High-profile downtown property hits the market

for-sale-sign-across-East-9th-Street

A for-sale sign went up this week across East 9th Street from Progressive Field for a property now used as parking. The offering likely coincides with a major renovation of the neighboring major-league ballpark announced last week (Clifton Haworth).
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One week after a major renovation was announced for the home of the Cleveland Indians/Guardians, a highly visible and potentially attractive property nearby hit the market in downtown Cleveland.

The offering was announced this week with a large sign set up at the northeast corner of East 9th Street and Bolivar Road, across the street from Progressive Field. Geis Companies owns the five parcels being offered, originally acquiring them through two affiliates — Downtown Investment Group LLC and Geis Prospect Huron Garage LLC, county records show.

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The firm listing the properties is Geis Property Management LLC, however the listing does not yet appear on the firm’s Web site. Nor does it appear in the Commercial Exchange which lists all commercial sale and lease listings.

Geis-Companies-property-Site

Site of the Geis Companies property being offered for sale is shown outlined in red. Progressive Field is seen at lower left across East 9th Street (Google).

Conrad Geis, director and managing partner at Geis Companies, said the property offering is a disposition. He said it was not intended to be an offer for a partnership in a development, something which Geis does on many projects including the pending redevelopment of the Rockefeller Building.

“It’s not in the Web site yet but we are just marketing the property as being available,” Geis said.

He said he was unable to further discuss the offering at this time. However, all options reportedly remain on the table for this reverse L-shaped 1.1-acre site. The parcels comprising this overall property provide frontage on East 9th, Bolivar and Prospect Avenue.

The timing of the offering comes just a week after the Cleveland Indians/Guardians announced a series of ambitious stadium renovations totaling $435 million as part of a lease extension to 2036 and possible extensions to 2046.

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variety-of-uses-ballpark-village-St-Louis

A variety of uses exist at the ballpark village in St. Louis, not just those patronized by game-day visitors. There is housing, hotels and offices that exist in this year-round setting (stballparkvillage.com).

There have also been reports for months, including here at NEOtrans, that Major League Baseball (MLB) wants more teams’ owners and front offices to engage in the development of “ballpark villages” around their stadiums.

The goal of these villages is to provide retail, restaurants, housing, hotels and other supportive development near ballparks. St. Louis is one of the oft-cited models for MLB’s desire for ballpark villages as is San Diego. Others are planned.

Not only would ballpark villages provide spin-off activity from 81 home baseball games per season but also be a year-round neighborhood. They might also provide a revenue stream to help support stadium upkeep and renovations through value-capture mechanisms such as tax-increment financing.

Geis’ for-sale land is used as a surface parking lot and a low-level parking deck. The East 9th side was the site of the New York Spaghetti House from 1927-2001. After Geis bought it in 2015 for $1.5 million, it demolished the vacant structure.

conceptual-level-potential-development-downtown-Cleveland

A conceptual-level massing of a potential development on downtown Cleveland land now being offered for sale (GLSD).

At the time, a Geis company representative said the firm intended to develop the site, noting that the company is not in the parking business. And, considering how much it paid for the land, it intended to recoup its investment through development.

Real estate sources who would not go on the record said there were several development suitors and/ or potential partners for the site in the last few years. Geis also reportedly considered building a high-rise condominium tower on the site.

The pandemic halted at least one of those opportunities for a massive development whose conceptual massing is depicted on the sign now set up at East 9th and Bolivar.

That massing shows two towers about 20 stories tall on the property with one facing East 9th and the other facing Prospect. Ground floor retail topped by layers of parking with residential above appear to be what’s shown in the conceptual-level illustration.

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