City Eyes New Developer For Hospital Site
The City of Lakewood has undergone tremendous change in 2020. One of those changes was the direction of our downtown redevelopment at the intersection of Detroit Avenue and Belle Avenue and I am pleased to tell you that the City is now moving forward. At the November 16, 2020 Council meeting we asked for Council to authorize my administration to move forward in negotiating a non-binding term sheet with a new developer CASTO.
In 2017, CASTO and their partners were one of two teams selected as the most qualified to develop the nearly six-acre former hospital site in the heart of Downtown Lakewood. Their proposal and supporting documentation from that process can be found at http://www.onelakewood.com/downtowndevelopment/. This was a months-long selection process with multiple rounds of submissions and analysis, discussion with and evaluation of eight development teams before a citizen-led real estate development advisory panel, and presentations at a joint Architectural Board of Review/Planning Commission public meeting.
CASTO presented a vision for a mixed-use development to integrate into the fabric of the Lakewood community while creating a new anchor for Downtown. The City now has a unique opportunity to revisit CASTO’s proposal. CASTO has stated they remain committed to this project and are enthusiastic about restarting discussions with the community.
CASTO’s initial proposal from the 2017 selection process is a starting point for our discussions. This plan will evolve over time with public input and the City’s reviewing processes, which requires multiple City Council, Planning Commission, and Architectural Board of Review approvals. Through these public meetings and comment, the Lakewood community will ensure this developer and their project are aligned with our Development Objectives and Lakewood’s Community Vision.
We have much due diligence ahead of us before entering into a new relationship with a developer. Six acres in the heart of Ohio’s most densely populated community must be treated as the exceptional, once-in-a-century opportunity it is. We will reconvene the advisory panel to review and discuss CASTO’s plan and make changes or improvements where needed. Then, the City will enter exclusive negotiations with CASTO for a project development agreement. I have been in close communication with City Council and we are collectively excited to see new life breathed into this catalytic site.
I look forward to working with you on this project in the coming months. Please reach out to me or my team in the City's Department of Planning & Development with your thoughts and feedback on this project or Downtown Lakewood generally. We need your input. Let's be part of the solution, Lakewood.