The heart of Cleveland, Ohio’s economy can be found in the city’s downtown. Cleveland’s oldest neighborhood, with its Public Square designed by city founder General Moses Cleaveland in 1796, it serves as the economic and symbolic core of the city and the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH Combined Statistical Area.

The Q Arena, where the Cleveland Cavaliers play basketball, and Progressive Field, where the Cleveland Indians play baseball, are two of the most recognizable landmarks in the city’s thriving downtown. The Great Lakes Science Center has John Glenn’s space capsule on exhibit, while the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has a collection of instruments used by legendary bands. The trendy Warehouse District is home to a wide variety of bars, clubs, boutiques, and restaurants.

Interstate 90 runs south and east of downtown, while Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga Valley form the northern and western boundaries, respectively. The Cleveland Mall is one of the best-preserved examples of City Beautiful architecture in the United States, and the area encompasses multiple neighborhoods. The residential population of Downtown Cleveland has increased dramatically since the turn of the millennium, especially in the 2010s, and now boasts the highest percentage increase of any Cleveland neighborhood.

By December of 2020, Crain’s Cleveland Business predicted that there would be 20,000 people living in Downtown. The 2020 census reports that out of a total of 9,569 dwelling units, 7,245 are occupied (75% occupancy rate). Additionally, the census reports 13,340 people living in the Downtown area, which is higher than Crain’s optimistic numbers. In 2020, 53% of Downtown’s residents were white, 32% were black, 10.5% were Asian or Pacific Islander, and 4.9% were from some other group. Only 5.5% of the population identified as white, leaving 95,500 Hispanics and other Latinos to make up the rest. There was a median income of $54,835 per family. As of 2019, 17% of Downtown residents were born outside of the United States.

Downtown experienced a renaissance in the mid-1990s as a result of renewed interest in the area. More than $4.5 billion in residential and commercial developments were built in Downtown Cleveland between 2010 and 2014. More than 16 million square feet of office space was available for lease in the area as of 2012. This was where 100,000 people were employed in the year 2000.

As a percentage of the city’s total population, downtown Cleveland saw the greatest increase in 2010. As well as new construction, the repurposing of vacant commercial spaces as homes is contributing to the city’s expanding population. The 59 Avenue District Luxury Apartments were built in 2012. The Langston Apartments, the Rosetta Center Building, the Hanna Annex Apartments, the conversion of the Embassy Suites hotel into residential space in Reserve Square, and 1120 Chester Ave. all opened their doors to new residents in 2013.

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