Last Friday we caught up with the inaugural Critical YAK, an informal aquatic gathering where kayakers put in at Cleveland Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf dock, paddled 1.7 miles down the Cuyahoga River out to Lake Erie, hung a left and beached at Wendy Park for some fun at Whiskey Island Still and Eatery before returning to Merwin's Wharf.Read More
As we scanned the river we noticed how it was quickly becoming an aquatic version of rush-hour - and then in the midst of the maelstrom we noticed a single stand-up paddleboarder powering his way into the procession.Read More
As the sun rose on a recent Saturday morning we found ourselves drawn to the Cuyahoga River to see how the approach of warmer temperatures was quickening the pulse of Cleveland's waterfront. We weren't disappointed.Read More
A panel discussion will be held at Lakewood Public Library tonight giving several waterfront & neighborhood stakeholders an opportunity to weigh in on how waterfront development is paying off for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. The Plain Dealer's Steven Litt will moderate the discussion with the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Cleveland Metroparks, Campus District Inc. and Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. Details on the forum are in Steve's recent Plain Dealer article: http://www.cleveland.com/architecture/index.ssf/2016/02/free_panel_discussion_tuesday.html
Ask 50 people what "paying off" means to them and you'll probably get 50 different answers: Improved property values, enhanced quality of life, increased tax receipts, space to relax, creation of jobs, improved health, leveraging local history as a branding element for tourism, increasing waterfront access for residents, and attracting new residents all come to mind. Some organizations have even attempted to quantify the value of green-spaces: in a 2013 study the Trust for Public Land found Cleveland Metroparks generates $855M annually for the local economy. https://www.tpl.org/clevelandeconbenefits
If we were to come up with just ONE answer to the "payoff" question we think it's found in the above See Your Words graphic recording from a 2014 waterfront forum at CSU's Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. Do you see it? "People want to be connected to our water". Indeed, the reason Moses Cleaveland and his team of surveyors chose Cleveland as the capital of the Western Reserve was its location on Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River.
We're a little envious at the successes Waterfront Toronto and Pittsburgh's Riverlife have fostered so thought we'd share some of our favorite "developments" that have helped connect Greater Cleveland's residents to THEIR water:
That's a few of our faves - clearly in-process projects like The Foundry, a new rowing & sailing training facility on the east side of Columbus Road, Canal Basin Park's 20 acre redevelopment and Cumberland Development's 20 acre mixed-use development project at North Coast Harbor will add to the vitality of Cleveland's waterfront.
There will be many projects discussed during tonight's waterfront forum and we've got one fave that we feel delivers on a number of levels - Irishtown Bend.
For now that's a brief wrap of Cleveland's waterfront scene. Check out our Twitter feed tonight for details during tonight's 7-8:30 pm waterfront meeting: https://twitter.com/sharetheriver