Apartments planned at ex-elderly care facility in Ohio City

Dalad Group to redevelop 19th-century mansion

Dalad Group is proposing to redevelop this 19th-century mansion turned-elderly care facility on Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood into 38 market-rate apartments (Gibbon).
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UPDATED AUG. 5, 2021

A first step in the approval process is starting Aug. 5 for the redevelopment of a former elderly care facility into a market-rate apartment complex at 3105 Franklin Blvd. in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood.

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Dalad Group of Independence is seeking conceptual approval from a neighborhood-level design-review committee of Franklin Yards. Its vision is to redevelop the former Vantage Place assisted living facility with 38 apartments.

Proposed are 26 one-bedroom apartments and 12 two-bedroom apartments spread among two buildings totaling 54,411 square feet. A third historic building previously used for storage and located on West 32nd Street has no definitive plan for re-use as yet, according to documents provided to the city and Ohio City Inc., a community development corporation.

Seven apartments would be located in what was originally a late-19th-century mansion. The rest would be in a building constructed in 1915 along West 31st Pl. as a women’s residential center by the Young Women’s Christian Association. The facility’s former parking lot on the east side of West 31st would be reactivated to provide 42 of the proposed 48 parking spaces for Franklin Yards.

Site plan for the proposed Franklin Yards

Site plan for the proposed Franklin Yards, 3105 Franklin Blvd. (Gibson).

“We like historic rehab projects,” said Andrew Iarussi, president of construction at Dalad Construction and senior vice president of development at Dalad Group. “They present an opportunity to create something that you can’t quite accomplish by building new today.”

He said Dalad was drawn to this location because of Ohio City’s historic character. It’s also close to shops, cafes and restaurants on West 25th Street and in Hingetown. And it’s less than a quarter-mile walk to the Irishtown Bend Park and Lake Link Trail.

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“We were also drawn to this particular property because of the large internal courtyard,” Iarussi said. “It sets up nicely for a dynamic green space which is always a main component of our projects.”

Plans show one-bedroom apartments would measure 558-673 square feet and two-bedroom units 900-1,052 square feet. In the 1915-built residential building, there would be eight basement units but all will have windows and one will have a sunken outdoor terrace on the west side of the building.

Proposed floor plans for the Franklin Yards development

Proposed floor plans for the residential structures in the Franklin Yards development (Gibbon).

Units will have access to several outdoor patios as part of an interior courtyard that would be opened up by demolishing a 1960-built, one-story common area for the former residential facility. Franklin Yards will also have a small fitness room, community living room and tenant storage areas, plans show.

The storage building on West 32nd, which dates to 1915 and measures just 2,172 square feet, may be renovated as a small office or possibly as a neighborhood retail space. The building cannot be demolished due to restrictions from Dalad Group receiving an historic tax credit of $1.9 million from the Ohio Development Services Agency.

“Our project team is still working through the design development, and at the same time we’re exploring financing that will allow us to deliver a middle-market rate product,” Iarussi explained.

He said the goal is to offer apartments that are affordable to a renter in the 80-120 percent range of the region’s average median income. That would equate to rents for one- and two-bedroom units ranging from about $950 to $1950 per month. Ohio City Inc. Executive Director Tom McNair was not immediately available to comment today.

Site of Franklin Yards corner of Franklin Boulevard and West 32nd Street

Site of Franklin Yards as seen in May at the southeast corner of Franklin Boulevard and West 32nd Street (KJP).

“Over the past year, we have been working under a demolition permit to remove non-historic building elements and old mechanical systems,” Iarussi said. “We hope to gain approvals and a construction permit to start the renovation work later this year.”

NEOtrans broke the news on the sale of Vantage Place to Dalad Group in October 2018. The sale was closed two months later but a purchase price was not disclosed in county records. However, a Dalad Group affiliate created for acquiring the 1.376-acre property secured a $1.35 million mortgage to create a lien and security interest in the property. In 2018, the property was valued at $1.3 million by the county for tax purposes.

Sixty years ago, the property was purchased by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary as a residence for the Sisters teaching at Lourdes Academy first located across the street at 3007 Franklin and later moved to 4105 Bridge Ave., according to former resident Sister Mary Hurley, HM. It became a private healthcare facility starting in 1976 when the Coury family of the Aristocrat Berea Nursing Center purchased it.

Called Vantage Place since the late-1980s, the property went through other owners until it was acquired by Thomas Scheiman. Reportedly faced with federal budget cuts for elderly care facilities and his own retirement, Scheiman decided to sell the property to Dalad Group.

As many as 86 elderly residents, many with mental illnesses, were relocated to other care facilities in Greater Cleveland at the end of 2018 when Vantage Place was shut down. The property has been vacant ever since.

Tyler Kapusta contributed to this article.

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