|Construction could get underway in June on a 42-unit apartment
building on East 93rd Street in Hough, led by ARPI Development
LLC. Thanks to meeting the right people, the project moved from
idea to the cusp of construction in just eight months (GLSD).
City Planning Commission today approved plans for a new apartment building in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood, marking the latest sign of continued investment in new housing options for that community.
The $12 million development, ARPI Apartments, 1865 E. 93rd St., will offer 42 units of mostly studio and one-bedroom apartments with a small number of two-bedroom units. All apartments in the four-story building will have first-floor patios or upper-floor balconies.
There will also be an on-site gym, rooftop patio and community room. A 28-space parking lot is planned behind the building. Two vacant residences will be demolished to make way for this project.
It will join the likes of Signet Group’s Axis at Ansel Apartments, Inspirion Group’s East 90th Apartments, Famicos Foundation’s 75Chester and Cleveland Custom Homes’ plan to build 100 houses in Hough.
The sudden growth of housing development activity in this long-troubled neighborhood is a direct result of what is happening nearby in University Circle and Fairfax, namely the growth of the Cleveland Clinic and the Health Tech Corridor. That includes the recent announcement of the Cleveland Innovation District.
“Our goal is to find undervalued properties that are on the cusp of being developed,” said Richard Arnstine, CEO of ARPI Development LLC which he founded with his son-in-law Zach Pinkert. “With the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University and the new businesses growing in the area, we wanted to build here.”
But building new housing in a low-income neighborhood like Hough can be a delicate issue. Arnstine is sensitive to that and is pledging to work closely with neighborhood stakeholder on how his development can better support residents and businesses in need.
“We want to take some of the profits we make and put them back into the neighborhood,” said the retired orthodontist who originally started out at The Ohio State University as a real estate major. “We’ll sit down with neighborhood groups and Councilman Basheer Jones to identify how best to support the neighborhood.”
He singled out Jones for praise along with Council President Kevin Kelley for their support. Justin Fleming, real estate director of Stay Realty / Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, also was instrumental in assisting ARPI’s efforts, Arnstine said.
“We’ll continue to work with city to aggregate additional lands for future phases and expand our partnership with the neighborhood,” he added, noting the speed at which the project moved forward. “We were pleasantly surprised at how fast this all came together. It happened because we met the right people along the way.”
|The first phase by ARPI Development is seen at the bottom of
this image, with north to the right and Chester Avenue to the
left. Future phases could rise on the next block west, which
is East 90th Street, near other developments (GLSD).
One of the first people he met was Zak Baris, president of Comprehensive Zoning Services Inc. He put him in touch with Conrad Geis and Brandon Kline, principals at Geis Companies, as well as Mike Bowen at Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP. Those connections, in turn, put Arnstine in touch with investors Agostino Pintus of Akron and Kenny Wolfe of Dallas.
Because of them, the project went from an idea last October to possibly putting shovels in the ground as early as this June. Construction should take about one year, Arnstine predicted.
“Kenny Wolfe and I have been actively looking at that area for nine months,” said Pintus who invests heavily in Northeast Ohio. He is delivering 300 residential units in the coming months in this region with another 700 in the planning pipeline. That includes the redevelopment of the Rockefeller Building in downtown Cleveland.
“When the ARPI Apartments project cropped up, we realized we had to be a part of it,” Pintus added. “We wanted to be a part of the dynamic growth of the area, with everything that is happening in Cleveland. It’s just phenomenal. It’s becoming a shining gem like it was 100 years ago.”
“The goal was to create a formidable project that blends perfectly with the neighborhood,” Baris said. “We’re looking at blending our project with the neighborhood by meeting the current residents’ needs and be mindful of them. We don’t want to build anything too tall or anything too large.”
He said that construction financing is due to close in a matter of weeks. The group continues to work with city officials to aggregate additional lands for future phases that could deliver up to 160 residential units on East 90th and 93rd streets, according to preliminary plans submitted to the city.