West Park area developments emerge

This is an early conceptual view of the proposed Warren Road Apartments in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood that will be refined based on city input. The front of the townhomes will feature more brick, the siding be changed to off-white and new locations for trees and landscaping will be provided (Young). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Apartments, hospital expansion, gym planned

While big developments in and near Downtown and University Circle continue to be announced, a lot is going on in other Cleveland neighborhoods, too. Among those seeing activity are the West Park and Bellaire-Puritas neighborhoods, with new market-rate housing, jobs and educational projects planned. All three investments are critical to keeping Cleveland’s westernmost neighborhoods fresh and vibrant, said their City Councilman Charles Slife, of Ward 17.

In West Park, one of the biggest changes is the proposed development of market-rate housing resulting from a project having the working title Warren Road Apartments, proposed to be located at 3272 Warren Rd. If realized, it would be the first new market-rate housing in the West Park neighborhood in years, according to West Park-Kamm’s Neighborhood Development, a nonprofit community development corporation (CDC), and Cleveland Planning Director Joyce Pan Huang. She added that the townhouse style will add diversity and housing options to the area.

The 19-unit townhouse project is on a 1.5-acre site with a 54-foot-wide street frontage on Warren, located between the Warren Village Shopping Center and St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Cathedral. There are five existing structures on the site including three houses and two garages that are set back from Warren and would be demolished. The three-parcel property is owned by Greenway Scranton Investments LLC which the developer, The Maverick Building Co. of Avon, has a purchase agreement to acquire if the proposed townhouse development gets all of the city approvals.

Site plan for the proposed Warren Road Apartments includes an inset to show the driveway to Warren Road. It also has a retention basin and parking lot at the west end of the site. The sidewalk along the driveway may be changed or removed and a walking path or fence may be added around the retention basin (Young).

The approval process began last week when the townhouse plans won conceptual approval from the City Planning Commission, albeit with conditions. The conditions include adjusting the design so the townhouses are similar to the brick-heavy exteriors of existing, nearby homes. Also a sidewalk along the driveway was urged to be redesigned or removed to improve the location of trees, and a planned retention pond could be surrounded by a fence and walking path. Lastly, safety vehicle access and turning within the development needed to be looked at, commission members said.

“We increased the amount of brick to fit in better with the neighborhood and (are) changing to a more off-white exterior (and), overall, changing it from extremely modern to fitting in more with some of the adjacent streets,” said Anthony Fiorini, owner of The Maverick Building Co. and Lakewood-based Fiorini Properties LLC. Plans show a mix of two- and three-bedroom townhomes would be offered in six buildings — five three-unit buildings and one four-unit building.

Slife noted that the new housing will be responsive to the West Park real estate market and that the commission’s feedback will set the stage for “more robust community feedback” to follow. The plans will need to get schematic and final approval from the planning commission before a building permit can be issued to the development team.

In this view of Fairview Hospital, in which the curved feature at the bottom is at the west side of the Groveland Avenue cul-de-sac, the proposed first-floor plan is shown. The areas surrounded by the dark dashed lines are the portions to be renovated and layouts changed. This area was the Emergency Department before 2013. A much smaller basement area is included in the first phase of the project and will predominantly be new office space (Perspectus).

“I will say that we, the CDC and I, hear routinely that there’s a desire for more modern condos and apartments,” Slife told NEOtrans. “As an anecdote, Fairview Hospital leadership has talked about how its residents want housing near the hospital and it’s hard to come by. So I definitely think there’s a demand for market-rate and luxury units. Also, the real estate market in this part of West Park is on fire. Houses are going for $300,000 and a number of houses recently have cleared $400,000. Lastly, as someone who lives nearby, my take is that this stretch of Warren Road might not scream urbanism, but I find it very walkable in a practical way. It’s easy to meet daily needs in Warren Village plus there’s the 83 bus and it’s easy to walk to Rapid (train station) in about 15 minutes.”

Speaking of Fairview Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic facility located at 18101 Lorain Ave. in the Kamm’s Corners portion of West Park, it will see significant investment in the coming months. This follows a $76 million project completed a decade ago that added a two-story, 52-bed emergency department, a 26-bed intensive care unit and 25,000 square feet of renovated hospital space. Now, the hospital is repurposing first-floor and basement areas that were once used by the emergency department and, more recently, as a COVID-19 vaccination clinic during the pandemic, said Angela Smith, senior director of corporate communications at Cleveland Clinic.

“We are planning to renovate this existing space within Fairview Hospital into a new multispecialty clinic,” Smith said in an e-mail to NEOtrans. “Details on specific services are not available at this time. This is an internal renovation of space that is currently unused. As planning is still underway, project costs are not being shared at this time.”

A new gymnasium is proposed to be built on the southwest side of the Innovation Academy West, off West 130th Street in the Bellaire-Puritas neighborhood. It will include a mezzanine on the second floor located approximately in the center of this image. The existing part of the school is the single-level building (JPPA).

Plans submitted to the city by Perspectus Architecture of Cleveland on behalf of Cleveland Clinic describe the project as a “Multi-specialty clinic and department relocation” and “interior renovation for exam rooms and offices.” The work affects a total of 18,320 square feet of basement offices with first-floor exam room and clinical spaces as part of the three-phase project. Most of the space that’s proposed to be renovated is on the first floor. A permit application publicly discloses a preliminary project cost of $7,630,309.

In the Bellaire-Puritas neighborhood, plans for a project that were recently submitted to the city involve the construction of a gymnasium as an addition to Innovation Academy West, 13111 Crossburn Ave. The new gymnasium would be built on a grassy area between the southwest corner of the school and the school’s parking lot. The building site is next to Crossburn Park. The gym will have a basketball court with first-floor offices and restrooms above which will be a mezzanine overlooking the east end of the basketball court. Innovation Academy West is a tuition-free charter school serving K-8 students.

Plans developed by John Patrick Picard Architect Inc. of Massillon show the 7,680-square-foot, $2.2 million gymnasium addition would retain a part of the grassy strip between the school and gym for an outdoor classroom. The project also includes the relocation of catch basins and drain pipes, along with parking lot improvements and repaving work. Jade Ohio of Canton is the project’s general contractor, according to documents submitted to the city.


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