Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Velodrome plans announced!

Well, today was a huge day for Fast Track, and long time coming at that.

We sent out our press release this morning, and are already seeing great write-ups online from The Cleveland Leader, Crain's Cleveland Business, and The Plain Dealer. Hoping to see a printed story in tomorrow's PD, and next week in the Scene -- word's getting 'round!

This blog (not updated since the summer, sheesh) will be showing updates more regularly as news unfolds at a more frequent pace... stay tuned, become a fan of our Facebook page, and if you're hip enough, keep up with our Twitter feed. Look for tasty bicycle quotes up there in the corner of our blog, too!

Here's the text of the press release:


Group contracts to purchase nine-acre site for an indoor multi-use recreational facility for track cycling and other recreational activities

CLEVELAND, January 27, 2010 – Fast Track Cycling, Inc., a Cleveland-based, non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a real estate purchase option agreement with the City of Cleveland to acquire a nine-acre vacant site formerly occupied by St. Michaels Hospital in Slavic Village. Fast Track plans to develop and operate an indoor recreational facility which will include a velodrome – a custom-built, banked bicycle track – as part of its mission to support track cycling and other recreational opportunities and promote health and wellness as well as youth programming.

Track cycling is a bicycle racing sport that is featured in the Olympic Games and held on specially built banked tracks or velodromes. Cleveland’s will be only the third indoor velodrome of the 25 in the United States, along with those in California and Colorado.

The project will help to revitalize the Slavic Village neighborhood as well as provide recreation, wellness and other services to children and adults. Current plans are to construct a 150,000-square-foot, air-supported dome structure that will house a 250-meter wood track, 75,000 square feet of turf field, 20,000 square feet of sport court, and other amenities. In addition to cycling, the facility will accommodate a multitude of recreational and sports activities including soccer, track and field, football, baseball, volleyball, basketball, running, walking, among many others. Fast Track has established strategic relationships with Sports Facilities Marketing Group (corporate sponsorships), Edward Howard (public relations), GPD Associates (project engineer) and Vocon Partners (project architect).

A detailed budget and operational projections have been developed. Overall project costs are estimated at $6,500,000. Fast Track is seeking naming rights sponsors, corporate sponsors, foundation grants, federal/state/local grants, and charitable donations from the cycling community.

To date, Fast Track has been funded by a $30,000 grant from Civic Innovation Lab and other donations totaling $7,000 while another $45,000 has been pledged for the capital campaign.

Fast Track is collaborating with Slavic Village Development Corporation and has received positive responses from the Mayor’s Office, members of City Council, and the Cleveland

Planning Commission. Fast Track plans to work closely with various neighborhood groups including Sokol Greater Cleveland.

“The sale and use of this vacant City Land Bank property for a Sports/Olympic-style cycling training center is a welcomed economic opportunity and major boost for Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “With the makings of both a regional and national draw, the proposed cycling center will cast a new light on Slavic Village by generating a sense of pride with benefits that will include job creation, business opportunities, health benefits, and more.”

“Bringing a velodrome and recreational facility to the Broadway/Slavic Village community will not only add an important recreational amenity for residents,” said Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, “but it will also bring in visitors and economic growth to the area.”

“This is a terrific opportunity for Slavic Village,” said Marie Kittredge, Executive Director of Slavic Village Community Development Corporation. “The velodrome is a perfect fit for us, because of our central location, and our community’s commitment to active lifestyles and physical fitness. The velodrome will complement our two new athletic fields, the First Tee Golf Course and our Morgana Bike Trail.”

The Slavic Village site is located at McBride Avenue and Broadway Avenue (southeast of the intersection of East 49th Street and Broadway) and offers proximity to all of greater Cleveland, with excellent freeway access to I-77, I-90, I-71, I-490 and I-480.

The 14-member volunteer Board of Trustees has legal, business and finance, political, non-profit, fundraising, construction, and cycling backgrounds. Four board committees include:

  • Site Selection/Acquisition
  • Fundraising/Corporate Sponsors
  • Governance
  • Facilities/Operations.

Project Benefits

  • Health & wellness – all abilities, all access, all community
  • Youth programming
  • Urban redevelopment
  • Year-round community, recreational, elite and regional use
  • Nationally unique venue to attract and retain young, active adults to Northeast Ohio
  • Appeal to a growing market – Cleveland area cyclists
  • Ability to host regional, national and international events throughout the year
  • Potential training center for Olympic and professional cyclists (road and track)


Jacob M. said...

Yahoo for you all. Great job! I've been following your efforts for a bit here and this is huge. Congrats!

We've just started to push our velodrome concept here in Madison WI. We have a trail ahead of us but thanks to your efforts it's been blazed and we can see it is possible.


Tim K said...

While the interior design may be about bikes, the outside is a total failure judged by the image you posted. It looks like the surrounding area is maximized for cars, to include a drop off lane that goes right up to the front door!

There is not a bike rack in sight! FAIL!!! Just a lot of concrete! The sidewalks look like standard width, so bikes and pedestrians are sure to be in conflict. Get ride of the drop off lane and put in lots of COVERED and SECURE bike parking and then you can call yourself bike friendly.

Are you near or connecting to any of the cities bike paths or other infrastructure? I would seriously rethink the outside of this building!

The Fast Track said...

Jacob- Thank you for your support and good luck with your efforts! One of our board members visited Madison for the first time in Sept. for the USGP – Planet Bike Cup. He was thrilled and impressed that bicycle transportation maps were available at the visitor’s center.

Tim- The image that is currently posted is an architectural rendering not a final design. Let me assure you that while there are many details that we are in the process of finalizing, there will be plenty of access for both bicycles and pedestrians along with well thought out bicycle parking.

We are VERY exited with the location for the velodrome! The neighborhood has a devoted CDC which promotes active living among their many programs. Here is a map of the Slavic Village which shows their pedestrian, bike, and public transportation routes as well as off-road trails.

The velodrome will also be located beside the Bohemian National Hall home of the Sokol Greater Cleveland unit, which is part of an organization "founded on the philosophy that only physically fit, mentally alert, and cuturally well developed citizens can make a nation strong and give life to the honorable spirit of patriotism."

Emelio said...

Hey Tim -- I work with Slavic Village Development, the CDC mentioned in the comment above... we're assisting Fast Track in different ways on this project.

In response to your questions about connecting bike paths (great question, btw): the location of the planned velodrome is actually in a perfect spot for connecting into Cleveland's bike infrastructure. We are planning an extension of the existing Morgana Run Trail (a fabulous Rails-to-Trails project, part of the group's Urban Pathways Initiative)to downtown Cleve; that extension would take you right past the velodrome. Don't worry -- the area has been carefully chosen to plug into many cycling initiatives! I appreciate your concern -- I hope more questions are asked so we can make sure Cleveland gets the best arena possible.