What's Up in 2018
Expectations for Cleveland in the new year
By Annie Zaleski, Image by Dale McDonald
A wise scholar once said, "Life's a marathon, not a sprint." The same concept holds true where Cleveland's ongoing renaissance is concerned—except that, in recent years, the city has caught quite a burst of mid-race energy.
That momentum carried Cleveland through 2016—a year that saw several major sports championships and the city hosting the Republican National Convention—and well into 2017.
This upward trajectory is continuing unabated as the calendar creeps toward 2018: New development, additional options for adventurous travelers, and high-profile events mean that next year is already shaping up to be one to celebrate.
Putting the "I" in International
Pack your bags! Starting in 2018, both WOW air and Icelandair are launching non-stop routes between Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Iceland. Because both airlines also offer low-cost flights to Europe, globetrotting Clevelanders now have more travel options than ever, and Icelanders have non-stop access to the rock 'n' roll capital of the world.
Rock 'n' Roll All Night
Speaking of rock 'n' roll, on April 14, 2018, it's Cleveland's turn to host the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The 33rd-annual event, which will honor this year's group of elite music icons, will once again take place at Public Hall. As always, prior to the ceremony, visitors can expect a week of fun-filled concerts and events spearheaded by the Rock Hall.
Cedar Point Amusement Park's coasters just can't stop breaking records. The theme park's latest thrill ride, Steel Vengeance—a refurbished and buffed-up version of the Mean Streak—is the first steel-on-wood hybrid in the world to be over 200 foot tall. If that wasn't impressive enough, the 5,740-foot-long coaster reaches speeds of 74 mph, has an initial drop at a steep 90 degrees and boasts 27.2 seconds of airtime—three more world records—and features four moments where riders are upside-down.
All Sports Eyes on Cleveland
We'll have to wait until 2019 until the MLB All-Star Game lands at Progressive Field, although the high-profile national sports events happening in Cleveland next year are rather impressive. Quicken Loans Arena will host the 2018 NCAA Division III (March 9-10) and Division I (March 15-17) Wrestling Championships, while Edgewater Park will serve as home base for the 2018 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships (Aug. 11-12). And local memorabilia hunters are also in luck: The National Sports Collectors Convention—which features a treasure trove of sports-related collectibles—returns to the I-X Center from Aug. 1-5.
Now that Phase II of the Flats East Bank redevelopment is complete, developer Scott Wolstein is reportedly looking at spring 2018 to kick off Phase III, which is slated to bring a movie theater, more retail and restaurant space, and an apartment tower to the riverfront.
During summer 2017, a stark-white building in the Waterloo Arts District that once housed a KeyBank received a rainbow-hued façade makeover. The space—whose exterior now looks like a cross between an Andy Warhol painting and Pee Wee's Playhouse—will now be a vivid neighborhood gathering place called Pop Life with an art gallery, yoga studio and an additional outpost of the juice bar Daily Press.
Ever wanted to shop right on the water at North Coast Harbor, just north of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? You're in luck: The $12 million Harbor Verandas—a three-story, 20,000-square-foot complex with apartments and retail space—is scheduled to be completed in July 2018.
Lights! Camera! Action!
The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF)'s popular opening night screening and gala moves to Playhouse Square—specifically, Connor Palace—on April 4. Tickets are already on sale for the bash.
Suite University (Circle) Life
The transformation of the cultural and education hub University Circle continues apace. The $116 million, high-rise apartment tower One University Circle opens in May, but has already started pre-leasing units to eager tenants. Nearby, on the edge of Little Italy and Uptown, the $70 million Centric Apartments will provide convenient student housing, a parking garage, and office and retail space. This project is slated to be completed during the summer.
Construction work continues on the $331 million Opportunity Corridor project, which will link University Circle to the East Side. In fact, the first two phases are on track to be done by fall 2018, with a more complicated, multi-part third phase rolling out in the coming years.
Sherla's Chicken & Oysters, the restaurant Michael Symon plans to open in Tremont in the space that once housed his beloved Lolita, is a bit behind schedule—although the chef told Cleveland.com in August that "if we're open by next summer, I'll be very excited." The wait will be worth it: Besides featuring original Lola faves such as oysters, smoked fish and cheese boards, Sherla's will spotlight fried and wood-fired chicken.
Other Developments in the Works:
In September, construction began on the Beacon, a.k.a. a 29-story, 187-unit luxury apartment tower being built atop a parking garage at 515 Euclid Ave. that's on track to be done in early 2019. Financial details are still being ironed out, although the $300 million renovation of the Huntington Bank Building at 925 Euclid Ave.—which will transform the structure into a high-end hotel and apartment building, and include refurbished office space—appears to be moving forward.