Driving Downtown Foot Traffic

This is a continuation of my interview with Michael Scott.  His question is followed by my response.

What are the primary drivers to activity and foot traffic downtown? In your opinion, what are the keys behind the success of the 4th St. Gateway District project (i.e location to sport venues?)

Most of the people who you find walking around downtown during the day actually work in the city.  Our primary industries downtown right now seem to be healthcare and banks, but we could increase the amount of people in the city (obviously) by bringing more businesses (small, medium and large) to the inner city to drive economic development in our region.  We also get foot traffic at night for sporting events.

In addition, we do have a significant homeless population – which is an area our city could improve on.

I would say the keys to the success behind E. 4th St. and W. 6th St. are their focus on entertainment, bars, good food, and street design.  Ari Maron and his partners at MRN Ltd. developed E.4th St., and although the proximity to Progressive Field and The Q likely does help business on this street, I would also say that the way the street was designed and the focus on entertainment are also keys to the street’s success.


  1. Entertainment and food: Corner Alley, bars, award-winning restaurants
  2. Housing: nice apartment buildings in the renovated industrial buildings
  3. Design (looks inviting): cobblestone street, fun lighting, outdoor seating at most of the restaurants

Read these articles about East 4th St:

  1. “Saving the Soul: Ari Maron and his partners at MRN Ltd. lifted the spirit of a promising pocket in Cleveland’s core one building at a time.  Today, there’s no other street quite like east fourth — anywhere” by Kristen HampshireInside Business
  2. “An Enclave of Entertainment in Cleveland” by Keith SchneiderThe New York Times

Ari Maron hopes to create similar retail and dining locations along Euclid Avenue and in University Circle.


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