ABQ says look to Cleveland to see that economic growth will happen in ABQ if a BRT bus called "A.R.T." is built on Central Avenue. It seems Cleveland BRT came along when other projects were happening. On their website, Cleveland transit claims BRT led to:
$62 million generated in local taxes
$180 million invested by Cleveland State University
$500 million invested by University Hospital
$350 million invested by Cleveland Museum of Art
$506 million invested by Cleveland Clinic Heart Center
$27.2 million invested by Museum of Contemporary Art
4,000 + new residential units
7.9 million square feet in commercial development
13,000 new jobs
Cleveland's HealthLine cost approximately $200 million for approximately 9.2 miles. They claim the above improvements total 6.3 billion -- leveraging $114 for every transit dollar invested.
The International Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has a bus line that connects to Cleveland downtown and then to the Cleveland Clinic. This provides riders for the BRT bus.
The claim that the BRT led to the economic improvement is not true.
Cleveland re-development on Euclid Avenue was in the public square, midtown and University Circle. Cleveland admits that the University Circle development is related to the success of the medical facilities and not the BRT. Cleveland real estate professionals admit most of the Public Square development would have happened without BRT. So at the most, BRT can only take credit for helping the Cleveland MidTown area attract technology firms, senior housing developments and residential townhomes. Of Cleveland's claims, looks like only the residential development and maybe some of the commercial would be in the MidTown area.
Some of the new development was senior housing.
Proponents claim the BRT really improved the whole street, but disregarding the University Circle improvements puts the Cleveland bragging about economic development upside down. If the bus cost was $200 million but you have to take out the medical facilities and University investments, the the return on investment would be a negative.
The University Circle rebuilding removed some abandoned properties on Euclid Avenue. To see more about what was torn down on Euclid Avenue
University Circle is 550 acres. In it are Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, the University Hospitals of Cleveland, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Play House and the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. The Cleveland Clinic now is more than 20 blocks — almost a mile — along Euclid Avenue.
The Cleveland Clinic has been around since 1921 and has been constantly growing. The Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Hospital began in 1994 and is now ranked as #1 in the United States. The Cleveland Clinic spent $13 million in October 2009 to develop the Cleveland Play House, adding 11 acres to the west end of its facility. The Clinic spent $848 million in capital investments in 2010 to expand the Cleveland facility. The Cleveland Clinic has also expanded into affiliated facilities in Florida, Nevada, Canada, and United Arab Emirates. The Clinic has affiliates in Toledo, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. The Cleveland Clinic also has facilities in Toronto and Abu Dhabi [the BRT doesn't go to these places.]
Do you forsee this kind of development along Central in ABQ's future?
Cliffs Notes: The Mayors office says A.R.T. will be the same as the Cleveland Rapid Transit system bringing huge economic growth to the area. Cleveland has a world renowned hospital, museums, and massive shopping district along the bus route, the A.R.T route doesn't.