Tonight, in a very important moment for the city of Cleveland as the downtown renaissance continues to remake and recharge the area, Mayer Hawthorne will play a musical concert at the House of Blues.
And the Horseshoe casino will open. You might have heard.
What most haven't heard about is what was to be the "real" casino until Dan Gilbert and company targeted the Higbees space for a more immediate, smaller launch. Remember the gleaming palace that would be built opposite The Q? Though folks have long whispered that Phase II, as it was called, would never be built once the Higbee spot was up and running to distract the public with bells and whistles and buffets, it's still in the plans.
Gilbert, in his media parade leading to the ramp up for the Mayer Hawthorne concert and casino opening tonight, says that's the priority now. Via NewsNet5:
“Phase II is definitely happening,” said Gilbert. “We have an initial design of that building. We wanted just to get open here [on Phase I], work out any kinks we have operationally, then we'll be moving full steam ahead on the design and planning of Phase II.”
“We paid $85 million for the land so we're certainly not going to sit there and watch weeds grow on it,” he said.
Gilbert cited anecdotal evidence about that last bit, saying he paid Mo Williams tens of millions of dollars to watch weeds grow on his shooting guard and it really didn't work out.