Cleveland Development Projects Drive City Improvement

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor Cleveland has reached a turning point. For the first time in many years and despite many challenges (a shrinking population, high unemployment and the scars of years of residential and corporate flight to the suburbs), the [...]

Cleveland has reached a turning point. For the first time in many years and despite many challenges (a shrinking population, high unemployment and the scars of years of residential and corporate flight to the suburbs), the city has the potential to finally move forward.

Big construction projects are bringing more private dollars into the city. An estimated $7 billion is being spent on major real estate, corporate and business development efforts in both the city and its suburbs. Indeed, efforts to rebuild Cleveland have hit a level not seen in decades.

Major construction and redevelopment projects are planned all over the city. The $465 million Medical Mart project in downtown Cleveland is just one meant to increase the city’s standing. Several floors of the Higbee Building are being redeveloped to house the Horseshoe Casino, a $400 million project that will boost tourism, helping the city over the long term.

In the Shaker-Buckeye area, a $49.1 million project meant to transform the Saint Luke’s Medical Center building into apartments for the elderly is expected to bring more stability to a neighborhood scarred by population loss and the foreclosure crisis. The eastern edge of downtown Cleveland has been reshaped by Cleveland State University’s $57 million student housing project. With new buildings springing up, it is no surprise that developers and tenants have taken an interest in nearby properties.

Big projects in downtown Cleveland and University Circle tend to get the most attention, but smaller projects may have as great an impact, reviving dark corners of the city’s neighborhoods. All over the city, neighborhood projects are occurring on a smaller scale, requiring from a few thousand dollars to $3 million or so.

The larger projects, at least, are having a ripple effect, encouraging homeowners to fix up nearby properties and developers to consider new investments. And more is still to come.