After a nine-month battle over the funding of the Q Transformation Project, the $140 million overhaul of the arena has begun the process of getting city approval of the overall design.
The City Planning Commission meeting Friday to sign off on the initial design review which will enable the project to move forward with permits for the work.
Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski said people should begin to see work going on at the arena early next year.
The project does many things but primarily addresses the arena’s major flaw the lack of public space and addresses it in a way that opens up the walled-off box to the city bustling outside of it.
"You wouldn't know there is an event unless you saw people coming in and out of the building here. We'll have a building that's going to be iconic, that will directly face the city, we'll be open to the city and celebrate the events and activity and bring energy to the city,” Komoroski said.
Architects went over their plans Thursday with the Downtown/Flats Design Review Committee that outlined their initial designs for the arena, signage and planters and security pollards or poles now required by the NBA to provide extra security for its arenas.
The arena remains one of the busiest in the world and the work will be going on around that schedule.
"It's going to be a pardon our dust scenario for a large part of the year following the playoffs for the Cavs we will close down the building through the end of September for the next two summers which will enable us to do a large portion of work but we're doing that so that we can stay operational for the bulk of the year which is our prime event season and during the seasons for the Cavs, Monsters and all of the other events,” Komoroski said. “By the end of it all it will be an amazing transformation.”
The forward progress comes on the very week the NBA awarded the 2021 All-Star game to Indiana, a game Cleveland had hoped to land with the transformation.
Komoroski said fear not. “We have to complete the project and that’s what we’re diligently working to do,” he said. “We’re still in discussions with the league, as is the [Greater Cleveland] Sports Commission and we’re extremely hopeful that we’ll be able to have an All-Star weekend coming here near term.”