A conceptual rendering of a proposed 99-unit apartment complex at 1209 Fairfield Ave. in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. The market-rate apartment complex is proposed by J Roc Development on a rare, large vacant lot in this neighborhood (UrbanOhio). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM
Lack of available apartments drives demand
Combine a tight apartment market in Cleveland’s urban core with a relatively large undeveloped property in Tremont and the outcome isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that it has taken this long for an 0.8-acre vacant property along Fairfield Avenue west of West 11th Street to get developed.
Proposed on that site is a 99-unit apartment building by J Roc Development which acquired the property through an affiliate 1209 Fairfield LLC in September 2020. Selling the property was Mike Tricarichi’s Fairfield Eleven LLC. He created a more developable site after removing several blighted structures for a 75-unit apartment building for which he had won city approvals in 2017 but couldn’t nail down financing, said Cory Riordan, executive director of Tremont West Development Corp.
Site of the proposed J Roc Development apartments in Tremont is at the southwest corner of Fairfield Avenue and West 11th Street, across the street from The South Side restaurant (MyPlaceCuyahoga/KJP).
“As this site has had a previously proposed apartment building reviewed and approved, I do not foresee substantial issues with the project,” Riordan said in an e-mail to NEOtrans. “The proposal additionally meets the intent of the (zoning) code for the area, (it) may need a variance based on final footprint because of split zoning districts, and is an improvement design-wise on previous iterations for the site. With that said, I look forward to the community having an opportunity to weigh in on the project.”
That opportunity may come later this month when the North of Literary Block Club meets and is scheduled to hold its initial review of the project. Then it would appear before the Near West Design Review Committee and finally the City Planning Commission. Riordan said Tremont West Development Corp. has had an introductory meeting with the developer about the project.
A sign for the prior development, Fairfield Eleven, at Fairfield Avenue and West 11th Street was in place last summer when this photo was taken. Part of the parking lot at right that would be lost to J Roc’s proposed apartments and The South Side restaurant at left are visible here (Google).
J Roc Development Principal Jesse Grant opened but did not respond to an e-mail from NEOtrans seeking more information about his proposed Fairfield apartment project.
His company recently completed construction of the $30 million, 130-unit Electric Gardens Apartments, 425 Literary Rd. in Tremont. It has studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with monthly rents ranging from $1,160 to $3,620. Only two units are currently available, according to Electric Gardens’ Web site. In 2016 and one block away from 1209 Fairfield, J Roc built a group of eight townhouses called Tremont Black and sold out before they were completed at prices ranging from $287,612 to $589,665. J Roc has built or renovated many other structures in Cleveland.
Rendering of the Electric Gardens apartments that opened on Literary Road at the Towpath Trail in Tremont in the spring 2021 and leased out its 130 market-rate apartments in less than a year. That proved to J Roc Development how strong Tremont’s apartment market was and is (J Roc Development).
According to a preliminary summary of the proposed 99-unit apartment development obtained by NEOtrans, the building on Fairfield would be five stories tall with a lower level. And it would measure approximately 146,800 square feet. J Roc plans a total of 97 indoor parking spaces — 56 spaces on the lower level and 41 spaces on the first level.
At this early stage, the breakdown for the apartments shows there would be 16 studios, 10 art lofts each with one bedroom, 57 one-bedroom apartments and 16 two-bedroom units. The studios are proposed to measure 469-502 square feet, art lofts with one bedroom will be 633 square feet, one-bedroom units at 763-929 square feet and two-bedroom suites will range from 1,054-1,260 square feet.
The apartment building would be built partly on a parking lot used by employees and patrons of nearby businesses including Loop coffee shop, Parallax restaurant and especially The South Side restaurant located across West 11th Street. Recognizing that some of its parking would probably be lost to the new apartment building, Southside Holdings Inc. last September acquired the Fairfield Food Market for $75,000, county records show. The venerable, vine-covered market was razed Dec. 2, 2021 for South Side’s expansion.