Starting to Sizzle: Bart Wolstein
Picture this: A brace of bulldozers and wrecking cranes descend on the east bank of the Flats just under the Main Avenue Bridge. They chug north, flattening everything in a wide swath to Lake Erie.
For those who fancied the free-wheeling, funky old days of Fagan’s and the Pirate’s Cove and blue-collar bars of the Flats, this vision may seem a nightmare. But to millionaire developer Bart Wolstein, it’s just the first step in a grand dream to construct a $200-million marina, residential and entertainment complex.
So what if it took 17 years? We’re finally seeing the action foretold here come to fruition, as the shells of old East Bank venues started to fall this past summer.
File it Under “We Wish It Were Hot”: Tower City/Terminal Tower
To call the Terminal Tower a hot spot, when it is more than 60 years old, could be regarded as a stretch —if not for the fact that the Terminal is the center of the exciting Tower City Center development.
One week out of the year, Tower City bustles with massive crowds who show up for the Cleveland International Film Fest. New restaurants, including Italian-import Bice, and new stores, such as the teeny-bopper Forever 21, give us hope, but for now, Tower City is nothing more than a lukewarm blip on our radar.
The Thrill is Gone: Claire Freeman
Claire Freeman is making noise. The new director of Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority fired a missile across the bow of local politicians when she said she will not go along with patronage hires.
“If [the pols] want CMHA to improve and turn the corner, they’ll have to give me the wherewithal to accomplish that,” she says.
Um, we didn’t think that meant directly into her bank account. Fast forward to 2002: Freeman was sentenced to 18 months in prison for embezzling $100,000 from CMHA.