Seeds & Sprouts VII – Early intel on real estate projects

This is the Seventh edition of Seeds & Sprouts – Early intelligence on Cleveland-area real estate projects. Because these projects are very early in their process of development or just a long-range plan, a lot can and probably will change their final shape, use and outcome.

The City of Euclid’s shoreline improvement project continues
to advance with eastward expansion to protect more lakefront
properties from erosion and lengthen an all-purpose trail the
city began building several years ago (City of Euclid).

Euclid shoreline improvements continue

Public bidding has commenced for the construction of additional Phase 2 features of the City of Euclid’s shoreline improvement project to create a lakefront trail and erosion control along Lake Erie. The project is proving so popular and visionary that Cuyahoga County and other cities want to emulate the project across 30 miles of the entire county’s shoreline.

Bids are due to be submitted to the city by June 15 for phase 2 improvements estimated at about $749,999, according to the city. But other elements bring the total cost of this phase to about $5 million. The project will extend the trail and erosion control, including a new beach, 0.25-mile eastward to north of the Harbor Crest Apartments and create a park between the Harbor Crest and Normandy Towers Apartments.

In 2018-19, the city constructed shoreline improvements totaling $13 million including a half-mile of new trail, staircase to the lake and Sims Park Fishing Pier. Previously, the city built the Sims Beach.

Only 5 percent of Euclid’s lakefront was publicly accessible before these improvements. That will rise to roughly 30 percent after the improvements. The private properties abutting Lake Erie were suffering from erosion that was worsening as lake levels have reached historic highs in recent years.

So the city offered to provide erosion control in exchange for public access to the lakefront. City funding came from tax-increment financing from the increased property values and resulting increase in tax revenues. Additional funding came from Cuyahoga County Casino Revenue Funds and Federal Emergency Management Agency grants through a pre-disaster mitigation program.

The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organi-
zation and Marous Brothers Construction Co. are work-
ing on redeveloping the long-closed Pilsener Brewing
Co. into an 39-unit apartment building (CPC).

Pilsener Square housing project advances

The adaptive reuse of the long-closed Pilsener Brewing Co., 6605 Clark Ave., was bolstered by Cleveland’s City Planning Commission awarding landmark status to the historic building May 15. However, the project missed the latest opportunity to win a $817,050 competitive New Affordability tax credit from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

The landmark designation will position the $8.5 million project to win potentially large historic tax credits from the state and/or federal governments to restore and convert the building into 39 apartments. The brewery was constructed in 1894 and was expanded rapidly with additional structures that are no longer standing. The company which brewed P.O.C. beer and other brands closed in 1984.

Partnering on the development are the Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Organization and Marous Brothers Construction Co. The name “Pilsener” comes from the Czech city of Pilsen, where the light Bohemian lager beer was first made.

The property at 12607 Larchmere Blvd. will continue to look
like this for a little while longer as Berusch Development
Partners looks for a new office tenant for his proposed
20,000-square-foot mixed-use development (Google).

Berusch’s Larchmere project delayed

Berusch Development Partners‘ proposed mixed-use development at 12607 Larchmere Blvd. in Cleveland has hit a pandemic-related snag despite other recent progress, according to development firm President Russell Berusch.

The project’s partner and main tenant was to be RDL Architects, a 44-employee Shaker Heights firm that would relocate to 13,000 square feet in the proposed building. The project’s total square footage is proposed to be 20,000 square feet which would also include four apartments and a small, ground-floor retail space for an anticipated coffee shop.

Although Berusch didn’t identify RDL as his initial tenant, the City Record did identify RDL founder Ron Lloyd as his partner. It also said the site would be redeveloped with “an architecture firm from Shaker Heights. The architecture firm was founded in 1994 and has had some considerable growth over the past few years.”

A source close to the situation said that with forced quarantined operations, RDL no longer has a need for more office space to accommodate the firm’s growth. The architectural firm will continue to use their current office building at 16102 Chagrin Blvd.

Despite the setback, a chain-of-title agreement and 30-year non-school tax financing arrangement were approved by the City Planning Commission on May 15 to aid the project. Berusch is looking for a new tenant in order to proceed with the project, which first requires demolishing an existing two-story warehouse.

This project is not to be confused with First Interstate Properties Ltd.’s 88-apartment 121 Larchmere development for which construction is just getting underway. The $23 million building will also have 6,500 square feet of office space on the ground floor, facing Larchmere.

Three new stores are coming to Crocker Park with two of them
due to open this fall in the lifestyle center’s third phase and
another opening later in the existing part (KJP).

Crocker Park expands with new stores?

Despite the pandemic, several new retailers are coming to the Greater Cleveland market. Sources say bids are due next week for the buildout of two retail tenant spaces involving a total of $2 million worth of construction work at Crocker Park in Westlake.

The two retail spaces are for buy buy BABY, an infant clothing and accessory store, and Cost Plus World Market, a home decor, home entertaining and gift giving shop. Buy buy BABY will occupy 18,363 square feet at 302 Main St. and Cost Plus World Market will be across the street in a 18,380-square-foot space at 313 Main.

A third store, a women’s fashion retailer Dry Goods, will be bid separately at a later time. It will be located at 87 Main,?between Athleta and Hanna Andersson. The other two stores are part of the third phase of development of Crocker Park, a lifestyle center that opened in 2004 as a partnership of Stark Enterprises and the Carney family.

Parker’s Downtown restaurant
in the Schofield Building will
open with a new theme, menu,
name at the end of June (KJP).

Parker’s restaurant will reopen as Bett’s

Following a renovation that has been under way during the pandemic, Parker’s Downtown will reopen under the name “Bett’s” and with a new concept at the end of this month, according to the building’s owner CRM Companies.

Although the menu and brand is not yet publicly available, the new restaurant hasn’t changed ownership. It will continue to be owned by James and Victoria Mowbray. Parker’s was a 120-seat restaurant which served the public as well as customers of the Kimpton Schofield Hotel at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 9th Street in downtown Cleveland.

The restaurant is being named after the wife of Levi Schofield, the architect and designer of the 14-story Schofield Building that was built in 1902 and thoroughly renovated in 2016. Although her name was Elizabeth, he affectionately called her Bett. She was a homemaker who provided joy and food to her family, according to CRM.

Plans are still progressing for adding a Citizens Bank branch to the corner space at Euclid and East 9th which has never had anything more than seasonal retailers occupying it. The work was apparently delayed by the pandemic.


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