Browns Pitching Mixed-Use Lakefront Development



A sketch of what the Browns envision around the stadium.
  • A sketch of what the Browns envision around the stadium.

Who shall ride to the rescue after decades of incompetent misuse of Cleveland's priceless lakefront? Perhaps the Cleveland Browns, according to the PD.

Sketches provided to the paper show a greenworld of — gasp! — actual stuff surrounding Cleveland Browns Stadium. The team, which has been meeting with Cleveland officials, envisions a "mixed-use project," with buildings, a possible location for a Cleveland Clinic center, new parking, and pretty, pretty trees.

"We would like to be known as a catalyst," Mike Holmgren said to the PD. "We're not developers. We're in the football business ... but we have a wonderful stadium down there and a great piece of property."

Much of the land is owned by the city, but the Browns have hired a firm to study what could be done with the dormant space. Attorney Fred Nance, spitting his best PR, says it's a way for the Browns to give back to the community, what with the community paying for the stadium and all.

In a separate piece, the PD's Steven Litt cautions that the Browns and the city need to encourage public input, something that has been missing so far.

So far, the team’s concepts grew out of private meetings with the city, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and neighbors on the waterfront, including the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center.

“We tried to keep those [discussions] quiet so nothing got out that would upset people,” Browns President Mike Holmgren said Tuesday at The Plain Dealer.

Good to see that the Browns take the same path on public projects as they do injury reports.

The public wants what the public wants, and at the forefront of those demands is likely to be a "promenade" at the water's edge, says Litt.

Of course, the public also wants other things around the stadium, too, which have nothing at all to do with development. Cleveland Frowns nails it:

Which is all a huge coincidence, because we have a vision for the Lakefront, too. Crucial to our vision are about two feet of snow, sixty-mile-per-hour winds, 30,000,000 metric tons of whiskey and domestic draft beer, 100,000+ tubes of Chap Stick, and a Cleveland Browns playoff game played on the Lakefront in January with the Science Center windmill spinning off its hinges in the background. As far as we know, no artists rendition of this vision exists as of yet, but if it could become a reality for even one day, it’s really hard to say that the Lost City of Atlantis wouldn’t spring right from the bottom of Lake Erie in all its original glory, ensuring millennia of peace and prosperity, and making these architect drawings in the PD a huge waste of time.

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