Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson Promotes Development Plans on Boat Tour
City development chief Ed Rybka spoke over the boat's PA system, as the Goodtime rounded the Rock Hall and Great Lakes Science Center -- and floated past the mostly empty land around Browns stadium.
Developers are planning to build shops, restaurants, maybe a hotel, even a school on the site over the next few years. Right now, it looks more like a parking lot. On the other side of the Port of Cleveland, the boat entered the Cuyahoga River.
"If you look now straight ahead of you, we're approaching the city-owned historic Coast Guard station," Rybka said. "The station was partially renovated in 2010."
Just past a train bridge rose the concrete skeleton of the next phase of the Flats East Bank project. Renovated parks hugged the Cuyahoga, a bike trail snaking along part of the river.
In fact, it seemed the riverfront was host to more new life than the lakeshore. Much of that heavy lifting by Lake Erie is yet to come, though Mayor Frank Jackson sounded optimistic.
"And so in a couple of more years, there will be even more things that people could see that are new," Jackson said.
As the boat passed Burke Lakefront Airport, Jackson said he's keeping it open, because he doesn't think there's enough demand or money to develop it.
"FAA requires a reliever airport," he said as a plane took off from lakeside runway. "So right now, it's what it is, it will remain that way until the market can determine something else."
And in the meantime, the city is hoping the area around the stadium, science center and Rock Hall can be the site of Cleveland's latest waterfront moves.