Cleveland Ranks Among Best Cities for New College Grads

college graduates

Saddled with student loans and a sluggish economy, many college students are having difficulty finding their ideal job after they graduate. But that’s not the case everywhere. And increasing the job prospects for graduating seniors may be as simple as moving to a sunnier economic climate.

According to a recent SmartAsset survey, Cleveland, Ohio, ranks among the best cities for new college graduates. In fact, Ohio managed to score number one and three other spots on the list, making the state the best destination in the country for new college grads. In the top spot is Cincinnati, followed by Columbus (3), Toledo (21) and Cleveland (25).

The survey is more good news for Cleveland and Ohio. The cities on the list were ranked according to criteria that are important to college grads including available jobs, cost of living and entertainment options. With so many things to do in Cleveland, along with its quality education standards, affordable living and a robust economy, it is a great place for young adults to begin their career and raise a family.

The first question many college grads have is “where do I get a job”. And while many other cities are able to offer jobs, the high cost of living makes it difficult for a young adult starting out to make ends meet, especially when there are debts to re-pay. Therefore affordability has to be part of the career equation. And according to HSH, a mortgage data company, Cleveland is the second most affordable metropolitan area in the U.S.

Ohio is known for its highly acclaimed colleges and universities. And Ohio State University-Columbus (OSU), a leading public university, ranked as one of the “Best Colleges” by U.S. News and World Report. Located at the state capitol, OSU offers students access to a high quality and affordable education experience. Other lauded Ohio schools include Cleveland State University, John Carroll University and University of Cincinnati.

“Cleveland has a lot to smile about. The city has been undergoing a major transformation over the past few years, and now it’s on the national stage as one of the best places for college grads to live, work and play,” noted Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

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Loyal Cleveland Fans Sticking with the Browns

Cleveland Browns fans

After a difficult and disappointing season, loyal Cleveland fans are sticking with the Browns. As long as we have a team, there is hope that next year will be our year. Cleveland fans’ loyalty hasn’t gone unnoticed. Browns fans were recently nominated as one of the best fan bases in the world according to Fansided.

After 14 consecutives losses, you could feel a sigh of relief when the Browns won their first game of the season against the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Day. “It’s incredible, man,” said wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. “It’s a relief.” At least it won’t be a winless season. In fact, the Cleveland Browns have not had a winless season in its entire 72-year history.

“This isn’t the first time Browns fans have been disappointed and it certainly will not be the last. The Browns are like a roller coaster with its share of ups and downs,” said Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Unfortunately, they have had more downs than ups in the last few years. It wasn’t always like this. Back in 1948, the four year old team had a perfect season winning all 14 regular season games and the playoff game. While they came close in the following few years, the Browns were never able to repeat it. But they haven’t had a season like this either since 1999, when they won just two games the entire season.

Having drafted 14 NFL players this year, the Browns are a young team with a lot of potential. Like Cody Kessler, a 23-year old rookie QB from USC who proved to be instrumental in the recent win against the Chargers with an important nine yard third-down pass to another rookie player,  WR Corey Coleman. “Even if it was just a few passes or getting to the line of scrimmage, every inch matters and we were able to get the win,” noted Hawkins on

Fans remain hopeful. “Because it’s like believing in Santa Claus,” said Reggie Davis, mechanic and Browns fan. “If you wish every year, and you believe every year, eventually you’ll get what you want.”

Cleveland fans will be hoping for one more Browns victory at their last game of the regular season on New Years Day, Sunday January 1, 2017, against the Steelers at Heinz Stadium in Pittsburgh.

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Cleveland Wins $60M Federal Award to Spark Economic Growth

Economic growth in Cleveland Ohio

Investment in Cleveland is on the rise and Cleveland is poised for even greater heights. Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA) recently announced it has received a $60 million federal award to attract private investment and spark economic growth in the region. “It’s an exciting time for Cleveland and our region has made incredible strides over the last few years, but we certainly can’t stop there. The $60 million in federal tax credits will help us to continue this positive momentum well into the future,” said Joe Roman, CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

The city has been on an upward trajectory since its hosting of the Republican National Convention (RNC) and recent back-to-back professional sports championships. There is a lot of activity here and Clevelanders are excited. Whether its downtown or the suburbs, everywhere you look there is something going on. Last October for instance, a $60M mixed-use construction project began to revitalize the Ohio City neighborhood.

The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program was signed into law as part of the Community Renewal Relief Act of 2000. The goal of this bi-partisan initiative was to inject economic development to facilitate urban renewal projects in low-income and distressed cities around the country.

As a result of the NMTC program, approximately 750,000 jobs were created nationwide over a nine-year span from 2003-2012. “Simply put New Market Tax Credits work. Previous allocations have leveraged more than $796 million in investment in the City of Cleveland resulting in more than 5,000 permanent jobs and 1,104 housing units,” noted Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11).

According to the CDA which is an affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, it is expected that this tax credit will result in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of new projects in the city. Cleveland has received these tax credits before and has put them to good use through the financing of more than thirty projects that have generated over 5,000 permanent jobs. Also, more than 1,000 residential units and 2.6 million square feet of commercial space was made possible through NMTC.

“As exciting as this federal award is, it is important to keep in mind that it is given to distressed cities. While Cleveland has made considerable progress, there is a long way to go before it is no longer on the distressed list,” said Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Through these types of public-private investments, Cleveland is well on its way to being recognized as the world class city it truly is.

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Cleveland Declared America’s Hottest City

Cleveland nightlife

On the backs of several prominent victories, Forbes contributor Peter Lane Taylor recently declared Cleveland “America’s Hottest City” and I couldn’t agree more. Sure, there is a trendy and thriving downtown nightlife. And yes, we’ve had some impressive wins with our major sports teams and we were even on the world stage hosting the RNC convention. But Cleveland’s greatest achievement is not just its recent victories that has helped put this great city back on the map, but the investment dollars that are hard at work revitalizing the city.

Like other major cities along the rust belt, the loss of manufacturing and related industries had taken its toll by the end of the 20th century.  Abandoned buildings throughout the city gave way to vandalism, graffiti and other criminal activity. But even has the population went into a steep decline, the city never lost hope and was determined to give itself a makeover, one neighborhood at a time.

One of those abandoned buildings was the once thriving Joseph & Feiss garment factory in the Stockyards neighborhood that closed in 1998. During Joseph & Feiss’s 150-year history it was one of Cleveland’s largest employers employing over 2,000 people at times. The old factory building was torn down, however, the 5-story office building remains on the site.   It was recently acquired by Menlo Park Academy in a $17 million project to redevelop the building as its new home. Menlo is an approved Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) partner, and is the only tuition-free community school in Ohio for K-8 gifted learners. Residents in Cleveland are given priority for admission. “We are excited about Menlo Park’s growth, which creates an expansion of opportunities for Cleveland’s gifted students,” said Stephanie Klupinski, J.D., Executive Director, CMSD Charter Schools.

Although Cleveland is still a work in progress, people are starting to move back into downtown. “So considering where Cleveland has been, to now being called the hottest city in America, is really a reflection of more than a decade of progress,” says Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert.Stay tuned. There is much more to come.

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Cleveland Browns Feeling the Pressure for a Win This Season

Cleveland Browns fans

It was Stipe Miocic, Cleveland-based mixed martial artist and UFC Heavyweight Champion, who first put the city of Cleveland on quite the roll. Born in Euclid, Ohio in 1982, his success in May 2016 was quickly followed by a host of fortunes from the Lake Erie Monsters, the Cavs, and most recently, the Cleveland Indians. With these successes the pressure is on for the Cleveland Browns this season. The team is young, probably younger than most opponents in the NFL, and this has made the expectation even higher.

Although the team is far from its peak the high expectations for Cleveland is enough to inject the motivation that will help propel the Browns to greater heights. According to Sashi Brown, executive vice president for the Cleveland Browns, it takes time to develop and start winning titles just like it took the Indians and even the Cavs. So, with hard work, good organization and, of course, motivation, the Browns will undoubtedly make it. But the team is so far 0-8 for the season.  And with the season at its halfway mark, fans are hoping that they will turn things around soon.

The Browns hope that this pressure from the media and fans does not impact negatively on the players but rather the players become motivated by it. After all, there is nothing like the pressure of having won zero games. The players desperately want to win. They need a win. This season, the Browns added 14 players and went further to strategically sign veteran leaders through the free-agency period. Also, the team has an experienced head coach in Hue Jackson who is accustomed to working with young talents at the start of the season.

According to Jackson, there is no science in football; thus, every player should stay focused and the pressure around should not mess with their mindset. “They should strive to win every game and relieve some of the pressure emanating from the media and fans,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert. The players understand their coach and know that it’s all about work once they step into the Cleveland Browns camp. With Jackson as their head coach and young talented players who are more than willing to deliver, the Browns have the tools to right the ship. At this point, fans are just hoping for a win.

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World Series Fever Hits Clevelanders Hard

Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland

Against all odds, the Cleveland Indians finally made into the World Series for the first time since 1997, after clipping the Toronto Blue Jays in a 3-0 victory to win the pennant in Game 5 of the ALCS Championship on October 19th.  The fact that the Indians are in the World Series has excitement running through the veins of practically every Clevelander. The town has gone wild. While some were cautiously optimistic, they soon found themselves in a state of euphoria after the team’s incredible season and performance.

The past seasons have not been so great for the Indians though; they have struggled a lot. However, things change and this year is theirs to win. The team is strong and spirits in the Cleveland camp are so high that fans are starting to believe the Indians could actually win the World Series. They believe this team is the one to watch because of their outstanding performance this season. This will be the 6th time the Indians have made it to the World Series in their 116-year history. So, the fans are more than happy and everyone in Cleveland wants to be part of the experience. “It’s pretty crazy because Cleveland Indians have had the worst luck since I can remember,” said Britni Alkassmi , 28, of Belpre.

It’s been 68 years since the Cleveland Indians last won the World Series title. But they are playing against the Chicago Cubs which is in a 108-year drought and are just as thirsty for a win. Regardless of who wins, the 2016 World Series is a historic event that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Having seen their team struggle and overcome all sorts of hurdles, Cleveland fans are smiling from ear to ear and share the optimism that the team projects.  In a season that seemed tainted has abruptly turned and many fans simply cannot believe it.

Although game tickets are expensive, fans are trying everything within their reach to get to be part of the experience. “For most, it is more than just watching a baseball game.  It is hometown pride in a city that has had its shares of struggles and is now resurging,” noted Victor J. Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. Cleveland is turning around for the better. Most Cleveland fans believe that this is the year that the Indians will bring it home.

And they’re off to a roaring start. In Game 1 of the World Series opener, the Indians shut down the Cubs in a 3-0 win at Progressive Field in Downtown Cleveland. If history proves correct, the Indians have a 92 percent chance of winning the title. So, the title is all but assured, right? Play ball!

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A New Ohio City Mixed Use Development Project to Transform Downtown Cleveland

Ohio City neighborhood

The new Ohio City mixed-use development project is currently underway and will transform the Ohio City neighborhood in downtown Cleveland into a brand new live-work community. The $60M project will renovate historical buildings and bring 194 apartment units and 50,000 square feet of commercial space that will inject new life and activity to a site that is currently being used as a parking lot. “This is a 50-year change for this corner,” said Tom McNair, executive director of Ohio City, Inc. “These opportunities don’t come around very often.”

On the first floor of the renovated building will be The Music Settlement, an East Side non-profit group that promotes early-childhood education, music therapy, and music education. The building will also feature studio, one- and two-bedroom apartment units that will range from 500 to 1,100 square feet. Rent is expected to vary from $1,000 to $2,500 per month. The luxury apartments will also have a rooftop deck with a swimming pool on the Lake Erie side of the building. Residents will also have access to an indoor parking, a dog-grooming station, barbecue grill stations, a fire pit, and a lounge.

The Grocery, a local food store is expanding to its second location, and other commercial tenants will be situated on the project’s new construction portion, which is scheduled to open in spring 2018. The south side of Detroit Avenue will also see a noticeable transformation; the development team will spruce up the basement and ground floor of two historic commercial buildings to make way for co-working spaces. The Beauty Shoppe shared work spaces could be operational as early as spring of 2017. The Massimo da Milano Italian restaurant that anchors the corner will remain functional.

“If all plans become accomplished through the new Ohio City mixed-use development project, then downtown Cleveland will definitely be transformed,” noted Victor Bierman III, Ohio lawyer and business expert. This transformational project will create an outstanding connection between Ohio City, downtown Cleveland, Hinge Town, and Gordon Square Arts District. It is expected to attract additional private investment with its modern buildings and aesthetic architecture.

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Cleveland Indians Fans Hoping for Championship Win

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland has had a lot to celebrate lately. First it was the recent hosting of the RNC and then came the Cavs championship win; so Cleveland fans are hoping for a trifecta as the Indians are on the verge of winning the MLB championship. The Indians clinched the AL Central divisional title on September 26, 2016 when they ran over the Tigers in Detroit. The win puts the team on course to end their 9-year drought of clinching the championship title.

Cleveland Indians fans have had a lot of ups and downs. So, they feel this is a deserved victory. “This year has both been rough and really great, and we hope it will end on a high; of course, with us clinching the long awaited championship title,” said Indians fan, Angela Giuliano.

Despite many fans being concerned, Cleveland Indians have done favorably well. In fact, their run in this season’s championship has been compared to the success of the Cavaliers who won the NBA championship earlier this year. According to news released by SportsTime Ohio, Cleveland Indians recorded their highest rating for the season since 2005. Moreover, the network registered a 6.5 household rating for the season, which is an average of 97,000 households for every game. Going by statistics, that rating is 65-percent over 2015’s mark of 3.93.

In 2005, the team drew 6.62 household rating and appeared poised for a playoff spot until they collapsed in the final week; much to the disappointment of fans. But this season, the Indians booked their playoff spot in October, with a week of regular season still remaining. Winning the AL Central title on September 26, 2016 proved vital, as it led to a 10.48 household rating. The game was seen in more than 156,000 homes, the season’s sixth highest rating.

“These series of successes have brought a renewed sense of vibrancy and excitement to the city,” said Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert. “For their part, the team believes this will be the season that will end the 9-year drought. Compared to last year’s results, the Indians are better and are getting the results that are putting them in a position to win the championship title,” he added.

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The Republican National Convention Was Good for Business in Cleveland

The Republican National Conventional was good for business in Cleveland

Some could say that the city of Cleveland, Ohio was re-born two years ago when the city was chosen to host the 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC). While city leaders were excited and knew they were laying the foundation for a better Cleveland, there were those who had their doubts. Some went as far to suggest that it would lead to violence and mayhem. This, in fact, was just a smokescreen. Fortunately, for Cleveland it pushed against all odds and the RNC became one of the most successful political conventions in U.S. history. As a result, the city benefited immensely both economically and socially.

“It came off incredibly well,” said David Hertz, current managing director of Dix & Eaton, and former Pulitzer Prize-winning editor for the Akron Beacon Journal. “The party’s not over; it’s just beginning,” he added. Nevertheless, making this a success and turning things around required each and every person from Cleveland to work toward the same goal, as noted by Hertz, “The city and its people did a spectacular job and made sure that this happened; congratulations to everyone.” As Hertz puts it, Cleveland was hungrier because the last time they hosted a political convention was in 1936, so they were more than ready to get the best from this year’s convention.

Hertz read from a July 29, 2016 letter that the president and CEO of the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, David Gilbert wrote to the Plain Dealer holding that Cleveland did not just host the Republican National Convention; it knocked it out of the park as well. According to Gilbert, the convention pumped in around $200 million into Cleveland’s economy. It also accelerated essential civic projects as well as elevated how Cleveland is viewed by the world and how its residents view themselves. After the 2016 convention, a lot of positive stories about Cleveland started cropping up. The city got universal praise from delegates, the media, and other guests. It also had many people planning to relocate, invest or visit it mainly because it has convention experiences.

“The city of Cleveland is now the place to be, and investors are scrambling for opportunities here; something that will continue to greatly improve Cleveland’s economy,” noted Victor Bierman, Ohio lawyer and business expert.

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Cleveland Scores Big with NBA Championship

Quicken Loans Arena Cleveland

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.”

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