Cleveland Proposes $2B Lakefront Development

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor On Monday, Nov. 14, Mayor Frank Jackson unveiled plans for a development on Cleveland’s waterfront. It covers 90 acres, stretching east from the Port of Cleveland’s cargo docks past Cleveland Browns Stadium and the East 9th [...]

On Monday, Nov. 14, Mayor Frank Jackson unveiled plans for a development on Cleveland’s waterfront. It covers 90 acres, stretching east from the Port of Cleveland’s cargo docks past Cleveland Browns Stadium and the East 9th Street pier to Burke Lakefront Airport.

At least 50 of the 90 acres are set aside for private development. The rest is open for public promenades, bicycle and walking trails, marinas and other public uses. The development plans include several restaurants and parking for several thousand cars, as well as more than 2.5 million square feet of office space or residential construction. A new, all-weather $50 million pedestrian bridge is the highlight of the Consolidated Downtown Waterfront Plan. It will be covered by a half-shell canopy and will link downtown to the Lake Erie waterfront. Work on the bridge will begin next year. It is scheduled for completion in 2013.

The lakefront was divided into three development districts from west to east: Harbor West, North Coast Harbor and the Burke Development District. Harbor West begins at Docks 28B and 30 and extends east past the stadium to North Coast Harbor. It features a promenade along the waterfront and eight building pads that could accommodate 2.2 million square feet of office, retail and, perhaps, residential space.

The North Coast Harbor zone is to the east. It would be dominated by the all-weather bridge and an outdoor plaza. Plans also call for two restaurants on the pier plus a marina and a drawbridge that already are financed and are on the drawing boards. The Burke Development District is farther east. It would welcome companies to a new waterfront office park and an office harbor. The office park could include four new buildings totaling 500,000 square feet.

Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects of New York City and Van Auken Akins of Cleveland are the architects of the $600,000 plan. Investment is expected to come mostly from private sources. It could top $2 billion and take 25 years to finish. The city will lease lakefront property to private interests, under the condition that they preserve public access to the water.