CLEVELAND -- It was five years ago this week that the recession in this country began taking shape. It was the credit market that stalled and companies like Lehman Brothers that collapsed.
So, how exactly did downtown Cleveland come out smelling like a rose?
"We didn't have a pulse five years ago, we were asking how dead was the cadaver," says Ned Hill, head of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.
He's says there were three miracle outcomes of The Great Recession that Cleveland benefited from.
First was an incredible public/private relationship between government and big money in the region.
"Scott Wolstein is one of my personal heroes," Hill said. "He staked his families wealth in the flats East Bank project, which needed a paddle and EMT crew at least three times to keep it alive."
That happened time and again, from the growth of University Circle, the CSU neighborhood and East 4th Street.
He says the government use of stimulus money to keep automakers afloat kept automakers in the midwest, not relocated to the south-eastern United States.
"If it weren't for the stimumuls, Ford would have had no credit, GM would have been sold off and shuttered to somebody, and Chrsler may have disappeared completely."
Lastly, the housing collapse scared off many young people who were quick to jump on new homes -- and change habits in a big way toward renting, not owning.
"In 2008, who would have looked at downtown Cleveland and said we'd have a 97-percent occupancy rate?"