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Economy and Business

North Coast Harbor plan calls for elementary school
Developer Dick Pace says the Rock Hall "neighborhood" needs a school

Mark Urycki
Can you spot the stadium? City officials have known for decades that a mixed-use development was needed on the lakefront. They also plan a pedestrian walkway to connect it to Mall C in downtown.
Courtesy of Cumberland Development
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In The Region:
The City of Cleveland has chosen a company to begin developing the city’s lakefront around First Energy stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Bringing retail, housing, and commercial activity to the area has been a goal of city officials for decades.

This week, the city’s Lakefront Development Advisory Committee chose a proposal by Dick Pace and his company, Cumberland Development, which includes building an elementary school on the site.
Pace discusses the harbor plan

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A mixed use development was the plan for Cleveland’s lakefront going back to the then-Mayor George Voinovich's Administration, when a young Dick Pace was an architect working on the North Coast Harbor master plan. 

Now under Mayor Jackson,  four development companies put forth proposals for the city-owned property. Three of them suggested adding a hotel. But Dick Pace decided the 28-acre site next to the Rock Hall should have a school.

“The heart of any neighborhood is a school.  If you look at downtown Cleveland  it’s had a great resurgence of housing downtown -- more than 12,000 people living downtown.

"Having a school as its centerpiece will attract a different market than is being served right now.  Most of the people downtown are young professionals or empty-nesters, so we want to hit that market in between.”   

Pace is on the board of Breakthrough Charter Schools, which partners with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.  He says it’s too early to say who will operate the school but he says it will be pre-K through eighth-grade. 

“The Great Lakes Science Center -- many people don’t realize has a school within it.  The ninth grade for the STEM school for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, which is a very high performing school, that ninth grade is housed at the Science Center. 

Working around the stadium and its parking lots
When Pace was working on a lakefront plan in the 1980’s, the dominant anchor was Municipal Stadium. Now, it’s First Energy Stadium.

"It’s great to have these three great anchors: the Browns, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Great Lakes Science Center. All are destination attractions, and what’s needed now is the connective development in between those destinations. “

Housing occupancy is around 95 percent in downtown Cleveland and Pace figures there is enough for the lakefront, too.

“We’re not competing with the current downtown housing plans because most of those are geared towards either end of that spectrum. We think young families would love to have their homes here on the waterfront and be able to walk to school.”

Prices and incentives
The developer says the housing will be set at market rate prices but there may be a break for some city and school employees.

“We want to incentivize the teachers who teach in the school to be able to live in the apartments and be able to walk to work and the same thing for the police and firefighters. We think this is a great place for the people who serve the city of Cleveland to be able to live in the city of Cleveland. “

Dick Pace’s Cumberland Real Estate Development company will be working with Dallas-based Trammel Crow Company to develop the North Coast Harbor.

He expects to start phase one around Voinovich Park at the East 9th Street pier, the Rock Hall, and the Great Lakes Science Center  next year.  

Phase two would include 1,000 units of housing and  public access along the lake, north of the stadium.

(Click image for larger view.)

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