If you are considering starting a new business or service, making physical changes to your building, or changing the location of your business (within the Neighborhood), please contact the Historic Downtown Cleveland Design Review Committee Coordinator (design review coordinator) – Thomas Starinsky at (216) 771-1994 or tstarinsky@historicgateway.org for assistance.  The coordinator will provide design technical assistance on your project and guide you through the design review process. Meetings are generally held on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 8:00 a.m.  Project presentation materials must be received by the design review coordinator one week prior to the meeting date your project will be reviewed.

You may also refer to the Development Guide to Cleveland’s Gateway District and The Gateway District – Re-Imagining the Public Realm planning documents in developing your project.

The Approval Process

Step 1:

It is highly recommended to contact the design review coordinator as early as possible for assistance prior to a formal submission.  The coordinator will provide technical assistance regarding design, explain what information will be needed at the meeting, and answer questions regarding the review process.

Step 2:

You will meet informally with the HGN design review coordinator to assist you in developing your project and preparing your project to be reviewed by the design review committee.

Step 3:

A time and date is scheduled by the design review coordinator for your application to be reviewed by the design review committee at which time you will make a formal presentation to the committee, who will then take action on your proposal.  If your plans require amendment, you will then be asked to address the recommended changes and reschedule a subsequent design review meeting(s) for approval.  Upon approval, the design review coordinator will assist you in proceeding to the City for formal approval and advocate for your project.

Step 4:

At this point your project can proceed to the Cleveland Landmarks Commission or Cleveland City Planning Commission (depending on your specific location), which will review and ultimately grant the necessary approvals for your project.  Project approval is required to obtain all necessary permits from the City of Cleveland, Division of Building and Housing.  If all or part of the proposed site is located in the public Right of Way, you will be required to present proposed plans to the Mayor’s Infrastructure and Streetscape Advisory Committee.

Check List of Required Materials

The following is a checklist of materials that may be required by the committee. In order for the committee to make an informed decision and to ensure approval of your work as efficiently as possible, please come prepared with as many of the items listed below as applicable.  Contact the design review coordinator to determine which items will be needed at the meeting for your particular project:

  • Color photo(s) of the project site and existing conditions (historic photos are useful, if they exist).

  • Scale drawings with dimensions, details and sections of the proposed work.

  • Detailed description of proposed work and materials to be used.

  • Full elevation drawings, if applicable (i.e. in cases where the entire building is being rehabilitated).

  • Streetscape plan if applicable (i.e. in cases where the entire building is being rehabilitated).

  • Signage plan.

  • Color renderings of the proposed work if applicable (i.e. in cases where the entire building is being rehabilitated, new construction and signage proposals).

  • Samples of materials.