More Inviting: Inside Public Square’s Facelift Plan

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CLEVELAND– Public Square could be going through a multi-million dollar facelift.

Part of the plan is to close off a couple of streets to make the square more inviting to families and businesses.

“I basically come down here to catch the bus,” said Marzia Hart of Cleveland.

Marzia Hart is a Clevelander who considers Public Square more like a giant bus stop than a place for people to gather downtown. Now the city and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance want to change that.

“There is such a civic commitment to making Public Square the place Clevelanders deserve,” said Jeremy Paris. He is the executive director of the group plan commission.  They are working with public and private partners to deliver the project.

“Public Square if you look down on it right now from above, is a lot of concrete. It’s four separated squares and the idea is to weave it together to work as one square, to work for big events still having the orchestra play there as well as work for everyday use, to make it a really welcoming park for the people who work here, who live here who visit here,” said Paris.

The plan would call for closing Ontario and leaving Superior open only to buses. The plan will link developing business districts and give people easier access to public spaces.

“I think it would be great for the people of Cleveland and they’ll be able to come downtown and sit down and have a nice time,” said Mike Allen of Cleveland.

“I love it because I’ve got four kids so I think that is something they would enjoy. I always bring them down here on the rapid. They love seeing everything down here. I think it would be nice,” said Kristie Dubree of Cleveland.

Karen Gawrych has been selling hot dogs at Public Square for 2 years. She likes the idea of more green space downtown. “It would cut back on some of the traffic on the flow and it would be more family oriented, you would probably see more families down here,” she said.

The city is still in the fundraising stage of the $25 million project so no exact date has been given on when construction will begin.

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