Seeds & Sprouts XI – Early intel on real estate projects

This is the Eleventh 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.

UPDATED OCT. 8, 2020

The proposed, 23-story City Club Apartments tower is on schedule
to break ground before Thanksgiving, according to a recent
notice sent out to potential subcontractors (Vocon/CPC).

City Club Apartments tower sets groundbreaking

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A specific date for a groundbreaking of the 23-story City Club Apartments, 720 Euclid Ave., has been scheduled — as has an important date that confirms the downtown Cleveland project is getting close to the start of construction.

Notice went out via The Dodge Reports this week that a Dec. 1 groundbreaking has been tentatively set. And, last week, Dodge and other construction industry media reported that subcontractor bids for all related trades are to be submitted to the project’s construction manager Cleveland Construction Inc. by 4 p.m. Oct. 14.

Last month, City Planning Commission gave unanimous approval of final designs for the high-rise, market-rate apartment building. Prior to the arrival of the global pandemic, the project was on track to start construction this past summer. There were rumors that the project might be delayed until early 2021.

“The developer is doing everything they can to start construction in November,” said Denver Brooker, a principal at Vocon Partners LLC, the project’s architect, at the last month’s City Planning Commission meeting.

However, the latest estimate according an update this week from The Dodge Reports is that construction of the apartment tower’s foundation will start in December. The work will involve the pouring of a thick mat concrete foundation to support the tower above.

The 250,000-square-foot City Club Apartments tower is designed to reach to 241 feet in structural height but a rooftop decorative element could bring that to about 250 feet. The apartment building is named after the Michigan-based developer City Club Apartments, not the 108-year-old debate forum next door in the 13-story, 117-year-old City Club Building, 850 Euclid.

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This would be the tallest, all-new building built by Cleveland Construction from the foundation up. It built the 22-story AC Hotel and Residence Inn Charlotte City Center in North Carolina 2018. But those 22 stories include a pre-existing, five-story podum and foundation on which the new tower was built. It also was responsible for the interior work at the 20-story Broward County Courthouse in Florida.

City Club Apartments will offer about 313 market-rate units, roughly half of which will be 400-square-foot studio apartments. The smaller units will be marketed to younger residents who have been priced out of the downtown market. According to a recent WEWS-TV report, the downtown Cleveland residential market appears to be weathering the pandemic pretty well.

Landmark Management’s proposed apartment complex on the lakefront
east of downtown Cleveland is shown in this site plan as the backward-
facing 4. It would add to its existing The Shoreline residential offerings
which is at the left with the planned five-story complex (CPC/Vocon).

Lakefront apartment project shelved

Landmark Management’s efforts to develop 214 apartments on the lakefront at East 55th Street and Interstate 90 in Cleveland have been shelved but not abandoned, according to an update this week in the construction database The Dodge Reports.

The reason for the move was not reported. E-mails sent to Landmark’s Managing Partner John J. Carney and to Vice President Michael Carney were not responded to prior to publication although Michael Carney acknowledged receiving the e-mail.

It is possible that Landmark may revisit developing here or partner with others. In December 2019, the company paid $1.67 million for 4 acres of lakefront land for the development, originally called Shoreline Apartments Phase II and later named Landmark At The Lake. It is next to The Shoreline apartments, a converted warehouse called Quay 55 which Landmark bought in 2017 and expanded the next year with 29 more apartments.

Landmark usually doesn’t pursue new-construction projects. Instead, it renovates historic buildings into apartments or buys and updates already converted buildings. It also renovated the Colonial Arcade into the Colonial Marketplace two decades ago before selling its interest in the property in 2012. It is now part of the 5th Street Arcades.

The area where the apartment complex was proposed is the subject of a planning effort by the Cleveland Metroparks to improve lakefront between Burke Lakefront Airport and the Dike 14 at Gordon Park. Called the Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Study (CHEERS), it is due to be completed next summer.

Site plans were submitted to the city last week for the Cleveland
Foundation’s new headquarters in Midtown (B&H).


Cleveland Foundation HQ project advances

Site plans for the Cleveland Foundation’s new headquarters facility in Cleveland’s Midtown neighborhood were submitted to the city last week for zoning reviews. The submission was one of the first public signs that the project is moving forward following recent litigation.

The plans confirm an earlier concept for the development. They show a three-story, 50,500-square-foot building at the northeast corner of Euclid Avenue and East 66th Street. The first phase of the development site is just under two acres and touch on adjacent properties, including the Dunham Tavern Museum land. But zoning reviews show side or rear setbacks may not be needed.

Cleveland Foundation proposes to relocate its offices from the Hanna Building at Playhouse Square to Midtown in 2023. Future phases of development include civic and community uses on both sides of East 66th, expanding north to Chester Avenue.

However, a surface parking lot is proposed as an interim use on the southwest corner of East 66th and Chester. Plans show there will also be a 52-space underground parking garage below the new office building as well as bicycle parking.

Property was acquired for the office and civic development in December 2019 following the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by several members of the Dunham Tavern Museum who contested the property transaction.

Ground-floor commercial space at Centric is visible from this view
looking northeast from the intersection of Mayfield Road and Circle
Drive in University Circle. Little Italy is just east of here (Google).

Centric to add ground-floor office tenant

Two years after opening, the mixed-use Centric development in Cleveland’s University Circle will build out its office space for a new tenant. The move comes as office users worldwide are taking a hard look at their office space needs.

The tenant, according to permit applications submitted last week to the city, appears to be Midwest Development Parters and Five Forty Investments LP. The two companies share a number of executives and functions, namely real estate development and investment. The tenant will fill a 9,130-square-foot, ground-floor space at the southwest corner of Centric, 11601 Mayfield Rd.

Ryan Fair, manager of construction and development at Five Forty and at Midwest, did not return an e-mail seeking more information but did ackowledge receiving the e-mail. Fair also briefly worked as an owner’s representative at Chicago-based White Oak Realty Partners in 2019 — the same firm that proposes to build a 24-story apartment tower at Midwest’s Circle Square development.

Although employment data is unavailable, the permit application shows that the space has a maximum occupancy of 92 people. Midwest has its offices at 2191 Murray Hill Rd. in Cleveland’s Little Italy while Five?Forty’s offices are currently split between Midwest’s location and Eton Tower, 28601 Chagrin Blvd., in suburban Woodmere. It appears that these offices will be consolidated at Centric.

Centric was a $50 million development that opened in late-2018. It features 272 apartments that leased out in one year despite top-of-the-market rents. The development also has a ground-floor cafe for residents, a Tremont Athletic Club fitness center plus a 360-car parking garage. The development is next to the new Little Italy Red Line rail station.

Five Forty is led by Principal Morry Weiss, formerly chairman of American Greetings Corp. as well as by Chief Operating Officer for Real Estate, General Counsel and Secretary Steve Rubin. Centric was developed by Midwest Development Partners, a collaboration led by Rubin, Elie Weiss and Zac Ponsky.

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