THE OPPORTUNITY CORRIDOR, CLEVELAND
“ The Opportunity Corridor” is a boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio, partially open to traffic and partially under construction. The $306 million city investment will connect Interstate 77 and Interstate 490 to the University Circle neighbourhood (the fastest-growing job centre in the region).
The purpose of the project is to improve the roadway network within an area of the City of Cleveland that is historically under-served and economically depressed.
Construction of the Opportunity Corridor began in 2015 at the East end with Section 1 – the widening of East 105th Street. That section opened in the fall of 2017. By that time, work had already begun on Section 2, which extended the roadway from East 105th to East 93rd Street. That section opened in November 2018. Work on Section 3 – the longest, most complicated section – began earlier this year with completion expected in late 2021.
Opportunity Corridor would make it easier for commuters and visitors to reach University Circle jobs and cultural institutions such as the Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Museum of Art. The institutions in particular would have easier access to new audiences on the West Side of the city and Cuyahoga County.
So the question is simple, What opportunities will the corridor create? and How will this affect the Real Estate market in the surrounding Cleveland neighbourhoods?
Job creation and commercial opportunities
The corridor could create a 400-acre inner-city brownfield redevelopment zone that generates thousands of new jobs. It is also hoped that the corridor will reactivate hundreds of acres of fallow industrial land and hollowed-out neighbourhoods in the city’s “Forgotten Triangle”, located south of South Woodland Road and east of East 55th Street.
A 2011 study by Allegro Realty Advisors for the Greater Cleveland Partnership states that the corridor could create 2,300 permanent jobs and 3,300 temporary jobs with a total payroll of $1.1 billion. Hundreds of millions of dollars in city, county, state and federal tax revenues would be created.
IBM is already investing in a building near Phase 1 of the project. This $11.1 million office building will be used by IBM to house about 300 employees in its growing Explorys division – a healthcare data analytics company. The expectation is that most of those IBM workers will live in the surrounding neighbourhoods, which offer the best standard of living and value for money.
Over the next 10 years, should business investment continue to grow as expected, this will increase the value of land and property demand in the surrounding areas such as Fairfax, Buckeye, Kinsman, Woodland Hills and Slavic Village.
Over the last 2 years, Global Investments have noticed an increasing demand from investors for single and multi-family homes in these areas. Local and foreign investors are purchasing buy-to-let properties that are large in size with plenty of character and often refurbished. This is revitalising the neighbourhoods and attracting good clientele by providing affordable quality housing for long-term renters.
Early signs of the impact Opportunity Corridor has had are very promising. Global Investments will be closely monitoring the subsequent property fluctuations as work continues. We will look to keep readers posted as this area evolves over the coming months and years.