Metroparks Ramping up Lakefront Spending, Turning Edgewater into ‘Hub’

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The Cleveland Metroparks has announced that it will spend an estimated $17.6 million over the next three years on improvements and enhancements at the six lakefront parks it acquired from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources last year. New projects costing upwards of $9 million could break ground in 2014.

At Edgewater Park, beyond ongoing sand maintenance and bathroom upkeep — Herculean feats, make no mistake — one of the dramatic proposed enhancements is a revamped parking lot and a reconfigured bike trail connecting the park’s upper and lower levels. The notoriously steep hill will be less steep and closer to the shoreway, in current renderings.

Discussions are also underway, hidden deep within the Metroparks’ board meetings’ audio files, about re-imagining the lower level between the parking lot and the beach. CEO Brian Zimmerman and the profit-hungry board of commissioners naturally intend to include food service in some form. Commissioner Dan T. Moore, the military-helmet-pad magnate, continues to assert that restaurants and alcohol are money-making cure-alls. Zimmerman has been quoted (by Scene) prophesying “cabanas” at Euclid Beach, so there’s no reason not to expect something similar at Edgewater.

Upgrades may be completed as early as 2015, according to Sean McDermott, CMP’s director of design services. It’s unclear whether or not tickets will be required for entrance, but stand-up paddleboarding and beach chairs and umbrellas will figure into the recreation equation as early as this summer. The CMP marketing team has cooked up “The Hub at Edgewater” for its campaign to appeal to young adults, which campaign (and its product) will be sponsored at roughly 50 percent by NEORSD. More on this to come.

On the East Side, McDermott told James Ewinger at the PD that “a large century-old retaining wall at Euclid Beach will have to be removed because drain holes have undermined it.”

When Scene questioned CMP about infrastructural repairs at Euclid Beach for a feature story in December, we were directed to the media relations director, Sue Allen, who told us she “[didn’t] know anything about that.”

Allen has not yet responded to requests for comment about the cost and timeline of the retaining wall’s removal.

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