Friday, March 23, 2018: EA staffers Caroline Merk and Margy Judd attended the Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s (DCA) market update last night at the Union Club. DCA reported out on findings that were published in their 2017 annual report. The event was moderated by The Plain Dealer’s Michelle Jarboe, and the panelists included:
- Michael Deemer, EVP Business Development, DCA
- Deb Janik, Senior VP Real Estate and Business, Greater Cleveland Partnership
- David Ebersole, Interim Director of Economic Development, City of Cleveland
- Ted Carter, Chief Economic Development and Business Officer, Cuyahoga County
Here are some insights into the report…
- DCA’s Clean & Safe Ambassador Program (staffers who patrol streets, answer questions, and keep the neighborhood clean) has been extended to eight other neighborhoods: Ohio City, Gordon Square Arts District, Shaker Square, North Coast Harbor, University Circle, Public Square, and Superior Arts District. Last year they made over 23,000 hospitality assists!
- In 2017, Downtown reached 15,000 residents with a goal of reaching 20,000 by 2020.
- The actual occupancy rate Downtown is just over 93%, and the average hotel occupancy rate is just over 64%.
- In 2017, 805 apartments were added Downtown, and five residential projects are currently under construction, including the Halle Building, Standard Building, and Tower City.
- There is an expressed unmet need for ‘for sale’ housing in downtown; the panelists mentioned The Avenue Townhomes by Zaremba as one example on the way, but we need more!
- The panel was very noncommittal about NUCLEUS and challenges with financing holding this project back.
- 30 shops and restaurants opened Downtown in 2017 with a retail occupancy rate of 88%.
- 7,529 jobs were created in 2017 in Northeast Ohio.
- There is huge growth in boutique gyms as those who live urban seem to want a more customized approach than the suburban one-size-fits-all complexes.
- There is three million SF of commercial business space available Downtown.
- In order to continue the growth and development of Downtown, the work has to expand into surrounding neighborhoods, like the Campus District, Slavic Village, and Central District.
- Playhouse Square has the largest season ticket holder base in the country for Broadway shows. (We knew that!)
- It has been proven that it is easier to create jobs with companies already here, than to attract new businesses from elsewhere.
- There was a debate amongsth the panel about the need for the cost per square foot needing to continue increasing for healthy economic growth versus the issue of affordable housing.
- Top concerns voiced from companies considering a move into Downtown are no longer about safety (adding thousands of residents who increase pedestrian traffic helps) but about parking and transportation.
- Campus International School moved into a new building in 2017 and offers the IB program in primary school.
- In their minds, Downtown still has a long way to go with respect to retail; they mentioned needs for a hardware store, Target-like store, and clothing retailers.
- Active cranes now and in the next 30 days include The Beacon project on Euclid at E. 4th and the upcoming new residential tower at Playhouse Square.
EA sends staffers to virtually every event, opening, and informational gathering so that we can provide the most current facts to the hundreds of families we are helping to relocate to NE Ohio. If your company’s talent attraction and retention efforts could use a boost so that you are competing on a level playing field for talent from home and abroad, call us at 216.231.9311.