After spending a few days in Chicago and Milwaukee recently, I noticed how great a job both these cities do of utilizing their lakefront.
In both Chi-town and Milwaukee (pictured above) people have tons of direct access to Lake Michigan: miles of beautiful lakefront parks and trails for biking, walking, or just general enjoyment of the water.
It especially made me notice how poor a job Cleveland does at utilizing a similar space.
What’s on Cleveland’s lakefront? There is the beautiful Edgewater Park, but there’s also a power plant, highway, the shipping port, industrial areas, a secondary airport, and Cleveland Browns’ Stadium- which is used for eight Browns games a year? There’s a large marina with little public access, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Great Lakes Science Center.
The Port Authority of Cleveland, however, has been making plans to move the port from the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, near downtown, to a location on the east side.
The plan is to use soil from the dredging of the river to create an entirely new shoreline complete with parks, entertainment and housing.
“This is potentially one of the great waterfronts in the world,” said Stanton Eckstut, a consultant, who met Tuesday with the port authority board’s real estate and development finance committee.
The Cleveland City Planning Commission last year voted to approve a new port off the East 55th Street lakeshore, northeast of downtown Cleveland. The port would displace a state-run marina and popular fishing pier. The relocation is expected to cost about $500 million, but it will make way for the port to expand and begin container shipping.
But overall development will take years, officials said. Cities have seen waterfront buildups play out for two and three decades.