Cleveland Lakefront: Development Advisory Services

City of Cleveland Department of Port Control

SB Friedman was engaged in 2011 by the City of Cleveland Department of Port Control to develop a comprehensive business plan, tested for market and economic feasibility, for refining and implementing the City’s waterfront development plan for North Coast Harbor (NCH) and the Burke Development District (BKL), as contemplated by the architectural firm Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn (EE&K). EE&K’s plan envisioned a mixed-use redevelopment of the waterfront, including restaurants, retail, office, and entertainment and hotel development along the Lake Erie coastline in Downtown Cleveland. Our team included Berusch Development Partners, a Cleveland-based firm. SB Friedman’s work included the following:

  • Testing the market and economic feasibility of the proposed BKL office plan;
  • Analyzing the market potential for an NCH hotel, retail and restaurant arcade adjacent to the existing museums and restaurants along Erie Pier;
  • Developing market-supportable development programs for North Coast Harbor and Burke Development District;
  • Identifying site and management issues that will affect lakefront development potential and advising on development strategy;
  • Identifying critical infrastructure components required to attract private development to the lakefront; and
  • Projecting tax increment financing (TIF) revenue available for infrastructure components based on the NCH and BKL development programs outlined in earlier work.

Results: Critical action steps to create and deliver development-ready sites within the Burke Development District were outlined. The market analyses, and developer and broker interviews, showed that office and retail development on the Cleveland waterfront was market-feasible. Critical infrastructure components were identified, and initial TIF projections indicated that certain components could be financed with TIF proceeds. The City of Cleveland selected a lakefront developer in the spring of 2014, following a Request for Qualifications/Proposals process. The project is expected to include retail and restaurant development adjacent to existing museums, as well as office and residential development in North Coast Harbor.