More student housing near Cleveland State University

Two buildings on Prospect Avenue to be renovated with student housing near Cleveland State University.

Two commercial buildings on Prospect Avenue are due to be transferred next week to a new ownership group that plans to renovate each with apartments for students at nearby Cleveland State University (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Project to add 52 units and a renovated retail space

A group of local investors is seeking to develop two historic commercial buildings near Cleveland State University (CSU) with student housing. However, ground-floor commercial spaces will be retained, including one for an existing tenant, the Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission.

To be called Innovation Landing and located across the street from CSU’s Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Center at 1835-1849 Prospect Ave., the project awaits a property transfer that’s due to close Nov. 30. Terry Poltorek, who has owned both buildings either solo or in partnership with others since 2013, is selling the properties to the new group organized as Innovation Landing LLC.

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One of the members of the new group is Tom Charek, president of Welty Development Co. of Akron. He was reluctant to name the other owners at this time. But some of the non-ownership partners are not a secret as they are prominently displayed in filings attached to a building permit application submitted earlier this week to Cleveland’s Building and Housing Department.

“It’s a collaboration of local partners and we’re excited to have Fiorilli Construction as the GC (general contractor),” Charek said. “K2M Design is a great design firm for this project also.”

Both Prospect Avenue buildings are within an easy walk of the Cleveland State University campus.

The proximity of Cleveland State University to 1835 Prospect, left, and 1849 Prospect Ave., center, is evident in this view from the parking lot of CSU’s Wolstein Center multi-purpose arena. The university’s Rhodes Tower is seen in the background, right (Google).

Redevelopment of the two buildings with apartments, resident amenities and ground-floor retail space is projected to cost about $5.9 million, according to the permit application submitted to the city. Scott Maloney, president of K2M Design, said no zoning variances are required for the work to begin. Renovations for Innovation Landing are projected to take about six months, he added.

The west building, 1835 Prospect, is two stories tall, has a terra cotta façade and was built in 1924. The east building, 1849 Prospect, is three stories tall, has a brick and sandstone façade and was built in 1923. As the larger building, 1849 Prospect’s 36,907 square feet does not include the 13,529-square-foot basement with room for up to 36 parking spaces for residents. The parking is accessed from behind via the one-way alley Swingos Court which is lower in elevation than Prospect.

In 1835 Prospect, the first-floor commercial space will remain unchanged. But since the Gateway Church in 1849 Prospect is no longer there, the project’s partners said it offers some opportunities to attract a new commercial tenant to capitalize on the proximity of CSU and the Wolstein Center arena.

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“(The) Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission has several years remaining on its lease,” Maloney said. “Gateway Church is no longer a tenant; that space is slated for redevelopment into a cool retail-type space.”

Access to the residents' parking will be from the rear alley, Swingos Court.

Access to 1849 Prospect Ave.’s basement parking for residents will be from from the rear, via Swingos Court. The garage doors are seen behind the nearby trash container. This view is looking west on Swingos, a one-way alley that is lower in elevation than Prospect (Google).

Because the ground-floor of 1835 Prospect will remain as-is throughout construction and beyond, only its second floor will be repurposed as apartments. According to plans submitted to the city, 17 apartments are proposed in 1835 Prospect which also has parking in its basement that measures 17,077 square feet. The rest of the apartments will be in 1849 Prospect which has light wells that will provide apartments with more windows.

Innovation Landing’s two buildings will offer, in total, 19 studio apartments ranging from 250 to 498 square feet, 30 one-bedroom units with floors areas of 574 to 760 square feet, a pair of two-bedroom apartments that are 1,050 and 1,124 square feet, plus a 1,379-square-foot, three-bedroom apartment, plans show.

Ground-floor amenities in 1849 Prospect include a front lobby with a recreation area, the retail/commercial space, a multi-purpose/yoga room, two bathrooms, a quiet study, mail lobby and parcel storage, bike storage, tenant office and building mechanicals. There are also three apartments on its first floor.

Architectural details are seen in the terra cotta facade of 1835 Prospect Ave.

Terra cotta details on the façade of 1835 Prospect Ave. are visible in this close-up. The brick building at right with the flag is 1849 Prospect. The buildings were recently rated to be in good to very-good condition by Cuyahoga County appraisers (Google).

“Student housing is an integral part of the neighborhood’s redevelopment and we’re supportive of efforts that bring more to the market,” said Mark Lammon, executive director of the Campus District Inc., a community development corporation.

This latest redevelopment is just west of a similar project called Prospect Yard, 1937 Prospect, in which Woda Cooper Cos. converted the 1917-built Stuyvesant Motor Co. Building into 42 affordable apartments. That development opened to residential tenants in December 2019.

CSU is undertaking a campus development masterplan to look at everything from educational, athletic and parking facilities as well as new housing. The university has hired Boston-based Sasaki Associates Inc. to assist its masterplan efforts. As part of its desire for more housing, CSU is reportedly considering acquiring The Edge and The Langston apartment complexes.

Tyler Kapusta contributed to this article.

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