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Land for sale, under construction in Cleveland means people could have easier access to the river

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Posted at 8:12 AM, Jun 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-27 08:12:39-04

CLEVELAND — The coronavirus is inspiring Americans to head outside not only because the spread of the virus appears to be much less likely outdoors, but also as a break from the homes we’ve been told to spend much of our time inside.

It’s an extra reminder, though Clevelanders knew it already, that there are very few places where the city connects to it’s waterfront.

Along the bending Cuyahoga River, there are a handful of projects at various stages that could collectively change the way people can access the river.

Irishtown Bend

“It’s been in that quiet phase for some time but this is going to be a very visible year for Irishtown Bend,” said Ohio City Inc. Executive Director Tom McNair.

McNair tells News 5 there are about $40 million secured so far to do the project.

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A boat passes by Irishtown Bend while engineers create a plan to stabilize the hillside.

A big chunk of that funding came from the U.S. Department of Transportation, as News 5 reported last summer.

McNair says engineers are developing plans right now to stabilize the hillside so it doesn’t fall into the river. Just the research and plan design costs about $3.4 million.

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Part of the planning will have to account for Franklin Blvd, which connects Ohio City to the water.

Once the hillside is stabilized, work can begin to create a roughly 23 acre riverfront park that would connect Ohio City to the water.

Later this summer and in early fall, McNair says there will be information for virtual planning meetings for residents to share their ideas about what Irishtown Bend and Franklin Boulevard should look like. There will also be voicemail and text options so people who don’t have smartphones can still participate.

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Renderings show what Irishtown Bend could look like in a few years when the hillside is stable and landscaping creates public space.

See our previous coverage of Franklin Boulevard here.

“We’re fundamentally reshaping what the Cuyahoga River Valley is going to look like in the next couple of years,” said McNair.

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Signs mark off where workers are preparing for the stabilization phase of the project near Hooples.

McNair says the plan to stabilize the hillside could be completed in the end few months, with construction to complete that plan potentially starting in 2021. That is expected to take a year and a half to two years, with construction starting on the landscaping immediately after.

See LAND Studio's renderings here.

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McNair says the public input process will help determine what could happen to the Ohio City Community Garden at the top of Franklin Blvd, along West 25th Street.

Saturday, an Irishtown Bend clean up will run out of the parking lot at 1477 West 25th Street from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..

Canal Basin Park

Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Agency (NOACA) recently approved $550,400 to help improve Canal Basin Park, near the Settler’s Landing Greater Cleveland RTA Rapid stop in the Flats.

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Renderings show additional public space in what are now parking lots and greenspace.

There are plans to take out two parking lots and add features like bike racks and benches to make the area more inviting to people using the Towpath Trail.

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A renovated park would fill in space that is lightly used under the Detroit-Superior Bridge.

Flats Platform Tennis Center

Downriver from Canal Basin Park, The Flats Platform Tennis Center is working on building its facility in Rivergate park, near Merwin’s Warf, next to the skate park and on the “currently-vacant Cleveland Rowing Foundation property,” Flats Forward Executive Director Jim Haviland told News 5 in an email.

Renderings here show raised courts and a Paddle Hut walking distance from the water.

New building on the East Bank

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A new structure is rising in the Flats out of what used to be a large grass field.

New building along the East Bank of the Flats is making progress between FWD Day + Nightclub and Alley Cat Oyster Bar.

The final building is expected to have more entertainment, bar, and restaurant space.

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The new building changes the view walking down the boardwalk behind Alley Cat Oyster Bar.

Nautica District land lot still for Sale on West Bank

5.6 acres of mostly parking lot space is still for sale on the West Bank of the Flats. Right now the lot is used as parking for Windows on the River and the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

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The large parking lot also has riverfront access used now to access the water taxi.

Renderings here show what could be possible on the land next to Jacobs Pavilion.

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