Dalad Group is bullish on Cleveland’s West Side. Not only is it moving forward with plans for Franklin Yard on the south side of Franklin Avenue at West 32nd Street in Ohio City, it’s planning to expand it to the north side with this 29-unit apartment on the north side of Franklin. And it has plans for a new Tremont apartment building, too (Horton Harper). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.
Dalad, PAG move forward on apartment projects
While it’s tough to get financing for larger development projects anywhere these days, it is possible to add a meaningful number of housing units by dividing them up among smaller projects. That’s what Dalad Group of Independence and partner Property Advisors Group (PAG) of Beachwood are doing by pursuing more than 100 apartments on Cleveland’s near-West Side among a mix of new-construction and renovation projects.
As early as this spring in Ohio City, Dalad and PAG expect to start renovation work on the long-planned Franklin Yard project. Simultaneously, the developers will add a new-construction component called Franklin North, across Franklin Boulevard from Franklin Yard. The renovation project has been in the works since 2018 when NEOtrans broke the story on the pending sale of the former Young Women’s Christian Association-turned-Vantage Place assisted living facility to Dalad.
“We expect to break ground on Franklin/32nd by April and are starting on the south side of Franklin along the same timeline,” said Dalad Group President Neil Viny in an e-mail to NEOtrans. “The old YWCA, the mansion on 32nd and the new construction north of Franklin will be the three structures comprising Franklin Yard.”
The most recent component added to the Franklin Yard plan is a new-construction, 29-unit apartment building on a nearly half-acre vacant lot at 3210 Franklin Blvd. TDG Franklin North LLC acquired the property in 2022 from Franklin Court Townhomes LP which previously sought to develop the site. Prior to 2006, the now-overgrown parking lot was owned by the YMCA, Cuyahoga County property records show.
Franklin Yard renovation site plan for the historic structures south of Franklin Boulevard could be realized starting in April as will the new-construction apartments on the north side of the street (Gibbon).
“The three-story wood framed structure is clad in brick, lapped cement board and metal, and sited to anchor the corner of the parcel,” Cleveland-based Horton Harper Architects said in its application to the city for a building permit last week. “All units facing Franklin are outfitted with outdoor space with ground floor porches opening directly onto the sidewalk. In the rear of the building, three lobbies lead to accessible entries for all ground-floor apartments, and stairways to the upper units.”
The filing with the city shows a projected construction cost of $3.75 million for the 29-unit, new-construction, Franklin North building — an amount that seems low. South of Franklin, the renovations and site preparation costs were estimated in 2021 at nearly $20 million but have likely risen since. Viny declined to comment on the cost figures.
“Though no parking is required per the zoning code, 22 surface parking spaces are accessed from a new curb cut on West 32nd Street to minimize pedestrian disruption on Franklin,” the application for the Franklin North building continued. “Secure and conditioned bike storage is located on the first floor. A pitched roof caps the building with rooftop HVAC units obscured from view from the public.”
On the south side of Franklin, 38 apartments are planned. Seven apartments will be in what was originally a late-19th-century mansion. The rest would be in a building constructed in 1915 along West 31st Place as a women’s residential center by the YWCA. The facility’s former parking lot on the east side of West 31st would be reactivated to provide 42 of the proposed 48 parking spaces for Franklin Yard. The other six spaces, including handicapped parking, will be behind the former mansion.
Fencing went up around the former YWCA-turned-assisted living center in May 2021. While interior demolition and remediation work was conducted, construction on the site will get underway this spring (KJP).
Apartments will be offered at middle-market rents. Units will have access to several outdoor patios as part of an interior courtyard that was opened up by demolishing a 1960-built, one-story common area for the former residential facility. Interior demolition and environmental remediation work has been completed on the rest of the historic structures.
The exception is a storage building on West 32nd dating to 1915 and measuring 2,172 square feet. It may be renovated as a small office. It cannot be demolished due to restrictions on Dalad Group receiving state historic tax credits for the project. Franklin Yard will also have a small fitness room, community living room and tenant storage areas, plans show.
Over in Tremont, Dalad and Property Advisors groups are jointly pursuing what has been termed in the City Planning Commission’s project database as the Tremont Treehouse Apartments. The project, still in the early conceptual stage, could have 43 apartments. It would be built on five parcels totaling a half-acre, with frontage on both College Avenue and Professor Street, wrapping around behind The Treehouse pub, 820 College Ave.
While three of the parcels are vacant, two are not. Their structures are to be demolished. One is a three-unit apartment house at 812 College dating from 1890 and rated by the county to be excellent condition. The other is a duplex at 808 College , dating from 1870 and rated to be in average-plus condition. Acquiring those properties were affiliates prefaced by “TDGOZ” — The Dalad Group Opportunity Zone, meaning the project is being funded in part by Opportunity Zone funds.
The area in red marks the parcels on which the Dalad and Property Advisors groups’ Tremont Treehouse Apartments are proposed to rise and where two 19th-century structures are due to fall (Google).
“The Tremont project is in planning and probably running six months behind Franklin,” Viny said. “The Tremont project is a JV (joint venture) with PAG, and they also have an interest in Franklin Yard.”
“I’m not tuned into their timeline in Tremont. They are a great developer, though. They’ve done really high-quality work in Cleveland,” said Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack, whose ward includes Ohio City, Tremont and Downtown.
Two years ago in Ward 3, Dalad Group completed the renovation and residential conversion of the Tinnerman Building, 2038 Fulton Road, just south of Lorain Avenue. Tinnerman Steel Range Co. was located on the site from 1880 to 1957, then moved to a new plant on Brookpark Road. It merged with Eaton Corp. in 1969. Next, the site was used by Vista Color Imaging and Able Packaging. Vista moved to Brooklyn Heights and Able closed. Dalad renovated the property with 53 apartments for $17 million.