Cleveland: Coast is clear for Lakefront development

8:18 PM, Mar 20, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Cleveland City council has put out the welcome mat for lakefront development.

There have been lots of development plans for Cleveland's lakefront. Some helped create what is there now. Some collected dust.

But none had the benefit of the important steps taken Monday by Cleveland City Council.

Council approved a package that clarifies ownership of lakefront property between the city, the Port and the Cleveland Browns.

And that clarity will help developers who have specific proposals for specific pieces of property.

"You have a one-stop shop with the city of Cleveland and we will take care of your development needs...There is significant interest," said Ports Director Ricky Smith.

Veteran Planning Director Bob Brown thinks Mayor Frank Jackson's piecemeal approach will be the real deal that succeeds in the long run.

"We already have the Taj Mahal projects, the Rock Hall, Science Center and Stadium...We don't have the fine-grade things like restaurants. We want to be a true destination, not just a series of big buildings, but a place, " he said.

A Lakefront marina and North Coast Harbor pedestrian bridge are already funded and will be completed by 2014.

The hope is developers will propose restaurants, shops and living space to follow.

Smith said the city hopes to capitalize on other downtown development to bring more visitors to the lakefront.

"The economy is beginning to improve. We couldn't be doing this at a better time," he said.


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