Cleveland Clinic advances its ‘Big 3’ projects

The Big 3 Cleveland Clinic developments

The Big 3 Cleveland Clinic developments include the new Neurological Institute, expansion of the Cole Eye Institute and the new Global Center for Pathogen Research & Human Health. Those are just the medical facilities. The Clinic jointly developing a mixed-use project with Fairmount Properties near the pathogen center (Google).

Cleveland’s largest employer is about to get even larger. While Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) is officially mum on expansion details, NEOtrans is hearing rumors from sources that one or more of their “Big 3” projects may be bigger than originally anticipated.

The Clinic’s Big 3 are the new Neurological Institute, expansion of the Cole Eye Institute and the new Global Center for Pathogen Research & Human Health. Combined they will add 1 million or more square feet of new medical, research and office facilities to University Circle, Ohio’s fourth-largest employment district. And that’s just the medical stuff CCF is pursuing.

Recently, CCF made some moves to advance those three projects. The Cole Eye Institute expansion and the new Neurological Institute are farther along in the development process than the new pathology center. The latest news is that the Clinic responded to bids from prospective construction managers for the Cole Eye and Neurological buildings and chose who will oversee their construction.

“Whiting-Turner Contracting will provide construction management services on our Cole Eye Institute building and Turner Construction will provide construction management services on our Neurological Institute building,” said Alicia Reale Cooney, CCF’s senior manager of corporate communications.

sketch Cleveland Clinic new Neurological Institute

The building at left is a conceptual sketch of the Cleveland Clinic’s new Neurological Institute, looking east from East 96th Street with the Intercontinental Hotel at right and the Crile Building standing at the end of the greenspace. The Neurological Center may wrap around the East Mount Zion Baptist Church (CCF).

But Cooney wasn’t prepared to disclose the size of those buildings even though CCF had previously released those parameters. Preliminary space needs were estimated at about 400,000 square feet for the new Neurological Institute at 9606 Euclid Ave. and 100,000 square feet for expansion of the 130,000-square-foot Cole Eye Institute at about 2030 E. 105th Street.

Rumors are swirling that one or both of those buildings may be larger than those early estimates, adding hundreds of additional jobs to Cleveland that weren’t anticipated when they were first proposed.

“The design and pre-construction process are still underway,” she said, not willing to disclose if any changes were being considered. “Additional information will be shared once more details are available.”

The two new CCF buildings are due to see construction start this winter. Architects, civil engineers, construction subcontractors and others are being brought on board to conduct design and programming.

Last month, CCF issued a request for proposals for the third of its Big 3 new buildings — the new pathogen center which is a result of the launch of the Cleveland Innovation District and was given priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. The RFP contained a couple of specifics, such as an anticipated Spring 2022 groundbreaking, but also had some ambiguities.

East 105th Street at Cedar Avenue

East 105th Street at Cedar Avenue is likely going to look quite a bit different in a few years as two big projects, the new pathogen center as well as a planned mixed-use joint development with Fairmount Properties, are in the works here (Google).

“Planning is in (the) early stages but Cleveland Clinic’s Global Center for Pathogen Research & Human Health, part of the Cleveland Innovation District, will include approximately 400,000 square feet of additional research space to be located along Cedar Ave. for the growth of research operations and training and innovations,” Cooney told NEOtrans shortly after the RFP was issued.

She could not identify a cross street along Cedar but said a general location would be in the area of “Cedar Avenue near Cleveland Clinic’s main campus.” Sources close to the project say the pathogen center would likely be near East 105th Street because CCF wants the pathogen center to connect to their existing research buildings in that area.

And those are “just” the medical buildings CCF is pursuing. The Clinic is also working with Fairmount Properties to jointly develop hundreds of thousands of square feet of mixed uses in phases, south of Cedar near East 105th.

In the 2000s, Fairmount joined with the Wolstein Group to develop Flats East Bank downtown. It then joined with DiGeronimo Companies to build Pinecrest in Orange Village which opened in 2018.

In the first phase of its partnership with CCF, Fairmount envisions 300 micro-unit apartments, several dozen townhomes and a 40,000-square-foot Meijer grocery store rising 5-10 stories above the southwest corner of East 105th and Cedar. A second phase of roughly equal size could follow immediately west of it. Financing for the project is still coming together, sources said.


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