Two Cleveland development projects are getting a cash infusion gleaned from casino revenues…the first to be rewarded in Cuyahoga County since all of Ohio’s casinos opened, starting with Cleveland’s in May 2012. Ideastream’s Brian Bull reports.
The Cuyahoga County Council has approved two loans, each $1.5 million. One is to help convert downtown Cleveland’s East Ohio Gas Building into apartments. The other goes towards the Flats Residential Tower, a lakefront apartment and retail development.
Joe Marinucci is President of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. He says despite overall revenues being a bit lower than first anticipated, the casinos have generated jobs and traffic in areas that need them.
“They’re animating downtown Cleveland, there are pedestrians now walking – not only to and from the casino -- but in the immediate vicinity on a daily basis," says Marinucci. "So from that perspective, they’re doing exactly what we hoped. And they are providing dollars -- in this example -- to two projects that need the financial assistance in order to reach the finish line.”
Cuyahoga County officials say they’ve collected nearly $5 million from the state’s voter-approved casinos. It’s projected that by year’s end, roughly another $5 million will be generated for further development across Greater Cleveland.
A county spokeswoman says another application for funding will be reviewed soon, to support redevelopment of Playhouse Square.