CLEVELAND -- The long-awaited Flats East Bank project is getting ready to open and welcome workers, visitors and later residents to the city's long-dormant Flats.
"I don't want to say we'll return to the Old Flats. It's going to be very, very different. We need to make the city a place to live for young people...We need Cleveland to be a cool place." said developer Scott Wolstein.
An 18-story office building, 150-room hotel, a host of restaurants and clubs and riverfront boardwalk comprise the first phase of the long-in-the-making project.
Phase two is shaping up to include at least 200 waterfront apartments and more retail outlets and restaurants.
Wolstein believes the demand for downtown housing could lead to a 1,000 units.
Late developer Bart Wolstein had the original dream and laid the groundwork for this huge public/private partnership project.
His widow, Iris, and son, Scott, persisted in guiding the project through lots of rough times to reality.
"He had a vision for the flats. It's very gratifying...I'm sure as you said, he's looking down and smiling," Iris Wolstein said.
The Aloft Hotel opens June 6. Office building tenants will start moving in and restaurants will stagger opening throughout May and June.