So Close, Yet So Far Away: Cleveland’s Waterfront To Be Redeveloped.
Moving to Cleveland has been a delightful experience. I’ve been here for two and a half years and have grown to think of Cleveland as home. Cleveland has an incredible foodie scene, an awesome music scene, scores of renowned theaters and boatloads of things to do any given day of the week. So, what’s missing? A waterfront scene.
I attended the Ingenuity Fest last weekend, which moved from under the Detroit-Superior Bridge in years past to the Port of Cleveland. With a make-shift boardwalk, the new location gave attendees a glimpse into what a “waterfront” could be like, so I started looking into what’s on the urban development agenda.
Many folks wax poetic about the heydays of “The Flats,” which up until the early-to-mid-nineties, had the highest concentration of bars in the Midwest. Since then, most of the riverfront has been demolished. Left to remain a pile of rubble, that is, until now. Development is already underway and Phase I of the East Bank is set to be completed in the Spring of 2013.
Also, in April of this past year the City Planning Commission approved the “Cleveland Downtown Lakefront Plan.” The plan consists of mixed-use commercial development of the waterfront between West 3rd and East 18th Streets. You can check out the development plans here. They also have a feedback form you can fill out, which I encourage everyone to use to share their comments or suggestions.
One suggestion is to add a retail incubator similar to the “Idea Hatchery” launched last year in East Nashville. With lower rents and shorter leases, the incubator allows small, creative businesses to hit the ground running. This would attract residents and tourists alike, with unique local offerings. It would be a great addition to the existing Cleveland Incubator, Bizdom and LaunchHouse.
Urban development and planning takes time, but it finally looks like the time has come for Cleveland’s Waterfront. What do you hope to see in the new development plans?