» How safe is downtown?
Cleveland police recorded 230 violent crimes in downtown Cleveland in 2012. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance's safety ambassadors patrol the streets by foot and by bike and call in reports of suspicious activity to the police. The Cleveland police's Downtown Services Unit, established in 2008, has 16 officers a day working downtown. Joe Cimperman, downtown's city councilman, says the neighborhood has gotten safer as it's grown. "The more eyes there are, the more activity there is, the more occupancy there is, the greater you see a sense of safety," he says.
» Where can I park?
A monthly parking pass costs about $80 to $150. Downtown has 50,000 parking spaces, most of them with reasonable evening and weekend rates. Parking near the casino costs about $10, while PlayhouseSquare parking ranges from $10 to $5 or less on an off night. But if you move downtown, "a car isn't as important to you as it once was," notes Joe Marinucci, president and CEO of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. Some residents live car-free. Many walk to work or take the RTA's free downtown trolleys.
» Where will I shop for groceries?
The Warehouse District's grocer, Constantino's Market, has a 19,000-square-foot shop on West Ninth Street. Simply Food, a 2,000-square-foot store, can be found inside Reserve Square. A Heinen's opens in the Cleveland Trust rotunda and Swetland Building in 2014. "People have gotten excited about it," says Marinucci. "They'll be aggressively doing prepared foods."
» Where can I go for day-to-day services like drugstores and dry cleaning?
Some apartment and office buildings' concierge services drop off and pick up laundry. Many downtown residents frequent Avon Cleaners on Superior Avenue near East 18th Street. Two CVS drugstores are located along East Ninth Street.
» Where else can I shop?
The Avenue at Tower City is downtown's mall. It's home to national retailers such as Brooks Brothers, Victoria's Secret, Champs Sports and Bath & Body Works. Boutique retailers are popping up in the 5th Street Arcades on Euclid Avenue. If you shop downtown, "you're going to support homegrown retailers," says Marinucci. And if downtown doesn't have something you need, Steelyard Commons is a 10-minute drive away.
» What's the future of Tower City?
Forest City Enterprises, Tower City's owner, is exploring a possible sale of parts of the complex. "We think that anyone who would see Tower City, would see that it is a huge asset," says Tracey Nichols, Cleveland's economic development director, "and that with the growing downtown population, from both residents and visitors, it's an asset that could be largely successful." She says demand for space in the mall should increase as downtown's population grows and new hotels open.
» How will the Butcher and the Brewer change East Fourth?
The crew behind the Tremont Tap House plans to open the new restaurant and brewery this spring in the former Dredger's Union space. Ari Maron, whose MRN Ltd. is the restaurant's landlord, expects that the charcuterie and the beer brewed on-site will make it a destination restaurant, while downtown residents will be able to carry out meats, cheeses and milk. Other East Fourth spots shouldn't fear competition, he says. "Every time we've opened a restaurant or entertainment venue," he says, "we've seen the other venues do better, become even more of a destination."
» Is Cleveland a 24-hour city yet?
"There are plenty of things to do in the city of Cleveland until late hours, and there are places that are open 24 hours," says Nichols. "I would say it's something we strive for. I don't think there are many 24-hour cities in the country, but it's something we aspire to."