INTRO Cleveland receives International Economic Development Council’s Public-Private Partnership Excellence Gold Award

The INTRO Cleveland timbers project in Ohio City.

October 5, 2021

CLEVELAND – INTRO Cleveland (INTRO CLE), developed by Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors with support from Greater Cleveland Partnership, has been named the Gold Winner of the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) Public-Private Partnership Excellence Award for communities with a population of greater than 500,000.

The largest mass timber building in the United States, INTRO CLE, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is adjacent to the historic West Side Market and in the heart of the iconic Ohio City neighborhood. Harbor Bay has invested $144 million to construct a nine-story mass timber building of 505,000 square feet that includes 298 residential apartments, 35,000 square feet of retail, 12,000 square feet of event space, and one acre of public greenspace. INTRO CLE is setting a new standard in sustainability and achieving the region’s vision of the Cleveland Climate Action Plan, a collaborative strategy to reduce building energy use by 50 percent by 2030.

 “Public-private partnerships work when you have great partners focused on doing the right things for the betterment of the community,” said Deb Janik, Senior Vice President of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. “INTRO CLE is the ‘right thing’ for Cleveland. Our community’s partnership with Harbor Bay works and the result is a development that both enhances one of our core city neighborhoods and places Cleveland at the forefront of sustainable design and construction at a national level.”

The start of the global pandemic in March 2020 posed challenges, but the work of partners – the City of Cleveland, the Ohio Department of Development (Development), the Port of Cleveland, and the First National Bank of Omaha – kept the project on track.

“The commitment and perseverance of these professionals overwhelmed us and made Harbor Bay proud to have chosen Cleveland and the State of Ohio for our first mass timber development. A global pandemic would have been reason enough to delay the closing indefinitely,” said Mark Bell, CEO of Harbor Bay. “Despite the unprecedent challenges, these public and private professionals chose to push forward. On March 20, 2020, Harbor Bay closed on all public and private financing. And thanks to the strength and commitment of all parties, INTRO CLE commenced construction on March 23, 2020, on schedule.”

INTRO CLE would have not occurred without the financial support and commitment of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, Ohio City Inc., City of Cleveland, Port of Cleveland, and the Ohio Department of Development.

“Through the leadership of Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted, Ohio has been a leader in implementing the Opportunity Zone program, and INTRO CLE is a great example of what can be accomplished,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of Development. “Development is proud to be able to partner on the INTRO CLE project, and in the process, provide jobs and improve the quality of life in this Cleveland neighborhood.”

IEDC recognized Excellence in Economic Development award winners at the Annual Conference in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. The Excellence Awards recognize the world’s outstanding and pioneering programs, partnerships, and promotion efforts in economic and business development. Public-Private Partnership Awards recognize significant partnerships formed to support economic development and the results achieved by working together.

Vince Adamus, GCP’s Vice President of Business Growth and Development, and
Steve Willobee, Harbor Bay’s Vice President of Government and Public Relations.

Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors (Harbor Bay), based in Northbrook, Illinois, is a leading real estate development and investment firm, renowned for its relationship‐focused, honest approach in creating valuable real estate. Harbor Bay is based on a foundation of great people, high energy, and sound discipline. At its core, Harbor Bay strives to build superior communities through well‐ developed, well‐positioned, well‐managed real estate. Above all, Harbor Bay prides itself on consistently exhibiting a partnership approach when working with its clients and customers in the evaluation and optimization of real estate.

Harbor Bay and its family affiliates have been around since 1856, comprising multiple generations of successful real estate development, investment, and management. Together, they have developed more than two billion dollars in real estate across a broad range of product types including multi‐family, industrial, office, retail, student, and active adult living. Harbor Bay’s trademark is transformational and sustainable developments with profound impacts to communities.

Greater Cleveland Partnership is the region’s leading economic development organization and with more than 12,000 members, the largest metropolitan chamber of commerce in the nation. Our mission is accelerating growth and prosperity towards a thriving region for all businesses and individuals. To learn more, visit

International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions.