Robert Stark "got started more than 20 years ago as a developer of generic suburban shopping centers. But he converted in mid career to New Urbanism, a movement based on the principal that communities are livelier when housing, offices and retail are mixed together, as in cities, rather than zoned apart, as in suburbs," the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Now, ironically, Stark is trying to use the lessons he's learned from developing suburban malls that mimic Main Streets to help resuscitate Cleveland, which Plain Dealer's architecture critic calls "a shrinking, poverty-wracked city where fresh thinking of ten gets the brushoff."
His concept? "Fill the surface parking lots in the Warehouse District with a million square feet of high-end shops operated by national and local retailers. He'd stack hundreds of apartments atop the retail floors. ... And he'd sprinkle office space throughout to add a diversity of uses."