What's Up in 2017
New developments, infrastructure projects, openings and exhibits continue into the new year
By Lexi Hotchkiss
Undeniably, 2016 was the “Year of Cleveland.”
Because, after all, it’s not every day we get to host one of the most historic Republican National Conventions the U.S. has ever seen, win a sports championship for the first time in five decades, send your baseball team to the World Series, welcome millions of dollars in new development and watch the national media turn the positive spotlight on Cleveland.
While we can all look back and feel all the feels for 2016, it’s time to turn our eyes toward 2017—a year that will continue to capitalize on the momentum and tenacity that has become the foundation of Cleveland’s future.
After all, they don’t call it “Believeland” for nothing.
New Development in 2017
Edgewater Park and Euclid Beach Additions
It’s no secret that the Cleveland Metroparks were singlehandedly responsible for the massive turnaround at Edgewater Beach on Cleveland’s west side, which has become an incredible beach destination for locals and visitors alike. That commitment to Edgewater continues in 2017 as the park system is set to complete the new Edgewater Beach House, a structure that will feature an open-air, second-story pavilion with a fireplace and seasonal beach bar.
Further, the park system is continuing to improve another one of its lakefront assets: Euclid Beach. After years of cleaning up the beach, they’re now reconstructing the Euclid Beach Pier, which will replace the former structure with the construction of a new 285-foot pier, boasting panoramic views of Cleveland’s skyline.
Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail
A three-phase project, the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail (previously known as the Lake Link) seeks to make Lake Erie a more assessable asset for those Downtown by building an urban park and trail experience. In 2017, the Cleveland Metroparks will complete the second phase of construction on a bike/walking path running between Detroit Ave. and River Rd.
Whiskey Island Connector
In 2017, design and construction is expected to begin on the Whiskey Island Connector, a new one-mile-long, all-purpose trail that will link two of Cleveland’s most popular lakefront destinations: Edgewater Park and Whiskey Island. The trail also will eventually connect with the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail and the 90-mile Towpath Trail.
Lakefront West Project to be Completed
ODOT’s been busy the past two years on an important project that seeks to connect Cleveland’s west side neighborhoods (like Edgewater, Lakewood, Rocky River and Bay Village) with the lakefront. It’s part of an ever-popular desire to create more urban greenspace and connect the ‘burbs with the assets of the city (like Lake Erie).
They’re doing this by converting the West Shoreway to a boulevard and creating multi-modal connections. This means reconstructing pedestrian tunnels to Edgewater Park; improving bike/pedestrian pathways; adding an abundance of trees and plantings along the West Shoreway; and slowing down the speed limit from 55 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour.
Opportunity Corridor Updates Continue
Improving Cleveland’s infrastructure is the name of the game in 2017.
Cleveland is working to connect Downtown with University Circle with a beautiful boulevard. Besides being just a transportation project, this new roadway will help to develop areas of land so as to create opportunities for future businesses and organizations to call home—all in the name of improving the lives of Clevelanders in those surrounding areas.
While the project, which is happening between I-490/I-77 and University Circle, is set to be completed in fall 2018, road improvements on this momentous project will continue throughout 2017.
Opening of Cedar Point Shores
In 2017, Cedar Point Amusement Park is premiering Cedar Point Shores, a newly revamped 18-acre waterpark featuring three completely new water attractions, new and upgraded food and merchandise locations, and additional amenities.
New Restaurants in 2017
Hingetown, that little neighborhood squished between Ohio City and the Detroit-Shoreway, welcomes the rather massive Saucy Brew Works in 2017. This 14,000-square-foot pizza joint, pub and brewery is the brain child of local brewer Eric Anderson.
If you’re on the lookout for dramatics, make way for Downtown’s new Marble Room Steak and Raw Bar expected in 2017. Located at the Garfield Building at the corner of East 6th St. and Euclid Ave., the steakhouse and seafood restaurant will take shape inside the opulent and historic bank lobby.
The East Bank of the Flats continues to explode as we usher in a new year. In 2017, the bustling, new-ish Downtown district will feature a slew of restaurant openings, some of which include:
• Rascal Flatts: The first restaurant and bar opened by the popular country band will offer a rotating series of live country acts.
• Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville: Margs, fish tacos and (yep, you guessed it) a “Cheeseburger in Paradise” adorn the menu at this riverfront location of the popular chain.
• New Brewery: Beloved Cleveland chef Zack Bruell is teaming up with Great Lakes Brewing Company veteran Luke Purcell on a new brewery and pub inside the historic Watermark building, which offers amazing views of the Cuyahoga River. Name is TBD, but with those two behind the helm, we know it'll be spectacular.
2017 Exhibits and Anniversaries
Now through September 2017, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is featuring “Mellencamp,” a 100-item special exhibit showcasing John Mellencamp memorabilia and personal items including his 1966 Silver Honda Scrambler 305 Motorcycle, handwritten lyrics, performance outfits, his main Dove acoustic guitar and a multi-hour interview.
The Western Reserve Historical Society will celebrate its sesquicentennial with signature programs and activities to highlight the importance of regional history to the American experience. Specifically, at the Cleveland History Center, the organization will open a permanent exhibit entitled “Cleveland Starts Here,” featuring a multimedia collection highlighting the history of Northeast Ohio.
The Cleveland Metroparks will celebrate its centennial in 2017. The park system, which has undergone significant growth over the last five years, will introduce a series of related programing.
Other Developments on the Horizon
Several mixed-use mega projects are planned for Downtown in the next few years including: a $280-million transformation will turn the Huntington Bank Building into a high-end hotel, apartment and office space; 515 Euclid will add 200 luxury apartments and retail space to an existing parking structure; and NuCLEus, a massive 30-story-high development complete with hotel, apartments, restaurants, retail and parking at E. 4th St. and Huron. Additionally, Cleveland’s Nautica Waterfront District plans to welcome a 15-story office building and mixed-use development that will include more than 650 apartments, a 150-room hotel and room for parking.