Seeds & Sprouts 34 – McKinsey moving atop Key, Dunham Tavern adding green infrastructure, Brooklyn Polish hall to host Encompass Health, Nia’s Cafe to open on Kinsman

This is the thirty-fourth edition of Seeds & Sprouts – Early intelligence on Cleveland-area real estate projects. Because these projects are very early in their process of development or just a long-range plan, a lot can and probably will change their final shape, use and outcome.

McKinsey & Co.’s move to near the top of Key Tower in Downtown Cleveland is the office market in a microcosm. Not only is the consulting firm shrinking its office footprint, it’s making a flight to quality (KJP). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

McKinsey moving to near top of Key Tower

Business consulting firm McKinsey & Company’s Cleveland office is doing what many others in the nation’s office market are doing — shrinking their office footprint and making a flight to quality. While their current home is the trophy-class, 23-story, Oswald Tower at Flats East Bank, 950 Main Ave., their new home promises to be even more impressive.

McKinsey is moving to the 52nd floor of Downtown Cleveland’s other trophy-class office property — the 57-story Key Tower, 127 Public Square, according to plans filed with the city. Although completed 12 years before the 2013-built Oswald Tower, Key Tower remains one of, if not the most prominent office addresses in Ohio. At 948 feet to the top of its spire, Key Tower is the undeniably the tallest building in Ohio and arguably the tallest between Chicago and the East Coast.

In 1963, Chicago-based McKinsey opened its sixth global office in Cleveland. In 2013, McKinsey departed from a 38,000-square-foot space on the 39th and 40th floors of 200 Public Square for the 12th floor of what was then-called Ernst & Young Tower at Flats East Bank. There, McKinsey occupied less than half of the space as before, or 18,000 square feet, according to Crain’s Cleveland Business.

Their Key Tower space will be even smaller — just 6,042 square feet, a filing with the city by their project architect Vocon Partners LLC of Cleveland shows. That filing also notes that McKinsey will invest $972,000 in the build-out of their office space high above the rest of the city. But that expenditure could have been more if the space wasn’t already cleared.

“Tenant improvement project in suite 5250 (floor 52) of Key Tower to include construction of new interior partitions, reworking of existing HVAC, plumbing, electrical and sprinklers; new millwork and new furniture, finishes and equipment,” wrote Elaine Gleason, Vocon’s senior interior designer in a permit application submitted to the city on Feb. 13. “This suite was previously demolished so there is very little demolition work to be performed.”

A planned investment in stormwater management is the basis for funding a green infrastructure project at the Dunham Tavern Museum and Gardens in Cleveland’s MidTown neighborhood. But the project is intending to beautify the grounds as well (NEORSD).

Dunham Tavern adding green infrastructure

Thanks to a grant awarded just two months ago, the Dunham Tavern Museum and Gardens, 6709 Euclid Ave., is already moving ahead with plans to make a significant investment in green infrastructure and to help beautify its 200-year-old grounds and gardens in Cleveland’s MidTown neighborhood.

Funding a significant portion of the $303,561 project was a North East Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) grant awarded Dec. 20, 2023 in the amount of $287,326. It was one of seven NEORSD Green Infrastructure Grant Program awards provided at that time, totaling $1.5 million. The projects resulting from those grants are intended to reduce stormwater runoff and thus reduce the physical and environment burdens on the region’s sewer systems, streams and Lake Erie.

“The sewer district recognizes the importance of green infrastructure such as bioretention, pervious pavement and other site-based stormwater management practices,” said NEORSD Director of Watershed Programs Frank Greenland in a written statement. “We are happy to support these organizations, in partnership with our member communities, to bring these projects to fruition and manage stormwater at its source in the combined sewer area.”

In plans submitted to the city Feb. 15, Tom Zarfoss, principal emeritus at Behnke Landscape Architecture, said the green infrastructure project will consist of permeable pavers, asphalt paving and landscaping for the Dunham Tavern Museum and Gardens. The plans show most of the improvements will be made behind the 1824-built tavern, which is the oldest building still standing on its original site in the city of Cleveland.

F. Buddie Contracting Ltd. of Cleveland will be the construction contractor. As a result of the Dunham Tavern project, it is estimated that 109,301 gallons of stormwater runoff will be captured in the soil annually rather than drain into the sewer system. And as a result of all seven projects funded by the NEORSD grants awarded last month, nearly 3 million gallons of stormwater runoff will be kept out of the region’s combined sewer system.

The first floor of the former Brooklyn Polish American Home will become a family clinic for Encompass Health and a future coffee shop. The second floor will remain an AmPol Club. The property and long parking lot, which extends from Pearl Road to West 45th Street, will remain fenced, plans show (Google).

Brooklyn Polish hall to host Encompass Health

A nationwide health-care provider is planning to establish its first Northern Ohio location at the former Brooklyn Polish American Home, 4737 Pearl Rd., in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood. Built in 1930, the old fraternal hall is also planned to have a space provided for a future coffee shop on the lower level while the second floor will continue to serve as an AmPol Club & Halls event center for the time being.

Encompass Health Corp., a publicly traded company based in Birmingham, AL, is one of the nation’s largest providers of post-acute healthcare services. It offers both facility-based and home-based post-acute services in 36 states and Puerto Rico through its network of inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health agencies and hospice agencies.

In Cleveland, it plans to offer a family medical center measuring 7,739 square feet and intends to invest $2,119,401 in its new facility, according to plans submitted to the city. Those plans show the provision of a waiting room, reception area, several exam rooms, a phlebotomy (blood sampling) room, offices and lots of space for future expansion.

“The interior renovation consists of a full renovation for a new family practice medical office suite and white box fit-out for a future coffee shop both to be located on the lower level,” wrote Jeffrey Meyers, director of design at DS Architecture of Cleveland in his submittal of plans to the city. “The second level shall remained unchanged at this time.”

The 1.2-acre property and its 16,600-square-foot building was acquired from the Brooklyn Polish American Home Inc. via a sheriff’s deed in 2018, by Derrick L. Cameron and Dana M. Huddleston-Cameron, county records show. Last year, ownership transferred to Huddleston-Cameron’s Lorain-based Pearl Business Inc. (PBI). Turns out the owner of the property enjoys unique coffee experiences as well as fixing up old buildings.

“PBI is devoted to uplifting and beautifying the neighborhood, creating living wage jobs and a healthier community,” according to a press release from Strathmore Who’s Who Worldwide which named Huddleston-Cameron the Professional of the Year for 2022. “The coffee business offers a great coffee experience, while supporting the sustainability of organic fair trade coffee farms from around the world.”

After its exterior was renovated two years ago, property owner Jordan Community Residential Center plans to open Nia’s Café and Retail on a reviving stretch of Kinsman Avenue in Cleveland’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood (Ubiquitous).

Nia’s Cafe to open on Kinsman Avenue

What was once Skateland of Cleveland, later called Oasis In The City and partially renovated two years ago is planned to reopen as Nia’s Café and Retail, 11209 Kinsman Ave., in Cleveland’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood.

The café and food store, set just south of Luke Easter Park, would open following a proposed $300,000 build out of the interior space, according to plans submitted to the city. The café and store is proposed to measure about 2,545 square feet with indoor seating and tables, a curved counter and shelves offering light food, coffee and related merchandise, plans show.

“We are seeking to revitalize a former commercial multi-tenancy building for the express use as a café with a commercial kitchen and two small retail storefront spaces,” wrote W. Daniel Bickerstaff II, founder and principal architect at Ubiquitous Design LTD of Shaker Heights in submitting the plans to the city’s Building Department.

In 2021 and 2023, four parcels on Kinsman totaling 2.7 acres were acquired from Luke-Kinsman LLC and the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp., a.k.a. the Cuyahoga Land Bank, by a nonprofit organization calling itself the Jordan Community Residential Center, county property records show.

Based in Willoughby but with prior registrations to addresses in Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights, it operates Phoenix Counseling Solutions, according to the Ohio Secretary of State. Phoenix’s Web site says it offers behavior health counseling, plus alcohol and other drug addiction services.

In August 2023, the four parcels Jordan Community Residential Center acquired were combined into one lot. Then, a vacant, blighted building between the proposed café/store and the neighboring Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church was demolished last year.


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