New movements on Cleveland lakefront development

CLEVELAND — The City of Cleveland has approved more than $100,000 to inspect the infrastructure at the old Cleveland Port docks.

The move is the next key step in developing a large portion of lakefront property just north of First Energy Stadium and next to North Coast Harbor.

The Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Port Authority will be conducting inspections of the infrastructure and bulkheads. The land was owned by the port until 2012 when it became city property.

“We’ll be looking at above the water line and below the water line assessing the condition of the bulkheads and making sure they are suitable for development, and if not to give them an idea of what measures could be taken to make them suitable for development,” said Jade Davis, VP of External Affairs for Port of Cleveland.

Davis said bulkheads are typically made of metal and in the Cleveland port go 23-feet-deep to the lake bottom and then continue another 23 feet into the ground to support the structure above.

The land was once the heart of the Cleveland Port and had shipping traffic daily. For years the land has been sitting essentially unused, as a parking lot.

“They are planning to develop these docs into a new neighborhood, maybe new shopping or other new features to bring people down to this part of the waterfront,” Davis says the port is happy to help with this part of getting development going.

The inspection process is expected to take no more than a year and then work on the property can really get going.

Cumberland Development, a local company, will be building on the site and is already doing the work at North Coast Harbor.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth just in the last couple of years with North Coast Harbor the area around the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and now we’re just positioned to really attract more development to the area north of the Browns stadium,” says Executive Vice President of Business Development with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Michael Deemer.

Deemer said it is exciting to see the ball rolling on the lakefront because so many people have been waiting for a very long time.

“We’ve talked about waterfront development for a long time and now we are seeing it unfolding before our eyes we are getting to live through that time,” Deemer said.

The plans for what will fill the space on the lakefront are still in the works, but Deemer said businesses bringing jobs will likely need to locate there first.

“We see and opportunity to attract a lot of jobs to the lakefront we see the opportunity to attract a lot more residents,” he said.

Catherine Pace with Cumberland Development was at the site Wednesday afternoon for a meeting and said the project is on a two to five year timeline, but they are excited to get things going.

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