police building

The storefront properties in the Fifth Street Arcades are filled with retail tenants, from loacl tea shops to clothing boutiques and restaurants.


December 7, 2015

Downtown retail is on the rise in Cleveland

As hundreds of young people move into downtown apartment complexes, and the city prepares for the arrival of the Republican National Convention in July, new businesses and retail stores are popping up around the area.

Since Heinen’s first opened its doors this past February, downtown Cleveland looks significantly different.
Next door, another local chain – Geiger’s, which sells outdoor equipment and apparel and has branches in Lakewood and Chagrin Falls – has opened shop.

Retail and commercial proprietors have brightened their empty storefront properties, dusting off their “For Lease” signs.

None of this comes as a surprise to Donald Shingler, founder and strategic relations director of Fashion Week Cleveland and executive director of the Cleveland Retail Commission.

The Cleveland Retail Commission works with architects, developers and entrepreneurs to help increase the downtown shopping district.

“Geiger’s are true retailers,” Shingler said. “They know what they are doing.”

“Their movement downtown will pave the way for others,” he continued. “Many, I am sure, are watching them and will move downtown as they see the success.”

According to Shingler, while many people will have to travel downtown to take part in the retail revival, driving past suburban shopping centers and other popular shopping areas will not halt the expansion of a retail and business-oriented downtown.

One of Cleveland’s unique retail destinations that has seen significant growth is the Fifth Street Arcades, an indoor center that houses a number of small locally owned businesses.

“The Fifth Street Arcades is now a downtown retail center,” Shingler said. “We still need a great deal more garment retailers to create a true downtown shopping district in Cleveland.”

“Clearly the continued growth of downtown residents will bring retailers – who are now on the fence in regards to setting up shop downtown – to reconsider their position. Designers will come too,” Shingler said.

“They will come, and yes, pass by suburban malls to get here,” Shingler continued, “as there is nothing like a true, vibrant, downtown shopping district.”


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