The John Harkness Brown Building and the Cleveland Athletic Club will experience large floor conversions, creating new residential options. More than 400,000 square feet of space will undergo renovation with the restoration of the 668 Building on Euclid Avenue at East Sixth Street. Hotel conversions, unique to this part of downtown, have become almost commonplace. The Colonial Marketplace is home to Residence Inn by Marriott, Holiday Inn Express opened in the National City Bank Building and The Arcade hosts the Hyatt Regency Cleveland.
“Gateway is more diverse than the other districts,” Yablonsky explains. “There’s more office space here.” He defines the changes as a “linear approach to Euclid Avenue along the transit corridor.”
But there’s stuff to do here, too. Foodies love East Fourth Street, home to famed Iron Chef Michael Symon’s Lola restaurant and others. Soon, La Dolce Vita owner Terry Tarantino will be opening La Strada, and Black Finn Restaurant and Saloon is coming.
Gateway is also an entertainment district, with top-name talent appearing at House of Blues and Pickwick & Frolic. The popular The Bang and The Clatter Theatre Company has also recently opened on Euclid Avenue below the WT Grant Lofts.
Upon relocating to Cleveland from Detroit to become a reporter for Channel 8 (within six months he was promoted to weekend anchor), Dray Clark decided to buy a condominium at the Pointe at Gateway with his wife and 10-month-old son.
From the get-go he knew he wanted to move downtown. “This was the first building we looked at. We liked the location. It’s near The Q, Progressive Field and Playhouse Square.” And while friends and relatives questioned its location above the Winking Lizard, he found the older building to be incredibly well insulated from noise.
Since moving in, the family has immersed itself in the neighborhood. Dray’s wife works at United Healthcare at East Ninth Street and Lakeside Avenue and walks there every day. Their son’s day care is a short three blocks from their apartment. Dray gets on I-90, and in 10 minutes he’s at work.
The apartment is also close to Playhouse Square. “Seeing plays and concerts, to me, is one of the city’s best assets. Off-Broadway plays like Wicked and The Lion King are right down the street.”
He goes out to eat once or twice a week, frequenting Warehouse District fine-dining establishments including XO, Metropolitan Café and the Cleveland Chop House. He counts Blue Point Grille among his favorite restaurants, and often brings friends and relatives there when they’re visiting from out of town. With East Fourth Street right around the corner from home, he visits there often, finding it to be “energetic.”
Dray says he prefers to attend an Indians game over watching it on television. And, with Progressive Field literally a walk down the alley near his building, he’s minutes away from first pitch.
When the weather is nice, the Clarks go for walks. Sometimes they stay within the neighborhood, going only to the nearby Starbucks. On warmer days, they venture to the Rock Hall. Tower City has become a special favorite, especially for his son, who loves to sit up in his stroller and people watch.
The family has found people in the Historic Gateway Neigborhood to be very friendly. “I get a chance to meet people from work, and the people who live and work downtown are friendly.”
Others find it unusual that the Clarks are raising their son in downtown Cleveland, but not them. “People tell us to go and buy a house, but we’re not quite ready for that. Now we can put our son in the stroller and go to the Cavs’ game fun fest. We walk around the stadium. People go crazy when they see babies in strollers. It’s nice for all of us. It’s a good time to live downtown.”
The Gateway Patio in Historic Gateway Neighborhood was a “public space opportunity that the neighborhood helped to create,” says executive director Tom Yablonsky. It allows for a much larger public sidewalk and patio space to liven the community atmosphere — it’s the place to be before, during and after the game. The space is shared by Paninis, The Clevelander and Alesci’s restaurants, and provides a space for live entertainment and outdoor dining. “It’s a real example of Cleveland street life,” says Yablonsky.