Opportunity Corridor Project Overview
Opportunity Corridor has the potential to be a road to progress – helping to provide economic resurgence, community reinvestment, better mobility,ecological restoration and more.
Extending from I-490 at East 55th street to East 105th Street, the boulevard will offer quicker, better access to University Circle. University Circle is home to world-class cultural institutions, a university and, perhaps most important, the robust core of Cleveland’s growing health care industry. The three-mile boulevard will also provide improved connectivity to and through the Slavic Village, Central, Kinsman and Fairfax neighborhoods. The positive spillover from the development is expected to energize the surrounding neighborhood . As part of the project, about 200 acres of underutilized land will be made available for development. When complete, the Corridor will offer great opportunity for new residential and commercial developments alongside or close to it, along with increased access to jobs for nearby residents.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is leading the project in partnership with the City of Cleveland and numerous other partners. Funding for the project is provided by The Greater Cleveland Partnership, The Cleveland Foundation and The Gund Foundation. Public policy leaders assert Opportunity Corridor is a chance to move greater Cleveland forward because:
- Connecting University Circle to the area highway system. Residents and the public will have better, more efficient access to vocational, educational and social destinations from Downtown to Midtown to University Circle.
- Feeding the growth already underway in University Circle, helping to stimulate more expansion and job creation, providing economic growth when Cleveland needs it most.
- Redevelopment an estimated 200 acres of what is now underdeveloped, underutilized land and large-scale brownfield reclamation.
Spurred by stimulus funding, work on this important project is underway. Planning efforts have already begun. ODOT has begun a study on how to improve access between Interstate 490, the adjacent neighborhoods, and University Circle. The City of Cleveland completed an intensive study of the existing conditions of the neighborhoods, including the physical, demographic and market conditions of the planning area in 2007. Most recently, ODOT has reconvened the Opportunity Corridor steering committee and met with representatives of neighborhood organizations, business leaders and public officials who are active within the corridor area.
It is vital for any city to maintain and improve its infrastructure if the city is to grow. Opportunity Corridor will enhance roadway connection to the freeway system, improve Interstate mobility, support existing economic development activities, and promote economic redevelopment at the neighborhood level. It will encourage private sector investment reliant upon transport facilities and services to export and import raw materials or access markets for products.
Building a new road such as Opportunity Corridor involves a tremendous amount of intelligent, thoughtful planning. Everyone associated with this vital project not only wants it to be done – they want it to be done right. This three-mile boulevard has the potential to trigger cascading economic benefits that will affect tens of thousands of greater Clevelanders:
- It will allow workers in University circle better access to their jobs.
- It will make it easier for visitors to get to Cleveland’s cultural gems in University Circle.
- It will revitalize a worn, underutilized part of our city, allowing residents of these neighborhoods better access.
- It has the potential to spark economic development – and create jobs – along its three-mile path.
- It will result in industrial brownfields to be cleaned up and returned for new use.
By creating an environment conducive to support existing and emerging development, the Opportunity Corridor will raise the level of private sector activity and public engagement along the corridor which has the ability to foster sustainable economic growth in the area. The benefits of a coordinated economic investment include:
- Better integration of economic and social resources;
- Improved transport efficiency;
- Harnessed latent economic potential;
- Enhanced economic competitiveness;
- Well marketed local and regional trade and investment;
- Strong public/private partnerships; and
- Improved quality of life.
Constructive public input is an essential component of the Opportunity Corridor's ability to maximize community assets and produce substantial economic and social benefits to the nearby neighborhoods and businesses. The Steering Committee seeks to gather the insight of local residents and community stakeholders on future redevelopment possibilities and neighborhood improvements along the corridor. To achieve its mission, the Steering Committee is dedicated to on-going community engagement process that incorporates the public’s will as a part of its decision-making process. Community outreach will entail:
- Open Forums;
- Community Group Presentations; and
- Business Stakeholder Presentations