July 11, 2011

Cleveland's $5 Billion Development Update

We continue to be impressed and excited about the new development taking place throughout the city of Cleveland. In particular, the activity concentrated around downtown, along the Health Corridor and into University Circle highlights what appears to be a real shift in Cleveland's economic outlook.

For too long, the county, the city and the business community throughout Cleveland failed to effectively work together and get things done. It is nearly impossible to put blame on any particular person or group, as the failures of Cleveland have been a combination of failed government leaders and business leaders, fairly or not, seeking to move away or disengage from the corruption and challenges of our area.

This is all changing. The Plain Dealer has put together a great map (included below) of the current development projects either in process or being planned in their story from yesterday. Most impressive is what is actually under way. As we've learned time and time again, anything "planned" is not worth much until money is secured and we see a shovel in the ground. Of the 11 projects bigger than $100 million, only two are planned; the rest are either completed or under construction. In all, there are 84 projects listed, of which only 24 are planned. Better put, nearly $5 billion of the listed projects are either under construction or already completed. That is a huge number for a region that has seen decades of population loss and a move to the suburbs.

Yes, we note that a number of these projects, some of the largest included, are public works projects that do not necessarily add to real growth. Getting some of these projects done, however, we think buttresses the private or public/private projects. The best example is the inner belt reconstruction. The casino and med mart, along with a new office tower and growing health tech corridor, will hopefully bring increased downtown traffic. A major overhaul of our half-century old, antiquated freeway exchange doesn't sound like a bad idea.

Cleveland 2011 Development Map - Courtesy of The Plain Dealer


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