Lakewood Spitzer site sold, groundbreaking this year

Two new buildings in west-suburban Lakewood are likely to see construction start later this year.

This view looking east at the south side of Detroit Avenue, east of Bunts Road in Lakewood, shows what the former Spitzer car dealership and Educators Music sites could look like by the end of 2023. Those properties sold last week to a developer that wants to construct apartments and a small ground-floor retail space (Solove). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Development called ‘The View On Detroit East’

Construction is due to start later this year on the first of two mixed-use developments on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood by a Columbus-based real estate firm. Solove Real Estate has weathered several significant challenges to get this far with one of its two proposed developments in Lakewood, with the other reportedly not far behind. Combined, the two projects represent a $43 million investment in the community.

First to see construction will likely be The View On Detroit East, a development along two blocks of Detroit, just east of Bunts Road. The $20 million project will have 120 apartments over ground-floor uses including lobbies, a fitness room plus a 1,500-square-foot commercial space at the southwest corner of Detroit and Wyandotte Avenue. Two parking lots totaling 140 spaces will be behind the pair of three-story apartment buildings.

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The View on Detroit East is moving ahead first because the 2.2 acres of land on which it will be built was sold last week to a Solove affiliate, JSDI VODE LLC (aka, Jerome Solove Development Inc. — View On Detroit East), for just under $2.3 million — $2,292,833 to be specific, according to Cuyahoga County property records.

Solove site plan for The View On Detroit East.

Site plan for The View On Detroit East mixed-use development that is due to start construction this year (Solove).

That includes $1.77 million paid to Lakewood Chrysler-Plymouth Inc., part of the Spitzer chain of car dealerships, and $522,000 paid to Stavash Family LLC who owned Educators Music shop and the house behind it at the corner of Detroit and Wyandotte. Each of those buildings will be demolished and remediated of any polluted soils in the coming months. Construction should take about one year.

The Spitzer dealership closed in 2010 following the financial crisis and was leased for five years by Wingstar Transportation LLC that provided trucking and logistics services. Educators Music closed in 2018 in anticipation on this development. But progress was delayed by the pandemic and the developer losing financing for both Lakewood projects before gaining a new investor, said a source familiar with the projects but preferred to stay off the record.

“As of last week we have closed on the property near Detroit and Bunts in Lakewood,” an excited Alex Solove announced in an e-mail to NEOtrans. A resident of the Cleveland-area, he is development manager for this project. “We are calling this project the View On Detroit East. We are anticipating a 2022 groundbreaking!”

What The View On Detroit East in Lakewood could look like at the end of 2023.

Looking south from the intersection of Detroit and Wyandotte avenues, a context for The View On Detroit East can be seen by how it relates to existing buildings nearby (Solove).

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He also announced that a website for this development has gone live. The site has a project description, graphics, site plans and a contact form for persons interested in leasing space in the building. Solove calls most of its residential developments “The View On…” whatever street their project is located.

“Exciting news for Lakewood,” the city declared earlier this week on social media. “The first step in the redevelopment of the well-known Spitzer Auto Group site at Bunts & Detroit has begun as property has transferred to the developer. We are excited for this upcoming development project & look forward to working with the Solove team.”

Solove attempted to acquire for this development the 0.35-acre property at the southeast corner of Detroit and Bunts used by Bruce’s Automotive & Fleet Services, 13919 Detroit Ave. But those overtures were rejected by George Shaker, 81, who owns G & M Property Management 3 LLC, which in turn owns the property leased by Bruce’s Automotive.

Site plan for The View On Detroit West by Solove in Lakewood.

Site plan for The View On Detroit West, proposed to built where the closed Steve Barry Buick dealership now stands (Solove).

The city has already rezoned the properties for The View On Detroit East and created a tax-increment financing (TIF) district which will use the new tax revenues created by this development over the next 30 years to help retire debt to afford its construction. School tax revenues will be unaffected by the TIF. NEOtrans broke the story about this development in 2018.

Solove did not respond to questions about the timeline for the other Lakewood project even though a Web page for The View On Detroit West has been live for months. The $23 million development is proposed to rise on the former Steve Barry Buick property that closed in 2018. Also on the 2.7-acre site is the empty Bobby O’s bar that closed in September 2021 to make way for Solove’s development.

Looking east on Detroit Avenue at The View On Detroit West, proposed in Lakewood.

Here’s an eastward view along Detroit Avenue of Solove’s proposed The View On Detroit West mixed-use development (Solove).

Although Solove has a purchase agreement in place for this site, the dealership’s properties on both sides of the street in the 16000-block of Detroit have yet to transfer to Solove.

If and when they do transfer, Solove plans to build a pair of four-story buildings on either side of Detroit containing a total of 160 apartments above 3,500 square feet of ground-floor commercial space plus additional tenant amenity spaces. Approximately 165 parking spaces are also proposed, according to site plans approved by the city. Also approved was rezoning and a 30-year TIF district that will not touch school tax revenues.

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