Economic Development Officials Look to Cleveland
Success breeding success may be what’s going on in Cleveland. The NBA championship followed by the Republican National Convention and the Indians in the playoffs have the city on a roll. This week some 1600 people came to see how Cleveland is doing it. Ideastream’s Mark Urycki explains.
The International Economic Development Council chose Cleveland for its conference and set a record for attendees. Many were at the Rock Hall last night but all week they’ve been examining the city’s revitalized areas from the the Flats to downtown to the lake.
These are people from around the world who work to attract or keep businesses and investment.
Council chair Barry Matherly says infrastructure is important to keep and attract business, clean water is big, and a good downtown doesn’t hurt..
“Younger workforce, the Millennials and all the other people that make up that area, quality of life is a big part of their lives. And so they want to be in communities where they can be active, where they can enjoy the community, where there’s an urban core that they can be in, where they can bike and walk to areas. And so it helps on the workforce attraction part. “
The owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers Dan Gilbert understands that. He told the conference how he learned from young recruits to his Quicken Loans company who told him they did not want to work or live in the suburbs, where the company HQ was located.
“I can’t imagine now if you’re a growing technology-based business or marketing or business that wants young people that – nothing against suburbs because there are beautiful ones here and in Detroit - but man if you want to grow a business in today’s world, I can’t imagine anywhere but an urban core. “
Gilbert moved Quicken Loans into the downtown of his hometown Detroit. Since then he’s invested billions to revitalize that city from the inside out.
He said Cleveland already had good buildings when he first arrived, just not enough people. He predicted the city’s next success will be the Indians winning the World Series.