Ohio City Construction and Development Update

By Carmen Caserio ’22

Over the past few years, Ohio City has undergone an unprecedented amount of gentrification that has reshaped the neighborhood overall. While most projects have yet to be realized, the neighborhood has already been the host of such great change that it is hard to recognize it compared to just a few years ago. Whether it is new mixed use apartments, shops, or parks, these projects pose a promising future for our hometown.

Among the most promising and prominent projects in Ohio City is INTRO Cleveland, located across the street from the West Side Market. According to News 5 Cleveland, the mixed-use development is slated to become “the largest timber-frame building in the United States,” mostly made out of sustainable materials. Though a similar development in Milwaukee is designed to take the title in the near future, INTRO “will bring almost 300 apartments (10 penthouses) to Ohio City, along with 36,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a 12,000 square foot entertainment venue on the top floor.” With the project long underway, the structure itself has topped out at the designed height of nine stories. However, the outer cladding as well as the interior of the building remains to be completed, as seen in the photo below, with the completion date set for spring 2022 according to introcleveland.com. Overall, INTRO poses a unique opportunity to redefine the reputation and the skyline of Ohio City.

A current image of the structurally topped out Intro, with the next stage of construction slated to begin soon. News 5 Cleveland

In addition to INTRO, The Dexter is another apartment complex located on Franklin Circle, across from the Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital and within walking distance of the West Side Market, which was recently completed. The project, according to cleveland.com, “offers 115 apartments and more than 8,600 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor.” As opposed to typical apartment complexes in Ohio City, The Dexter provides higher end living arrangements for its residents. After several months of construction, The Dexter opened this past summer and offers residents another opportunity to reside within the up-and-coming neighborhood of Ohio City.

A bird’s eye view of The Dexter following its completion in the early summer of 2021. Apartments.com

Aside from apartments and mixed-use developments, the Irishtown Bend project attempts to provide Ohio City residents with a beautiful public park that connects the neighborhood to the Cuyahoga River. Although work only began earlier this year with the demolition of two buildings located along West 25th Street, some progress has been made regarding the stabilization of the hillside that the park is designed around. In fact, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency recently voted “to devote $12.8 million in federal money to the $45 million project” (cleveland.com) toward the stabilization of the hillside. Construction of the park is scheduled to begin soon thereafter, with the finished park aimed to be completed “as early as 2025.” Though it seems a far way out, the park represents a shift in the overall atmosphere of what is becoming of Ohio City today.

A rendering of the overall design for the Irishtown Bend park. Among other features, the park includes a farm, playground, and maritime theater. cleveland.com

These three projects represent the beginning for what is to be a bright future for Ohio City. Plans for future developments will not only serve to improve the appearance of the neighborhood overall but will additionally provide better opportunities for residents to embrace the city. As a side note, just outside of Ohio City, the city of Cleveland has been the host of several infrastructure and construction updates of its own, especially seen with plans for the new Sherwin Williams Headquarters and the progress of Opportunity Corridor, a multi-million dollar roadway revitalization. While the latter aims to reduce congestion at the conclusion of Interstate 490, the former will serve to reshape the skyline of Cleveland in a significant way. Both serving residents by providing more efficient paths of travel as well as bolstering the economy, the city of Cleveland shows signs of improvement as well that exude promise. In conjunction, both Ohio City and Cleveland both show promising signs of what will become a flourishing metropolitan area that we have the privilege of calling home.