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Cleveland: Casino skyway debate revived

6:01 PM, Nov 9, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Rock Gaming and Caesar's hope to build a skyway over the intersection of Prospect and Ontario avenues connecting their casino in the former Higbee building with its parking garage.

There's a hearing next week in Washington D.C. before a National Park Service officer who is being asked to reverse an earlier rejection of the project.

That hearing won't decide the fate of the project but it will decide whether landlord Forest City Enterprises keeps tax credits.

The Higbee building and Tower City are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Opponents of the skyway are making arguments that it obstructs a clear view down to Lakeside Avenue that's part of long-standing city plans.

They also claim it will take foot traffic off the street and discourage patrons from visiting neighborhood restaurants and businesses.

Stimulating the surrounding the economy is a casino goal.

Supporters of the skyway argue that it provides protection from the weather and safety by taking more pedestrians off a busy street corner.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's admininstration is still reviewing and deciding whether to issue a needed building permit.

Rock Gaming Spokeswoman Jennifer Kulczycki says there is no definite timeline to launch the skyway project and the process is running its course.

Cleveland resident Joe Baur is launching a 'Stop-the-Skyway' petition drive through the Civic Commons website.

Cleveland has several skyways. None has generated this much controversy. The City Planning Commission has already approved the concept.

Another debate over a proposed skyway is looming at City Hall.

There are plans to build a skyway over East 6th Street, between a new Westin Hotel garage and the old Public Hall, tied into the new Convention Center.

WKYC-TV

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