Developers say they have plans for closed businesses and vacant spaces

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The historic Warehouse District is one of the most vibrant areas of downtown Cleveland, where you would not expect to find vacancy or for-sale signs on businesses.

However over the past year alone nearly half a dozen bars and restaurants have closed in the Warehouse District, a trend community developers are now aggressively attacking.

"All the spaces that are vacant right now, there's a lot of activity, a lot of conversation," explained Thomas Starinsky, associate director with the Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation.

Starinsky and his staff are now are looking to diversify the area's portfolio -- with spaces offering live music, shopping and other unique experiences.

"I think there's a different type of person walking around downtown now," Starinsky continued. "The district is taking the opportunity to evolve and become a more dynamic place ... more dynamic than it already is."

Starinsky points to Sushi Rock on West Sixth Street as an example of this evolution.

Closed for several years the vacant space Sushi Rock once occupied will soon be transformed into a new craft brewery called Holy Craft in the coming weeks.

"We're being more and more proactive in recruiting retailers and restaurants to this district," Starinsky further explained.

It's an evolution of sorts people who live, work, and play in the Warehouse District also seem to be excited for.

"I would like to see retail places to shop … we have a lot of restaurants and bars but not a lot of places to shop," said Jenny Hankey, who lives downtown.

"There's a little market here but if we can go retail I really think that more businesses will come in," added David Huth, another downtown resident.

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