Thumb Your Nose As You Pass The Gas Station: Live Along The Shaker Rapid Transit Line (LOCALISM FEATURED)

By
Real Estate Agent with Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office

The Buckeye Woodhill Rapid Station, Courtesy of RTATransit oriented development (TOD) has been a hot button for a decade. I was on the bus yesterday and as we passed a gas station on Lorain I saw that  regular fuel would cost me $4.05/gallon. Yes, it's better today (relatively speaking!) at $3.99/gallon.  But wouldn't you like to save money and live on the Rapid Transit Line !!!???

We have one of the original transit systems in the Country right here in NE Ohio, in the form of The Shaker Rapid. Many of you know the story, but for those of you who may be considering relocating to NE Ohio, this is a little history of light rail for you. Two amazing visionaries - the Van Sweringens -  built Shaker Heights. They built Shaker Square and The Shaker Rapid light rail system, all with the idea of providing everything residents would need regarding transport and shopping. By the way, this all started in 1913.  Read this excerpt  from clevelandmemory.com (lots of good history on that site) - they show how housing was tied into transportation even way back then, explaining that the Van Sweringens felt a good transportation system would help their Shaker home sales....they were correct.

By 1930, the Terminal Tower in Downtown Cleveland was open and Union Terminal as well. (yes the Van Sweringens were responsible for this too). This is when The Shaker Rapid System, our very first TOD, began connecting Shaker to Cleveland.

The Shaker Rapid system is vast, with stops on major streets like Shaker Blvd, Van Aken, Lee, Chagrin. You can get almost anywhere in Shaker Heights on the Rapid and one of the biggest destinations has historically been Shaker Square. Shakersquare.net is a great site for information on what currently exists there as well as surrounding activities (like a farmers market, concerts,  Balaton's Hungarian restaurant among others, and lots of service industries. Once again, so you can keep your car in the garage for occasional use.  There are plenty of rental apartment buildings located along the Rapid....some of them even have roof top gardens and patios off your living space, high ceilings, hardwood floors and yet modern amenities. How about homes for sale in Shaker?

There are currently 485 homes for sale, including multi-family homes.  I've picked out three as examples, with an emphasis on the Rapid line.

1. How about a modest two family home for $59,900 (not bank owned) in the 17400 block of Chagrin Blvd. It has two brs in each unit, up and down, a two car garage to store that car you won't use much, and it's near the Avalon Rapid stop. It's brick, it has over 1,000 sq ft in each unit, and a two car garage for those cars you won't use much.

2. How about another multi family, this one a gorgeous Tudor-style home on Winslow (gorgeous, tree-lined street), close to Shaker Square and one short block to the Lynnfield Rapid stop. This home is for sale for $189,900 and according to the description, has been totally updated inside.

3. Maybe you would prefer a single family? For around the same price as above, $189,900, you can get a Van Sweringen built (1956) 2,116 sq ft. colonial on a deep lot with four brs, two baths, a/c, close to Beachwood Place and the RTA stop on Laureldale.

People from other large cities considering a move here might be surprised to know about Shaker's history and it's transit oriented development status.  It truly is one of the first light rail systems in the United States, still taking care of commuter needs on a daily basis. Peace out - 3C

Links:

For a cool pictorial history of The Shaker Rapid, James Toman's A Shaker Rapid Album, which you can buy at Cleveland Landmark Press' site.

The Shaker School District

City of Shaker Heights

I want a rain barrel, and if you do too, here is a way to kill two birds with one stone, although I don't want any birds to die! The Shaker Lakes site features the beauty of the lakes and also talks about their rain barrel making workshops.

Shaker Library

The Shaker Rapid/RTA

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Rainer
111,595
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO

Hi Svetlana, and thank you very much. We have a German solar energy company locating their U.S. corporation here -- I like the idea of Internat'l promotion so yes you may.  TOD's are going to get to be more and more of a hot button issue....which makes sense even without an energy crisis!  Thanks for commenting.

Jul 12, 2008 07:51 AM #10
Rainer
8,130
Jerry Gensel
Essex Mortgage Company - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Very interesting.  I live in Southern California and our transit sucks.  My office is 22 miles from my home.  To take the bus to get to the train station, it requires two transfers and 45 minutes.  The station is 5 miles from my house!  When I get to my destination city (office), it requires one transfer and 39 minutes.  The station is 3 miles from my office!  Yikes!

We need to:

  • Drill and explore
  • Go after alternatives
  • Work from home more
  • Change the transit system
  • Pray
Jul 12, 2008 09:42 AM #11
Rainer
25,318
Michael Carter
Keller Williams Realty - Simpsonville, SC

Now that's a blog worth reading! You really stand out from the crowd with your grasp of history.

Michael Carter, Realtor

421 SE Main Street, Suite 201

Simpsonville, SC 29681

www.beachboyrealestate.com

Jul 12, 2008 10:08 AM #12
Rainer
26,286
DeAnna Troupe
Learn Small Business - Stone Mountain, GA

Carole,

That is really interesting information!  I have family in Cleveland on my Dad's side.  We spent our summers up there.  Keep up the good work

 

Jul 12, 2008 10:27 AM #13
Rainer
111,595
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO

Hi Mortgage Advisor, and nice to meet you through the Rain. I agree with you we need to keep all of our options open and start drilling in places we are already allowed to drill. SUpposedly we are really underutilizing these locations.  That makes no sense but then again what does! lol

Michael, you are very kind and thank you. Now you are the go to guy for math (not me!) and I taught history so I guess I gravitate to that sort of post lol.

Hi DeAnna, I'm going to have to go check out your blog and see where you spend the rest of your time! I hope your Dad is happy and healthy, and in spite of the media stories, Cleveland is still a great place to live.

 

Jul 12, 2008 10:39 AM #14
Ambassador
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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Carole, thumbing my nose up at the gas stations sounds real good right about now.  The cheapest gas around here is $4.21 per gallon :(

Jul 12, 2008 02:02 PM #15
Rainmaker
345,363
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Haven - Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

Carole, what an exceptional post.  I was born and raised in Cleveland, so I love Cleveland history! When I was growing up, everyone used the bus and the rapid. My grandfather was a bus driver in Cleveland. Anyway, thanks for the trip down memory lane and more great info!!

Jul 12, 2008 02:14 PM #16
Rainer
111,595
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO

Hi George that is hard to take isn't it :-(  I can see you on a scooter though :-)  Ok, a Harley????

Dawn how fun. I can remember having to wear gloves when we took the bus Downtown (yes I'm older than dirt LOL).  I bet your grandfather had great stories....glad I could help spur some good memories.

Jul 12, 2008 02:25 PM #17
Rainer
4,247
Cecilia Sherrard
YouShouldOwn.com - Cleveland, OH

On a totally different side note: Hi Carole... =)

 

My apologies for the few months ago and the missed coffee... You're entirely too knowledgeable about Cleveland and the cities surrounding... I'm demanding coffee and swinging the pendulum in front of your eyes... @_@

Jul 12, 2008 05:08 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,463,396
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

I want a scooter.  We don't have any trains in Central Ohio and we are so spread out, there is one proposed for downtown up to campus (?)

Jul 12, 2008 11:48 PM #19
Rainer
111,595
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO

Hi Cecilia and lol.  Well I have close friends here I have not seen in months ...it's a tad busy Im sure for you too.  But one day we will have to have that coffee yes!

Maureen omg I can so see you on a scooter!  Isn't that route, from downtown to campus, a fairly congested one? That sounds like a good idea.

Jul 13, 2008 04:37 AM #20
Rainmaker
1,463,396
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

It's a red scooter Carole... tell me it's a red scooter, that you can see me on.

Downtown to campus on High Street is fairly congested.  Lots of volume anyway... it will tie the Upper Arlington, campus , Grandview and downtown in a lot better....

Jul 13, 2008 04:43 AM #21
Rainer
111,595
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO

oh yeah, I can see you on a red scooter :-)

Jul 13, 2008 04:48 AM #22
Rainmaker
66,966
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Hi Carole,

           I really love your post writing style, a very cool mix of history, information, and promotion, all in one. I have subscribed to your blog. You will be an inspiration to my blogging life.

I am in Akron, and come to Cleve quite often to do inspections. May I add you as an associate?

Jul 15, 2008 10:17 PM #23
Ambassador
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. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
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What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779

Carole~

OK...If you can see me living in a Shaker...I want to know what I'd be wearing?
AND...could it still be GREEN  ??  =)

Jul 16, 2008 06:41 AM #24
Rainer
291,941
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate

What terrific insight they had to build this in the 1930's, wow! Great Localism Post!

Jul 17, 2008 08:56 AM #25
Rainmaker
49,641
Pete Jalbert
The Maui Real Estate Team, Inc. - Paia, HI
R(S)

Great post Carole-Good history, good green content and good info for buyers. I visited Cleveland back in the early 90s and thought the Shaker Heights area was pretty beautiful. Some of our older midwest and North Eastern cities have great public rail systems in place that will help with the rising fuel costs and our shift away from car culture.

Jul 17, 2008 10:02 AM #26
Rainer
111,595
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO

Hi H.I.S. I am glad to meet you as a fellow NE Ohioan! I bet you have appraised houses I have sold (we never know the names of appraisers).  But I bet I could ask you questions and you could blog about them, how's that for a NE Ohio idea?

It's amazing to me that all the 'smartness' of the early 20th Century went by the wayside as we all fell in love with our cars. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time, Diane!

Yes Pete I agree with you that Shaker is probably the closest to the New England style. Shaker has some of the most amazing housing stock Pete, I'm glad you were able to visit! But New England is so gorgeous, so you know from beautiful homes.

Jul 22, 2008 05:31 AM #27
Rainmaker
66,966
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Hi Carole, I am not an apparaiser, I am a home inspector. The idea of asking each other questions and blogging about them has some apeal to it. I don't see any home inspectors on your list of associates. I tried to add you, but no go. Still love your blogs and writing style.

Aug 04, 2008 01:15 AM #28
Rainer
132,720
Bryan Watkins
LRA Real Estate Group - Mesa, AZ

transit oriented development is a newer concept in the Phoenix, AZ market. the light rail just opened a year ago. the economy is killing all development now, but we need smart TOD.

Mar 27, 2010 12:04 PM #29
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