Contestants emerging for Flats development

A concept for redeveloping 1250 Riverbed Street on the Flats’
West Bank into a smaller-scale project, possibly featuring a
boutique hotel, residential, a restaurant or a combination
of one or more of these land uses (DLR Group).

A new name has entered the mix for developing 1250 Riverbed St. on the Flats’ West Bank. Joseph Shafran, Chairman/CEO of Paran Management Co. of Cleveland is considering options for redeveloping the site.

He joins others in vying for the property, including Cleveland-area developer Scott Wolstein and Washington DC-based Coloma River Capital. The property is owned by 1250 Riverbed Street LLC, an affiliate of a Rochester, NY-based ownership group led by Eliahu Adahan.

In a telephone interview, Shafran confirmed his interest in the site. And he noted that he envisions the the site’s future differently from what Coloma River Capital had recently envisioned for the site which is adjacent to the 142-year-old Superior Viaduct.

“We’re starting the process by asking the question ‘what is the property’s function in the ecosystem?'” Shafran said. “I want to figure out how does this building figure into its surroundings. The viaduct is the oldest kid on the block. It should be integrated into the project’s program. It’s not a big project but it is complicated.”

That could include remaking the viaduct into a linear park similar to the High Line in New York City, as is being suggested by the Waterfront District Block Club. The viaduct is owned by the city and is at the halfway point of a revocable 40-year lease to an affiliate of the K&D Group that built the Stonebridge complex in the 2000s.

A small-scale, two-story addition to the roofs the existing
buildings at 1250 Riverbed St. could be in the offing as a
result of an emerging new ownership and development
partnership involving the property (DLR Group).

A source said Wolstein is a prospective investor in the site but Shafran would not comment on that aspect. However, he complimented Wolstein for his other developments. “We’re very lucky to have Scott Wolstein in Cleveland,” he said.

When asked last month about his reported interest in the property, Wolstein replied?”I really have no update at this time.” It isn’t clear if Wolstein is competing with Coloma River Capital for a chance to develop the site or joining them as a potential investor.

Paran Management owns and develops multiple properties in Ohio and surrounding states, including apartment buildings, retail properties and mixed-use developments. The Shafran family is prominent in Cleveland real estate and philanthropic circles and related to the similarly prominent Ratner and Miller families.

Although Coloma River Capital proposed a high-rise tower built atop the existing buildings at 1250 Riverbed, Shafran said he considered the proposed high-rise’s design “ugly” and not respectful of the surroundings. It’s too soon to know if the pair of existing buildings will be retained as part of his vision for the site.

Those pair of buildings are a four-story, 103-year-old structure and an attached six-story, 108-year-old building. Together, the two buildings total 50,000 square feet. They were converted from commercial uses to 28 residential units nearly 30 years ago and renamed the Left Bank Apartments. They are now mostly vacant.

A previous plan, including adding up to 16 floors to the tops
of the existing buildings at 1250 Riverbed, might still be
considered by another investor group (DLR Group).

Coloma River Capital’s plan also envisioned 85 apartments and a 200-key boutique hotel — identified as a Dream Hotel. But Dream Hotel has since announced it will build a 19-story tower on Euclid Avenue at East 36th Street.

One of the first plans considered for 1250 Riverbed was to redevelop the two historic buildings as a boutique Foundry Hotel with a two-story vertical addition for a restaurant/event space with elevated views of the Cuyahoga River and downtown Cleveland beyond.

Shafran wasn’t prepared at this early stage to discuss a breakdown of potential uses for 1250 Riverbed, but his firm has experience in developing and owning boutique hotels including the Glidden House in University Circle.

Coloma River Capital had a purchase agreement to acquire the property and?proposed to add up to 16 stories above the Left Bank Apartments. The high-rise addition was to be “suspended” over the two historic buildings using a pair of concrete cores built through the two buildings.

From those cores, the new floors would be suspended using a grid of Vierendeel trusses, according to plans by Omaha-Based DLR Group which acquired Cleveland-based Westlake Reed Leskosky. DLR Group is being retained by the new partnership to design the new vision.

The Superior Viaduct could be a spectacular public space if
was enhanced by removing much of its parking and adding
landscaping, outdoor furniture, interactive exhibits and
access points to the eastern end, including possibly
from a redeveloped 1250 Riverbed (KJP).

The property was listed for sale last year for 1250 Riverbed Street LLC at $3 million but Adahan was apparently willing to accept about $2.6 million, according to a source. Such an amount would demand a larger-scale development on the site to recoup the acquisition costs.

But the sale listing for 1250 Riverbed was removed in April. If the property is kept by Adahan and his partners, a smaller-scale project could result. The current ownership group bought the property in 2014 for $875,000, according to county records.

Coloma River Capital was unable to fill significant gaps in it capital stack to achieve its grand vision for the project. When it and DLR Group reached out to construction management firms to get pre-construction cost estimates for the high-rise, it reportedly asked the firms to contribute equity to the project, another source said.

Increased parking still needs to be considered as part of whatever is developed at 1250 Riverbed, at the Nautica properties for sale nearby, and if parking is to be removed from Superior Viaduct prior to converting it into a park. There is also a high-rise development proposed a short distance away at 2208-2210 Superior Viaduct.


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