has been knocked out of competition along with Phoenix.
The Republican National Committee said the four other sites still in the running are Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Mo., and Las Vegas.
A Republican team will visit the six cities for a more in-depth look at financing, convention venues, media workspace, and hotels. The selection committee will then decide after the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting which of the six cities will receive official site visits from the full committee delegation. The final decision is due by fall.
At stake is a national convention that brings in as many as 45,000 visitors and up to $200 million for the local economy.
Ohio has not hosted a national political convention since 1936, and the Ohio Republican Party chairman said in a statement Wednesday that the state party will do everything possible to support Cincinnati’s and Cleveland’s bids. No Republican has ever taken the White House without Ohio.
“The road to the White House runs through Ohio, which makes us the perfect state to host the Republican National Convention,” state party Chairman Matt Borges said.
Las Vegas has emerged as an early leader in the competition, but Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chairman Rob Frost said having three cities bid and two make the latest cut illustrates Ohio’s importance in national elections.
“I think that’s a real strength,” Frost said, adding that it was up to Cleveland to show it can meet all the requirements for the convention.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said that city’s fundraising efforts are “coming along well.” He declined to discuss the details.
Republican officials have stressed that the city hosting the convention must raise $55 million in private funds and have sufficient convention and hotel space and adequate accommodations for the media.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said in a statement that Cincinnati is confident it will be at the top of the list once the committee sees all the city has to offer.
In a statement congratulating Cincinnati and Cleveland, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said Columbus was proud of the work it had done to pursue the convention. The city is planning to pursue the Democratic National Convention, Coleman spokesman Dan Williamson said Wednesday.
Ohio has been hoping to reassert its political clout with the three bids for the Republican convention. But the state is competing against fast-growing states with newer infrastructure and the more diverse electorate that the party is trying to attract.
8 – From the PLAIN DEALER (April 3, 2014)
Greater Cleveland Partnership chair Beth Mooney tells Cleveland to get ready for good times
CLEVELAND, Ohio--Smarter city schools, a re-imagined Public Square, and an airport busy again with direct flights to places Clevelanders need to go.
Those are three priorities of the Greater Cleveland Partnership as it embarks upon its second decade of business leadership under a new chairwoman.
Beth Mooney, the president and chief executive of KeyCorp, outlined those goals as she was introduced as board chair of the state's largest chamber of commerce at its annual meeting Wednesday.
Mooney, who succeeds Sherwin-Williams chief executive Chris Connor, told a gathering of more than 1,000 people at the Cleveland Convention Center that her goal is to maintain momentum building into a transformative force.
"Today we are pleased to say that we will soon see shovels in Public Square," she said. "And the lakefront plans are in full development."
Mooney shared the spotlight with John Kasich, the Ohio governor and rumored presidential contender, who echoed many of her themes as he delivered the keynote address.
Kasich, who grew up near Pittsburgh, said he has loved Cleveland since boyhood vacations to the Ohio shore. He said he's excited to see the city rediscovering the lake.
"It needs to be protected, and it need to be showcased," the governor said.
Kasich added that a capital projects bill he signed Tuesday will provide funds for lakefront projects and help Cleveland realize its dreams.
"Ladies and gentlemen, Ohio's coming back," the governor said, adding, "As Ohio does better, Cleveland does better."
The meeting celebrated the 10th anniversary of the GCP, which started in 2004 with the merger of three business and civic organizations. With 14,000 members, it's one of the largest metropolitan chambers of commerce in the nation and sets the business agenda in Northeast Ohio.
Mooney, who presided over her first meeting as board chair, outlined goals that include seeing a new Public Square take shape in downtown Cleveland.
The Group Plan Commission is leading a redesign of the city's historic center that calls for an iconic pedestrian walkway connecting the square to attractions at North Coast Harbor.
Mooney said work will begin this year and that a new civic commons should be finished in the summer of 2016. Combined with $3 billion worth of construction projects underway downtown, she said, it will help launch the city into an exciting new era.
"We are indeed on the move," Mooney said. "This is a place where we all work but it is also a place we are proud to call home. These are good times. Enjoy them."
Plenty of work remains, she said, including the restructuring of city schools afflicted with absenteeism and failure.
Mooney said the Cleveland schools' reform plan -- which gives new responsibilities to schools and parents alike -- could become a national model for change.
She said the GCP will also focus efforts on gaining more airline service to a suddenly hubless city.
In February, United Airlines shocked the region when the airline announced it was pulling its hub from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and drastically reducing direct flights.
Mooney expressed optimism that Cleveland will attract other carriers to fill the void. She said business demand for flights is strong and "our travel and tourism assets are some of the best in the country."
As she introduced the governor, Mooney noted that Kasich supports many of the GCP's priorities, including the expansion of Medicaid to the working poor, funding for the Opportunity Corridor and support of the Cleveland Plan to reform public education.
Kasich has not yet endorsed what may be the GCP's boldest campaign, its call for comprehensive immigration reform.
The GCP, along with most of Ohio's leading business groups, threw its support behind a reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate last summer, arguing it would boost the economy of the region and the state. The bill is languishing in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Neither Kasich nor Mooney touched upon immigration reform and its economic potential for the region.
GCP president Joe Roman referred to immigration in his remarks, but only in a political sense. As the region loses population, it loses representation and clout in Washington, Roman said. That makes it more important for regional chambers and Congressional delegations to work together.
Roman added a light touch to the forum when he opened a bottle of Great Lakes beer on stage, poured himself a glass and took a sip.
He then asked GCP members to support Issue 7 on the May ballot in Cuyahoga County, noting the so-called sin tax adds less than 2 cents to the price of his beer.
The tax on cigarettes, beer and wine built the Gateway sports complex, insured the city kept three major league sports teams and fueled the downtown renaissance, Roman said.
"The sin tax is part of the guts of this place and what keeps us a major league town," he said.
It's traditional at the annual meeting for the GCP to bestow its Richard Shatten Professional Leadership Award upon a community catalyst. This year's award went to a surprised Vickie Eaton Johnson, executive director of the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation.
Roman cited her success attracting major investments to the Fairfax community as well as her support and guidance of the Opportunity Corridor, a 35 mph boulevard that will traverse her neighborhood.
"It's a project I knew we would take some heat for," Eaton Johnson said, but also a project her community needs.
"Transportation is economic development," she said. "Our commitment, it's to make sure neighborhood residents get direct benefits."
9 – From PR NEWSWIRE (April 1, 2014)
Direct Consulting Associates Joins HIMSS Innovation Center as a Supporting Collaborator
CLEVELAND, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Direct Consulting Associates joins the HIMSS Innovation Center in Cleveland, Ohio, as a Supporting Collaborator to become part of the elite team of innovators, working together and leading advancement of health information management by optimizing the use of technology.
The HIMSS Innovation Center is a permanent exhibition of interoperability where healthcare providers, payers, and consumers can demonstrate secure exchange of patient health information. As a Supporting Collaborator, Direct Consulting Associates will present its technology solutions in exhibit space that is part of the Technology Showcase.
Direct Consulting Associates (DCA) is a Solon, Ohio based Healthcare IT Consulting and Staffing firm that helps clients successfully plan, build, and run their critical technology initiatives. DCA provides a quality-focused approach to delivering exceptional service and is networked to the highest caliber Healthcare IT professionals in the market. DCA's Healthcare IT staffing solutions include staff augmentation, project management, temp-to-perm placement and direct placement.
According to Frank Myeroff, President, "Direct Consulting Associates is excited to be a new Collaborator in the HIMSS Innovation Center. We look forward to showcasing our Healthcare IT Staffing Solutions in this state-of-the-art environment along-side other highly respected and leading HIT vendors. In addition, we believe our participation at the HIMSS Innovation Center demonstrates our deep commitment to developing and providing the best Healthcare IT talent solutions possible.
Just like the HIMSS Innovation Center, Direct Consulting Associates is also located in Cleveland. That means we will be at the forefront of healthcare initiatives happening right here at our many world-class healthcare organizations. Moving forward, we believe our new Collaborator role will also strengthen our current partnerships at renowned healthcare facilities outside of Cleveland and across the country."
The HIMSS Innovation Center opened in October 2013 as part of the Global Center for Health Innovation. The Global Center, which is the only facility in the world that displays the future of health and healthcare, is adjacent to the Cleveland Convention Center, a premier location that attracts healthcare providers year-round.
"With the ongoing demand for skilled health IT professionals, Direct Consulting Associates brings an important perspective to the Technology Showcase at the HIMSS Innovation Center, with its emphasis on providing talented staff and employment guidance for both employers and employees. Now, as a Supporting Collaborator, DCA joins with all of us at the HIMSS Innovation Center to advance our ongoing objective to improve health with information technology," said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS.
10 – From CRAIN’S CLEVELAND BUSINESS – PHOTO GALLERY (April 2, 2014)
County hotel construction
View Stan Bullard’s photo gallery of construction site: http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20140327/PHOTOGALLERIES/303279999/county-hotel-construction&profile=1107
11 – From the NEW YORK TIMES (April 1, 2014)
Cleveland’s Thriving Theater Hub Lures Residents
CLEVELAND — When a national tour of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” played here last month, Vincent Wil Hawley walked from his apartment at Residences at Hanna, a new 102-unit conversion in a renovated office building annex, and was in his seat five minutes later.
“It’s basically like you’re living in the middle of Broadway,” said Mr. Hawley, 30. “It’s fun to have so much culture outside your door.”
Residents of Midtown Manhattan are accustomed to walking to the Theater District to see what’s new on Broadway. But Mr. Hawley’s trip to and from Cleveland’s gilded Palace Theater was something much more significant. It was a sign, decades in the making, that this city’s efforts to create a thriving residential real estate market in its downtown core was starting to look more like a box-office hit than a flop.
An estimated 12,000 people now live in downtown Cleveland, double what the population was in 2000, according to the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, a nonprofit organization that represents property owners. Rental occupancy is near a record high of 95 percent. Such growth has roots in initiatives that Rust Belt cities like Cleveland and Detroit are using to lure residents, including tax credits, new business incentives and outreach to millennial professionals looking for affordable and bike-friendly city living.
But in Cleveland there’s a more marquee reason people are moving downtown: the theater. PlayhouseSquare, a nonprofit that operates nine performance spaces in Cleveland’s theater district, has run its own real estate services division since 1999. With last fall’s opening of Residences at Hanna, Playhouse Square took its first step into the world of residential real estate, an unusual project for an arts organization that is usually more concerned with renewing subscriptions than leases.
The worlds of theater and real estate merge in several ways. In New York, performing arts organizations often benefit from mixed-use development. In 2012, Off Broadway’s Signature Theater moved into a multi-venue complex on the ground floor of the MiMA building on West 42nd Street. Regionally, theaters are landlords out of necessity; they lease or own apartments and other housing for out-of-state actors and crew members. Live-work spaces for artists are commonplace across the country.
Residences at the Hanna is anchored on the ground floor in part by the Hanna Theater, which was built in 1921 and once attracted stage luminaries like Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. Today it houses the Great Lakes Theater, a company that produces classic works. Rents there range from $750 for a studio to $1,600 for a two-bedroom.
Mr. Hawley, a jewelry designer, says he pays $1,275 for a 925-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment with unobstructed views of Lake Erie. All units in the eight-story building were leased before the project was completed in October. As with many other new buildings downtown, there’s a waiting list to get in.
Today PlayhouseSquare manages more than 2.3 million square feet of office and retail space in northeast Ohio. Just under half of that is in the PlayhouseSquare district, which includes five historic theaters, dating back to the 1920s, that after decades of neglect were renovated as part of a 27-year, $55 million campaign of public and private funds.
“We are creative, and that carries over to how we create a neighborhood,” said Allen Wiant, the vice president for strategic development in the theater group’s real estate division.
Credit a musical for the original effort to redevelop PlayhouseSquare. In 1973, a production of the musical revue “Jacque Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” that was to run for two weeks became a hit and ran for over two years. That success brought people downtown and renewed interest in saving Cleveland’s historic theater district.
PlayhouseSquare realized that filling theater seats on a regular basis required restaurants and bars nearby, where people could come before a show and stay after.
Fast-forward a few decades. PlayhouseSquare officials viewed the eight floors of the Hanna annex, which include the theater and several floors of former office space, as an adaptive reuse opportunity. The K&D Group, a regional developer behind other downtown apartment buildings, bought the annex for $3.25 million from Playhouse Square’s real estate division. As a component of the transaction, made public Dec. 29, 2011, PlayhouseSquare agreed to lease the ground floor for retailing, situated near the Hanna Theater, from K&D for a period of years.
Almost 40 years after the closing of “Jacque Brel,” and after millions of dollars in renovations and area development, people are not just being entertained in Cleveland’s theater district. They’re calling it home.
“A logical evolution is residents,” said Joe Marinucci, the president and chief executive of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and a former vice president for real estate development for PlayhouseSquare. “That creates more of a 24/7, dynamic environment.”
PlayhouseSquare is also in the middle of a $16 million transformation of the surrounding streetscape, with new signs, gateway arches and the renovation of a small commons featuring a food kiosk called Dynomite. On May 2, the organization will hold a lighting ceremony for its new, retro-looking electronic signage and a gigantic LED crystal chandelier that will hang over an intersection near the theaters.
In addition, two new restaurants will be opening in the next several months.
“It’s not just about what’s on stage,” said Art Falco, the president and chief executive of PlayhouseSquare. “It comes down to creating a vibrant area, too.”
Mr. Marinucci said that until occupancy reaches over 20,000, downtown is “still short” on the number of people needed for a truly round-the-clock neighborhood with significant pedestrian traffic. Amenities like drugstores and supermarkets are still lacking downtown, although Heinen’s, a local grocery chain, plans to open a 33,000-square-foot supermarket this fall some five blocks away from the Hanna as part of the renovation of a former bank building.
Despite the positive turnaround in its theater district, Cleveland continues to face serious economic hurdles. A recent study from the Brookings Institution found great income inequality in Cleveland, with the poor getting poorer. Neighborhoods just outside downtown, like Fairfax and Hough, the site of riots in the 1960s, show few signs of revival.
But PlayhouseSquare’s residential project may provide a model for other struggling Rust Belt cities that are eager to find the synergy that links the performing arts, urban development and affordable commercial real estate.
“The basic rule in real estate for 5,000 years is value is tied to location,” said Robert L. Lynch, the chief executive of Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit arts advocacy organization in Washington. “Whenever you can do something that enhances a location, you enhance the value. Art and theater are value enhancements.”