Port of Cleveland board of directors approves 2016 budget

The Port of Cleveland’s board of directors met recently to discuss a busy agenda, with the highlight being the approval of the port’s 2016 budget. The new budget will maintain existing levels of revenue and spending, setting the stage for continued growth in cargo volume with steady expenses.

“2015 has been a great year for the Port of Cleveland,” said Port of Cleveland Board Chairman Chris Ronayne. “The board of directors is encouraged by the progress we have made to position ourselves as a global, green port on the Great Lakes. We look forward to even greater things in 2016 as we continue to strategically invest in maritime operations that benefit our regional economy.”

The Port of Cleveland’s board of directors met recently to discuss a busy agenda, with the highlight being the approval of the port’s 2016 budget. The new budget will maintain existing levels of revenue and spending, setting the stage for continued growth in cargo volume with steady expenses.

“2015 has been a great year for the Port of Cleveland,” said Port of Cleveland Board Chairman Chris Ronayne. “The board of directors is encouraged by the progress we have made to position ourselves as a global, green port on the Great Lakes. We look forward to even greater things in 2016 as we continue to strategically invest in maritime operations that benefit our regional economy.”

The port will continue to make strategic capital investments in maritime operations in 2016, including a new warehouse, infrastructure maintenance and replacement of equipment. The port secured $6.4 million in outside grants for these capital projects, while also investing $1.3 million of port cash to leverage the grant dollars.

“With the board’s approval of the 2016 budget, we expect another year of dynamic growth for the Port of Cleveland,” said Port President and CEO Will Friedman. “We saw continued increases in cargo through our docks in 2015 with the success of the Cleveland Europe Express and we expect 2016 to continue the trend.”

Cargo shipped through the port surged in 2015 as the Cleveland Europe Express, operated by Dutch shipowner Spliethoff Group, provides the Northeast Ohio region direct maritime access to European markets, with ships calling in Cleveland at least twice monthly. Container volumes at the port have increased by more than 400 percent compared to 2014 and overall tonnage is up by more than 300 percent.

The board also approved a one-year maritime services lease agreement with C-Port to manage the new Dock 22 warehouse that the port is currently developing. C-port will track all inventory for the warehouse and invoice customers for storage. C-Port also has served as stevedore for the port’s Cleveland Europe Express liner service since September 2014 and will continue in that role moving forward.

In development finance matters, the board approved a series of resolutions to help facilitate key regional economic development projects through a combination of bonds and other agreements. The projects include:

  • The $80 million redevelopment of the 21-story Standard Building in downtown Cleveland into 285 apartments and 10,000 square feet of street-level retail
  • The $260 million Pinecrest mixed-use development in Orange Village consisting of retail, office, multi-family and hospitality
  • A new $18 million, 74-unit assisted living community in Brecksville developed by Jennings Center for Older Adults

“The Port of Cleveland’s development finance department is pleased to help these catalytic developments gain access to necessary private capital through our creative financing and development tools,” said Brent Leslie, the port’s Chief Financial Officer.

Maritime Editorial