Fairfax, Glenville, Hough developments unveiled

A design concept submitted to the city this week for the Allen Estates at League Park in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood. Allen Estates represents the first phase in the proposed Anchor 66 development masterplan for the northwest flank of League Park. And it’s just one of four projects surrounding University Circle on City Planning Commission’s docket this week (RDL). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Four apartment projects surround University Circle

The economic development boom in Cleveland’s University Circle continues to be felt in the neighborhoods surrounding this epicenter of the local eds-and-meds jobs sector. Four new apartment development plans were revealed this week as they go on the design review docket at the City Planning Commission. Combined, all four projects could add more than 150 workforce housing units with many more in later phases.

City officials and real estate investors say the housing is needed to accommodate workers and students at Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University and other employers in and near University Circle. Together, those job producers boosted education and health care employment in Greater Cleveland by more than 7 percent in November 2023 vs November 2022 to 218,000 workers.

One of the apartment projects is the first phase in a much larger development masterplan called Anchor 66 which, in turn, is anchored by the adjacent League Park where Major League Baseball teams like the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Buckeyes played. The 1891-built stadium, which peaked at 22,500 seats, was significantly demolished in 1951.

League Park, at the northeast corner of East 66th Street and Lexington Avenue, was redeveloped with a baseball heritage museum and a public park in 2014. Additional developments were built nearby like a new Hough branch of the Cleveland Public Library that opened in 2022 and Saint Agnes Our Lady of Fatima Church completed a large new assembly hall in 2021.

Locations of the four development projects surrounding University Circle in Fairfax, Glenville and Hough are displayed on this map (Google).

More is planned like Signet Real Estate Group’s 27,000-square-foot mixed-use development of residential, restaurants, retail and offices at the northwest corner of East 66th and Lexington. Two structures were demolished to make way for the development. Sources said the project is active and continues to raise funds.

But no proposed development near League Park may be bigger than what is envisioned by Frontline Development Group of Shaker Heights and Woda Cooper Companies of Columbus. To the northwest of League Park, several dozen townhomes are planned and 76 apartments plus a ground-floor restaurant on Linwood, the partnership’s development master plan shows.

The apartments will be provided in two four-story buildings — one on the northwest corner of East 66th and Linwood Avenue and one on the northeast corner. The first phase is planned on the northeast corner of that intersection. The project’s architect of record is PCI Design Group, Inc. of Columbus.

The two buildings are planned to have 38 one-bedroom units and 38 two-bedroom units for a total of 76 units. Amenities will include on-site management office, community room with kitchenette, and more. The development team said Anchor 66 will be priced as affordable for a variety of populations including singles, young professionals, seniors, single-parent households and small families.

With brick facades like other apartment buildings in Glenville, the East 114th Apartments are intended to blend in with their surroundings. Each one of these two buildings will have 18 one-bedroom apartments (MPG).

“Anchor 66 is strategically located along the East 66th corridor and will provide important safe and accessible workforce housing units needed by households that would otherwise be displaced as further investment occurs in the neighborhood,” the Frontline-Woda Cooper development team said in a written statement. “In addition, (the first phase of) Anchor 66 will provide over $23 million of new investment along the East 66th corridor.”

Of the four east-side apartment developments on the commission’s agenda this week, three are by developer Jonathan Schaefer of CREO Real Estate Group in Solon. He calls himself an independent real estate professional on his LinkedIn profile and says he’s “Focused on University Circle” and “Always looking for new development opportunities.” That’s apparent by his planning commission applications.

“Yes, I am bullish on the University Circle area,” Schaefer said in a message to NEOtrans. “Many projects (are) ready to go. Tenants will be predominantly workforce housing.”

Two projects are within a block of each other in Glenville in what’s been branded in recent years as the Circle North neighborhood. In the first development, a pair of identical, three-story, 18-unit apartment buildings are planned at the southeast corner of East 114th Street and Itasca Avenue, or 36 units total.

The East 115th Street apartments in Glenville are proposed to have 42 one-bedroom units. The building is designed with a brick facade (MPG).

All of the apartments would be one-bedroom units, each measuring 650 square feet, according to conceptual plans by Mann Parsons Gray (MPG) Architects of Akron. Those plans show a 15-space parking lot and a greenspace provided behind the two apartment buildings. Additional on-street parking would be available.

To offer the narrow greenspace which would link the new parking lot to East 112th Street, a house on East 112th owned by the developer would have to be demolished. A house on Itasca would have to be razed as well to make way for this two-building project.

Also to be removed is a 27-space parking lot for a 16-unit apartment building Schaefer owns across the street at 11310 Itasca Ave. He fixed up that 104-year-old building in 2020 as the Legacy @Itasca apartments. It offers one- to three-bedroom units at rents ranging from $1,100 to $2,400 per month, according to apartments.com.

To the east of that site is the second proposed Glenville construction project for Schaefer, a three-story, 42-unit building on East 115th Street. MPG’s conceptual plans show that these apartments, like those on East 114th, would all be one-bedroom, 650-square-foot units to improve their affordability.

Designed to look like single-family homes nearby in the Fairfax neighborhood, each of these structures will have 12 apartments. Up to four buildings are planned (MPG).

The building with its L-shaped floorplates would be built on a site whose seven parcels are arrayed along the vacated Rosedale Court, off East 115th Street. Not only would Rosedale disappear but so would three houses along both sides of it, plans show. The new Glenville apartment buildings are designed with brick exteriors similar to those of other, century-old apartment buildings in the neighborhood.

In Fairfax, Schaefer plans more one-bedroom, 650-square-foot apartments. This time, they would be spread among three buildings and, if he can acquire one more parcel, a fourth building will be added on a single site between East 90th and 93rd streets. The driveway for a central, 19-space parking lot would be accessed from the 2200 block of East 93rd.

Each of the three-story apartment buildings are designed to look like traditional homes in the surrounding neighborhood, similar to a nearby apartment project by We Rise Development on East 89th Street. Designed by City Architecture, those apartments are based on traditional themes from the neighborhood including multiple gabled rooflines and front porches.

On East 93rd, the MPG-designed buildings will have gabled rooflines and front porches, too. Each of these Glenville apartment buildings will have 12 units. So while three buildings and 36 apartments are planned, the total count could grow to 48 apartments if the property is acquired to allow for the fourth building to be constructed.


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