How is Phase I changing Cleveland?

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CLEVELAND -- Something big is happening in the Flats.

"This project is putting Cleveland on the map," Brice Hamill, director of design for Fairmount Properties says.

From urban decay comes a breath of fresh air.

A project so immense, it is creating an all-inclusive neighborhood.

"They can work here, they can stay here, they can dine here, they can go out for happy hour here, all in the same facility," Hamill adds.

And it's truly an impressive feat for the city.

See photos from Phase 1:

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"It was the first construction loan of this magnitude, post-recession, and it happened in Cleveland."

Phase I of the Flats project is complete, including the tech-forward Aloft hotel and the attached Ernst & Young Office tower, which features 500,000 square feet of space.

"There is no bad view," Hamill explains of the waterfront property.

Don't worry, it's not all work and no play though.

Several restaurants and bars were included in the completion of Phase I.

  • Ken Stewart's (steak, seafood, Italian)
  • Lago (Italian)
  • Willeyville (Where everything is homemade)
  • WXYZ lounge: Located in the Aloft hotel lobby where local DJs and live music fill the space on weekends.

It's this buzzing urban environment with plenty of conveniences that Hamill believes will make living in the city desirable again.

"What are going to be the things that the next generation of young professionals in downtown Cleveland are really going to flock to?"

Phase II will complete the project and turn the area into a cool mixed-use space right on the lakeshore.

"For young people there's going to be that great access to being able to meet up during the day, have a picnic in the park or toss the Frisbee, grab a drink, grab food and then head home."

Residences, music venues, new shopping options and even a Toby Keith restaurant are all part of the second half of the project.

Official site: Flats redevelopment

WKYC's Eric Sever contributed to this report

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