Lakeview Bluffs, nestled on over 1,000 acres along Lake Erie, offers some of the most breathtaking views and outstanding recreational opportunities in Ohio. In its most ambitious redevelopment to date, Hemisphere's vision is to transform this former industrial manufacturing site into a master planned resort community focusing on the site's unparalleled natural amenities, including 1.2 miles of Lake Erie shoreline and over 2 miles of scenic river corridor along the Grand River.
Overcoming Obstacles to Redevelopment
Formerly the location of the sprawling Diamond Shamrock Painesville Works, the land has been the site of various activities over the years, including a 500-acre settling pond, a chromium production facility and a landfill. Beginning in 1912, Diamond Shamrock initiated production activities at the site. At its peak, the site employed approximately 3,200 people, producing products such as soda ash, baking soda, coke and other chemicals. In 1976, Diamond Shamrock abruptly shuttered the facility and terminated all employees. The three impacted communities have struggled since then to recover.
The site is so large, it spans three separate municipalities, which historically battled over development issues in the region. In 1980, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiated action to remedy chromium contamination at the site, resulting in the construction of a 120-acre clay cap over the impacted area. The Ohio EPA began enforcement activities for the rest of the site in 1989. Parties to the action had been embroiled in litigation ever since. Hemisphere’s development plan was the catalyst to settling both this costly and complex multi-party CERCLA case, as well as a long-standing regulatory enforcement action, in an extraordinarily expedited fashion. Through Hemisphere’s redevelopment, dramatic progress toward comprehensively resolving historical environmental issues has been achieved.
In a public-private partnership with all relevant municipalities, the Ohio EPA, Lake Metroparks and numerous other public stakeholders, Hemisphere created a plan to re-invent this area. A key component of Hemisphere's strategy is to transform negative public perception focusing on the site's industrial past toward a more favorable focus on the land's unparalleled natural attributes and innovative real estate development concept.
A Revolutionary Vision
A mere 28 miles east of its headquarters in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, Hemisphere will convert this vast, beautiful, yet underutilized property, into a Sports-Oriented Resort Community.
Elements of the current Lakeview Bluffs plan include:
- An 18-hole championship golf course
- A uniquely designed 3-hole golf training and practice loop
- A boutique hotel and spa
- Premium athletic training for a variety of sports
- First-class athletic fields and facilities
- A fly fishing club
- A vineyard and winery
- A health and fitness club
- Extensive walking and biking trails
- A marina
- Lakefront parks
- A lakefront amphitheater
- A private beach
- A town center with shopping and restaurants.
Innovative Development Strategy
The project is one of the largest and most innovative redevelopments in the United States. The development has been master planned by Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WATG) headquartered in Newport Beach, California, the world’s leading design consultant for the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries. WATG’s representative projects include The Venetian Hotel (Las Vegas, NV), Atlantis Resort & Casino (Nassau, Bahamas) and design work worldwide for the Ritz Carlton, the Four Seasons Resort and other international hotel brands.
The Resort will offer a broad range of active recreation and leisure activities, taking advantage of the site’s phenomenal natural attributes, including over a mile of lakefront and over two miles of scenic river corridor. All waterfront master planning was conducted by JJR, a nationally recognized waterfront design firm. The development will serve not only as a regional visitor destination, but also as an ideal location for a weekend retreat, second home or permanent residence.
To date, Hemisphere and its redevelopment partners have made tremendous progress, achieving the following development milestones:
- Constructed to rough grade significant portions of the golf course. This work included importing over 550,000 cubic yards of clean cover soil and the completion of an extensive sub-grade drainage system.
- Secured zoning entitlements for the development plan from Painesville Township (covering approximately 550 acres of the site, including most of the major development components).
- Pursued zoning entitlements from the City of Painesville (representing the balance of the site).
- Worked with all relevant regulators to finalize remedial plans and to definitively resolve historical environmental issues at the site.
- Completed market studies on the major components of the development.
- Installed significant improvements for the approximately 1.2 miles of contiguous shoreline and along the scenic Grand River corridor.
- Shoreline improvements included the installation of approximately 100,000 tons of armour stone along Lake Erie, making the project the largest recent erosion control improvement project along the Great Lakes.
- Grand River improvements included the creation of a 1-mile riverfront trail and revegetating the scenic river corridor, in consultation with biologists and environmental experts, with over 11,000 stakes from native species to revitalize and enhance wildlife habitat along the Grand River.
- Constructed a major bridge spanning the Grand River and connecting both sides of the site.
- Commenced architectural design of major project elements, including the golf clubhouse and sports fields.
A National Model for Brownfield Redevelopment
Based on the creativity employed to revitalize this major brownfield site, the Harvard University Graduate School of Design performed a case study of the Lakeview Bluffs project, calling the project “one of the most visionary and innovative redevelopment projects in the United States.”
Lakeview Bluffs represents an unprecedented opportunity to resolve years of contentious litigation and reclaim one of Ohio's most promising brownfield sites. Ultimately, the project will be one of the largest and most comprehensive brownfield redevelopments in the United States, serving as a national model for creative redevelopment planning and design.