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Issue Date: Downtown Digs 2008

Building Downtown

Anne Hartman

About 10,000 Clevelanders call downtown home, but area developers want to change that. They’re revamping old haunts and building up vacant spaces to attract new residents and enliven bored city locales. “The biggest trend we’re seeing is walkable urban developments,” says Tom Yablonsky, executive vice president of Downtown Cleveland Alliance. “That’s what will be of most importance in the future given the energy concerns.” Here are a few downtown projects in the works:

The ProjectFlats districk project
Flats East Bank: Old River Road, east of the Cuyahoga River
What’s Happening
Developer Scott Wolstein of Developers Diversified is dusting off the abandoned nightlife mecca, and he has a slew of projects in store that aim to lure a different crowd to the area. Embracing the notion of a waterfront neighborhood, the $522 million development will feature more than 400 residential units, along with 525,000 square feet of offices and 300,000 square feet of retail space. Public amenities will be in supply as well, with two acres of green space and a market pavilion for concerts, street fairs or farmers markets. The project also will pay homage to the neighboring Cuyahoga River with a 1,200-foot boardwalk. The development is slated for a summer 2010 completion.

The Project
Euclid Corridor: Euclid Avenue, between Public Square and University Circle
What’s Happening
With RTA’s $200 million Euclid Corridor Transportation Project and a number of nearby redevelopments completed or under way, the 8 1/2-mile strip of Euclid Avenue has potential to be the “true economic spine of downtown,” says Yablonsky. When RTA’s work is finished in October 2008, diesel-electric buses running in an exclusive center lane will link Public Square with East Cleveland. “The project, coupled with the developments in that area, is going to make for a much more vibrant community,” says project officer Danielle Willis. Euclid corridor project

Among the Euclid Corridor building ventures is Willoughby-based K&D Group’s $200 million redevelopment of the former Ameritrust complex into a mixed-use community. Groundbreaking is scheduled for this fall; plans include a 13-story office tower, a boutique hotel and residential units.
The Project
The Avenue District: East 12th Street and St. Clair Avenue
What’s Happening
Developer Nathan Zaremba is branding The Avenue District as a quiet enclave a few skips from downtown amenities. About 650 residential units — in the form of condominiums, town homes and penthouses — are under way for the $300 million development, with some residents already moved in. The city is also helping to spruce up the area by adding wider sidewalks, benches and a landscaped median. “[The Avenue District] is for all different types of demographics,” says Mandy Barney, director of sales and marketing for Zaremba. “It’s really for anyone who enjoys the urban fabric of Cleveland and wants to live a richer, fuller life downtown.” Some district residents have already settled into town homes, and new units will open over the course of next five to seven years.

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