Why Cleveland Construction’s new office is an amazing sign for downtown


Crews install a sign for Cleveland Construction Inc.’s new field office on Prospect Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The sign is a visible indication about the current and future opportunities for the Mentor-based construction firm (Jordan Abbott).

Sometimes a sign about the future prospects of downtown construction are just that — a sign. And what better place to put that sign about future prospects than on Prospect Avenue?

Crews this week were working inside and out while renovating a 3,160-square-foot storefront at 645 Prospect Ave. for Cleveland Construction Inc. which signed a three-year lease in June for a ground-floor space in the parking deck for K&D Group’s Residences at 668 on Euclid Ave. Among the renovations is a sign for the Mentor-based construction firm, affixed above the storefront.

The renovations, according to plans submitted to the city and a building permit issued in June, are for a field office for Cleveland Construction. It is the general contractor (GC) for multiple downtown projects that are planned or underway.

Currently, it is the GC for Millennia Companies’ 75 Public Square that’s already underway. And it’s the GC for several big upcoming projects including K&D Group’s 55 Public Square, Roy Group’s Art Craft Building in the 2500 block of Superior Avenue and the next project of Farmington Hills, MI-based City Club Apartments.


Floor plan for Cleveland Construction Inc.’s new field office in downtown Cleveland, with the Prospect Avenue entrances visible at the top of the image (Cleveland B&H).

That project is CBD Cleveland, a 23-story apartment tower due to rise at on a surface parking lot at 776 Euclid Ave. Final designs for the project were approved by City Planning Commission a year ago. Aside from the relocation of sewers below Euclid and its south-side sidewalk, no visible construction has occurred.

The first permit for City Club Apartments was issued July 14 for catch basins, storm/sanitary sewers and a grease interceptor. But the “big permit” is being issued now. That is for the building’s foundation and utilities, plus an earth retention system and protection of neighboring structures.

“This office will house our project teams managing the construction of the new City Club Apartments, the historic restoration of 55 Public Square and the upcoming renovation of the ArtCraft Building in the first quarter of 2022,” said Shawn Zbasnik, marketing director at Cleveland Construction. “The new office location reflects our dedication to supporting our current projects and the restoration and growth in downtown.”

Floor plans submitted with the application show eight offices identified as a “CCA Team Office” and a meeting room marked as “CCA Conference Room.” CCA is an abbreviation for “City Club Apartments.”

CityClub Apartments Rendering

City Club Apartments’ 240-foot-tall CBD Cleveland project on Euclid Avenue is just one of many potential developments in and near downtown’s Gateway District (Vocon).

The field office will also have a reception and waiting area, data and document submittal areas, plus two other offices and a conference room for an unidentified purpose identified as “BD Office” and “BD conference room,” apparently referring to “Business Development.”

The 300-unit apartment CBD Cleveland (CBD means Central Business District) apartment building will connect to the existing parking garage behind, have balconies for some of the units, pool, fitness center and ground-floor retailers/restaurants.

One of the restaurants may be called The Hippodrome, a nod to the building and its ornate theater which stood on the site until 1981. Next door is the 1901-built City Club of Cleveland which coincidentally has a name similar to that of the planned apartment building but is not affiliated. Construction of the roughly $100 million tower could take about two years.

“Cleveland has been in our name for over 40 years,” Zbasnik said. “For the past 15 years, we have developed an extensive portfolio of work in downtown Cleveland using only temporary jobsite offices. We’re excited that our management teams now have a permanent downtown office location to collaborate as we continue building and evolving our services in the city.”


K&D Group is starting work on the renovation and partial conversion of 55 Public Square, a 1958-built Modernist office tower. The top half of the 22-story building will offer 105,000-square-feet of renovated office spaces with 156 apartments, tenant amenities and a new restaurant on the lower floors. Cleveland Construction is the renovation project’s general contractor (Costar).

A field office on Prospect offers a strategic location for Cleveland Construction potentially for years to come. The provision of the business development offices/conference room with a separate street entrance shows that work can be carried out on more than one project at time.

More opportunities could come as early next year when construction may finally start on Stark Enterprises’ long-awaited nuCLEus development, between Prospect and Huron Road, just east of East 4th Street. Stark first proposed nuCLEus in 2014. Cleveland Construction is the general contractor of that project too.

Stark has sought a creative public financing component for its mixed-use nuCLEus project. That financing, called the Transformational Mixed-Use Development (TMUD) tax credit, is due to become available in the next month or so. If nuCLEus fails to win a TMUD credit, Stark will reportedly pursue development of a smaller version of nuCLEus.

Cleveland Construction is also reportedly well aware of the potential redevelopment surrounding the planned $435 million renovation of Progressive Field. That renovation may depend on revenue from the creation of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district around the ballpark to capture the increase values from significant developments within that district, according to a source familiar with the vision.


A view of the original proposal for the nuCLEus project, as seen from Prospect Avenue where Cleveland Construction is putting its new downtown field office (Stark).

Three potential groups, one local and two out-of-town, are pursuing a minority ownership stake in the Cleveland Guardians to position themselves at the front of the line to acquire the team whenever the current owner Paul Dolan decides to sell. The source declined to identify the three groups.

Major League Baseball and all three potential ownership groups are heavily pushing the proposed TIF district for development, replicating the ballpark villages in Atlanta, Boston, San Diego, Washington DC and St. Louis.

Potential development sites include nuCLEus, the Caxton Building parking lot, the parking lot south of the garage City Club Apartments will use for residents’ parking, Carnegie-East 9th and East 9th-Bolivar. The last site was apparently put up for sale by Geis Companies two weeks ago to take advantage of the ballpark village opportunity.

Cleveland Construction’s new field office location could position itself to capitalize on those opportunities in the coming years. And it has a flashy new sign on Prospect that signifies the potential of those coming projects.


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