One of Cleveland’s largest lakefront sites is now in play

The Lake Shore Power Plant site that sold last month is outlined in red and includes a long driveway access from East 55th Street in the background. East 72nd Street and Interstate 90 are in the foreground with downtown Cleveland in the distance. At right left is where the Cleveland Metroparks plans a $300 million lakefront recreation area including a new island in Lake Erie (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Sales may benefit prime lakefront sites


Turns out the sale of a large Cleveland lakefront property could be good news for a more livable shoreline, after all. The 62-acre former Lake Shore Power Station site just east of Downtown Cleveland, along with the 167-acre Eastlake power plant property and another in Oregon, OH near Toledo were sold last month by Energy Harbor Generation LLC of Akron to a firm that specializes in cleaning up and redeveloping former coal-fired power plant sites.

IDA Power, LLC of Staten Island, NY, which used separate limited liability companies for each of its three Ohio transactions, is only tangentially related to Energy Harbor’s sale last year to a holding company of Texas-based Vistra Corp. In 2023, Vistra Vision acquired Energy Harbor and its four nuclear power plants, including two in Ohio — the Perry and Davis-Besse plants — for $3 billion.

The fact that Vistra did not want the trio of former lakefront power plant sites for its own uses and instead were spun off to a third party suggests a new future awaits them — one that doesn’t involve energy generation. If so, the Cleveland site is one of the largest single lakefront development properties now in play.

NEOtrans first reported on Dec. 30, 2023 that Energy Harbor’s former Lake Shore Power Station, 6800 S. Marginal Rd., was sold to Lake Shore Acquisition Company LLC. A limited warranty deed transfer was recorded Jan. 2 by Cuyahoga County. No dollar amount for the transaction was specified. The Cleveland property was appraised at $6,255,300 by the county for tax purposes.

Looking east at the former Lake Shore Power Plant site, including its long driveway to East 55th Street at the bottom. The East 55th Street Marina in Lake Erie is to the left (Google).

“The site you’re referring to has been divested to IDA and is not part of the Energy Harbor transaction to Vistra,” confirmed Todd Morgano, senior vice president at Falls & Co., Energy Harbor’s media relations firm. He deferred further questions about the purchase or future plans for the site to IDA.

A message left with IDA was not responded to prior to publication of this article. IDA is an acronym for Industrial Development Advantage, a firm that acquires, remediates and repositions distressed commercial and industrial real estate assets. Its IDA Power affiliate specializes in repositioning former coal-fired power plant properties.

“IDA Power, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of IDA, provides the power generation industry with plant divestiture and beneficial reuse solutions for retiring coal-fired power plants and their associated CCR (coal combustion residual) liabilities,” IDA says on its Web site. “IDA Power provides fixed-cost remediation and site-closure services, site demolition, environmental liability assumption, and redevelopment planning, providing clients with robust top-to-bottom solutions for the repositioning of retired or retiring coal-generating stations.”

The deed transfer to Lake Shore Acquisition Company was signed Dec. 14, 2023, public records show. Afterward, a certificate of disclosure was requested Dec. 21, 2023 by a title company from Cleveland’s Building Department. Such certificates are typically requested by a title company before a deed transfer as part of the buyer’s due diligence process.

In this 2011 view, the former Lake Shore Power Plant at the east end of South Marginal Road had four more years of operation remaining. The plant was demolished in 2017 and will now be cleaned up for future development (Google).

In addition to creating an affiliate in late-2022 for acquiring the Cleveland property, IDA Power also created DuPont Road Acquisition Company LLC and Eastlake Acquisition Company LLC. The former refers to a former Energy Harbor property next to Walleye Power LLC’s Bay Shore Plant in Oregon, Ohio near Toledo. The latter refers to the closed Energy Harbor power plant in Eastlake, Ohio. All three affiliates listed a Utah law firm, Kirton McConkie, as their legal representative.

“I hope the city and county are on top the purchase to assure the property is developed appropriately to enhance the lakefront,” said Dick Clough, executive board chairman of the Green Ribbon Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes improvements to Greater Cleveland’s lakefront.

The coalition has for years urged that the Lake Shore Power Station site be incorporated into the Cleveland Metroparks’ and the city’s lakefront improvement plans. The group has proposed a mix of housing and recreational uses for the land, and connecting it with pedestrian and bike paths over Interstate 90 to the lake shore and across East 72nd Street to a revived Gordon Park to the east.

The Cleveland Metroparks’ $300 million Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Strategy (CHEERS) plan is in detailed design and permitting for expanded park land including an off-shore island (Metroparks).

“The city is aware of the transaction and has been in touch with IDA about their plans,” said the city of Cleveland’s Press Secretary Marie Zickefoose.

Just north of the power plant site is where a $300 million project by the Metroparks is about to get under way. Called the CHEERS project, or the Cleveland Harbor Eastern Embayment Resilience Strategy, it envisions using dredged sediment from the bottom of the lakefront’s harbor and Cuyahoga River to create an island in Lake Erie, just offshore from the former Lake Shore Power Station.

The Cleveland power plant was built in 1911 by Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co., sold to FirstEnergy, then to Energy Harbor. It was closed in 2015 rather than be upgraded to meet new air quality standards to reduce mercury and other toxic metal emissions. Energy Harbor razed the plant in 2017. Only an electrical substation, a small storage building and several cooling ponds remain.

Metroparks Communications Director Jacqueline Gerling did not respond to inquiries about this significant lakefront site prior to publication of this article.


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