What’s up with the Van Aken District?  Plenty!

That was the topic of the July 27th joint meeting of the Lomond and Sussex Associations.  Jason Russell, GM of the Van Aken District, gave an update to about 30 neighbors at The Dealership.

Top news!  The fences start coming down in about 2 weeks so we can see the final work in progress.

Office Space.  McGlinchey Stafford and ABA Insurance are already in.  Paragon Advisors moves in during August, and RMS Investments will move from Tower City to the VAD in December.

Upstairs at Van Aken Apartments.  The first residents move in to the 103 apartments August 17, and one floor will be added every 15 days after that.  Read more in Shaker Magazine.

Retail. The strategy is to bring in “the best of locals” first, plus regional companies.  Many have Shaker roots. Current tenants: Luster (gift boutique), Whiskey Grade (men’s and women’s clothing), Manifest (manicures and craft cocktails), Urban Orchid (floral and gift boutique), Xhibition, (men’s and women’s clothing) University Hospitals Suburban Pediatrics, Stump Plants (succulents, plants, gifts), Shinola (watches and accessories), See Eyewear (fashion eyewear), GrooveRyde (fitness studio), Eddy’s Barbershop (men’s grooming), Double Rainbow (girls’ apparel and gifts), Cleveland Clothing Company (Cleveland pride clothing), Bonobos (men’s clothing), Andrews Color Atelier (hair care).  Timing: Dependent on retailers finishing out their space.  See Eyewear opens in August.  Other are expected in mid-to-late September.

Food and drink The 21,000-square foot Market Hall will have 22 booths and includes sit down restaurants and outdoor patios.  There is also a stage to be a neighborhood gathering place.  Current tenants: On the Rise (bread, sandwiches), Jonathon Sawyer restaurant (full-service, free-standing), Bottlehouse Brewery (craft brews, food), Rising Star Coffee Roasters (coffee shop), Banter (housemade poutine, craft beer), Restore Cold Press (raw juices), Mitchell’s Ice Cream (read more in Shaker Magazine), Genuine Pizza (artisan pizza), Brassica (contemporary Mediterranean) Timing:  Mitchell’s plans to open by Labor Day. The rest will open in October.

Events. RMS is interested in hosting as many events as possible as part of being “Shaker’s downtown.”

  • Sunset North Union Farmer’s Market. Thursdays in September and October, 4-7.
  • Cleveland Flea. The first eastside version of this event.  September 16, 10-4
  • Winter Lights Festival. Outdoor hands-on festival in planning for December.
  • Shaker Heights Development Corporation Shake It Up 2018 benefit. August 25, 6-11.

Resident questions brought out some additional info.

Security.  RMS will have their own security staff, with the SHPD on call as always.  RMS manages the lighting outside and in the parking lot, which will be 24/7. Security cameras are already in place.  RMS and the City, which has invested $43,000, are partnering to provide Clean and Safe Ambassadors to assist visitors and monitor the area.

Parking. 800 garage and lot spaces will be free. On-street parking will be paid as a way to keep people from parking there for long stretches.

Greenspace and walkability.  There will be several areas of outdoor seating and park areas and a direct landscaped path into the district that skirts the busy bus and rapid areas.

Public art.  RMS and the City Public Art Committee are working on artwork and murals for the area.

Grocery store.  It’s a challenge they’re still working on. Chains that already serve Cleveland have locations close by.  Chains that don’t have locations in Northeast Ohio, need to commit to multiple locations in the region to make distribution efficient.

Read More at The Van Aken District website.