Cleveland waterfront project looks to 2nd phase


CLEVELAND (AP) -- A waterfront project in Cleveland is moving forward with developers turning their attention to the $120 million second phase, including a 140-unit apartment complex and a country-music themed bar and grill.

Construction is well under way on the first phase of the Flats East Bank project at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, The Plain Dealer reported ( . The initial phase began with a $275 million office-and-hotel complex and will include four restaurants.

Akron-area restaurateur Ken Stewart has signed a lease to open a steak and seafood restaurant bearing his name. Ken Stewart's will be joined by a Flip Side burger joint and a gourmet taco restaurant called Dos Tequilas. Popular eatery Lago is moving to the Flats and will expand its catering to serve the hotel and conference facilities.

Developers estimate that building the second phase will create more than 800 construction-related jobs and $4 million in tax revenues. They say the apartments and retail and entertainment venues after completion will create a project supporting more than 600 jobs and producing more than $1 million in annual income tax revenue for the city.

The second phase unveiled this past week by the Wolstein Group and Fairmount Properties will focus on places to live and play. Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill will open a 20,000-square-foot nightspot in late summer or early fall of 2013. The bar and grill will feature popular and emerging country-music acts, a barbecue menu and a guitar-shaped bar.

The 140-unit apartment building is expected to include retail on the ground floor and parking underneath. Other restaurants and nightclubs also will be included in the second phase, which might be under construction by late summer and finished by fall of 2013.

The 23-acre Flats East Bank site could accommodate hundreds more apartments, but developers are tackling the site in small pieces.

"My team has battled through a major economic crisis and pulled off what many had said was impossible," Scott Wolstein, who is working on the project with his mother, Iris Wolstein, said in a written statement. "We here in Cleveland were among the first in the country to secure financing and begin construction on a major commercial development following the economic collapse."

Wolstein says public financing will be a major component of the capital needed for the project. He would not say how much money developers are seeking from the city and from Cuyahoga County, but both governments have deemed downtown development and the lakefront priorities.


Information from: The Plain Dealer,