Many cities, especially in the Rust Belt, are home to “brownfields” – drab, dilapidated expanses of dumps, storage yards, derelict factories and warehouses. Where others see an eyesore, however, Pete Spittler sees a brownfield revitalized as a thriving new development.
Pete Spittler was a major driving force behind the redevelopment of Cleveland’s Flats East Bank area. As Rust Belt industries declined, Pete Spittler watched as the Flats area deteriorated into abandoned steel mills, broken-down factories and polluted land. With other Clevelanders, though, Pete Spittler saw a way out, turning the Flats into a zone of mixed-use residential, office, retail and entertainment usage.
Today, the Flats has become something that Pete Spittler and all Clevelanders can be proud of. The Cuyahoga River, once infamous for catching fire due to pollution, has seen its fish populations come back to normal levels. Pete Spittler and FORUM Architectural Services have led improvements like an 18-floor office building, a 150-room hotel, and many restaurants and nightclubs along the Flats.
Pete Spittler and his team were careful to incorporate green-building and sustainability practices in the designs of the Flats area. Pete Spittler was able to leverage his extensive knowledge and experience with LEED certification into the designs; also, the Flats was designed with future expansion and room to grow in mind. Pete Spittler points out that the Flats was an investment on the part of both private entities and the government; about 1/3 of the first phase of the project was funded by city, county, state or federal resources. Key to the philosophy of Pete Spittler and his contemporaries is the belief that cities need to focus growth inside their boundaries, rather than continuing to sprawl outward.
About Pete Spittler
Pete Spittler served as president and founder of GSI Architects. In his extensive resume, Pete Spittler also has put in time as senior project manager for The Austin Company and Figgie International. Pete Spittler has also spent time in Eastern Europe after the fall of communist rule, studying investment opportunities for privatization. Pete Spittler also served in a consultancy role for an American healthcare role, traveling to Brazil for a time.