Cleveland: Mayor's lakefront plan announced

3:55 PM, Nov 14, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Mayor Frank G. Jackson announced his plan for Cleveland's Downtown Lakefront area Monday afternoon at City Hall.

It's a detailed vision of mixed-use development from the western edge of Cleveland Browns Stadium to the eastern edge of Burke Lakefront Airport.

It combines ideas from several previous plans and has approval from key stakeholders including the Port, The Cleveland Browns, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center.

The plan creates two definite certainties that developers would value.

The Port will remain the Port at its location and Burke Lakefront Airport will remain an airport.

There are three development districts -- one behind and west of Browns Stadium, one along the East 9th Street Corridor, and one flanking Burke Airport.

The plan's chief designer, Stanton Eckstut, of EE& K Architects, says the idea is to reacquaint Greater Clevelanders with their lakefront.

"What we need is reasons for more people to come down, like have a cup of coffee, have a meal, come with the family," he said.

Mayor Jackson says the construction of the mixed use Flats East Bank Project will  be a springboard for more waterfront development. He believes this plan will become a reality.

"We've turned that corner about the impossibility of doing things in Cleveland," he said.

The estimated $2 billion project would hopefully include some federal funding. The full-build timeline could run 25 years.

Hopefully, developers will line up to build and bankroll a hotel, stores and restaurants.

Connectivity and year-round use are also goals of the project.

A bridge going from the North End of the Mall/Medical Mart over the Shoreway and railroad tracks is one aspect of the plan that is seeking federal funding.

And the city is making small investments in North Coast enhancements that should be ready next year.

Critics often fault Jackson for lacking big vision and imagination. Here's a plan that seems to refute that.


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