Demolition for NuCLEus to start by mid-August

As demolition of the 114-year-old building in the foreground,
hosting Mr. Albert’s Men’s World clothier, awaits that store’s
relocation, razing of the eight-level parking garage behind it
can begin within weeks to give way to the planned nuCLEus
development (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

Two sources confirm that demolition is slated to begin by mid-August for the nuCLEus development in downtown Cleveland. While there is no news yet of a groundbreaking date for the $354 million development led by Stark Enterprises, most signals appear to be green for building the mixed-use project. But there are still some yellow signals, too.

NuCLEus will feature two 24-story towers, one with offices and the other with residential built atop a pedestal of parking and retail.

As noted last month, Cleveland Construction will be the general contractor for the nuCLEus development. A demolition subcontractor reportedly has been hired to raze a multi-story parking garage at 601-611 Huron Rd., a two-story mixed-use building at 620 Prospect Ave., and the Herold Building, 310 Prospect.

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Demolition of the eight-level parking garage is scheduled to begin as soon as possible — roughly three to four weeks from now, a source said. The Herold Building may be next, pending the city’s concurrence.

The Herold Building was condemned by the city and the subject of a 2013 lawsuit by the city against LR 310 Prospect Investors, LLC that was dismissed without prejudice when L&R Group of Companies sold the building along with the parking lots to the east of it to Stark in 2014.

The dark structure the center-foreground is the Herold Building,
owned by Stark Enterprises. It is next to 300 Prospect Ave., at
far right, which was home to Record Rendezvous where some
of the first rock-and-roll records could be bought (Google).

The lawsuit was dismissed because Stark pledged to restore the Herold Building at that time. However, the condemned, vacant building has continued to decay in the five years since. It remains to be seen whether the Board of Zoning Appeals will approve demolishing the Herold Building.

To clarify, this building wasn’t home to Record Rendezvous (1939-1987). Rather, the famous record store was next door at 300 Prospect where some of the first rock-n-roll records could be bought. The record store’s building was acquired in 2012 by a partnership of Weston Inc. and restaurateur Bobby George for a future development that has yet to materialize.

The third structure due to succumb to the wrecking ball hosts Mr. Albert’s Men’s World clothing store as well as Nick’s Sports Corner bar. While the bar is making way for demolition, the clothing store hasn’t yet.

Store owner Ike Simmons apparently hasn’t identified a new location for his urban clothier even though he owns the shuttered Goldfish Army & Navy Store just down the street, at 202-210 Prospect. Simmons couldn’t be located for comment.

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A streetview rendering of the planned nuCLEus development,
as seen from the corner of Prospect Avenue and East 4th Street.
NuCLEus’ residential tower is seen here along with a future,
unidentified development barely visible at far right (Stark).

Stark reportedly wants Mr. Albert’s Men’s World to find a new location rather than pursue an eviction. Gateway Huron LLC, a partnership between Stark and J-Dek Ltd., own the building that hosts Simmons’ store. The partnership owns all of the other properties needed for developing nuCLEus. Chief Operating Officer Ezra Stark didn’t respond to an e-mail requesting more information.

The market for nuCLEus appears strong. Two-thirds of its office space is already leased, most of its retail spaces are spoken for, and the residential market continues to be strong. In his latest blog, Stark described factors affecting the residential market, especially in a low-cost market with big-city amenities like Cleveland.

“Primarily, we?re seeing a surge of millennials and fresh college graduates who are intent on escaping their suburban upbringing to live in a more convenient and convivial urban environment,” Stark wrote. “While this does present development opportunities, high demand for high quality housing begets high rents.”

Until all the structures are cleared, a groundbreaking date for nuCLEus cannot be set. But at least things are moving steadily in that direction.

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