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Shaker Towne Center, Shaker Heights, Ohio
In 2000, the City of Shaker Heights, Ohio, with the assistance of Urban Design Associates and other consultants, developed the Shaker Heights Strategic Investment Plan. That plan targeted certain areas of improvement in the core of this affluent inner-ring suburban community, generally recognized as areas along Lee Road, Chagrin Boulevard and Van Aken Boulevard, especially nearest their intersections.
A key component of the plan was the revitalization of retail/commercial land along both Lee Road and Chagrin Boulevard near Lee Road. In addition to an eventual new city fire station and continuing rehabilitation of retail and commercial buildings on the south side of Chagrin, Shaker Towne Center, a newly reconfigured and revitalized retail shopping center, was created along the north side.
Shaker Towne Center was designed by the local architectural firm of Richard L. Bowen and Associates, with crucial conceptual design input from Rick and Pen Zimmerman of ZZ Design. The project enfolded a renovated Heinen’s food store into an expanded retail complex, including a mix of both small and large local convenience retailers. Key to the acceptance and success of Shaker Towne Center was its distinctive architectural styling, in which elements of traditional neo-Georgian and Colonial features typical of Shaker Heights were melded with more contemporary retail sensibility.
The impact of Shaker Towne Center has since been broadened by additional public improvements in rights-of-way, and by the development of the adjacent Avalon Station loft condominiums, overlooking the Shaker Heights rapid transit line running down the median of Van Aken Boulevard.
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