The Browns could play a similar role on the lakefront if the team lures private investment to the publicly owned waterfront land around Cleveland Browns Stadium and North Coast Harbor.
Initial renderings of the Browns’ lakefront proposal, prepared by the Boston firm of Elkus Manfredi Architects, look more polished than they actually are. They call for a cluster of “mixed-use” buildings along the waterfront northeast of the stadium, along with a field house immediately north of the stadium, a walkway connecting to the downtown Mall and a 1,000-space parking garage north of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse.
It’s all intended to create interest among potential developers, who would then hire their own architects and come up with their own plans.
Despite the early and hypothetical nature of the Browns’ vision, it’s important to make sure that Cleveland is sending clear signals to potential developers about civic goals for the lakefront.
What’s missing now is a firm understanding that a great deal of public planning has already taken place on the lakefront - and that certain waterfront issues ought to be accepted as settled in Cleveland.