In just a few short months, Cleveland will play host to the Republican National Convention (RNC), which will draw some 15,000 media professionals to the city and place a major spotlight on all of Northeast Ohio. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent or anything in between, the Convention will serve as a marquee event for our region that organizers believe will have a lasting impact.
In many ways, we are already experiencing the positive effects associated with hosting the RNC as major development projects take shape across Downtown Cleveland. From the renovation of Public Square to the development of the Hilton Convention Center Hotel, Cleveland is experiencing a significant development boom. In fact, more than $5.5 billion has been invested in Downtown Cleveland since 2009, illustrating just how much progress has been made in a short period of time. While the Convention will come and go, the transformation taking place in Downtown and in the surrounding area will help propel the city forward for decades to come.
Perhaps one of the most talked about developments taking place Downtown is the renovation of Public Square. Once complete, this $37 million project will create a vibrant public space for all to enjoy. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the renovation includes “a speaker’s plaza, a splash zone and reflecting pool, an outdoor café and fresh landscaping around the 1894 Soldiers and Sailors Monument” (Cleveland.com). One of the primary goals of the project is to create a single, unified, public space in an area that has been historically divided by roadways. The project is currently on track for completion in July, in time for the Convention.
Another significant project underway is the construction of the Hilton Convention Center Hotel. The $276 million project is just one of many new Downtown hotels to emerge, spurred in large part by the RNC. By the time of the Convention in July, Downtown Cleveland hotels will boasts some 6,000 rooms. The Hilton Convention Center Hotel in particular will have 600 rooms in its 32-story tower. The project is currently on time to open before the Convention in July; according to project team members, it is also under budget (WKYC.com).
In looking beyond the RNC, many Northeast Ohioans are anxious to see development of a 900-foot lakefront bridge to begin. The approximately $33 million bridge “would curve from the northeast corner of Mall C downtown to a grassy area at North Coast Harbor between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center” (Cleveland.com). Preliminary plans for the project have been approved with a completion date set for 2017. As residents have longed for better connectivity between Downtown and the lakefront, this project represents a significant stepping stone in the evolution of Downtown development.
While the countdown to the RNC is on, Northeast Ohio has much to be excited about well after the Republicans select their party’s next presidential candidate. The development boom spurred by the RNC will have a lasting impact on our city and region, which we anticipate will be leveraged for decades to come.
If you are interested in learning more about Downtown Cleveland developments, please visit www.downtowncleveland.com.