The Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation (HWDDC) was formed in 1980 to coordinate and stimulate redevelopment and create a unique, mixed-use neighborhood for downtown Cleveland. The nonprofit local development corporation was formed from two groups: downtown business interests and architects who believed in the economics of historic preservation and the people who had moved into one of the under-utilized warehouses, creating their own loft living spaces. This newly formed “neighborhood organization”, with the help of the Cleveland Landmarks Commission, had the Warehouse District declared a Cleveland Landmark District in 1982. For the past 30 years, the District has grown and evolved, and HWDDC’s long-standing commitment to the neighborhood has remained the same:
“The purpose of the Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation of Cleveland is to stimulate, coordinate and strengthen successful quality reinvestment in the landmark Warehouse District of Downtown Cleveland. Its goal is to create and sustain an exemplary residential, commercial and retail neighborhood in the heart of the City through active and committed partnership with neighborhood, business, civic and government leaders. The Development Corporation further believes the Warehouse District’s central location, thoughtful adaptive reuse of historic buildings, complementary new use of undeveloped sites and enrichment of the Warehouse District’s distinctive identity will provide needed texture and lasting influence in shaping Cleveland’s urban fabric.”
As the needs of the District and stakeholders changed over time, HWDDC’s focus has changed to meet those needs. Although HWDDC is still concerned with overseeing the adaptive reuse and development of the area’s many historic buildings, attention is refocused on actively supporting residential and commercial concerns, attracting and stabilizing existing retail, and providing support services for the neighborhood.
HWDDC continues its work to provide sustained program funding for District security, streetscape and green space creation and maintenance, and marketing support resources for all aspects of the Warehouse District. HWDDC also continues its historic preservation easement program. The program’s underlying premise is to protect and preserve into perpetuity the District’s rich building stock. In addition, HWDDC provides limited technical assistance through the design review process and the City’s Storefront Renovation Program.