Case Study - INTRO Cleveland

INTRO Cleveland

Behind America's Tallest Mass Timber Building

INTRO Cleveland is a mixed-use development located in the heart of Ohio City. Adjacent to the historic West Side Market, one of Cleveland’s largest tourist destinations, INTRO Cleveland consists of nine stories in total. The development’s first floor consists of 35,000 square feet of downstairs retail, the ensuing floors up to the eighth are used for residential and, lastly, the top, ninth floor combines a mix of residential space as well as approximately 12,000 square feet of event space.

The Port of Cleveland worked closely with Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors to develop custom solutions to import mass timber directly to Cleveland and also leveraged the Port’s financing capabilities to help fund the project.

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Port of Cleveland Welcomes New Board Chair, Aids Vaccine Distribution

Cleveland, OH (May 19, 2021) – In its May board meeting, the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) welcomed their newly elected officers. Patricia Ramsey officially took over as Chairperson of the Port of Cleveland Board of Directors after the successful tenure of fellow Board member, Jan Roller.

“Our mission is to be an economic generator and promote economic development for Northeast Ohio. That means we must continue to be involved in the economic growth of businesses and work with developers that want to grow Northeast Ohio. As we support these development activities, we’re focusing on our neighborhoods throughout Cleveland and Cuyahoga County to aid in job creation,” said Patricia Ramsey, Board Chair, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. “Additionally, tied together with our economic development initiatives, are our maritime activities. With this, we’re working closely with our partners, vendors and unions to make sure that we are doing good business for the companies here in Northeast Ohio. Moreover, we’re ensuring that our local businesses have access to the Port and are able to use it for imports and exports tied to our region.”

Patricia Ramsey, Board Chair, Port of Cleveland

Over 20,000 jobs and $3.5 billion in annual economic activity are tied to the roughly 13 million tons of cargo that move through Cleveland Harbor each year.

Board Chair Ramsey previously served as the vice-chair on the Port’s board. She is the Vice President of Community and Economic Development for Fifth Third Bank in Cleveland, Ohio. Ramsey has more than thirty years of experience in community and economic development roles within the financial services industry, managing community outreach and development activities for Northeastern Ohio and Columbus, Ohio in various roles. Board Chair Ramsey received her Bachelor’s degree in Urban & Environmental Studies and her Master of Business Administration degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Last month, the Port Authority also welcomed Peggy Zone Fisher and Andrew Jackson to the Port of Cleveland Board of Directors.

As a recognized Cleveland business and community leader over the last 30 years, Peggy joined the Port’s Board in April. Previously, she was appointed as a National Commissioner of the White House Conference on Small Business by President Bill Clinton, chaired the Ohio Governor's Advisory Council for Travel and Tourism and led Ohio Governor Richard Celeste's China Trade Mission, and advised Cleveland Mayors George Voinovich, Mike White and Jane Campbell on travel and tourism issues. In March 2006, Peggy became the President & CEO of the Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio.

Andrew Jackson joined the Port’s board in April. He is the President and CEO of Elsons International, Owner and CFO of MAC Installations & Consulting LLC, Owner and Operator of AJ Automotive Group, Do-All Landscaping/Snow Plowing and Forest Glen Properties. Prior to his entrepreneurial engagements, Jackson spent over 30 years as a Partner with Accenture.

David Wondolowski was appointed Vice Chair after serving on the Port’s board since 2018. David is the Executive Secretary and Business Manager of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council.

After being appointed to the Board of Directors in 2018, J. Stefan Holmes was selected as the Board’s Secretary. Currently, J. Stefan Holmes sources and manages Public Fund relationships for First National Bank in the Ohio market. J. Stefan Holmes also has more than 27 years of banking experience in Northeast Ohio, including 25 years as Senior Vice President and Public Funds Officer with FirstMerit Bank.

The current board members are as follows:


  • Patricia Ramsey, Board Chair
  • David J. Wondolowski, Vice Chair
  • J. Stefan Holmes, Secretary
  • Margot Copeland
  • Paul Hoogenboom
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Darrell L. McNair
  • Jan L. Roller
  • Peggy Zone Fisher


Port of Cleveland to Offer COVID-19 Vaccine to International Crews

 The Port of Cleveland today launched a program for international vessel crews to get vaccinated when they come to Cleveland. Working with the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, the Port will provide access to the COVID-19 vaccine for international crew members as it can be difficult for crew members to access the vaccine during the shipping season.

Modernizing Irishtown Bend

In this episode of Great Lakes Forward, our host Jade Davis, Vice President of External Affairs, is joined by Tom McNair, Executive Director of Ohio City Incorporated, and Linda Sternheimer, Director, Urban Planning and Engagement at the Port of Cleveland.

Together, they discuss the history and development of Irishtown Bend and the steps required to stabilize the hillside along the Cuyahoga River. Without this critical step, Irishtown Bend would fail, resulting in a lost shipping channel that impacts thousands of jobs regionally. The end goal is a successful shipping channel that is safe and a public park to bring waterfront access to the Ohio City neighborhood.

Great Lakes Forward is a podcast series by the Port of Cleveland that tells the untold story of maritime and tackles topics of shipping, logistics and trade.

Find us on the web at and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn we are @portofcleveland Email us with comments and questions at

Invested in the Community with Tom O'Brien

In this episode of Great Lakes Forward, our host Jade Davis, Vice President of External Affairs, is joined by Tom O’Brien, Director of Neighborhood Connections in Cleveland, Ohio. In November 2020, the Port of Cleveland announced the launch of a Community Investment Fund to provide support to economically vulnerable neighborhoods in the Greater Cleveland area. The fund launched by awarding $150,000 total in grants, of which Neighborhood Connections received $100,000 for economic development.

Together, Jade and Tom discuss the partnership between the Port and Neighborhood Connections and some of the projects and initiatives that are on the horizon

Great Lakes Forward is a podcast series by the Port of Cleveland that tells the untold story of maritime and tackles topics of shipping, logistics and trade. Find us on the web at and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube we are @portofcleveland Email us with comments and questions at

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is partnering with the Port of Cleveland for renovation of museum’s facilities

Cleveland, OH (February 11, 2021) – The Port of Cleveland is proud to partner with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, an Ohio nonprofit corporation and cultural, research and educational institution, by providing up to $75 million tax-exempt cultural facility bonds to assist with the financing of costs of acquiring, constructing, renovating, expanding, equipping and improving the facilities of the museum.

“The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has a special place in the hearts of Clevelanders. For some, it’s the start of careers or new interests. For me, it was the site of the first date with my wife. Today, we are proud to approve this funding on behalf of our region,” said J. Stefan Holmes, a member of The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Board of Directors.

The museum’s continued commitment to Cleveland will create a positive impact in Cuyahoga County, Northeast Ohio and the State of Ohio. Currently, the museum employs 160 people, educates approximately 100,000 students per year and attracts over 300,000 visitors annually.

The funds raised through the bond issuance will help the museum expand these efforts with the addition of new education and collection spaces, the creation of a new visitor hall and new wing, the renovation of the existing exhibit space and existing building, upgrades to central utilities and other improvements to Museum facilities and related acquisitions.

In 2020, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History celebrated its 100th anniversary, honoring the integral role of the museum to the region’s quality of life, cultural and economic vibrancy, educational and scientific advancement, and as a leader in the region's conservation and sustainability efforts.

Extending beyond the region, the museum has been recognized as a global leader in scientific research for the past century. With vast collections containing more than five million research specimens and artifacts, it is Ohio’s largest museum devoted to the natural sciences and one of the top 10 natural history museums in the United States.

How to Ship to the Great Lakes


From the earliest days of settlement in America, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River have been used to move cargos from America’s Heartland to the world — and vice versa.

In fact, the origin of Great Lakes shipping began in the 1800s with the industrialization of the Midwest. When farmers, miners and loggers of the region needed to move their goods, they turned to Great Lakes fleets to serve their industries. In turn, this helped develop thriving port cities in America, like Cleveland.

In present day, ports located in the Great Lakes region, like the Port of Cleveland, handle cargos from across the world, supporting major industries that are critical to the global economy, such as agriculture, automotive, construction and energy.

For businesses across the globe, the same advantages that existed at the genesis of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River shipping exist today.

Ultimately, a faster door-to-door transit, ample capacity and direct access to a market containing half of all U.S. households and manufacturing means that products reach their final destination before the competition.

So, how does shipping to the Port of Cleveland actually work?

Shipping to the Port of Cleveland from anywhere in the world is simple. In fact, it’s so simple we can break it down to three easy steps.

As an example, let’s track a shipment that originates in Europe, specifically in Antwerp, Belgium.

Step 1: Containerized or non-containerized cargo is loaded on a vessel

Cargos are loaded on a vessel and prepared for shipping. These vessels, like The Spliethoff Group’s — our vessel partner for the Cleveland Europe Express, can carry more than 70,000 tons of cargo in a single voyage. Just for comparison, it would take 2,800 trucks to do the same exact work of one vessel.


In addition to simplifying the supply chain by using water transport, the size of these vessels also offers economic and environmental benefits by saving on fuel costs and, more importantly, releasing fewer emissions along the way.

Step 2: The vessel crosses the Atlantic Ocean and arrives at the Port of Cleveland

The map above shows a typical shipping route from a city in Europe, like Antwerp, to Cleveland in America.


Once the vessel leaves the port of origin, it takes an all-water route across the Atlantic Ocean and through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system until it arrives at the first major U.S. port of call, the Port of Cleveland. In total, the trip between Cleveland and Antwerp has an average sailing time of 13 days.

When you compare the timing of the same trip from Europe to other ports, like those on the east coast, you’ll find that shipping to the Port of Cleveland is actually 5-10 days faster. That means getting products in front of customers ahead of the competition.

Curious why it’s so much faster? It comes down to added efficiencies and capacities.

When cargo arrives at the Port of Cleveland, our terminal operator, LOGISTEC, handles the shipment, which can include bulk and general cargo such as breakbulk, intermodal containers and project cargo.

Ultimately, this partnership reduces the amount of time cargos are stuck sitting at a port, speeding up the shipping process from origin to end-user.

Just how much faster does this make shipping to the Port of Cleveland? Actually, a lot.

The span of time a vessel unloads at the Port of Cleveland is minimal, typically just over two days. Compare the same process at other ports, like U.S. east coast, and you’ll find that the Port of Cleveland unloads cargo about three to five days faster.

Simply put, while other ports have vessels sit at the dock with your cargo, we keep it moving to its final destination.

Step 3: Your cargo is connected to its final destination

Once the cargo is moved from water to land, it’s connected to the final user. The Port of Cleveland’s geographical location offers direct access to its hinterlands (shown above) — major U.S. markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan (i.e., Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit and Pittsburgh) — all within just one day of trucking.


Why is the Port’s geographic location so important to businesses? Half of all U.S. households, businesses and manufacturing plants are located within an 8-hour drive of the port. That means access to prime markets faster and more efficiently.

To connect your cargo, the Port of Cleveland has strong, locally established multimodal solutions, including an intermodal network of railroads and inland ramps or terminals where containers can be drayed, two Class 1 Railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern. OmniTRAX, a national short-line railroad, provides all switching services on port property, and immediate highway access for truck routing and drayage.

Are you ready to ship to the Great Lakes?

Work with the Port of Cleveland — the premier port on the Great Lakes. We’re your business’s one-stop for shipping, logistics, capacity and access solutions.

Contact us today at 216.241.8004 or learn more on our website.

Environment & Infrastructure: Building a Greater Cleveland

In this episode of Great Lakes Forward, our host Jade Davis, Vice President of External Affairs, is joined by Nicholas LaPointe, Director of Planning & Capital Development at the Port of Cleveland. Together, they discuss the Port of Cleveland’s ongoing environmental initiatives as well as current infrastructure projects set to modernize the Port.

Great Lakes Forward is a podcast series by the Port of Cleveland that tells the untold story of maritime and tackles topics of shipping, logistics and trade.

Find us on the web at and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn we are @portofcleveland Email us with comments and questions at

Spurring Job Creation & Economic Vitality

In this episode of Great Lakes Forward, our host Jade Davis, Vice President of External Affairs, is joined by Carl Naso, Chief Financial Officer at the Port of Cleveland. Together, they discuss Development Finance, and its role in economic development and job creation across Northeast Ohio.

Great Lakes Forward is a podcast series by the Port of Cleveland that tells the untold story of maritime and tackles topics of shipping, logistics and trade.

Find us on the web at and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn we are @portofcleveland Email us with comments and questions at

Port of Cleveland’s Community Investment Fund to Provide Support to Economically Vulnerable Neighborhoods

Cleveland, Ohio (November 18, 2020)The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) announced the launch of a Community Investment Fund (CIF) dedicated to economically vulnerable neighborhoods and their residents. The Port’s CIF will make grants to aid Cuyahoga County based nonprofit programs and organizations focused on workforce development, economic development, and community improvement / quality of life issues.

“The Port’s Community Investment Fund will help ensure that our agency’s traditional economic development and finance work provides equitable benefit throughout Cuyahoga County,” said Will Friedman, the Port’s President and CEO. “Our goal with the CIF is to leverage our resources and connect chronically disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities to greater opportunity.”

To fund the CIF, the Port Authority Board of Directors agreed to dedicate 10% of the fees generated each year by development finance projects to CIF grants. The Port’s traditional development finance work leverages its bonding capacity, tax-favorable status, and structured leasing to finance development projects and related infrastructure at more competitive rates.

“The Port’s Board of Directors know that our traditional development finance tools have had huge success generating development at scale, but we also need to play a role supporting community development efforts at the neighborhood level, many of which are not positioned to tap into our development finance tools,” said Darrell McNair, Chair of the Port’s Board of Directors CIF Committee. “These neighborhoods are full of opportunity, but face greater difficulty in attracting private capital, meeting underwriting standards, and capitalizing on momentum.”

To guide the grantmaking process, the Port’s board established a CIF committee that evaluated potential grantees based on amount of need, deliverables from the grant funds requested, and potential measurable impact. Based on the committee’s recommendation, the Port’s Board of Directors has approved grants of $50,000 to Phastar/Benjamin O. Davis Aviation and Maritime High School for its maritime and waterfront education programs and $100,000 to Neighborhood Connections to provide matching grants in Cleveland & inner-ring suburbs.

“The Port is thrilled to make these grants to Benjamin O. Davis Aviation High School and Neighborhood Connections,” said Margot Copeland, a member of the Port Board and the CIF committee. “The CIF is our way of making sure the Port is investing in economic development at all levels in the County, and we believe this first round of grants is an excellent way to launch the program.”