New life being breathed into the Flats - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

New life being breathed into the Flats

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DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Becky Howerin enjoyed an evening with her friends in the Flats Thursday evening, something she says she wouldn't have dared to do several years ago.

"Cleveland had so much more to offer, but I was always more afraid in this city than I was in D.C. and I worked downtown D.C.," said Howerin.

For years crime kept people away from the area, but now things are turning around. The Flats are getting a facelift with the hopes of bringing it back to life.

"It's nice to come down here after work, sit around with friends have drinks know your safe, your car's safe and have a good time,' said Bob Menner.

Senator Rob Portman is in town to tour the area with a walk through of the Aloft Hotel and 23-story office tower. It's all part of the $500 million dollar phase one project of the Flats transformation.

"There's some very good things going on here. The economy's tough. Northeast Ohio continues to lag but there's also some good signs the Flats is one," explained Senator Rob Portman.

Several restaurants including Lago which recently moved from Tremont are part of the project.

"We have the river. We have the lake. we have these gorgeous bridges at night that are lit up. the views are amazing," said Lago owner Nicole Salerno.

But, this is just the beginning phase two of the Flats will include a an apartment complex, retail shops, plenty of restaurants and more.

"That excites me," says Howerin.

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