Phase 2 sought for Midtown apartment complex

Rendering of an aerial view of The Foundry Lofts in Midtown

Looking at The Foundry Lofts from the Carnegie Avenue side, the two darker buildings are what is proposed to be added. The red buildings closer to Euclid Avenue were completed last fall and are filling up fast (City Architecture). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Foundry Lofts’ first phase already 75% full

With the paint still drying on the first phase of a mixed-use development called The Foundry Lofts, 7240 Euclid Ave., Signet Real Estate Group is asking the city for approvals to begin construction on an apartments-only phase two. The reason for moving forward so quickly on expanding the Midtown Cleveland development is because both residential and commercial leasing activity for the first phase have been strong.

Two additional buildings are on the City Planning Commission’s design-review docket for conceptual review this Friday. That’s the first of three phases of design review — with schematic and final reviews to follow. The added buildings will make a total of five structures and 242 apartments in The Foundry Lofts complex, built on both sides of a new. private street linking Euclid with Carnegie Avenue. The planned buildings will be constructed at the Carnegie end.

Kevin Belt, senior vice president and managing director of Akron-based Signet, said phase two will cost about $15 million to construct, adding 82 apartments to the complex. The added units are roughly divided among 30 one-bedroom apartments and 52 studios. That differs with the $30 million, 160-unit phase one which opened this fall. The three-building, 112,000-square-foot first phase has a mix of two-bedroom suites, one-bedroom units, studios and micro units to offer more affordable housing options. And it has a small, 2,500-square-foot commercial space facing Euclid.

Site plan of The Foundry Lofts apartments and retail cafe.

Site plan for The Foundry Lofts. Planned to be built are Buildings 4 and 5. Already open are Buildings 1-3. North is to the right (City Architecture).

In the first phase, studios are leasing for $829-999, one-bedroom units for about $1,300 and two-bedroom suites for about $1,800, according to several apartment leasing Web sites. As with phase one of The Foundry Lofts, Snavely Construction will be the general contractor and City Architecture will be the designer for the 48,700-square-foot phase two. The development’s name and its design are intended to be evocative of the many current and former factory buildings in Midtown — a concept and location that is proving successful.

“Phase one is currently about 75 percent occupied and we’re currently building out the space for a retail tenant, Vitiman Kandie, a locally-owned restaurant who will open in early 2023,” Belt said in an e-mail to NEOtrans.

This will be Vitiman Kandie‘s second location. Founded in 2009 by fitness and healthy lifestyle guru Mary Johnson who lost 120 pounds, the company already has a VK Café in business in GlenVillage, a new development at 1400 E. 105th St. in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood. It briefly had another location in Richmond Town Square Mall in Richmond Heights before it closed to make way for Belle Oaks Marketplace. The VK Café and store offers all-natural foods, juices, herbs and other healthy products.

Phase one of The Foundry Lofts is filling up fast.

Phase one of The Foundry Lofts opened this fall and is already 75 percent full. This is the Euclid Avenue side of the development which features the commercial space in which Vitiman Kandie Cafe will open in early 2023 (Signet).

The Foundry Lofts is targeted at students and workers who go to school or work in downtown Cleveland or University Circle but can’t afford market-rate apartments in those fast-growing residential districts. Those are also two of the four largest employment centers in Ohio. Signet’s apartment complex is located roughly midway between them, and within a short walk or bike ride to several grocery stores to the east and west and to the Shops at Church Square to the east.

Signet has had great success with its two latest developments in Cleveland. Before The Foundry Lofts, it built the Axis at Ansel — a 163-unit market-rate apartment building at Hough and Ansel avenues. While every investment is a risk, the developer put $35 million into the Hough neighborhood when few were doing so. And the apartment building with a retail space on the corner opened at the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the world’s economy. In spite of those challenges, the building leased out in a year including adding South Euclid-based smoothies shop Fawaky Burst to fill the retail space. Fully stabilized, the property now is for sale.

Signet built The Foundry Lofts on the site of a former Millionaire’s Row mansion, the Allen-Sullivan house. The Queen Anne-style house was built in 1887 by railroad industry supplier Richard Allen and his wife Susan. As a widow, Susan Allen sold it in 1898 to Central National Bank founder Jeremiah J. Sullivan. Despite that it was not a registered landmark, there were attempts by the city to save it. But no one wanted to spend the $367,000 to move it onto a new foundation let alone spend up $2.5 million to renovate it.

For most of its life, the Allen-Sullivan house served a more public purpose. From 1923-31, it was an upscale furniture store called The Josephine Shop. In the Great Depression, it was sold to The Grand Lodge of Ohio, Order Sons of Italy in America which converted it in 1935 into an Italian-American fraternal hall. That’s when an auditorium was built behind the house. From the 1946-61, the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers had offices and a research laboratory on the site. From 1964-99, it was The Colosseum Entertainment Center. The house and auditorium sat vacant through multiple ownership changes after that and was demolished in June 2021.


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