Changing Gears is a public media project about the future of the industrial Midwest. Each week, reporters Dan Bobkoff in Cleveland, Niala Boodhoo in Chicago and Kate Davidson in Ann Arbor cover issues of interest to the Great Lakes region. Changing Gears also sponsors public events and conversations.
The plan was initiated by mayor Frank Jackson, and it covers 90 acres, including the existing Cleveland Browns football stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. It calls for new pedestrian walkways, a marina, tree-lined boulevards and up to two million square feet for retail, restaurant and hotel development. And it opens up more of the lakefront to the public.
The mayor’s chief of regional development told the Cleveland Plain Dealer last year that total private investment in the project could reach $2 billion by the time it’s done.
Three stories making news across the Midwest today:
1. New Cleveland lakefront development plan. For more than a century, development along Cleveland’s lakefront has come with “piecemeal action and broken promises,” writes The Plain Dealer. Mayor Frank Jackson presented a plan Monday for changing that, the newspaper reports today. Jackson’s plan included developing the waterfront from the city’s port to Burke Lakefront Airport with offices, restaurants, shops and marinas across a 90-acre space. The plan, according to EE&K architects, could take years to complete and reach $2 billion in value. Money for the project is expected to come from the private sector. Many who have watched similar plans never come to fruition in the past were skeptical at Monday’s press conference, but Jackson said this plan has the backing of key lakefront interests.
2. Detroit-area home sales up. Home sales in metro Detroit increased for the fourth consecutive month in October, according to a report from Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Realcomp II, which reports sales of condominiums and single-family homes jumped 4.8 percent. Median prices rose 7.7 percent to $70,000, according to The Detroit News. Sales were up in three of the metro areas four counties. Oakland, Livingston and Macomb counties all saw increases, while Wayne County sales decreased 3 percent.
3. AirTran cuts central Illinois service. AirTran announced Monday it would end service to five U.S. airports, including one in the Midwest that leaves local officials seeking an alternate air service plan. Central Illinois Regional Airport learned service would not continue, after being an AirTran destination for 15 years. The airline flew 40 percent of passengers from the Bloomington, Ill. facility. Although officials considered themselves an “underdog” for continued service amid airline consolidation, according to The News-Gazette of Champaign, the airport’s marketing director said the official announcement “changes the landscape for everybody.”
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced today he may have to lay off 350 to 400 employees in order to close the city’s budget gap. For years, Jackson has impressed Ohioans with his ability to close the city’s budget gaps without significant layoffs or cuts to city programs.
But this year, Jackson says the decline in state support leaves him with few other options. Ohio’s two-year budget as proposed would begin July 1st and leave Cleveland with a $35.7 million deficit through the end of 2012. Jackson said other cost-reducing measures he’s considering are consolidating staff and programs, closing some facilities and continuing an existing hiring freeze.
Normally when politicians go to groundbreaking events, the kind where they all put on hard hats and pretend to shovel, they usually make speeches about how great this new development will be for the city. That’s not the case for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.
As part of our series on leadership this week, we profiled Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, a man whose style is steady and reserved. He doesn’t crave attention and doesn’t believe his job description includes cheerleading. You can listen to the profile here. The Mayor doesn’t like to talk much about leadership style. Nevertheless, our sit-down revealed how he thinks and how he sees himself in Cleveland’s history. Next are some extended excerpts from our conversation: Continue reading “More from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson”