The first phases of the plan to remake more than 100 acres of waterfront property in the city were approved last week.
"The planners' endorsement came only after a spirited two-hour debate that included a plea for passage from Mayor Frank Jackson. "It is what Cleveland needs to take full advantage of our location on one of America's Great Lakes," Jackson wrote in a letter to commissioners.
Commissioners voted 5-2, with City Councilman Joe Cimperman, who represents downtown, and Cleveland State University professor Norman Krumholz dissenting.
The planners emphasized that the urban village concept will only succeed if the glitzy condos, restaurants and marinas are able to live in harmony with a working port that handles ships loaded with iron ore and steel."