Well its about time. A plan to further develop the lakefront between Burke and the Cuyahoga has been approved. The city will build a small marina for short-term docking, as well as a small pedestrian bridge crossing over the harbor from the Great Lakes Science Center to the southwest corner of Voinovich park. The improvements, along with the major tourist attractions in the immediate vicinity, are hoped to be enough to entice private investment area
Land directly north of Cleveland Browns stadium, dubbed “Harbor West” will be open to private development. Planners envision offices, hotels or restaurants. Housing is also a possibility. There will be additional development with the “Harbor Plaza” section, connecting the science center with the Rock Hall. Development here will primarily be small shops and restaurants.
Development in this small slice of the lakefront is a long time coming. The stadium, science center and Rock Hall bring hundreds of thousands of people a year to this tiny area, but there is little else to do. There are no restaurants or shops to capitalize on the traffic. And the lakefront is cutoff from downtown by the shoreway and the railroad tracks. I suspect many that visit, pack up in their cars and go immediately home.
If the plan has been set up correctly, there is tremendous potential for private development around the harbor. The Rock Hall brings in a lot of out of town people who would prefer to eat and shop nearby. And it could turn into a great hang out for us locals. While its easy to be excited about this, cautious optimism is wise. They’ve been talking about developing the lakefront for decades.
You can see a more detailed rendering of the plans here.