Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Indians may buy garage for ‘ballpark village’ development

Massive Gateway East Garage along the East 7th Street and behind Progressive Field’s scoreboardGoogleEarth

With an office-like façade along Huron Road, the massive Gateway East Garage extends south along the East 7th Street alley and then west along Bolivar Road, behind Progressive Field’s scoreboard. The Cleveland Indians/Guardians may acquire the 1994-built city-owned parking garage in 2024-25 and sell or partner with a real estate investor to redevelop it.

As part of its ballpark renovation plan, the Cleveland Indians may acquire one of the largest parking garages in downtown Cleveland. The city-owned, 1,650-space Gateway East Garage, 650 Huron Rd., might then be sold to a real estate investor who would demolish some or all of the structure for redevelopment, according to two sources.

Both sources spoke off the record to NEOtrans and outlined the Major League Baseball (MLB) team’s vision for financing $435 million worth of proposed renovations to the 1994-built Progressive Field. The Indians (to be called Guardians after this season) in August signed a public-private partnership deal with the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the state of Ohio to remain at Progressive Field for at least another 15 years after the club’s current lease expires following the 2023 season. Two optional five-year lease extensions are included.

The sources said the city is being asked to establish a Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) district for a “ballpark village” around Progressive Field from which taxes produced by real estate developments in that district would support the ballpark’s renovations. Such ballpark villages and, occasionally, value capture mechanisms were established in other MLB cities including Atlanta, Boston, San Diego, Washington DC and St. Louis.

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