From The Master Plan - Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation
The Pearl/Oakpark area is located on Pearl Road between Oakpark and Archmere Avenues. It includes the Oakpark Motel and Oakpark Coin Laundry at the north end; Oakpark Auto Sales office and lot, as well as a much older structure to the rear; the Old Brooklyn Food Market, a single-family house and a two-family house.
The area includes 8 parcels (owned by 5 entities) and encompasses 2.6 acres, with about 485 feet of frontage along Pearl Road. The age of the existing structures vary considerably. The motel was built in 1956. The auto sales office, built in 1966, and the building to the rear, which was originally listed on a 1920’s Sanborn Map as an Artstone Works and a fruit juice factory, was probably built pre-1920. The market was built in 1976, while the homes were built in 1900 and 1947. Most of the homes in the surrounding neighborhood were built in the 1910’s through the 1930’s. Land uses for the site and nearby Pearl Road are primarily various types of retail, automotive, and residential uses, while zoning is local retail and semi-industrial.
The site is very walkable and is near shopping, services, and recreational opportunities. It has good access, both to major thoroughfares, as well as to several highways, and has access to public transportation. Traffic volume on this portion of Pearl Road is much lighter than portions to the north, with 1999 traffic counts showing about 9,500 vehicles for a 12-hour period.
The Pearl Road/W. 25th Street TLCI Corridor Plan noted that land uses along this portion of Pearl Road are more residential, but the right-of-way is much wider here than further north. The recommendation was to narrow the road in this area to give the area a more pedestrian feel. Another issue of concern was the disinvestment in the housing stock, which was more prevalent along Oakpark Avenue than on surrounding streets. It may be that the physical conditions of the motel and the transient nature of its customers discourage adjacent owners from investing in their homes.
In the short-term, property owners should be encouraged to make various exterior improvements. For the long-term, one appropriate redevelopment option would be the construction of low-rise apartments or townhouse condominiums. A culverted stream under the property could be daylighted and potentially incorporated into a new development. An alternative is to daylight the stream and use the entire motel site for open space.
Short-term aesthetic improvements
Encourage current owners to undertake moderate exterior improvements, such as:
- Façade improvements and landscaping
- New signage (removal of large pole signs and replacement with ground sign)
- Parking lot improvements (new paving, installation of wheel stops, striping)
- Landscaping and lighting improvements
Consider changing the zoning
Consider changing the zoning for the Oakpark Auto Sales parcel from Semi-Industrial to a classification that is more compatible with other neighborhood classifications.
Long - term redevelopment
For the long-term, if the properties become available, encourage redevelopment of the parcels for low-rise housing, such as multi-family apartment units or townhouse condominiums, in conformance with the future land use recommendations found in ==Connecting Cleveland 2020 Plan.== Another option would be to daylight the stream and utilize the area for open space.
Implement Recommendations in the TLCI Study
Encourage the implementation of the Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) Study, completed by City Architecture in 2008. For this portion of Pearl Road, the study recommends narrowing the size of the lanes, as well as reducing the number of lanes on Pearl Road, increasing the width of the tree lawns, and perhaps adding bike lanes and/or on-street parking. These changes will help give this area a more pedestrian feel and make it more conducive for new residential redevelopment.