CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — Can Downtown Cleveland become a location that’s something closer to a 24-hour city center? That’s the goal of a new partnership called Reimagining Downtown Cleveland.
According to a press release, their plan is to transform downtown Cleveland from a 9-to-5 central business district into a diverse, vibrant and accessible, mixed-use, 18-hour downtown where other districts are all connected as a 15-minute neighborhood.
The partnership’s goal is to build on the momentum to position downtown Cleveland as a welcoming city center that weaves districts and surrounding neighborhoods into a seamless urban fabric, attracts modern economic activity and provides “a world-class experience.”
“The most successful downtown districts serve many major functions including employment, residential, dining, entertainment and retail,” said Downtown Cleveland Alliance CEO Michael Deemer. “Together, we are taking actionable steps in a relatively short period of time to drive economic revitalization and create a unique, inviting and safe sense of place in Downtown for residents, businesses and visitors alike.” Deemer added.
“About 60% of Downtown’s workforce has returned to the office, foot traffic is tracking at nearly 80% of pre-pandemic levels, 20,000-plus people now call Downtown home, our development pipeline is strong and we had more small businesses open over the course of the pandemic than close,” Deemer said.
Reimagining Downtown Cleveland also wants to attract more retail, businesses, real estate and housing development.
The partnership is looking to increase accessibility by foot, bike, scooter, wheelchair, mobility devices and transit.
Other goals include hiring 20 new ambassadors to provide extra support throughout the fall and winter months, in addition to the 80 already regularly staffed. More water features, seating, opportunities for children to climb and play and more plants.
“Now is the time to truly reimagine Downtown Cleveland for the future,” said Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb. “Together, we can capture the momentum we had before the pandemic, shaping downtown into a destination that offers memorable experiences for visitors and that draws more people downtown to live and work.”
The partnership stated that Downtown Cleveland is the fastest-growing neighborhood in Cleveland with a 32% population growth since 2010 and that there’s been more than $9 billion in investment.