CLEVELAND — Northeast Shores Development Corporation is the recipient of multiple funding sources for green parking lots within the Waterloo Arts Entertainment and Music District located in the North Shores Collinwood area. These funds will be utilized to construct two new parking areas and retrofit one existing parking area with the goal to minimize stormwater runoff into the combined sewer system and assist with the health of creeks, rivers and ultimately Lake Erie. The parking area plans, developed by Katherine Holmok, Landscape Architect at URS Corporation and her team, will leverage sustainable techniques of bioswales and infiltration basins to utilize stormwater runoff as landscape irrigation, art and place making.

Grant funding includes $71,117 from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s (NEORSD) Small Scale Stormwater Demonstration Program, $58,602 from the Ohio EPA and the U.S. EPA under the 319(h) Grant Program, $93,930 from the City of Cleveland Economic Development Vacant Properties Initiative Fund, and $15,000 from Neighborhood Progress Inc.

Brian Friedman Executive director of Northeast Shores stated, “This parking plan will help to support the growth of the Waterloo District and continue the job and business creation plan for the area. The NEORSD funds helped to leverage City of Cleveland Economic Development Vacant Properties Initiative funding to help defray the cost of the parking infrastructure. The city funding will help to develop the parking areas ASAP to capitalize on private investments, with a planned completion date of October 2013. The parking will come on line just in time to supply parking during the construction of the Waterloo streetscape project.”

New parking lots
The Azure Stained Glass lot located at East 156th and Waterloo will include 21 total parking spaces and be utilized for “pop up” art performances including the interpretation of stormwater infiltration through the artistic design of the water collection through a blue drain, the use of colored blue glass mulch and a permanent interpretive panel. The permanent educational panel will inform the public about the green measures and will be highly visible along Waterloo Road.

The Outdoor Theater lot, located at the east entry point to the Waterloo Road District will include a new 30 car parking area, green infrastructure incorporating a sun bioswale, a moon infiltration basin and the stars landscape meadow. A portion of the parking lots stalls will utilize permeable concrete for additional stormwater infiltration. Public art sculpture made possible by funding from the 2013 Artists in Residence Program will be contributed by the team of Louis S. Ross and Jerry Schmidt entitled “Wheels on Waterloo” and will be placed on site as well educational signage for the green infrastructure elements.

Future retro-fit project
The future Crop Rocks building located at 15719-21 Waterloo will receive a retrofit treatment at the existing parking lot. The lot is currently utilized for “pop up” art event parking as well as overflow parking for the Beachland. Northeast Shores is planning to retrofit the existing landscape island into an infiltration/bioretention basin. The basin will capture water naturally draining toward this area and also capture water from the building roof with an artistic downspout modification. The site plan will make accommodation for outdoor dining for a proposed restaurant for the former bank building. This bodes well with the plans of Alan Glazen’s Project Light Switch which plans for five new restaurant establishments to blossom in the Waterloo District by fall 2013.

The Waterloo parking initiative emanated from a Northeastern Ohio Area Coordinating Agency’s funded Waterloo Streetscape TLCI Plan completed in 2007 by URS. As part of this plan, the Waterloo district also received approximately $5,500,000 in funding for streetscape and roadway improvements from the City of Cleveland, Mayor Frank Jackson’s Office of Capital Projects, Division of Engineering and Construction with the support of Ward 11 Councilman Michael D. Polensek. The final Streetscape Plans were designed by Osborn Engineering and Knight and Stolar, Inc. Planning Consultants and Landscape Architects.

The goal of Northeast Shores is to implement a series of sustainable projects throughout the arts entertainment and music district that incorporate artistic green infrastructure techniques and create a one-half mile self-guided green infrastructure walking tour for visitors, residents, and students. These projects create the back bone of this walking tour and lay the framework for future additional green infrastructure projects that support the health of Lake Erie and the residents of the District.