CLEVELAND – Cleveland and Cuyahoga County leaders announced a new downtown redevelopment plan Wednesday that they say includes no tax increases to offset the $360 million cost.
“We are fulfilling this dream of connecting the lakefront to the life of the city,” Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald said.
The three-part redevelopment plan includes a weather-protected pedestrian bridge that’s set to run between the new convention center and lakefront attractions like the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The plan also calls for a 600-bed, 20-story flagship hotel to be built next to the convention center as well as a transformation of downtown’s Public Square into a greener space.
“This gives us the ability to move Cleveland into the next phase,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said.
The projects are set to be completed by the spring of 2016. Officials said despite previous redevelopment plans that have failed, this one will succeed.
“This is different this time because you have so many people working together, because you have so many resources on the table already, because you have a vision that’s meeting directly with the action that’s going to happen,” City Councilman Joe Cimperman said.
The plan is to be paid for through the combination of a $90 million surplus from the under-budget construction of the new convention center, revenue from the Horseshoe Casino, and local money from the public and private sector. Officials are also confident that they will receive a federal grant.
City workers and residents welcomed the news.
“I’m for it,” Annette Terrell said. “It’ll bring more people to Cleveland and build up our business.”
“We’re advancing into the future, not staying where we are,” Marvin Ducker said.