Work began today for Baricelli Inn Apartments in Little Italy

Work began today on the 44-unit Baricelli Inn Apartments on
Cornell Road in Little Italy, starting with demolition of two
aging apartment houses with construction work to follow
immediately thereafter (LDA Architects).
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Demolition and site preparation work got underway earlier today to clear the way for the 44-unit Baricelli Inn Apartments in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood. The project has traveled a long road to get to this point but is finally moving forward.

A pair of three-story rental homes at 2189 and 2193 Cornell Road were being razed, work that should take only a matter of hours. Also part of a parking lot was being removed, so technically construction is underway for the luxury apartments being developed by M. Panzica Development owned by Michael Panzica and City Six Development owned by Brad Nosan.

The $17 million, three-story project features 19 one-bedroom apartments, 20 two-bedroom units and five three-bedroom apartments along with an underground parking garage, according to public records.

The development helps address a shortage of quality housing for college students and young professionals wanting a short walk, bike or bus ride to classes and employers in University Circle, Ohio’s fourth-largest employment district. And it also provides housing for families wanting to stay in the neighborhood.

Panzica previously told NEOtrans that he has made numerous concessions to neighbors who opposed the project’s density and scale. Any further reductions in the number of revenue-producing units would have made the project no longer financially viable. Originally the project was to have 60 apartments and four stories.

The small scale of the apartment building is evident in this
view, looking northerly on Cornell Road. The historic
Washington Place Bistro & Inn is at the right. It will
be taller than the new apartments (LDA Architects).

Now the new building will be shorter than the neighboring Washington Place Bistro & Inn that closed last month due to its imminent sale to Panzica and the proprietor’s expiring lease. It is also less dense than several new Little Italy developments like the six-story Mayfield Station Apartments or five-story La Collina Apartments, both on Mayfield Road.

Some opponents of the project are owners of aging houses being leased as multi-unit apartments to students at nearby Case Western Reserve University. They reportedly didn’t like the competition from an apartment building offering high-quality finishes and modern features.

The apartment project got its name from previous uses and owners of the Washington Place Bistro & Inn next door. From 1985-2010, the inn was called the Baricelli Inn, which included a fine-dining restaurant and seven rooms for overnight lodging. It has been owned by members of the Minnillo family since 1982 when it was converted from a residence to an inn.

The Minnillo family bought the 1896-built stone mansion from Jean-Pierre Baricelli. He was the son of Dr. Giovanni Baricelli, a prominent local physician, and his wife Orfea Baricelli, a professor of literature and philosophy at Western Reserve University, according to La Gazzetta Italiana. They acquired the house in the early 20th century from Dutch architect John Grant who?designed, built and lived in the home.

Panzica is acquiring the inn and its parking lots from Minnillo Family Partners, LLC. The two homes that were just demolished next door to the inn have purchase agreements between Panzica and the prior owners Mike Iammarino Investment Properties LLC and Carmen J. Petrello, according to public records.

The new Baricelli Inn Apartments will have many amenities
for residents including a partially covered private patio
along with underground parking (LDA Architects).

Five parcels are being acquired. Panzica had no comment about the status of the sale transactions or when they might close. The purchase agreements allow for the demolition of the two houses and construction work to proceed. Panzica also had no comment about his intended use of the inn.

The Baricelli Inn Apartments’ general contractor is Fiorilli Construction Inc. of Medina. Designer of the new apartment complex is LDA Architects, Inc. of Cleveland. Principal financing was secured in May from the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

University Circle Inc. President Chris Ronayne who also is a port authority board member tweeted congratulations to the developers after the authority approved financing for the project on May 14.

“Work goes on in #CLE. Infill, walkable, neighborhood redevelopment from M. Panzica & City Six Development,” he tweeted.

“Thanks to (the) Port of Cleveland board for approving bond financing for yet a another well-conceived Cleveland project today,” responded port authority President & CEO Will Friedman. “(It) feels good amidst C19 (Covid-19) backdrop to make progress on (real estate) projects.”

END