For Immediate Release:
April 2, 2015
Cleveland Rowing Foundation Announces Moves
To Enhance And Expand Rivergate Park
The Cleveland Rowing Foundation is announcing a series of land transactions that will expand and enhance the Rivergate Park complex as a hub for active recreation in downtown Cleveland and along the Cuyahoga River.
Cleveland Rowing Foundation (CRF), a nonprofit corporation dedicated to promoting and supporting the sport of rowing in Greater Cleveland, has agreed to sell an additional 1.1 acres of property to Cleveland Metroparks.
In 2012, CRF and the Trust for Public Land sold 2.8 acres of land and a building to Cleveland Metroparks. The building now houses the extremely successful Merwin’s Wharf restaurant.
CRF also has recently purchased a parcel adjacent to the northern boundary of its current property. With this purchase, CRF now controls 1,300 feet of riverfront – 250 feet more than previously.
“This sale and acquisition will give CRF more capacity to serve the adult, collegiate and scholastic programs currently rowing out of the CRF boathouse. It will also make way for future growth,” said CRF Executive Director Kirk Lang. “The land sale will not only allow Metroparks to continue expanding its footprint at Rivergate, it will also allow more people to access and enjoy the waterfront of a working river that supports both commerce and recreation.
“Before CRF moved into its Boathouse in 2011, this area of the East Bank of the Flats was largely deserted, at least in terms of public activity or recreation. Now it’s bustling year-round.
“CRF serves 1,500 rowers through its member organizations. Metroparks continues to expand its programming, and the City’s new Crooked River Skate Park is up and running and attracting skateboarders from all over Northeast Ohio and beyond. Combine this with the Towpath Trail, the Bike Co-Op, the Dragon Boat Association, Rivergate is alive with activity, which is exactly what our early funders hoped would happen. They wanted CRF to be a catalyst and it has been thus far and will continue to be so into the future.”
A new 6,000-square foot storage building that will house 96 sculling shells is currently under construction, and docks are being replaced or upgraded before the rowing season hits full stride. The property acquisitions announced today will enable CRF to expand its docks and beautify the campus.
Since last year, the ergometer and weight room in the boathouse has been significantly improved, the lobby has been remodeled and the security system for the complex has been enhanced. Work on additional drainage improvements will begin soon, and plans to upgrade the boathouse with showers, locker rooms, indoor practice tanks and paved parking are being developed.
“It’s all designed to improve the experience for rowers in Cleveland, and we hope, to encourage more people to try the sport,” said Lang. “We want to work with our Rivergate partners to make CRF Cleveland’s best outdoor recreation destination.”