Step Up Downtown Vision and Tactical Plan Unveiled!



The public release of Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s new Vision and Tactical Plan, Step Up Downtown, was a huge success this morning at the Hoyt Block.


photo 1

Step Up Downtown is a strategic vision for linking and enhancing development, public spaces, and destinations in Downtown Cleveland. The plan was initiated in January 2014 by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) to knit together a number of recent project and district planning efforts and develop downtown-wide strategies that can guide both private and public investment decisions through the next economic cycle. The plan is also intended to help inform the effort to renew the Downtown Cleveland Special Improvement District for 2016 to 2020.


The report provides DCA, as well as its civic and strategic partners, with a framework for development priorities and public realm enhancements, based on market conditions and trends, that are needed to take Downtown Cleveland to the next level of growth and development.

View or download the full report here. 


If you missed Good Morning, Downtown, have no fear! Your next opportunity to learn more about Step Up Downtown is happening very shortly. Find our team at Walnut Wednesday today to learn more about ‪downtown Cleveland’s future. ‪



Posted in Uncategorized

Step Up Downtown Public Release Events Scheduled for July 9th


Mark your calendars for Wednesday, July 9th for the public release of Downtown Cleveland Alliance’s new Vision and Tactical Plan, Step Up Downtown!

Over the past six months, Downtown Cleveland Alliance has conducted a thorough analysis of the downtown market; we’ve solicited feedback from you through surveys, small stakeholder groups, and the interactive public meeting many of you attended on March 18th; we’ve pinpointed public realm improvements and other initiatives that will take Downtown Cleveland to the next level; and, we’ve synthesized all of this information into set of priorities for DCA and our many partners in the advancement of Downtown to pursue over the next 5-7 years.

Come find out what we’re talking about on July 9th at one of these two events:

step up hoyt block

Good Morning, Downtown Community Coffee/Breakfast at the Hoyt Block Courtyard from 7:30-9:30am.
Geared toward residents, runners, cyclists, and people on their way to and from work, we’ll give you the highlights of the Step Up Plan with a brief presentation and some take-aways that are sure to get you excited about Downtown’s future, and energized for your workday. Presentations will start every 15 minutes, so feel free to arrive anytime between 7:30-9:30am. Enter the courtyard through the main doors of the Hoyt Block at 700 W. St. Clair Ave. Bikes are welcome inside the courtyard. Let us know you’re coming by registering HERE.

step up walnut wednesday

Step Up Downtown at Walnut Wednesday If you can’t make the breakfast, please join us at Walnut Wednesday between 11am – 1:30pm at Perk Park. Similar to the morning event, we’ll share the highlights of the Step Up plan at several interactive stations that you can visit at your leisure, with your food truck tacos in hand! No registration required.

DCA release day event locations

For more information visit

Posted in Uncategorized

Public Feedback Summary and Preliminary Design Options


Curious to see the wide range of “quick win” ideas people shared at the Step Up Downtown public meeting? Want to learn what top priorities emerged from the online survey? Interested to know what other Clevelanders want to see happen downtown?

The project consultants, in partnership with DCA, have processed the public feedback and created a set of preliminary design & development options. The full presentation slides are available for online viewing and download below. The information was presented to the Step Up Downtown Advisory Committee in April, marking the midpoint of the project schedule.

Focus group with students from Success Tech High SchoolFocus group with students from Success Tech High School

feedback summary_engagement

w 3rd bridge before-afterConceptual rendering of W. 3rd Street streetscape enhancements

Please take a look at the presentation slides and feel free to contact us if you have a comment you’d like to share with the design team.

We still have a lot of work left to synthesize the public feedback into creative and feasible recommendations, but we’re looking forward to the public release event in early July. You won’t want to miss it!

Public Feedback Summary (download PDF)

Draft Market Assessment (download PDF)

Preliminary Design & Development Options (download PDF)



Posted in Uncategorized

Great Turnout for First Step Up Downtown Public Meeting


photo 2Thanks to everyone that attended the kickoff public workshop for Step Up Downtown! Close to 150 residents, employees, business owners, and downtown-minded individuals attended the event held at the Old Stone Church. After a short overview of the project by DCA President Joe Marinucci and Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative Director Terry Schwarz, attendees were let loose to contribute their ideas at seven engagement stations located throughout the venue.

space layout

SUD public mtg pins

Feedback from the stations will be processed by the design team and posted to the Step Up Downtown website. So please stay tuned to see the results of the engagement stations, including videos from the story station. In the meantime, check out photos from the event here.


Quick Wins triptych

If you missed the meeting, the presentation slides shown to the audience are embedded below. The first presentation describes trends emerging in downtowns across the U.S. and critical factors in the global competition cities face. The second presentation summarizes the Gaps, Barriers, Missing Connections and Infill Opportunities revealed during the initial existing conditions analysis of Downtown Cleveland.


Posted in Uncategorized

Step Up Downtown Public Meeting #1


public meeting blue overlay

You’re invited to take part in the first public meeting for Step Up Downtown, a vision and tactical plan for the continued development of Downtown Cleveland. With unprecedented investment and development happening in our urban core, Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) is hosting this public meeting to give you the opportunity to contribute your ideas and provide feedback on how to prioritize future improvement projects. This meeting is open to all interested in Downtown’s forward momentum: residents, employees, visitors and business owners.

Public Meeting 1 Agenda:

Snacks and refreshments

6-6:30 pm
Welcome and overview of Step Up Downtown | Joe Marinucci, Downtown Cleveland Alliance
Downtown trends and opportunities | Brad Segal, P.U.M.A.
Downtown projects and plans | Terry Schwarz, Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative

Meeting attendees are encouraged to share their ideas at six interactive engagement stations installed throughout the room.

Come and add your voice to the creative conversation about YOUR Downtown.

To RSVP, click here. Registration is requested.


Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

Downtown Existing Conditions Maps


As part of the initial Information Gathering phase of the Step Up Downtown project, the design team worked with the Advisory Committee to assemble background information, including as-built plans of recent development projects, planning documents and project reports, market studies and other existing data relevant to the current status of Downtown.

The following Consolidated Plan was generated to show all of these existing plans in one drawing (click on a map to view larger size):


In addition to the Consolidated Plan shown above, the design team generated a series of maps that describe existing conditions in Downtown. Individual data layers were combined into composite maps, which revealed important relationships and connectivity issues the project must address. For example, combining the Barriers map with the River to the Lake Connections map clearly illustrates the challenges and opportunities for creating better linkages to our waterfronts.

Members of the public are encouraged to review the maps shown below and provide feedback on the revealed connectivity issues through the online survey and in-person at the upcoming public meeting. Stay tuned for more updates on the Step Up Downtown project here on the News page!


Barriers: Physical Impediments to Desired Pathways

arcades_alleys_skywaysConnections: Indoor Arcades, Alleys, and Skyways

connections_river_to_lakeConnections: River to the Lake

connections_trolleysConnections: RTA Trolley Routes

csu_lakefrontConnections: Cleveland State University to the Lake

gapsGaps: Breaks in the Urban Fabric

districts_gapsGaps: Districts and Breaks in the Urban Fabric

greenspace_networkConnections: Green Space Network

greenspace_barriersConnections & Barriers: Barriers to Accessing Green Space

waterfront_connections_and_barrierWaterfront Barriers: Physical Impediments to Desired Pathways – River to Lake

Posted in Uncategorized