The crunch question is, can development take place without harming business at the Port of Cleveland?
By a 5-2 vote, the Cleveland Planning Commission approved phase one of the Port Authority's development plan.
It would create parks and promenades on 100 acres behind Cleveland Browns stadium. Housing and retail development are part of longer range plans.
Representatives for Flats' businesses and the Longshoremans' union expressed concern that port operations might suffer in the effort to have development and shipping exist side by side.
Some complained that the city gave up revenue by renting Port warehouses to a failed Trolley Museum Project. It charged $1 a year and rejected payment offers to use the building to store and handle cargo.
The Planning Commission instructed the Port to pursue plans to have shipping and and a people-friendly makeover coexist together.
The Port will make monthly reports to the city on progress.
Some businsses joined longshoremen in urging the Port to speed up efforts to develop cargo container traffic at the Port.
Some think new revenue from new business could help pay for development efforts. Infrastructure costs for phase one are $27 million.
Oakland, California's port was cited as an example of port operations and commercial and residential development existing together.
Councilman Joe Cimperman and board member Norm Krumholz cast the dissenting votes.
The Port's proposed long-range move to East 55th Street, ongoing financial issues, and search for new leadership are other important factors in any development plans.