CLEVELAND -- Look for some changes on Cleveland's waterfront as the city has taken a major "turn" to get a new skate park built in the Flats.
The city has awarded the design and build contract to the Seattle-based Grindline Skateparks, Inc. Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman said the city sees the skate park as a major part in the re-birth of the waterfront.
"People want to skate. You see kids all the time downtown. People are always yelling at them. You see people skating on the sidewalk. Well, you give the kids a place to do and they actually come," Councilman Cimperman said.
The Public Square Group has worked hard to bring the skate park to the Flats. It set up a temporary skate park Saturday in the Rivergate Park area, to celebrate the new skate park being one step closer to being built.
"There's no league involved. It's just you open it and people start skating it. And, that kind of vibrant activity throughout the day means that they're using the downtown. They're using the waterfront," Public Square Group Executive Director Vince Frantz said.
Cleveland's Crooked River Skate Park will be built on 15,000 square feet of city owned land. It is located along the river and adjacent to the Cleveland Metroparks new Rivergate Park. The city feels the $758,000 cost of construction is worth the investment. It’s banking that this free, recreational activity will bring people to the waterfront.
"And it brings people down and then they can shop around here--buy pizza, coffee," Frantz said.
The Rivergate Cafe just opened next to proposed site of the new skate park.
"What you are going to start to see happening is more development happen as a result of it," Councilman Cimperman added.
A spring groundbreaking is planned. The new Crooked River Skate Park is expected to be up and running next summer.