Cleveland, Bedrock Announce Plans For Riverfront Development Proposal

A rendering of the city of Cleveland along Cuyahoga River after the proposed redevelopment.
A rendering of proposed development along the Cuyahoga River. [Bedrock]

A proposal from Bedrock Cleveland to revitalize 130 acres of land near the Cuyahoga River with public and private money will soon be considered by city council.

Bedrock CEO Kofi Bonner made the Vision for the Valley announcement Wednesday, with an emphasis on job creation and racial equity.

“Our intention is to create a true 15-minute riverfront neighborhood, with thousands of homes, new offices, increased retail and hospitality options and community facilities,” Bonner said.

The plan aims to create new public spaces, pathways and “transit-oriented development” to bring people to the Cuyahoga River. That’s in conjunction with the city of Cleveland’s Vision for the Valley.

There will be opportunities for commercial, retail, residential and entertainment developments as part of the revitalization effort. Those developments, Bonner said, will bring more residents and businesses to Cleveland.

“The initial efforts will focus on replacing aging infrastructure with sustainable and resilient systems, providing for a more walkable, bikeable and transit friendly Downtown,” Bonner said. “These public improvements will set the stage for a dramatic new riverfront community with thousands of homes, businesses, entertainment and community facilities and services.”

The pandemic has heightened awareness of the need for a more walkable and connected city, Bonner said, and this proposal would address that.

Though the development is Downtown, the goal is to benefit neighborhoods and workers throughout the city, said Mayor Frank Jackson.

“We can demonstrate this is how you do business when you come to Cleveland and that all have to participate in that prosperity, all have to participate in a way that their quality of life is uplifted, no matter where they live,” Jackson said.

Funding for the project will include a mix of government and private funding, Jackson said. The current administration plans an initial proposal to go before council, Jackson said, but the work will need to continue with the new administration after he leaves office next year.

“We do plan to have something to introduce to council that will have the spirit of the fact that we want to work together in order to see this project to fruition, knowing that the next city council and the next mayor would have to be the ones to put the details to it,” Jackson said.

The development plan matches up with other ongoing projects in the city to revitalize and redevelop areas in need of attention, said Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Baiju Shah.

“The lakefront vision and the baseball stadium, the Sherwin-Williams headquarters and also projects throughout Ohio City,” Shah said. “These projects, all vital and all complementary, have the potential to transform Downtown.”

Bedrock owns about 30 percent of the land under the proposal currently and will work with partners and property owners to build a consensus, Bonner said.

“Many of the parcels were clearly underutilized,” Bonner said. “There's several vacant parking lots within the Downtown area. Certainly, the riverfront area needs some significant assistance.”

The 30-year plan focusing on Collision Bend and Canal Road also calls for sustainable energy, inclusive housing and access to public transportation.

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