After years of urban decay and neglect, Cleveland is making a well-deserved and long overdue comeback. And with the recent Cavaliers’ NBA championship victory for the first time in franchise history, the city seems to be on an unstoppable trajectory of growth.
Cleveland is alive and thriving again. For the first time in years, you can feel the energy and excitement beaming around town. Consumers are coming back to downtown Cleveland. Businesses are opening again. Residents are moving back in. It’s now the place to see and be seen in Northeast Ohio.
It is estimated that over $6B in new investment has poured in to the city in the last six years and approximately 3,000 new jobs created in the last three years. This has helped to reverse the trend of residents leaving the city. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the estimated Cleveland population in 2015 was 388,072. This is down slightly from 2012 estimates of 390,928 residents. If this trend continues, the city’s population could easily top the 400K mark by the next official census in 2020.
Even more impressive is the area welcomed its largest increase in employment in 2015 with the addition of 23,000 jobs to the area, based on a report published by the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
The crown jewel of downtown Cleveland was the recent completion of the Public Square renovation project. Not only is this an open-space that brings the city together, it has become a symbol of civic pride. In addition, the park has spurred a number of residential and commercial development projects. Major employers including IBM and New York Life have created hundreds of new jobs. Retailers have expanded or opened up shop around the square. The old East Ohio Gas Building has been renovated and is now a prime residential complex. With apartment occupancy hovering at 96 percent, hundreds of new units are planned to come online downtown in the near future.
But perhaps downtown’s most important and vital redevelopment project is the renovation of 200 Public Square. Soaring 45 stories it is one of the tallest buildings in Cleveland. When the renovation is complete, this location will undoubtedly be one of the most prestigious downtown addresses. And Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is expected to open in the space later this year.
Not surprisingly, Millennials are helping to fuel the growth in downtown Cleveland. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance reports that the area ranks 8th, along with Miami and Seattle, among college educated 25-34 year-olds. “Downtown is particularly attractive to millennials. There is plenty of green space, exciting shopping and dining options, and a vibrant nightlife and two professional sports venues outside their door,” said Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. “Downtown Cleveland is fast becoming an exciting city to live, work and play.”
Image Credit: Erik Drost | Flickr