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Recommendation Memo to Art House Inc. Board from Art House Property Task Force, 9.17.2012

Recommendation Memo to Art House Inc. Board from Art House Property Task Force, 9.17.2012

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Published by Brian Cummins
RECOMMENDATION:
Based on the research done by the Property Task Force on the possible redevelopment of 3119 and 3201 Denison Avenue for alternative productive uses, the Task Force recommends the demolition of both properties and the development of the land to enhance programming at Art House.

This memo will outline for the Art House (AH) Board of Trustees the process undertaken by the Property Task Force, the research carried out, the conclusions that have been reached, and the recommendation that is being made to the AH Board of Trustees.
RECOMMENDATION:
Based on the research done by the Property Task Force on the possible redevelopment of 3119 and 3201 Denison Avenue for alternative productive uses, the Task Force recommends the demolition of both properties and the development of the land to enhance programming at Art House.

This memo will outline for the Art House (AH) Board of Trustees the process undertaken by the Property Task Force, the research carried out, the conclusions that have been reached, and the recommendation that is being made to the AH Board of Trustees.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Brian Cummins on Nov 26, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/04/2012

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September 17, 2012TO: Art House Board of Trustees and Amy Craft, Executive DirectorFROM: Art House Property Task Force. Members: Alan Forman, Gloria Ferris, Bill Graham, JoeMestnik, Rachel Tatter, Amy Craft, Megan Meister, Councilman Brian Cummins. City of Cleveland representative: Dan Musson.facilitatorFacilitator: Bobbi Reichtell.RE: Recommendation from Property Task Force regarding buildings at3119 and 3201 Denison Avenue
RECOMMENDATION:
 
Based on the research done by the Property Task Force on the possible redevelopment of 3119 and 3201Denison Avenue for alternative productive uses, the Task Force recommends the demolition of bothproperties and the development of the land to enhance programming at Art House. (See detailedConclusions and Recommendation on Page 3.)This memo will outline for the Art House (AH) Board of Trustees the process undertaken by the PropertyTask Force, the research carried out, the conclusions that have been reached, and the recommendationthat is being made to the AH Board of Trustees.
The Task Force Members and Process:
The Property Task Force was comprised of individuals who were selected because they are trusted andrespected leaders in the community with special expertise in relevant areas. Alan Forman is active inhistoric preservation and community organizations and is a business owner; Gloria Ferris is a well-respectedleader and strong spokesperson for the Brooklyn Centre neighborhood; Joe Mestnik is an architect andcommunity activist; Bill Graham is a business owner (B & R Machine) and civic leader; Donna Nolen-Brookswas invited but could not serve because of time constraints. All are members of the Stockyard Clark FultonBrooklyn Centre Advisory Council except Joe who is a leader of the Brooklyn Centre CommunityAssociation. Councilman Brian Cummins, Rachel Tatter, Amy Craft, and Megan Meister also participated inmeetings and research but refrained from decision making at the last meeting.These individuals met from June to September 2012 to research and develop a set of recommendations for1 or 2 financiallyfeasibllefeasibleprojects or uses for the vacant properties owned by Art House. Theyunderstood their role was to make recommendations to the Art House Board and that the board wouldmake the final decision in consultation with the key funder, the City of Cleveland. The minutes of theirmeetings are attached for review.
Focus and Scope of Research:
Over the past 10 years many ideas had been put forth for the properties from artists gallery space andresidences to office space for the American Indian Education Center and Brooklyn Centre CommunityAssociation. At the first meeting Rachel Tatter, Art House BoardcChair , made it clear that because the economy and fundraising potential of non-profits have been depressed, and most community arts organizations are struggling to maintain existing programming and funding, Art House does not have the
 
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internal capacity to develop the buildings. Their focus is to provide high quality visual and creative artsprogramming for youth and adults and that they are firmly committed to continuing to serve thiscommunity into the future. The properties as they exist now present a risk and liability to Art House andthey have been informed by their insurance agent that the property insurance for the two homes will bedropped as of November 2012. It is imperative that the Board develop a viable strategy for them, withassistance from the Task Force. It was made clear that everything is open for discussion, but the finalrecommendations to the board on their use must be financially and programmatically viable. CouncilmanCummins stated that his top priority was to insure that Art House be financially viable so that it cancontinue to provide services to the community.
Possible Redevelopment Concepts Pursued:
At the first meeting in June, the Task Force toured the properties, reviewed renovation outline and costestimate by a historic preservation specialist, and brainstormed possible uses for the properties.
The ideas generated included:
 1.
 
renovation of one of the properties by the American Indian Education Center (AIEC) or use fortheir programming; (1 vote)
 2.
 
development of an artist in residence program with gallery space; (5 votes)
 3.
 
redevelopment by and for Hispanic organizations; and (4 votes)
 4.
 
as a fallback last option, demolition of the two houses and creation of gardens, sculpture park,outdoor classroom area for Art House and parking area.
(5 votes)Based on these ideas, the Task Force discussed the pros and cons of each and then voted for the threeproject concepts they were most interested in. (seeSeedetails in attached June meeting minutes). Eachconcept had 2 to 4 members of the Task Force volunteer to research the feasibility of the concept throughmeetings with agencies and organizations that might carry it out, and then develop a short summary thatwould include the concept, what organization would do it, what their capacity was, the project budget andthe possible funding sources.Research was then carried out from June to mid-August and at its August 14
th
meeting the Task Forceheard reportsbacksfrom the research teams. See attached minutes and matrix of research results from August 14
th
meeting. It had been determined through the research and meetings that the American IndianEducation Center was interested in one of the houses and AIEC director Robert Roche and board memberLucy Miler attended the August meeting. They however did not come forward with a written proposal asrequested and it was determined at the September 13
th
meeting that they were not a viable option.
 
Conclusions and Recommendation:
After meetings with numerous non-profit organizations, the Cleveland Foundation, additional partnership
 
conversations with Alenka Blenko at
Convivium /St. Josaphat 
and Baldwin Wallace University on the
 
priority redevelopment strategy of developing an artist in residence facility and art gallery, the, the 
 
Property Task Force determined that there was no organization that had any interest or ability indeveloping this. None of the Hispanic organizations consulted (Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Esperanza,Hispanic Contractors Association) had an interest in developing the building. The AIEC did not followthrough with a written proposal or plans.
Therefore, despite the Property Task Force’s
original strongsupport for historic preservation of at least one of the buildings, it was concluded at the September 13,2012 meeting that neither have a viable redevelopment opportunity. Therefore, the Property Task Force
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recommends the demolition of both homes with careful removal of architectural details and foundationstone for use in an art park and outdoor studio/classroom and that any parking created should utilizeenvironmentally sustainable practices (e.g. bio swale, permeable paving, rain garden, etc.).The next steps after the Property Task Force recommendation to the Board is for the Board to make theirdecision, then hold a community meeting in the third week of October, a new MOU would be drafted bythe City and distributed, and then the City will hold a meeting of the consulting parties.

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