Transit 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
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.
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.