Lakewood Hospital is on life support. The Cleveland Clinic, which operates the facility, has proposed replacing the 108-year-old hospital with a smaller family health center and emergency department. But a citizen group is fighting to keep it open. The city owns the building and plans to keep it open until September 2016, but has agreed to work with the Clinic to find a solution. So we asked three land-use experts what they would like to see done with the nearly 6-acre site.
Professor, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University; lead author of the forthcoming book, Retried, Rehabbed, Reborn: Repurposing America's Religious Buildings and Schools
The plan: Simons sees the 5.7-acre site as a prime location for a high-density, mixed-use development with retail on the ground floors facing Detroit Avenue and housing above. The benefit: "Reusing the building might be tough," Simons says. "It's probably better just to tear it down. It would not be cheaper to rehab."
Partner, Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects; president, American Institute of Architects Cleveland chapter
The plan: Hill, who lives near Detroit Avenue, just a few blocks from the hospital, wants to see the main building transformed into a boutique hotel. The benefit: A hip hotel in the city's downtown would continue the development of the city's central business district. "With our city's better restaurants, great chefs coming in, an influx of even more unique bars, more boutique-type shopping," Hill says, "it makes sense to have that amenity as well."
Lakewood resident; project manager, General Services Administration
The plan: Jayjack wants to see a multigenerational, mixed-use development that incorporates a hotel in the former hospital building, adds new housing for millennials and maintains space for medical care so older residents can age in place. The benefit: "There's not new construction, especially new construction that fits within my demographic's price point," Jayjack says. "If we want to keep people in the community, new residential construction is important."