bedrock + david adjaye unveil $3.5bn vision for cuyahoga riverfront in downtown cleveland

bedrock + david adjaye unveil $3.5bn vision for cuyahoga riverfront in downtown cleveland

first look at the 35-acre cuyahoga riverfront master plan


Real estate firm Bedrock, jointly with the City of Cleveland and world-renowned architect Sir David Adjaye, revealed its comprehensive master plan for the Cuyahoga Riverfront. This $3.5 billion, 15-to-20-year vision will reimagine 35 acres of downtown Cleveland’s riverfront, transform Tower City Center, and prioritize accessibility, equity, sustainability, and resilience by developing an 18-hour, 15-minute urban hub.


We are incredibly excited to present our interpretation of the groundbreaking work accomplished in the City’s Vision for the Valley. The opportunity to provide unparalleled access to the Cuyahoga Riverfront while connecting the area to the downtown core is realized through David Adjaye’s bold strokes,’ comments Kofi Bonner, CEO at Bedrock. ‘David’s vision not only embraces downtown Cleveland’s rich history and connection to nature, but also addresses the demands of a world-class city by leveraging sustainable infrastructure and emphasizing pedestrian and transit modes to large activated open spaces.’

bedrock + david adjaye unveil $3.5bn vision for cuyahoga riverfront in downtown cleveland
view from Carter Bridge of meandering riverwalk | all renderings © Adjaye Associates



During the last several months, Adjaye spent time in Cleveland to devise a multi-faceted, future-state blueprint for the Cuyahoga Riverfront. The site features over 35 acres of public and private land, primed for around 325,161 sqm of new development and adaptive reuse. This includes 2,000 residential units, about 79,000 sqm of office space, new parking, 12+ acres of public space and hospitality services, and retail and entertainment venues.


Our redevelopment strategy for the downtown Cleveland Riverfront taps into the lost heritage of the city, establishing a new relationship between the urban core and the shore,’ shares the architect. ‘As I became more deeply immersed, the need to build a more tempered flow of movement through the city became immensely clear.‘ 

bedrock + david adjaye unveil $3.5bn vision for cuyahoga riverfront in downtown cleveland
axonometric view of master plan



Linking Shore to Core


A signature move connects Public Square to the riverfront by creating a new Tower City Center marketplace. Envisioned as an activated and unifying hub, this central spine will elevate daily commuters’ experience and spur opportunities for commerce and connection, mirroring boulevards and covered markets worldwide. ‘We’ll stratify the inclining site through layers of use and activation, advancing from commercial and transactional function toward the more public, recreational uses at the water’s edge,‘ Adjaye continues. In the coming years, Tower City will undergo interior and structural updates to maximize flow, eliminating obstructions on Huron Road and scaling down to the riverfront. For now, it will remain home to a mix of retail, dining, and programming.


With mobility in focus, the Bedrock team, jointly with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA), and select civic partners, will explore plans for an advanced mobility hub comprised of a multi-modal pathway, stronger connection points between rail and bus, and enhanced ADA access. Complementary to the existing, highly trafficked Tower City and Public Square stops, the hub could include a new Prospect Plaza, Huron Plaza, Superior bus station, and an Ontario bus facility – all servicing the Central Business District, riverfront, and surrounding neighborhoods. 

bedrock + david adjaye unveil $3.5bn vision for cuyahoga riverfront in downtown cleveland
east view towards Tower City: new riverwalk with landscaped water feature



The west side of the Cuyahoga Riverfront development site is woven together by accessible green space, tapping into the heritage of the ‘Forest City’ as a connection to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park system. Textured, cultured, and curated paths will encourage walkability, accessibility, and equitable spaces. This new neighborhood will feature office and retail spaces near Huron Road and transition to smaller-scale residential blocks closer to a new Canal Road. To the east of Tower City, the Adjaye plan introduces enclaves of recreation, congregation, and culture, including an amphitheater and more activities for all interests and ages.


Rounding out the bend, a water-side belvedere gives way to a neighborhood park with public green space and landscaping. As key components of the master plan evolve, collaboration with public, private, and non-profit stakeholders will remain critical.

bedrock + david adjaye unveil $3.5bn vision for cuyahoga riverfront in downtown cleveland
stepped seating adorning the riverwalk



sustainability meets social impact


Looking ahead, the Cuyahoga Riverfront master plan will leverage the most advanced sustainable practices to ensure that it is at the forefront of smart city development. This includes new estuaries and irrigation options vital for vibrant public parks, trees, and vegetation, green roofs, permeable pavement, and stormwater flow treatment to enhance water efficiency throughout the area. Moreover, the team will pursue LEED certification standards and conscious use of environmentally friendly materials such as mass timber. Additionally, EV charging stations and the use of district energy systems will help improve efficiency and reduce the impact on regional grid infrastructure.





A master plan that contributes to a downtown center and is accessible to all through multi-modal transportation is at the vanguard of Bedrock’s Cuyahoga Riverfront master plan. Bedrock has enlisted the expertise and experience of Cleveland’s Osborn Engineering and MKSK as consultants to strategize and, ultimately, help execute phases of the Cuyahoga Riverfront master plan. ‘We look forward […] to better refine this plan and define appropriate community benefits. We intend to engage key community, private and non-profit partners to execute and deliver a vibrant, accessible riverfront community to the City of Cleveland,’ concludes Kofi Bonner. 



view of Huron Plaza, a covered outdoor market hall framing the riverfront

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