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CDA investment supports catalytic school redevelopment project

After nearly 20 years of vacancy, as well as numerous attempts at redevelopment, the Joseph and Feiss complex located on West 53rd Street in the Stockyards neighborhood is finally being revitalized into a catalytic neighborhood asset.

Financing has closed for a $17 million project that will redevelop the building as the new home of Menlo Park Academy (Menlo).

Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s real estate and business development finance affiliate, provided a $10 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation, Ohio NMTC allocation, and $3.1 million in financing.

Menlo is Ohio’s only tuition-free community school focused solely on gifted learners in grades K-8. It is an approved partner of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), and Cleveland residents are given priority for admission. Menlo's partnership with the CMSD supports the goals and implementation of The Cleveland Plan, one of GCP's top educational priorities.

“Partnerships like the one between CDA and Menlo Park move us closer to achieving the goal of The Cleveland Plan of more quality seats in every Cleveland neighborhood,” said CMSD Charter Schools Executive Director Stephanie Klupinski, J.D. “Menlo Park is moving deeper into the city to reach more of Cleveland’s children. We are excited about Menlo Park’s growth, which creates an expansion of opportunities for Cleveland’s gifted students.”

The NMTC allocation utilized for this project was the balance remaining from the $50 million award CDA received in 2015. Announcement of the next allocations is expected soon.

An update on our priorities and a preview of what’s next

More than 60 attendees at the 2016 Greater Cleveland Partnership Chairman’s Forum last week heard updates on the GCP’s current priorities and a preview of the organization’s strategic planning process from GCP Board Chair Rick Chiricosta, chairman, president and CEO of Medical Mutual of Ohio and GCP President and CEO Joe Roman.

“As the most comprehensive and leading business organization in the region, our work is never going to be done,” said Chiricosta. “Issues and initiatives we tackle are the things that matter to you. It’s our job to make sure we’re judicious with your dues.”

The objective is to present a soft launch of the plan at the 2017 Annual Meeting.

The process will include an internal review of GCP priorities and consideration of other issues germinating elsewhere where the business community might play a role including public transportation; health/wellness and population growth

The discussion of GCP’s current priorities included:
  • Advocacy: There are two issues on the November 8th ballot that the GCP supports and are vital to continuing Cleveland’s economic momentum: Issue 108, a renewal of the CMSD school levy needed to support the work and continue the progress of The Cleveland Plan to improve education in the city; and Issue 32, a 0.5 percent income tax increase (the first since 1981) to give the City the ability to enhance services, grow and develop neighborhoods, and lessen the impact of other revenue cuts recently imposed on Cleveland.
  • Physical Development: Many projects were finished in 2016 including Public Square, Phase 2 of the InnerBelt Bridge and major renovations at Hopkins International Airport—but there is a lot more to be done.This includes the Pedestrian Bridge to the lakefront, which is needed to encourage housing development on the lakefront, and Opportunity Corridor which will open 300 acres of land in the city for development, connect employment hubs; provide improved access to neighborhood residents to jobs via public transportation.
  • Air Service: Collaborative efforts by the GCP's Air Service Advisory Task Force, the City of Cleveland and Hopkins International Airport (CLE) ensured that Cleveland had the fastest recovery among cities that lost hubs in bringing in new airlines and flights.The market demand was so strong that, within two years CLE was able to offer new or expanded service by Jet Blue, Frontier, Spirit and Allegent. A major item on the to-do list is to establish a direct connection to international service.
  • Economic Inclusion: Through the Commission on Economic Inclusion the GCP is focused on educating member companies and organizations on creating and maximizing their inclusion strategies; visibility of importance of board, senior management, workforce and supplier diversity and increase diversity in construction industry. In addition to helping more local talent participate in and benefit from Cleveland economic vitality, it also connects with attracting more companies and talent to Cleveland.
  • Education and Workforce Development: Providing high-quality education and job/career readiness for Cleveland students in the region’s largest school district is fundamental to the economy and neighborhood growth. Working with Cuyahoga County, the GCP is also focused on finding and developing a talent pipeline to fill gaps in five targeted job categories: CNC machinists; customer service; patient care technicians; software developers and truck drivers.

Your business, our focus

The Greater Cleveland Partnership is focused on being the “go-to” place for business development advice, connections, and access.

Our Business Development Team can create customized plans to help your company successfully execute your growth and expansion strategies.

Click to read about the results of our work—job creation, capital investments, real estate development, cost-savings initiatives, workforce grants and more—in our new brochure.

Learn how our team can work collaboratively across all GCP program areas and with our public and private partners and affiliates.

Call 216.592.2208. Or email us at

GCP members receive Third Frontier funding

Several Greater Cleveland Partnership members are among the recipients of awards from the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-up Fund (TVSF) that provides grants to Ohio institutions of higher education and other nonprofit research institutions.

The funding is to demonstrate that a technology is commercially viable through activities such as testing and prototyping. The recipients are:
  • Cleveland Clinic: $500,000 to create the Clinic’s TSVF.

  • Kent State University: $37,269 to complete the prototyping of a universal test kit for evaluating Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs). This will aid in the research and development of SOFCs, and the testing of materials and technologies that will convert fuels such as natural gas, methanol, gasoline or ethanol into a fuel source that can be used by the fuel cell to generate power.

  • Case Western Reserve University (CWRU): $500,000 to create the CWRU TVSF Program.

  • The University of Akron: $250,000 to create the “Spark Fund.”

  • University Hospitals: $500,000 to create the University Hospitals Technology Venture Fund.

  • JumpStart, which is part of the regional economic development system that the GCP helped to create and continues to support, was awarded up to $28,239,982. JumpStart’s mission is to strengthen the economic vitality of Northeast Ohio and the U.S. by helping communities realize their entrepreneurial potential.
The GCP was one of the leading organizations from across the state that helped secure voter approval for a four-year, $700 million extension of the Third Frontier program through 2016.

The Third Frontier has been one of the state’s largest economic development programs and has a 10:1 return on investments. The GCP will look again to play a lead role on reauthorization efforts for the program in the next few years.

Cuyahoga County wants your opinion

You’re invited to take a short survey for Cuyahoga County Department of Development customers and stakeholders to provide your thoughts on the current website.

The survey takes just a few minutes. All responses are anonymous; the information will be summarized for reporting purposes.

Bipartisan Congressional coalition continues push to stop open lake dumping

A bipartisan delegation of members of the U.S. Congress has once again voiced its support for protecting Lake Erie and Cleveland’s economy.

A bipartisan letter, signed by two senators and five Congressional Representatives, supports a recent US Senate amendment to the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA) bill that would effectively prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from favoring sediment dumping in the open waters of Lake Erie.

The language in WRDA is “intended to ensure that the Corps abides by state water quality standards.”

To keep the Cuyahoga River safe for navigation by large commercial ships, up to 250,000 cubic yards of sediment must be dredged annually from the riverbed and harbor. Traditionally, sediment has been placed in confined disposal facilities (CDFs) due to concerns about contamination from the river’s historic industrial use and other sources.

Although the river is now far less contaminated, recent testing of sediment still shows trace levels of the toxin PCB, which accumulates in the food chain, including Lake Erie fish.

Efforts to generate new federal legislation intensified

Since 2014, the USACE has been pushing to dump the sediment directly into Lake Erie, which the Port of Cleveland, Ohio EPA, and others have vocally opposed. The Port previously petitioned the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works in an attempt to resolve the issue. When that petition was declined, the effort to generate new federal legislation intensified.

“The Port of Cleveland appreciates the strong support that many members of Ohio’s congressional delegation have shown over the years in urging the Corps of Engineers to take an environmentally prudent course in managing dredged material, one that respects Ohio water policy,” said Will Friedman, Port President and CEO.

“In this new letter, Ohio’s senators and U.S. Representatives rightly stand for keeping Lake Erie safe and clean and keeping our local maritime economy humming.”

The bipartisan letter also cited the economic impact of the Port and Cleveland Harbor, and the threat to the local economy posed by the battle over safe dredging disposal, including thousands of jobs and billions in economic impact.

A call to action

The letter closed with a call to action and a reminder to the Congressional committees of the “importance of the lake to our state and the significant water quality improvements that have been made over decades. The Corps’ actions would directly undermine these hard-fought gains.”

The bipartisan letter—addressed to the leadership of the US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works and the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure—was signed by the following Congressional members:

Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat; Senator Rob Portman, Republican; Representative Marcia L. Fudge, Democrat, 11th District; Representative David Joyce, Republican, 14th District; Representative Marcy Kaptur, Democrat, 9th District; Representative James Renacci, Republican, 16th District; and Representative Tim Ryan, Democrat, 13th District.