$100 Million Innova Project Gets Green Light from City Council


Innova Project, Chester & E. 101st.
  • Innova Project, Chester & E. 101st.
Cleveland City Council green lit a land swap between the City and Case Western Reserve University Monday night that will facilitate a $100 million development project (a complex composed of a Residence Inn, apartment units and an oral care clinic) in the Hough neighborhood.

The so-called Innova Project had been stalled for months because of objections from Councilman TJ Dow. (Mark Naymik's been all over it at Cleveland.com). Dow had argued that the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve hadn’t been forthcoming with their plans. And he wanted assurances that his residents would get something out of the deal. Specifically, he wanted the Clinic, Case and the construction groups to pony up funds for a (still strictly conceptual) community resource center.

But in a press release last week, Dow signaled that he was suddenly “very excited” about the project and ready to move forward. He became satisfied that the permanent jobs and improved low-cost oral care for his constituents were justifications enough to okay the land swap.

At Monday night’s council meeting, however, he and council colleagues defended his stalling tactics. Dow said his residents were scared of the Cleveland Clinic. Jeff Johnson took to the mic and said Dow was merely standing up for the people of his ward, not “shaking down” the organizations.

Wes Finch, developer from The Finch Group, said that his company would donate nearly $500,000 for brick and mortar expenses for Dow’s resource center. Dow praised Finch, additionally, for the community benefits agreement he’d signed which aims to put community members to work.  

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.