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Economy and Business

Public reviews Cleveland lakefront development plan
Residents want assurances the plan doesn't die like those in the past

Kevin Niedermier
Lead architect for the Cleveland lakefront development plan, Stan Eckstut, gives residents at Wednesday's public hearing an overview of the project.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
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In The Region:

The public has had its first chance to weigh in on new plans to reshape Cleveland’s lakefront. City officials held a public hearing Wednesday to review the long awaited blueprint unveiled last November.  WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier was there and filed this report.

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About 50 Cleveland area residents listened to an overview the 25-year plan to fill the land between the Port of Cleveland and Burke Lakefront Airport with housing, greenspace, restaurants and other amenities. Then they asked questions ranging from what will happen to the little used RTA Lakefront Rail Line, to whether or not there are enough residents to keep the entertainment district alive. Downtown resident Julie Eysland wanted to know if there’s enough backing to make this recent plan a reality.

Eysland:  “I came to Cleveland 7 years ago, so I was on the piggyback of the first lakefront plan, so obviously it fell apart and the world ended somewhere between then and now. I took a couple of classes in urban planning and was interested in understanding more about the process, and knowing, hey we’ve got all these grand plans, but was the city actually approving when you go forward with the planning commission there’s always little nuances that get lost in translation and developments sometimes don’t happen.”

Developers say another public hearing will be scheduled for next month, and a finalized plan is expected to be approved by the city planning commission in late March. After that, they say construction will on a pedestrian bridge linking the Great Lakes Science Center and the park behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and on a new marina. Both projects should be completed next year. And, developers say the improving economy has made the project more interesting to private investors.                                               

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