When The Pretenders sang “My City Was Gone” in 1982, they proclaimed “My city had been pulled down / Reduced to parking spaces.” The world has changed in the thirty years since this song was written; Akron, and Cleveland, have since torn down historic structures for Hoffman’s favorite development, the parking lot.
The lot at Euclid and Ford was never “our parking lot.” That site once housed a collection of street-fronting historic buildings. Torn down in the 1980s, these historic structures were deemed unimportant, and parking for suburbanites unwilling to walk was deemed essential. Additionally, a suburban-style strip mall, the Triangle, was built. This short-sited development seemed to think urban areas deserved suburban blandness.
Uptown, then, is not encroaching on precious parking, it is a reclamation of Cleveland’s urban heritage. Land is valuable in urban areas, which is why parking costs money. The land has a potential to be something with a far greater return on investment, which is what Uptown is. Would Hoffman prefer an urban asphalt desert?
Yes, that parking lot was sacrificed, but it’s for something far more worthwhile than your sedan. It’s for economic development, a restoration of our urban fabric, and more shops and services for University Circle residents and workers. Additionally, two lots remain in the area, one behind Uptown, and the other behind the Triangle apartments.
The garages coming in the Intesa development by Coral Co. are, by the way, adjacent to even more parking garages already extant. If Hoffman does find a bit of walking to his detriment, and is not handicapped, perhaps the editor would be better served to pay the necessary dues to store his car on valuable urban land. Or, park in the garage directly adjacent to Ford and the FSM Memorial Building.
Parking lots are places to store cars temporarily, and if long-term parking is required, it costs money. Urban-centric buildings with street-level retail, like Uptown, benefit us all, not just those that drive. Uptown is more than a cup of coffee and a lost parking space, it is an urban renaissance.