Port of Cleveland Online Forum

Port of Cleveland Online Forum

Jill Miller Zimon
on Jun 07, 2013

The season to be around water is here, and unlike so many parts of this big country, Northeast Ohio residents have an amazing fresh water resource. How do we make the most of it? Let's engage about that with Port of Cleveland thought leaders who can help us find out.

From June 10 to the 11th, we hosted a two-day online forum that featured local figures whose work, passions or both, involve the Port's mission and activities. This was an open invitation to everyone in the community to participate and you may still contribute to this or other related conversations - there's no more evergreen issue than Northeast Ohio lakefront and its assets.

Our panelists are:

  • Kevin Brokaw, General Counsel, Geis Companies
  • Joe Cimperman, Ward 3 Councilman, City of Cleveland
  • Dwight Clark, Senior Vice President, Business Development, FirstMerit Bank
  • Will Friedman, President and CEO, Port of Cleveland
  • Mike Harding, Chair, 2013 Tall Ships Steering Committee; Chief Financial Officer, Capital Works
  • Fred Hunger, CEO, World Shipping, Inc.
  • Dennis Mahoney, VP, Vessel Ops, World Shipping, Inc.
  • Will Tarter, Manager of Business Research & Communication, Downtown Cleveland Alliance
  • Harvey Webster, Director of Wildlife Resources, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • More information and resources can be found by clicking explore the whole project above.

    Participants (21) See All

    What do you think?

    Anonymous
    on 2014-08-23T01:34:56+00:00
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    Recent Activity

    Will Friedman
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Mr. Nagy: Thank you for taking the time to set out your thoughts. We appreciate it. I'm going..."
    Bill Callahan
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Mr. Friedman: Thanks for the response.  I'm glad to hear that you haven't given up.  Could you..."
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Sorry for typos in above note.  Ive been typing in a car on an iPad and its not going well.  No..."
    Sam Insalaco
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Thank you for the opportunity to comment in the online Port of Cleveland Forum.  This forum is an..."
    Doug Nagy
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Greetings! Thank you for engaging with the community. I’m a University of Chicago student moving..."
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "I'm just launghing to myself because honestly, I feel so naive! I almost envision, exclusively,..."
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Jill here is quick summary of cargo we see in our harbor.  This includes the ports docks and..."
    Richard Thomas
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Thanks for your comments regarding many of the aspects of developing the Cleveland Lakefront.  I..."
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Mr. Hemood thanks for the comments.  it might be possible to retrofit some waterside public..."
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Hello Dwight.  Thanks for the prompt and thanks for being part of this exchange.  In the interest..."
    Fred  Hunger
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Mr. Fred Hunger, CEO of World Shipping, Inc. is in the air travelling to Shanghai and regrettably..."
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "We're not the only ones talking: In today's New York Times, "Water Levels Fall in Great Lakes,..."
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "For Jim and others who are interested in keeping up with what's going on with the Port: ..."
    Dwight Clark
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Will.  Good morning.  Cleveland's position in the steel industry has been bolstered by the..."
    Dwight Clark
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Thanks, Rick, for getting involved in this online Port symposium.  I believe Will Friedman had..."
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 11, 2013
    "Welcome to Day 2 of this online-only forum featuring the Port of Cleveland, eight panelists and..."
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Thanks for asking about Franklin Hill at Irishtown Bend Mr. Foran.  To give you a short answer,..."
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Fred, you make a bunch of great points. Thanks for taking the time.  Fred's firm is one of the..."
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Mr. Ridge, thanks for the input.  We're going to be rolling out a number of tactics to connect..."
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Wow, what a great first post (since I'm hoping that it's just your first, Fred!). Fred, are you..."
    Fred  Hunger
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Good evening to the online forum participants and our gracious forum hosts at the Cleveland..."
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Gerard, Thank you very much for this input. I look forward to seeing the dialogue that evolves..."
    Gerard Henwood
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Greetings and thank you to the Port for hosting this great conversation.   The more we engage the..."
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Many thanks to the nearly 20 commenting contributors (as well as the many more who are reading)..."
    Kevin Brokaw
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Bryan:  The Geis Companies believes that, with public support, several parts of the lakefront can..."
    Jim Ridge
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Overnight successes are sometimes years in the making and it's good to see the Port using social..."
    Kevin Brokaw
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Over the last few years, Geis Companies has invested heavily in the Downtown area.  During this..."
    Rick  Foran
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Excellent point, Dwight.    We need more cooperative efforts like the Port has recently begun..."
    William Tarter Jr.
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "Hey Bryan!  Thank you for the question.  Yes, Burke is used.  Approximately 70,000 flights per..."
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013
    "I like this! (you know, even though we don't use "like" buttons here!)"
    Doug Nagy
    on Jun 11, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    Greetings! Thank you for engaging with the community. I’m a University of Chicago student moving home to Cleveland in August and have been working for about a decade to recruit young talent to Cleveland. I would like to invite all of you to do a lakefront bike ride together with the young professionals of the area in August or September. Below are my thoughts and ideas for our lakefront.When you bike along our lakefront, you see many inspiring things: sunsets, boats, planes, museums, birds, beaches, and the brawny industry that built our city. For many Clevelanders, a trip to the lakefront unleashes a burst of nostalgia. But a bike ride along our lakefront also presents a frustrating customer experience. Our lakefront is very disconnected and hard to access for the public that owns it. We are hiding our beautiful lakefront behind fences and low-volume highway lanes. I’m excited about recent improvements, particularly the Metroparks takeover, but I think we need to raise our sights even more. My vision for the Cleveland lakefront is two-fold: (1) connecting the lakefront into a seamless experience for the public by removing fences (2) uniting a city split in two by continuing the street grid with urban-scale buildings all the way to the waterfront. Below I provide examples of how we can do this from Baltimore, Cincinnati and Chicago.PART 1 - REMOVING FENCESThere are many stakeholders and institutions along Chicago’s lakefront but the visitor experience is seamless. I frequently bike all the way from my Loop apartment to my Hyde Park school, passing marinas, museums, a stadium and beaches. Teamwork has made each of these institutions stronger, producing a massive economic development and social inclusion dividend for the city.In Cleveland, fences divide our lakefront institutions and separate the public from the waterfront. Last summer I visited the new Cleveland Lakefront Park, created and owned by the Port Authority. It’s a beautiful park with stunning views of the lakefront, but the entrance feels like prison. See the photo below I snapped last summer. There’s a huge nasty fence that divides the lakefront nature preserve from the lakefront park. Both sides of the fence are owned by the public. None of us would put a big nasty fence right through the middle of our own front yard, but that’s the status quo along our lakefront.Removal of other fences will require an even more determined effort. The public is denied access to the waterfront by most Cleveland marinas even though we own the land! Boat owners rightfully have concerns about security, but lakefront marinas in other cities have shown that it’s possible to provide both public access and boat security. The public in Chicago can walk right along the water between the marina parking lot and the boats. See Google Street View of a marina on Chicago’s South Side: http://tinyurl.com/Chicago-MarinaAnother fence barrier between the people and our waterfront is the one around Burke Lakefront Airport. We should have a public multi-purpose trail all the way around the outside of the airport. There are airport bike trails at BWI (Baltimore) and at LUK (Cincinnati). The Luken Airport bike trail: “sits atop the levee that protects the airport from flooding of the Little Miami River. The paved path is wide and affords many nice views of the airport [and] of the river.” http://www.traillink.com/trail/lunken-airport-bike-path.aspx Our sister city to the South is on to something! PART 2 – UNITING A CITY SPLIT IN TWOOur institutions function as stand-alone islands, resulting in a lakefront that is not connected to the rest of the city. There’s hardly a shop or restaurant within a 5-10 minute walk of Browns Stadium, the Rock Hall or the Science Center. I’m excited about the Geis Harbor proposal and the Browns’ proposed stadium development plan, but we need a stronger lakefront connection than the proposed pedestrian bridge. The value of the Geis/Browns space will be much higher if strongly connected to the rest of the city. Walkable and drivable streets filled with shops and restaurants are the only way to effectively bridge the gap and make our city whole.A great example of this is Fell's Point in Baltimore. I visited the aquarium in Downtown Baltimore and the neighborhood design encouraged me to keep walking for blocks and blocks. I stayed way longer than planned and had both lunch and dinner. Our institutions should be part of the downtown neighborhood and not islands unto themselves. The real star attraction of any city is the experience between the buildings.Here are three steps we can take:#1 – Cleveland’s Berlin Wall is Route 2, cutting our city in two from East 9th to Edgewater. We should turn the entire stretch into a 35mph boulevard with at-grade crossings, opening the ramp space up for development. Our city leaders have courageously taken on the state department of transportation to poke a hole in this wall at 73rd street. We need more of this sort of leadership to heal our downtown.Baltimore provides a great example. In the late 1960's, Maryland transportation officials wanted to put a highway between FellsPoint/InnerHarbor and the waterfront. Thankfully activists saved Baltimore's Harbor and today Inner Harbor and Fell's Point are the city's best neighborhoods, packed full of shops and expensive residences.Cleveland would be better off today if that stretch of highway had been a boulevard from the beginning and our future will be better if we can turn it into one.#2 – Rebuild the East 9th bridge to include shops and restaurants, adopting the model of Columbus’s High Street bridge over 670. Columbus has discovered an amazing cure for the scars highways have left in the urban fabric http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/theskyline/2011/10/ohio-highway-cap-at-forefront-of-urban-design-trend-retail-complex-atop-columbus-expressway-offers-m.html.#3 – Build another street bridge between East 9th and East 55. We have sealed our waterfront off so completely that you have to travel 41 blocks just to cross to the lake. Building a direct bridge from the Geis Harbor area to downtown could turn the sleepy Northwest corner of downtown into another warehouse district. The area is very similar to Chicago’s West Loop.Thank you for your time and consideration. Let me know if you want to bike the lakefront together in August or September! I can’t wait to get home. See you soon.(Below is the "friendly" entrance gate to the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve)

     
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    Responses(1)

    Will Friedman
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Mr. Nagy:

    Thank you for taking the time to set out your thoughts. We appreciate it. I'm going to focus my response on the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, which the Port opened in 2012. The Preserve is a former disposal site for sediment dredged from the river. It was fenced off while it was a disposal site. Nature later took hold and transformed it into a wildlife haven. We worked closely with a group of leading environmental education organizations to open the site to the public. the Port and these organizations (known as the Environmental Educational Collaborative) decided to keep up the fence and add the turnstile to protect the birds and animals taking refuge in the preserve from dogs, ATVs, skis, etc. The turnstile provides a way for people to enter the Preserve, even as we keep our focus on protecting the Preserve as a Preserve. The Preserve has won an international environmental award and seen more than 20,000 visitors. The site is an important resting place for migratory birds And it provides a habitat for a range of animals. We will continue to manage it as a protective site, and I hope you will continue to visit it throughout the seasons.

     
    Expand This Thread
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 11, 2013 - 11:50 am

    We're not the only ones talking: In today's New York Times, "Water Levels Fall in Great Lakes, Taking a Toll on Shipping." Anyone can comment on the subject, but I do recommend reading the article first, ahem. Hattip to Robert Smith of the Plain Dealer for tweeting that link. (I get the print NYT but haven't had time to read it yet!)

    Edited in: see also this piece http://bettercitiesnow.com/infrastructure/transport/driving-on-the-riverside about the pros and cons of riverside driving!

     

    Responses(1)

    Sam Insalaco
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment in the online Port of Cleveland Forum.  This forum is an excellent tool to share opinions regarding the Port and the benefits it brings to our area.  I wish I had known about this platform earlier to provide the link to many other stakeholders who would like to have commented.   And to that point, my first suggestion is that the Port creates an ongoing blog similar to exchange to continue the interactive process between the stakeholders but include distinct categories (e.g., port business and economics, regional development, recreational development, etc.).  This would greatly help to align stakeholders within their individual subject areas and those areas can then be merged into the broader planning process.

    I am a regional stakeholder in three different capacities (perspectives):  Port and Shipping Development (business consultant for ARCADIS), recreational boating (United States Power Squadrons Ohio Liaison for the Government and Partner Relations Group), and environmental stewardship (Lake Erie Improvement Association, Ohio Sea Grant, and several others) and I would like to share some thoughts within each of these areas.

    Port and Shipping Development:

    I personally believe that Great Lakes Shipping is the quickest, most valuable, and surest option we have to create jobs and grow our economy in Northeast Ohio.  At $14+ billion per year, Ontario is Ohio’s largest trading partner and with the post-Panamax expansion, short-sea container shipping from the St. Lawrence into Lake Erie could take us higher yet to another trade plateau.  However, I don’t think these concepts are totally understood by the regional stakeholders and/or voters.   I think they need to be presented (and reaffirmed) to the public in simpler, open dialogue with more emphasis through today’s preferred communication modes (e.g. Facebook, blogs, YouTube, public addresses, etc.).   I also think this subject should be made one of Lt. Governor Mary Taylor’s Common Sense Initiatives as it benefits Ohio and not just Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.  State support would go a long way to helping the cause and this should be highest priority.

    I also have read the Port of Cleveland Strategic Plan and have stayed current of the shipping issues through the Great Lakes Carrier Association and Great Lakes Maritime Task Force.  I think Port President Will Friedman, Glen Nekvasil and Jim Weakley and all of their staffs have developed some excellent materials that clearly define the benefits of enhancing our port, why shipping is economically important to Ohio, and the current challenges (e.g. dredging, water levels, etc.).  Within each of the reports, there are numerous information graphics that give an excellent glimpse of the issues, challenges, and benefits.  I think they could be pulled together as a comprehensive pictograph vision on line to demonstrate the public benefit and align direction without the need for each stakeholder to read each report in detail in order to understand the issues.  We need to dredge the port and grow our shipping industry. 

    Recreational Boating and Fishing:

    Recreational boaters and fisherman have pumped more than $3 billion into the local economy based on 2007 numbers.  Yet, the development of the Cleveland waterfront routinely only mentions parks, restaurants (bars), and entertainment.   For example, at fisherman attending a large Walleye tournament in western Lake Erie would fill several hotels and just a small one last weekend saw over 150 boats in the Huron River.  Similarly, large cruising clubs such as the Great Lakes Cruising Club could bring well over 100 boaters to Cleveland if there were sufficient transient docks to view the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Science Center, the Mather, the Cod, Browns Stadium, and other downtown sites, but transient docks are not available at North Coast Harbor.  Parks and wildlife areas are great, but we need to include recreational boaters and fishermen into the planning process.  Boaters and fisherman have a lot of clout as stakeholder groups and could help to drive the port growth process if they feel there will be amenities planned to support their activities.

    Environmental Stewards:

    The environmental advocacies are thrilled with wildlife areas such as Dike 14 and would like to go a step further in promoting long-term environmental stewardship in the port harbor front development.  There are mixed design using approaches capable of providing low eco-risk sediment management and development while providing for growth of wildlife habitat would greatly benefit both the port and the environmental stakeholders.  These techniques have been successfully used in other areas of the country but have not garnered support in Ohio as both environmental and port stakeholders have not worked together to develop the mixed design and present these in unity to OEPA and ODNR for consideration.  Both sides are concerned about compromising their goals, however, without each other’s’ support, nothing will be accomplished.  More time and effort needs to go into educating and aligning our stakeholder groups with the goal of developing sustainable objectives.  What good is a wildlife area if no one has a job?  If we wish to grow the port harbor front, we must work together to develop true sustainable objectives and then promote these together to the public and the regulatory agencies in order to obtain public support. 

    I would welcome any of your comments or would be available to discuss these in more detail.

     

     
    Expand This Thread
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 11, 2013 - 9:01 am

    Welcome to Day 2 of this online-only forum featuring the Port of Cleveland, eight panelists and YOU. There's a lot of content to browse from yesterday so take your time, or feel free to dive right in with your thoughts.

    For those who like prompts, and based on a bunch of the ideas in the thread created by yesterday's contributions, let's hear about what actually comes into the Port: What's in all those containers? Who else and what else comes in? What are we sending out? I know San Fran ports get cans of tuna and fruit - do we?

     

    Responses(3)

    Will Friedman
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Jill here is quick summary of cargo we see in our harbor.  This includes the ports docks and private terminals. First, we do not get containers in our port.  We handle mostly dry bulk cargo such as iron ore, road salt, aggregates, cement and a few others.  We also handle steel of various types in large quantities (300,000 to 600,000 tons/year in the last decaide or so).  there aren't some liquid that's products moving including asphalt and other petroleum products.  On a spot basis, we see very large and heavy freight move over our docks such as generators, presses, tanks, this all adds up to about 10 to 15 million tons per year, or about 15% of Ohio's total maritime tonnage including the Ohio River terminals.  By the way Ohio ranks 8th in the nation in maritime cargo by tonnage. The Ohio River sees a huge volume of dry and liquid bulk materials such as coelectric power plants.

    These cargoes are easy to dismiss but I assure you they are the lifeblood of manufacturing, energy, farming, and heavy construction in our state.  

     

     

     
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 11, 2013

    I'm just launghing to myself because honestly, I feel so naive! I almost envision, exclusively, containers like you see in movies when people are trying to run around them or hide (how bad a stereotype is that!?). I just have no clue, clearly! Which is why I asked. And I'm hoping I'm not the only one. Really really fascinating. Thank you.

     
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Sorry for typos in above note.  Ive been typing in a car on an iPad and its not going well.  No I'm not driving.  -Will 

     
    Expand This Thread
    Gerard Henwood
    on Jun 10, 2013 - 7:29 pm

    Greetings and thank you to the Port for hosting this great conversation.   The more we engage the better the chance that Cleveland and all of NEO will become the a place that we and our young people want to stay and mess about on/in our great waters.  A lot of emphasis on our waterfront plans, dreams and aspirations often turns to entertainment districts and business development.   That is all well and good.   We would not be here if it were not for such things.   One of the things in all our our conversations that seems to be often overlooked is the quality of downtown living, for familes and young people who choose to live close to their downtown workplace or just want to be downtown, regardless for where they work.   It's not all about bars, restaurants and entertainment districts.    

    The Metroparks figured out the formula a long time ago.   People like greenways where they can move, by foot, or by little or big wheels, and do it where there are enough other people doing it to feel safe in a place where a person would otherwise feel vulnerable.    Making urban space welcoming to people is all about programming, both regular activites and special events.   The goal of activities is that they ultimately become spontateous and unprogrammed.   Urban trails that have some attraction, often a waterfront, are like people magnets.   Build an urban trail next to the water, right next to the water, and not any distance more than you can trow a stone, and you have the magic formula for a daily people parade.   It's also all about sightlines on urban trails.  The further away you can see a person travelling toward you or you same direction as you, the more safe you feel.   I used to run along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia so I know about what I write, firsthand.    It always felt dangerous on a blind curve.

    So, being near the water and being able to see distant people brings me to the conclusion that the only place, the only place, that this can happen in Cleveland is above Burke Lakefront Airport at what is now the confined disposal facility (CDF) known as Dike 10B.   Dike 10B can be converted to a use similar to Dike 14 to the east, but with a trail that will be a scenic destination, along the water.    I'm offering the name Central Park Trail for this terrific urban space, a space that could be the gemstone in the Emerald...... well since Central Park Trail would be connected to East 55th Street, East 72 Street, Gordon Park, Dike 14, Rockefellor Parks (and to University Circle)on the east and East 9th on the west by a trail entrance at the old Aviation High School and along Marginal Road (past the grazing sheep!) and it would be on top of the metaphoric piece of jewelry, it would then be appropriate to call our cherished park system the Emeral Ring.

    I am furter suggesting that our next CDF and future green space/wind buffer be the breakwall.   This has been suggested before and it can be the answer to the space challenges and in-shoring taking place with current dredge fill.   May I also suggest,while I'm on the Common soapbox, that the Central Park Trail be set aside a permanant greenspace by whatever royal decree need be put in place to make this happen.  Greenspace in a city is cherished.   Hey, we would then truly be able to say that we are the Green City on the Blue Lake.  

     

    Responses(3)

    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Gerard,

    Thank you very much for this input. I look forward to seeing the dialogue that evolves from it. I'm not personally familiar with what you've described and have to say that it's part of what I love about these forums: the chance to really get educated about our region, its assets, its challenges and its opportunities.

     
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Mr. Hemood thanks for the comments.  it might be possible to retrofit some waterside public access on to the dredge material disposal sites north of Burke at some point. We have given it some informal thought.  I can say for sure that the Port shares the mindset that we should as a community look for these opportunities and we intend to implement or support them when feasible.  That's why we opened the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Presreve and why we support many other projects and ideas to open up our waterfronts for public enjoyment.  

     
    Richard Thomas
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Thanks for your comments regarding many of the aspects of developing the Cleveland Lakefront.  I am a trustee of the Cleveland Lakefront Development Corporation, and we have spent over a year studying the various areas of our lakefront , including Burke Lakefront Airport.  Our goal is to co-ordinate intelligent development of the lakefront with public access to the water.  The comments regarding Dike development can be underscored by looking at the progress at Dike 14--if anyone wants to see a remarkable place, take the walking tour!

    The CLDC is planning a lakefront summit meeting for later this year to bring all of the interested groups together to formulate a common goal and plan for the lakefront.  As we all know, there have been numerous plans put forth over the years, most of which have gone by the wayside.  We are very optomistic that by working together with all of the area groups, we can have a world-class lakefront that can be enjoyed by all!

     
    Expand This Thread
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013 - 5:55 pm

    Many thanks to the nearly 20 commenting contributors (as well as the many more who are reading) for coming to the Forum today. Please feel free to continue the conversation throughout the evening and tomorrow morning when we will pick up again. I'll open the morning with another question but participants should feel free to leave comments and questions as is convenient for them to do so and as curator, I'll be sure they're viewed by the panelists.

    And please don't forget to use the Twitter and Facebook buttons to spread the news about this public, civic engagement opportunity.

     

     
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013 - 3:08 pm

    Just a few midday reminders:

    1. Refresh the page every so often to be sure you're seeing new content.

    2. Because this is asynchronous, it's not as spontaneous as we might sometime wish as with when we're chatting online in some platforms. But we've got through 5pm tomorrow so have no fear - as curator, I'm making sure the panelists are seeing the comments etc.

    3. Please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons if you'd like to alert others to this forum's existence. The more the merrier and as noted by some participants, it's great to have cheerleaders, but no one here thinks that we're all on the same page. This forum is a tool for engaging everyone - cheerleaders and non-cheerleaders - with the hope of persuading and inspiring (well, that's how I like to think of it!).

    4. HAVE FUN (but civil fun, of course)!

     
    Dwight Clark
    on Jun 10, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    The Port of Cleveland has raised its brand over the past few years, and in positive fashion.  Regional in scope, it has a hand in partnering with municipalities and government agencies, along many different fronts, including sustainability, maritime stewardship, commerce, economic development finance and lakefront development. 

    To the average resident of Cuyahoga County, they may not be aware of the importance of the Port and it's day to day benefits for the entirety of our region.  I see a renewed interest in the Port's desire to serve as an ambassador for the changing landscape of the downtown Cleveland area, including Cuyahoga River, and multi-faceted efforts to expand maritime activities and be a primary facilitator and partner in lakefront development. 

    Please comment on some of these initiaitives planned in the future. 

     

    Responses(6)

    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Dwight, would you say that collaboration must be a given when it comes to the Port and the set of assets that go with being on Lake Erie?

     
    Rick  Foran
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Excellent point, Dwight. 

     

    We need more cooperative efforts like the Port has recently begun to champion. One good example is the riverbend hillside sloughing issue.

    What's the latest on that?

     
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Thanks for asking about Franklin Hill at Irishtown Bend Mr. Foran.  To give you a short answer, the Port will soon enter into a contract with a geotechnical engineering group to provide us with an updated and hopefully definitive answer on how to stabilize the slope and what it will cost.  The port does not own any of this land but we have made this a priority because the slope threatens the navigation channel and holds so much potential as part of Cleveland's revitalization now underway.

    I'd encourage you get on our mailing list, if you are not already, and we will push information to you periodically on this project. You can sign-up for our eNewsletter and other communications we send out at www.portofcleveland.com.  If you have any trouble contact me at william.friedman@portofcleveland.com.     

     
    Dwight Clark
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Will.  Good morning.  Cleveland's position in the steel industry has been bolstered by the increase in production resulting in growth at Arcelor Mittal, located right in our back yard.  It would be helpful to understand how the Cleveland Bulk Terminals facility, located just west of Cleveland, provides a vital supply of raw materials for production of that very same steel.  What do these two facilities mean to the current and future economic vitality of Cleveland?

     
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Hello Dwight.  Thanks for the prompt and thanks for being part of this exchange.  In the interest of full disclosure and because I want folks to know, First Merit bank provides a very critical letter of credit that enables our bond fund to function.  Without getting in the weeds, the bond fund is a great source of capital for projects in our region and First Merit as our banking partner makes it all possible.  

    Yes, Dwight, the Cleveland Bulk Terminal on Whiskey Island, owned by the Port, is an indespensable part of the movement iron ore to the steel mill.  The largest bulk carriers on the lakes deliver ore to CBT.  That ore is then reloaded to somewhat smaller but still very large vessels that go up river to the ore receiving docks at the steel mill.  Thmovement my of raw material is the lifeblood of the mill.  In short, there is no steel production without this marine supply chain.

    The ArcelorMittal Cleveland steel works is the anchor in our maritime based economy and a huge part of our present day and future economic prosperity.  Ohio is the 2nd biggest steel producing state and steel of course is used by countless Ohio firms to make products we all buy and use.  The ArcelorMittal plant is the most productive in the world per man hour according to the company and it is very high tech as evidenced by the fact that they are gearing up to produce a very light and strong grade of steel for the automotive industry.  This in turn will allow the car makers to meet fuel efficiency standards.  The mill is also making very large capital investments on a regular basis.  All in all, the steel mill drives Cleveland's industrial economy much like the Clinic drives the health sector And that's why we at the port work to keep it humming along.  

     
    Dwight Clark
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Thanks, Rick, for getting involved in this online Port symposium.  I believe Will Friedman had addressed your question, yet a point well taken.....we cannot risk elements of nature to threaten the ship channels and boat traffic vital to Cleveland's manufacturing community, let alone for the enjoyment of our pleasure boaters.  Although the Port's Issue 108 did not pass in fall 2012, proceeds from the levy were targeted for improvements to river bulkheads vital to the structural integrity of the river and Franklin Hill at Irishtown Bend.

     
    Expand This Thread
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    Lots of important subject matter finding its way into the forum. Many thanks to everyone who's participating, at all levels.

    For the next chunk of time, in addition to any comments or questions people want to inject into the forum, how about speaking to how, if someone lives in "X" suburb (name any one of the 55+ municipalities in our county!), does the Port affect them? Specifically, generally. Why should they care?

     

    Responses(8)

    Jim Ridge
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Forums like this are great but one wonders whether we're preaching to the choir.  Or as St. Thomas Aquinas said 'To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.  To one without faith, no explanation is possible'.

     

    The audience needs to be the 33,544 folks who, if they had been wooed and moved, would have voted to pass the $90 million REPLACEMENT tax levy last November.

     

    There are lots of reasons why they should (and could) have cared . . . . 

     

     

     

     

     

     
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013

    I certainly appreciate the perspective, Jim - this forum is an effort to create a nearly permanent reservoir of Q&A, dialogue and discussion to which those 33K folks can be directed as any of the choir encounters them! Engagement is hard work, for sure.

    Where do you start when you are trying to persuade folks to love what you love about activities that relate in some way to the Port and its presence in Cleveland (as I've been lucky to start to see on Twitter and Facebook!)?

     
    Jim Ridge
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Overnight successes are sometimes years in the making and it's good to see the Port using social engagement techniques that allows others to share the Port's posts with their friends & followers.

     

    In my years of helping spread the word of recreation on the Cuyahoga River (in concert with Western Reserve Rowing Association and other Cleveland Rowing Foundation member organizations) we knew we had to keep tapping on the forehead of John and Joan Q. Public reminding them that yes, the birthplace of the environmental movement, the Cuyahoga River, is now an aquatic recreational playground.  What's that worth to the city? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoeVYXZIzAs

     

    Last September we were able to export that idea to the rest of the country when I worked with USRowing to produce the local webcast of the first ever National Masters Head Race Championship held right here in Cleveland! http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25462489

     

    Did thousands watch?  Nope.  But we did get the word out that Cleveland's is open for business, how may we help you!  The Port can do the same thing - all it needs to do is create interesting, engaging, and genuine content! Others across the nation have heard our story http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2011/10/08/cuyahoga-rowing

     

    During last Monday's Cleveland Connects 'On The Waterfront' forum Joe Roman, President & CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, shared a story where he was on the Good Times with a large number of his collegues from other cities.  Joe said a large number of them 'Had no idea Cleveland was hard by Lake Erie' (or for that matter next to the Cuyahoga River).  Can you imagine someone saying the same thing about Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, Seattle, yadda yadda . . . . ?

     

    Photos like the attached of a St. Joseph Academy Jaguar Crew eight on Lake Erie makes Cleveland look like Miami!  Let's have a cocktail sometime and talk about how the Port can leverage content opportunities like this to forward its agenda with the public!

     

     

     
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    Will Friedman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Mr. Ridge, thanks for the input.  We're going to be rolling out a number of tactics to connect better with the public on top of several communication tools we've launched in the last 18 months or so.  I'll try to post some links tomorrow from the office so folks can make connections from this forum (maybe Jill already did?).

    One of our challenges is we are sort of geeks at the port and we can easily start talkng in industry jargon or about topics that don't interest most people (think sediment managemet, terminal operating methods, freight rates, structured lease financing, etc).  What's more, we are a very lean organization in terms of staff and resources compared to many agencies in the region.  Our entire staff is 19 people.  We wrestle with spending money to inform the public instead of using the funds to get the results people want.  We also struggle to connect becuase people literally don't connect with us the way they do with other public agencies.  GCRTA, MetroParks, libraries, Metro Health, NEORSD Tri-C are all institutions with which people have direct contact in some way, and in many cases in an enjoyable, positive way.   

    To be sure, the Port's brand, such that it ever was, has been tarnished by a few self-inflicted wounds over the years and by some undeserved (and unfounded) criticism too.  We know from opinion research we are misunderstood.  In the end, I am convinced we can and will build a better brand, but it will be through gettng good results and telling our story more effectively.

    By the way, we have worked fairly closely with the Rowing Foundation and kudos to you and the group for puttng on the US Masters Head Race last Septmeber.  That was a great event for Cleveland. 

     

            

     

     
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 11, 2013

    For Jim and others who are interested in keeping up with what's going on with the Port:

    Newsletter sign up: go to their website (here), then scroll down a bit and look at the bottom of the righthand sidebar. There's a place to submit your email.

    Social media: At the top of that righthand sidebar on the Port's homepage is a socmedia tool bar with links to the Port's Facebook page, Twitter stream and RSS feed. Folks who want to hear from the Port can "like" the FB page and follow the Twitter handle.

    Attend board meetings! These are public and you can find the schedule on their website here. The next one is next week - June 20.

    We love engagement.

     

     
    Mikel Harding
    on Jun 10, 2013

    I believe like many that for our region to be first class it must have a first class downtown. The nation and the world knows our region as "Cleveland". The ecomomic impact of our active Port in downtown Cleveland provides a waterway to the world and international trade and through this all of our 55+ communities benefit.

     
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Mike, what are your favoite three statistics that help tell the story of that economic impact?

     
    Joe Cimperman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Mikel, where to start? Thank you, thank you, thank you. Mayor Frank G. Jackson has shown tremendous leadership in reinventing Downtown Cleveland. You are absolutely correct that the region as a whole relies on Downtown Cleveland and the processes that take place in it, the Port and maritime industries being some of them. 

    We are working tirelessly to constantly attract and retain businesses to Downtown Cleveland. Downtown has an emerging residential population that is helping to lead the charge of increased investment Downtown. This population is helping to support increased services and more businesses. 

    The Port is one of the entities that is driving and aiding in the idea of the 24/7 Downtown that Mayor Frank G. Jackson strives to accomplish. 

     
    Expand This Thread
    Harvey Webster
    on Jun 10, 2013 - 11:48 am

    In 2002, the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve Environmental Education Collaborative (originally the Dike 14 Environmental Education Collaborative) was formed by the region's public and private enviromental education organizations to promote the establishment of a publicly accessible nature preserve on the site of the Dike 14 Confined Disposal Facility. Under the aegis of the Port of Cleveland, Dike 14 was built in 1977 to recieve the spoils from dredging the Cleveland harbor and was active until filled in 2003. The site, once taken out of active service, was quickly colonized by vegetation and through ecological succession evolved into a haven for wildlife, espcially migratory birds.The Collaborative recognized the unique nature of this resource and actively sought its protection as a nature preserve and environmental education resource  by providing environmental education programming at the site to school groups from the region, holding open houses for the public, leading field trips on the site, creating a Field Guide, Discovery Bags as well as a website to the site. Countless meetings were held with previous Port administrtations, City, County and ODNR leaders. Through these activities we introduced thousands of people to the natural wonders, wildlife and scenic viewsheds available from this unique part of Cleveland’s lakefront but failed to produce action.Finally, in February 2012, after ten years of advocacy, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, under the very capable leadership of CEO Will Friedman, embraced the vision of the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve and opened the site to the public. Since that time tens of thousands of visitors have discovered the diverse habitats, wildlife, Lake Erie and downtown viewsheds and natural wonders of this site.The Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve is an improtant complement to the other public properties that comprise the new Cleveland Lakefront Metropark as it is the only place along Cleveland's lakefront that is dedicated primatily to nature.The vision and leadership needed to turn a CDF into a community, educational and environmental asset was exemplary and the Port and Mr Friedman should be commended (as indeed they have with national enviormental recogntion).And although the Collaborative has since disbanded, our original objectives having been met, I believe they would join me in encouraging the Port to look for other similar opportunities to create more public access to the Lake and River while at the same time creating habitats in and around the working port that will attract and sustain native plants and animals. It is heartening to see the Port's activities in cleaning up the Cuyhoga River,  taking the lead in stabilizing Irishtown Bend and exploring beneficial re-use of dredge spoilsIn addition to its role in regional economic development, the Port of Cleveland is and should be a source of environmental stewardship and leadership for the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie.

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml <o:OfficeDocumentSettings <o:AllowPNG/ </o:OfficeDocumentSettings </xml><![endif]-->

     

    Responses(2)

    Joe Cimperman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Harvey, along your lines, it is extremely important that when we talk about the river of the Port, that is is a binary conversation, one of lake and river. Cleveland's lakefront is not just for the City, but the region. It is one of, if not the greatest, asset Cleveland has. 

    There is once-in-a-lifetime reinvestment happening on the Flats East Bank. We need to ensure that this reinvestment is successful and creates a living, breathing, thriving entity in the City of Cleveland and on the waterfront. Once the East Bank is complete, we need to focus our attention on the West Bank to finish the job. 

    As with many other projects in the City, we have an amazing opportunity and we need to ensure that we capitalize on it in order to have outcomes that last for generations. It's not just river or lake - it is river AND lake.

     
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013

    I'm very persuaded by the way in which you frame the ongoing, permanent nature of investment - it's not just for now or the next 20 years. This is about building on and strengthening foundational assets of our community.

     
    Expand This Thread
    Bill Callahan
    on Jun 10, 2013 - 9:59 am

    Might as well get this in early: What's the status of the Port's interest in a fast passenger ferry to and from Ontario? This was news in 2011, but now seems to have disappeared without a trace.

    If the Port has decided not to pursue a ferry initiative, what's the status of the Federal grant to build a ferry terminal that was awarded to the Port in 2006?

     

    Responses(2)

    Will Friedman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Hello Mr. Callahan.  Thanks for raising the ferry issue.  We have not given up on the idea.  I still firmly believe in cross-lake marine transportation as a more sustainable and economical (and enjoyable) alternative to all-land transport over the bridges. We have continued to work with folks on the CA side to advance the intiative and I can assure you these discussions are active right now. The grant money is still out there and we have had periodic conversations with Congressional offices and ODOT about using it in some way to support a service if we can get to that stage.  At the end of the day, we have  to have fully commited partners on the federal, provincial and local levels the other side of the lake and that remains to be seen.  In addition, short distance (domestic or international) marine transport is disadvantaged by federal laws and regulations, in my view, compared to the other modes.  This is a very long discussion for perhaps another time but it is relevant to the difficutly we've had making this idea a reality.        

     
    Bill Callahan
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Mr. Friedman: Thanks for the response.  I'm glad to hear that you haven't given up. 

    Could you share a little more information with everyone concerning

    -- the status of the ferry analysis that HMS Global undertook some time ago

    -- the conversations the Port has had with folks on the Canadian side

    -- what you now see as the main obstacles to a ferry initiative?

    I guess I'm really just asking for more of an update on progress and lessons learned since 2011.

     
    Expand This Thread
    Jane Goodman
    on Jun 10, 2013 - 9:39 am

    Cuyahoga River Community Planning (aka the RAP - Remedial Action Plan) is the organization bringing stakeholders and resources together to see to the restoration of the Cuyahoga River, its watershed and nearshore Lake Erie.

    The Port is the mouth of the river, and what makes the Cuyahoga so unique and such an important asset to the region is the fact that this last five miles of the river is used both for recreation and for shipping. People who stare in wonder as ships the size of tall buildings maneuver around oxbows and through the narrow channel have to appreciate that the marine commerce that takes place throughout the ship channel can't happen without the Port.

    In the ship channel, or as most call it, The Flats, ours is a working river. The businesses that call the channel home, that keep us a steel town, that bring the raw materials that build other businesses and sustain thousands of jobs and billions in economic benefits, rely on Port operations to do so. Those materials, workers and businesses in turn support other businesses and workers throughout the region.

    The Port is also a good and valuable partner in the environmental revival of the river, especially under the new leadership of Will Friedman. The Port has taken on the job of repairing and maintaining the steel bulkheads. They now operate two debris removal vessels that are on the job clearing the trash and trees that float on the river and have for years presented not just safety hazards but aesthetic impairments. The Port has taken on the job of stabilizing Franklin Hill (aka Irishtown Bend) and will be turning it into a park and adding habitat for fish that otherwise cannot thrive in the industrial channel.

    I wish I could say that the broader community understands the importance of the Port as the immense asset it is, and how that commerce and those jobs play into their lives, but they don't. It's an uphill battle, a general lack of understanding about where things come from and how they get here. They don't ask where the gravel that gets laid down under their roads or driveways comes from, or know that it might have been offloaded from a ship that came through the Port. They don't connect ore that makes it up the river to the steel that ArcelorMittal produces. And they don't understand that it's the Port that makes that happen.

     

    Responses(1)

    Jim Ridge
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Jane, Jane, Jane! Steve Jobs is rolling in his grave right now! Cuyahoga River Community Planning is doing great work and so is the Port of Cleveland.  But Steve's infamous quote rings loudly on the question of Greater Cleveland's understanding of the importance of the Port. ‘It’s really hard to design products by focus groups.  A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them’.

    No business ever got rich by blaming the public for not understanding the benefits of their 'can't miss, must have product/service'. The Port will have more success engaging the public when it understands it needs to market itself and enter into a one-to-many conversation.

    As Zig Ziglar was fond of saying 'You can have everything in life you want, IF you will just help enough other people get what they want.

    The reason the public doesn't connect all the great and substantive things that the Port does is because the Port hasn't shown it to them!!!  I know someone who could help them out with such an initiative . . . . 

     
    Zig_you%20can%20have
    Expand This Thread
    Tom  Schock
    on Jun 10, 2013 - 9:13 am

    The plans that have been announced are great. However, Cleveland is missing a major opportuntiy by not including a relocated Port in the long range planning. The Port's Strategic Action Plan Appendix F done in 2011 clearly outlined the possibility to relocate the Port to the northeast end of Burke Lakefront Airport. This move would open up 118 acres of prime lake front at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River! Now the area is used for bulk storage!! This move would allow for the connection of the East Bank with the museums and stadium as an exciting residential, office and entertainment district with continuous public access. The Port is a barren industrial site with blue metal warehouses, bulk storage, noise, and excessive truck and rail traffic. It will never fit into a revitalized lakefront. The cost for the relocation (estimated at $176 million capital cost) could be financed by selling the current site to a private developer. Even if the move took several decades, it should be part of the long range plans!! Think big Cleveland, we can do this!!!

     

    Responses(9)

    Cindy Wiley
    on Jun 10, 2013

    I believe there are several marinas that are North of the Burke Lakefront Airport so I'm not sure moving the Port is economically possible. 

    I would prefer that IF the Port were to be relocated that the resulting available land be kept in public domain and turned into a public park so that everyone can access the lake - not necessarily sold to a private developer.  

    I like how Chicago has large open park spaces near it's Great Lake.  The public can easily access the lake. 

     
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Than you for weighing in Mr. Schock.  I know you have expressed this view before and I'd like to respond to it again.  I have to respectfully disagree with you. The Port's Strategic Action Plan did assess relocation of the marine terminal facilities (excluding the bulk terminal on the west side of the river) to the east end of BKL and we concluded that it was not financially and technically feasible. Management's recommendation to the Port Board was to continue operating on Docks 20-28A, or from the mouth of the river to just west and north of the stadium.  I need to emphasize that this was a significant reduction in the area encumbered by port operations because as a result of the plan we returned the area directly north of the stadium to the City (Docks 28B and 30). This has allowed the City to move forward with redevelopment efforts in that area and on North Coast Harbor.

    If you study the Mayor's lakefront plan (and I asssume you have) you can see that from north of the stadium all the way to the BKL parking lot there is huge potential for in-fill development of all kinds without interfering with the marine or aviation operatiions on the waterfront.  I firmly believe this balanced approach is best for Cleveland because we retain transportation uses critical to our economy at the same time we connect and remake the waterfront as a world-class destinationfor residents and visitors. And with respect to the value of the marine terminals, it is not just the activity ocurring there today, it is the potential for future international trade that must also be considerd.  In my opinion, Port of Cleveland's docks are Ohio's best deepwater connection to world markets and we are hard at work to make our port more of a competitive advantage to more firms in our region and state.      

    Lastly, let me also say that we are eager to work with community to create better people connections around the port area, to make it possible for people to view port operations (many love watching ships and cranes work), and to make the ports edges more visualing appealing and integrated with the surroundings. There are many cities where marine terminal operations coexist successfully with other uses and blend to create more character on the waterfront.        

     

      

     
    Cindy Wiley
    on Jun 10, 2013

    I LOVE that you are interested in working with community to create better people connections around the port area. I'm thinking that if the Port could produce a program similar to the Steamship william G. Mather, school field trips could come to the Port and learn.  

    People who live in the Cleveland area often look for opportunities to show-off Cleveland when out-of-town guests are visiting.  Having a "visitor" center at the Port with a self-directed walking tour etc could be fun and educational. 

     

     

     
    Jane Goodman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Cindy, I agree, a Visitor Center would be tremendous, even if all it had was a display about the ships that come and go, what they carry, how the Port works, etc. Not sure it's a great idea to have people walking around a working port by themselves, but there's the huge stretch of frontage from the Port entrance at West 3rd all along behind the stadium where a well-designed fence could hold a walk-along exhibit. Like a maritime museum with the exhibits on the outside.

     
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013

    I like this! (you know, even though we don't use "like" buttons here!)

     
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Tom - fyi, here's a facilities map that might be of some assistance during this online forum. The blog post here also offers a few other resources to browse as well as the Port's website itself.

     
    Bryan Tobias
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Is the Burke Airport even used?  What is up with the aviation school building?  Is it active?

     

     
    William Tarter Jr.
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Hey Bryan!  Thank you for the question.  Yes, Burke is used.  Approximately 70,000 flights per year.  Burke is also home to a number of small businesses including LeanDog (a software development company), Air Charter Soluna and others.  Additionally, the City of Clevleand is working with Geis Companies to research the land around Burke for possible future real estate development.

    We  have received feedback from visitors to the city that we should continue to market the airport as an asset to the business development efforts in the city.

     
    Kevin Brokaw
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Bryan:  The Geis Companies believes that, with public support, several parts of the lakefront can be redeveloped into vibrant residential, retail and commercial areas. we also believe that Burke Airport is a great asset to the City.

    As Mr. Tarter indicated, we are working with the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Airport Systems, the Port and others to promote the commercial redevelopment of the Burke Redevelopment District, which is directly south of the Airport to the Shoreway.

     
    Expand This Thread
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013 - 8:29 am

    This question was provided to all panelists in advance so they can respond at or soon after 10:00 a.m.

    Different stakeholders have different perspectives on the role and contributions of the Port of Cleveland to our region. How do you define your stakeholder group and what is the perspective on the Port that is particular to it? How would you say this reflects perspectives shared by the broader community?

     

    Responses(12)

    William Tarter Jr.
    on Jun 10, 2013

    The Downtown Cleveland Alliance is the economic and community development organization for Downtown Cleveland.  Our principal stakeholder group is the property owners of the Special Improvement District.  Additionally, we work with the businesses and residents of Downtown Cleveland to make Downtown Cleveland a vibrant community to live, work and play.  The Port has a large impact on the economic vitality of Downtown Cleveland.  Downtown Cleveland is fortunate enough to have both riverfront and lakefront access and the Port is a critical component to their development and vitality.  The waterfront is among our regions greatest asset, enjoyed by businesses, residents and visitors from around Northeast Ohio and from around the world.

     

    We work with both the public and private sectors, including the City of Cleveland and elected officials such as Councilman Joe Cimperman and the Port Authority, under the leadership of Will Friedman.  Lastly, we are very supportive of organizations such as Flats Forward, who are collectively working on developing the Flats area.

     
    Joe Cimperman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    As Cleveland City Councilman for Ward 3, the Port of Cleveland is one of my constituents. The Port is a phenominal resource to Ward 3, the City of Cleveland, and Northeast Ohio and directly supports tens of thousands of families and indirectly supports many more. This being said, the Port of Cleveland could do so much more if its importance was more broadly recognized and the region provided it with proper support. 

    Mr. Friedman is doing an excellent job leading the Port and it is an important partner in building a better Cleveland. From my perspective as Councilman, we try to engage the Port as much as possible because it is a stakeholder in much of what we do, and are trying to do, and they are critical in the economic development of the City and region, and the maritime processes. 

    The Flats Forward movement has spurred hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development. This would not have been done without strong collaborating with the Port. However, with this development, it is also important that we make critical infrastrucutre investments, such as more comprehensive bulk heading, to utilize the Port to its full potential and build more development surrounding it, and the ancillary industries that rely on it. 

     
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013

    For those curious about Flats Forward, you can find good history and resources here.

     
    Dan Moulthrop
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Joe or Jill or Will, can you provide an update on Flats Forward? I know the board was formed and Mark Lammon at DCA has been helping to get it off the ground. What's the latest?

     
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Dan I'm probably not the best person to answer this one but I'll give it a shot. Flats Forward is up and running.  Adam Fishman with Fairmount Properties (co-developer of Flats East Bank) is the chair.  The Board has met several times and is moving ahead with planning and fundraising activities and well as getting up to speed on the earlier body of work that you had a big hand in.  I'm sure Joe M., Mark Lammon or Adam F. could give a better answer.  

     
    Joe Cimperman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    We are in the process of right now of working with our philanthropic, civic, and corporate funding partners to fully staff this important organization. While that process is unfolding, and it is an ongoing process and is critical for the success of the organization, we continue to meet with residents and stakeholders regarding the imporatant work, whether that be infrastructure, economic development, safety, or marketing. Will continue to update the community about our progress, but we are focusing on how to create a sustainable working organization. 

     
    Dan Moulthrop
    on Jun 10, 2013

    sweet. thanks for the update, Will and Joe!

     
    Kevin Brokaw
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Over the last few years, Geis Companies has invested heavily in the Downtown area.  During this process, we have strived to create working relationships with the area stakeholders that positively impact downtown development.  One of the first groups we connected with was the Port.  We have enjoyed a great relationship promoting investment and economic development in Cleveland.

    While working through our development projects, one of the main challenges we face is bridging the gap between competive rates and increased cost of construction.  In addition to helping to secure public support, the Port is a great asset with several different financing vehicles that developers may use to bridge that gap.

     
    Fred  Hunger
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Good evening to the online forum participants and our gracious forum hosts at the Cleveland Cuyahoga County Port Authority.  In way of introducing ourselves we are World Shipping, Inc.,  (WSI).    We are headquartered here in Cleveland, Ohio (technically speaking Rocky River, Ohio).  The foundation of our business began in 1960 as vessel agents servicing the needs of vessel owners/operators as well as cargo interests;  stemming from the opening of the modern Seaway in 1959.  Our business has grown over the years to include such things as liner sales for international cargo,  container depot operations, container  trucking trucking/repairs, rail head operations, warehousing, international I.S.O. bulk  liquid tank transportation,  NVOCC status, freight forwarding, project and breakbulk cargo transport,  domestic and international transportation logistics;  to mention just some of the diversification.

     

    Much of the success and growth of our company’s  businesses  can be traced back to our location here Cleveland and the vessel traffic and cargo opportunities that continue to exist at our strategically well  positioned location here on the Great Lakes.   The economic importance of the Port of Cleveland as major transportation hub is well evidenced by our continued growth.  We know firsthand the important role that  port of Cleveland plays in creating jobs and stimulating the area’s economy by providing reliable and competitive cargo handling capability.

     

    A modern, clean, safe  and environmentally sound port is of paramount importance to Northeast Ohio and all of Ohio.  In Cleveland we have both the blessing and the curse of having our port located in the very heart of the great city of Cleveland.   Balancing the commercial activities of an operating port with the aesthetic demands,  recreational  requirements and public access to our beautiful lake has long been a major challenge.  Addressing these concerns has  long been a challenge.  Over time the task in so doing is becoming increasingly complex but is however certainly achievable.  

     

    We suspect you will be hearing a great deal about how the everyday citizens in the region of Northeast knows little about the economic benefits that are derived both directly and indirectly as the result of Cleveland, Ohio being a major port city.  Continuing and expanding on outreach efforts to inform the populace is critically important.

     

    For the sake of discussion within this forum one item that we believe is significantly important  is to educate the citizenry is the efficiency, safe record, cost effectiveness  and environmental soundness of waterborne transportation verses all other transportation modes.  Hundreds of millions of dollars are in now being spent by both “Laker” and “Saltie”  fleet owners/operators to build and operate the latest technologically advanced, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vessels.  We need to get the word out.

     

    Sadly much of the public wrongly  sees ships as the sole vector for introducing unwanted non-indigenous aquatic organism in to the Great Lakes.  Little do they realize that the maritime industry in voluntarily utilizing best method ballast rinse and flushing techniques,  has successfully aveted a  single introduction of new non-indigenous organism in to Great lakes for over seven years now.    Good news and responsible actions by industry so often go un-noticed.

     
    Jill Miller Zimon
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Wow, what a great first post (since I'm hoping that it's just your first, Fred!).

    Fred, are you able to provide either a link or some really basic numbers/stats to help people understand where the Port of Cleveland's economic engine fits in compared to other ports, especially if we're comparing/controlling for whichever metrics are most important in measuring such a thing (I'm a fish out of water when it comes to this area so please excuse me if I'm not even asking this with the best of lingo)? But you know, compared to say Seattle or Los Angeles, or Mobile or New Orleans, or an eastern seaboard port - how do we compare, where do we fit in when it comes to the kind of business you're in?

     
    Fred  Hunger
    on Jun 11, 2013

    Mr. Fred Hunger, CEO of World Shipping, Inc. is in the air travelling to Shanghai and regrettably unable to participate in today’s On-Line Forum session. We are quite pleased that World Shipping’s post yesterday sparked an interest by some participants is seeking additional Economic Impact Data.  More specifically there was an inquiry to provide economic impact information comparing the Port of Cleveland to say some of the far larger tidal ports.  It is doubtful that such a comparative study has ever been undertaken.

    However, what is available and should be of interest is an exhaustive study dated October 18th, 2011 by Martin Associates of Lancaster.PA.  The study is titled, “The Economic Impacts of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway System”, 

    The link to the study is : http://www.marinedelivers.com/economic-impact-great-lakes-shipping.

    Under “Resources” you will have the option to select either the Executive Summary or the Full Report.

    Dennis M. (Doc) Mahoney Vice President Operations

     
    Will Friedman
    on Jun 10, 2013

    Fred, you make a bunch of great points. Thanks for taking the time.  Fred's firm is one of the best kept secrets of Greater Cleveland because it is a huge success story in the shipping industry locally and across the country. World Shipping is one of a number of local employers that have thrived in the shipping and logistics space in our region.  The Great Lakes Group is another firm that comes to mind.  GLG, located on Old River Channel, operates the biggest tug fleet on the Great Lakes and now builds all sorts of work boats in Cleveland that are sold worldwide.  Firms like World Shipping and Great Lakes Group are the modern offspring of Cleveland's proud mariime heritage and they represent the future of Cleveland's economy as well because they have adapted to changing times. 

    I'd like to amplify Fred's point about marine transportation and environmental sustainability.  Movng goods and people by water is the least-cost, lowest carbon, most fuel-efficient alternative.  It is time for transport policy-makers to recognize this and put maritime on a level playing field with truck and rail.  America needs all the modes working together to move goods to market efficiently and with the minimum fuel burn and carbon footprint.  Europe is decades ahead of us in this respect and you see it on the Rhine and throughout European waterways.  Cleveland will benefit greatly by more progressive transport policies that allow waterborne alternatives to compete on a level playng field.         

     

     
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