Fairfax Market development wins financing

Mixed use development at East 105th Street and Cedar Avenue.

Now just vacant land, the southwest corner of East 105th Street (at left) and Cedar Avenue (at right) will likely be a very different place soon. With construction due to start early next year on the Fairfax Market and many other developments nearby, this part of the Fairfax neighborhood may be a vibrant, urban neighborhood in just two years (Bialosky). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Site near Cleveland Clinic, University Circle to be Meijer store, apartments

Financing was awarded to the first phase of a mixed-use development on the southeast corner of East 105th Street and Cedar Avenue that aims to capitalize on the many infrastructure, health care and residential developments nearby.

Using the working titles of Cedar Avenue Mixed Use and/or the Fairfax Market, Fairmount Properties’ won $37 million in bond financing from the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority for the $59 million, 190,000-square-foot building and attached three-level, 209-space parking garage.

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“This is exactly the type of project that is needed to support current residents,” said Pat Ramsey, chair of the Port of Cleveland Board of Directors, in a written statement. “It fills a critical need in the marketplace and community while adding essential workforce housing to support our region’s largest job center. Overall, this is a transformative project for the Fairfax neighborhood.”

Site of the proposed Fairmount Properties development in Fairfax.

The first phase of Fairmount Properties’ mixed-use development is shown with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s main campus to the north and, for now, vacant lots and aging homes to the south. Someday, phase two of the Fairfax Market development could rise on the block immediately west of phase one (Bialosky).

The project will capitalize on the rapidly growing Cleveland Clinic nearby as well as the 2.9-acre development’s location on the Opportunity Corridor which opens to traffic today. East 105th was rebuilt and widened as part of the $331 million Opportunity Corridor, creating a new boulevard to reach the Interstate highway system and to open up the so-called Forgotten Triangle to new housing and jobs.

“This is a really important milestone for us to reach this point,” said Fairmount’s Principal Adam Fishman at a Nov. 5 meeting of the City Planning Commission. “This is a mixed-use project that we’ve been working on for a long time with tremendous support from Cleveland Clinic, Fairfax Renaissance development corporation, Councilman (Blaine) Griffin, the Meijer corporation and the Port of Cleveland.”

NEOtrans first reported on the potential for a grocery store as part of Cleveland Clinic-related developments in early 2020. A few months later, more details became available about the proposed development, including a potential urban-format Meijer grocery store being a part of the plan. This will be the Michigan-based chain’s first store in the city of Cleveland and only its second in Cuyahoga County. It opened a full-size store in suburban Seven Hills.

Massing of the Fairmount Fairfax development.

This massing of the Fairmount Properties’ proposed development shows the large scale of the project — a six-story, 190,000-square-foot development with a multi-level parking deck attached (Bialosky).

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City Planning Commission approved schematic plans for the project last week. Aaron Hill, an architect working on the project for Bialosky Cleveland, said construction documents for Fairfax Market should be done by early next year with construction soon to follow.

The project will put 190 market-rate apartments over the 40,000-square-foot Meijer grocery store. Rents in the building will average about $2.60 per square foot, putting it near the top end of the market for University Circle-area housing, project representatives said. That equals to approximately $1,560 per month for a 600-square-foot apartment.

Those rents compare with the Centric Apartments built next to the Little Italy-University Red Line train station and the 20-story One University Circle, currently the district’s tallest building, on Euclid Avenue at Stearns Road. Despite high rents, both developments leased out in a year. One University Circle will soon be eclipsed by the 24-story Artisan tower, now under construction in the Circle Square development just two blocks north of the Fairfax Market site.

Site plan for the Fairmount Fairfax development.

Site plan for Fairmount Properties’ proposed development, offering surface parking next to the grocery store with parking in the deck above. The grocery store will be at the northeast corner of the lot, putting it within closer walking distance of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s main campus, major new residential developments as well as bus and rail rapid transit stations (Bialosky).

Immediately south of the Fairfax Market development, construction is about to begin on the 80-unit, four-story Square 105 building by McCormack Baron Salazar and Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp. As the first phase of the 223-unit Innovation Square complex, it will have a significant street presence on East 105th, including a ground-floor commercial space. Two blocks to the east, the Stokes West development is proposed.

A year from now, the number of construction projects likely to be under construction within a few blocks of the East 105th-Carnegie Avenue intersection boggles the mind. And in a mere two years, there may be a dense and vibrant urban neighborhood where vacant lots and empty houses crumbled in recent decades, but was preceded by a dense, vibrant neighborhood in the decades before. Much of the momentum began before the State of Ohio declared the area to be its second Innovation District, adding up to 20,000 jobs over the next 15 years.

The confusing number of development projects in such close proximity to each other prompted planning commission board member Lillian Kuri to mistakenly offer to recuse herself from voting on Fairfax Market’s schematic plans last week. The Cleveland Foundation provided a loan to the neighboring Innovation Square project. Kuri, executive vice president and chief operating office of the foundation, confused it with the Fairfax Market.

“As much as we would love to have the Cleveland Foundation in this deal, I think the project you’re invested in is just to the south with McCormack Baron (Salazar),” Fishman said at the meeting.

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