(Cleveland) - Flats East Bank developers have secured commitments from seven new retail tenants as part of the $500 million waterfront development.

The development’s success has accelerated Phase 2. Developers are working to finalize financing and plan to announce a Phase 2 groundbreaking within the next few months, subject to finalization of financing.

The seven new retail tenants include: BBR sports bar, The Beer Market, Big Bang dueling piano bar, Constantino’s Café, East Bank News & Gift, FWD: night club and Panini’s Bar & Grill.

“Our family’s dream of 20+ years is now so very close to reality,” said Iris S. Wolstein, who is developing the Flats East Bank along with her son, Scott Wolstein, and Fairmount Properties. “My late husband, Bert, would be so proud to see the interest from tenants locally and nationally who chose to invest in the Flats.”

Scott Wolstein added: “The redevelopment of the Flats East Bank was my father’s dream but he never got to see it materialize. We knew the potential was vast, but now to see the blood, sweat and tears of the last few decades come to fruition is very gratifying.”

(Photo by Colleen O'Neill/WTAM 1100)

Among the new tenants will be four restaurants/bars offering an eclectic mix of cuisine and entertainment, a high-end night club featuring world famous deejays, a gift shop and an office tower café and deli.

The Big Bang, with four other locations across the country including St. Louis and Nashville, is centered around two grand pianos and four talented entertainers who combine music, comedy and audience participation to create a fast-paced, high-energy show. Sam Leatherwood, co-owner of the Big Bang along with partner Meredyth Muller, spent several years living in Cleveland in the 1990s and will open his fifth venue here.

“I developed a deep appreciation for Cleveland and the spirit of the people here,” said Leatherwood. “Clevelanders are fun loving and loyal to their friends, local businesses, their sports teams and their city in general. We have a lot of faith in Cleveland and the revitalization of the Flats, and believe wholeheartedly that this development will re-establish its national reputation as a vibrant entertainment district.”

All the tenants share Leatherwood’s enthusiasm for both Cleveland and the project, but offer diversity in their offerings. FWD: will offer a chic, high-end waterfront dance club featuring world famous deejays. Already a local favorite, Panini’s Bar & Grill will have a waterfront location with large patios. Popular Cincinnati-based BBR will offer an expansive menu and entertainment, and Chicago-based Beer Market will feature 500+ microbrews including American craft, flavored, organic, gluten-free, seasonal, and other specialty beers, wines, and beverages.

Conveniently located in the Ernst & Young Tower lobby, East Bank News & Gifts will offer traditional sundries along with wine, cigars, gourmet snacks and unique gifts. Also in the office lobby, Costas Mavromichalis of Constantino’s Market on W.9th Street will open a café in the Ernst & Young Tower lobby featuring Erie Island Coffee, gourmet sandwiches as well as grab and go products such as salads, sandwiches, soft drinks, yogurts, and a soup bar. Mavromichalis is proud to continue his family’s legacy with a presence in the new development.

“The Flats East Bank project plays a great role in the revitalization of not only the East Bank but all of downtown Cleveland, and we feel very important in playing a very small part in it,” said Mavromichalis, president of Constantino’s.

The office tenants announced recently -- Wells Fargo, Northwestern Mutual and Gilbane Building Company, -- join Ernst & Young, Tucker Ellis and CBRE, bringing the 23-story Ernst & Young Office Tower to 70% capacity. The latter three will move in this May and June. An Aloft boutique hotel is also opening in June.

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