Urban Fold

How One Family Helped Propel Downtown Cleveland's Remarkable Revival

More people live in downtown Cleveland now than at any time in the past 60 years. Yet this revival didn't happen easily, and it wasn't the result of a giant 'silver bullet' project. Sophie Quinton explains how one family contributed to the revival.

"The success of East Fourth Street in once-struggling Cleveland was something few people would have anticipated 20 years ago. It took years of collaboration between developers, businesses, local institutions, and government, but today downtown Cleveland is taking off—and giving the old Rust Belt city a future," writes Quinton. "There wasn't a market for urban living in Cleveland until developers like the Marons built places where young professionals would want to be."

"'Back in the '70s and '80s when we were trying to save our cities, they were constantly coming out with silver bullets,' says Christopher B. Leinberger, a real-estate developer-turned-research-professor at the George Washington University School of Business. But attracting a flashy new stadium or new convention center is only one piece of the puzzle. Those projects—both of which Cleveland has pursued—didn't do for shrinking cities in the 1970s and 80s, when professionals were fleeing to the suburbs en masse. East Fourth Street was the right project at the right time."

Full Story: How One Family Made Cleveland (Yes, Cleveland) Cool

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