Flats East Bank Transformation

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November 3, 2015

The site of Cleveland’s original settlement, the East Bank of the Flats, has been transformed from a heavy-industrial area to a thriving entertainment district for Cleveland residents. GPD helped design the new district, a 22-acre project located on the east bank of the Cuyahoga River. The redevelopment features an upscale residential building, office tower, hotel and many restaurants and entertainment venues, creating an urban riverfront community with unique character.

Phase I – Beginning in 2008, GPD’s master planning efforts for the East Bank of the Flats involved a roadway and property fit study and a master grading study within challenging topography. Phase I included the demolition of buildings and infrastructure and vacation of city street right of ways on the project site. GPD redesigned the city street right of way pattern and complete infrastructure including paving, city water, storm and sanitary sewer systems. GPD also designed routing for electrical, gas and communication service mains. Engineering design and survey support services were provided for a new bulkhead and river walk along the Cuyahoga River as well as project coordination with the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, ODOT, the Ohio EPA, multiple public agencies and private utility companies. The completion of Phase I set the revitalization of this iconic waterfront district in motion.

Phase II – GPD is currently involved in Phase II of the project which reestablishes the East Bank as an emerging urban neighborhood. This mixed-use district features a high end residential building, restaurants, entertainment venues, and 900-foot riverfront boardwalk. The neighborhood, which recently celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the end of a long challenging road, is officially open for business and looks forward to upcoming future phases. GPD, working in conjunction with Fairmount Properties to survey and design / engineer the site improvements, has been deeply involved throughout the construction of the project. In fact, the team proudly provided solutions to site’s many challenges (from the remediation work on the 100 year old gas processing facility to countless utilities fitting within condensed areas to the final color of the roadway pavers) and credits central coordination as the key to the success of this large-scale redevelopment.

With more than $2 billion in public and private money being invested in and around the Cuyahoga’s banks, this collaborative effort has renewed a once-distressed and blighted neighborhood and serves as a significant case study for other cities planning their own urban revitalization project.