Playhouse Square arrives at Greyhound Station

Downtown Cleveland’s landmark-designated Greyhound station will reportedly be redeveloped by the Playhouse Square Foundation as a performing arts venue but could also combine dining and other nightlife, a source said. Ultimately, the move was made by the foundation to expand Cleveland’s theater district (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Buy signals north expansion of theater district

Playhouse Square Foundation this week closed a deal to acquire the Greyhound station in Downtown Cleveland to expand the theater district northward and convert the station into an entertainment/dining venue, according to a source familiar with the transaction. While Playhouse Square officials were mum on their plans, a spokesperson told NEOtrans that Greyhound bus operations will be relocated on a schedule that works for them and their customers.

The 1948-built Streamline Moderne-styled station at 1465 Chester Ave. and its 2.2 acres divided among four parcels were acquired by the foundation for $3.35 million, according to Cuyahoga County property records. The title transfer to Playhouse Square Foundation was recorded by the county yesterday. The station was added in 1999 to the National Register of Historic Places.

Selling the property was Twenty Lake Holdings LLC of Stamford, CT, having purchased it and 31 other Greyhound stations nationwide only 15 months ago. Twenty Lake paid $1.72 million for the 36,580-square-foot station and the same surrounding land that it transferred this week to Playhouse Square Foundation. The deal was confirmed by Cindi Szymanski, Playhouse Square’s senior manager of brand marketing and communications.

“We look forward to sharing our plans for the space when they are solidified,” she said in an e-mail to NEOtrans. “In the meantime, we are committed to respecting the historic integrity of the building and to working with the city of Cleveland and Greyhound to ensure the transition to Greyhound’s new base of operations occurs on a timetable that works for all parties. Details regarding the new location and timing will be announced by the city and Greyhound when finalized.”

Playhouse Square Foundation acquired about 2.2 acres of Greyhound station-oriented land from Twenty Lake Holdings on Chester Avenue in Downtown Cleveland. The exception is a tiny parcel at the lower-left corner of the site that was already owned by the foundation (

Optional sites for relocating Greyhound’s bus station have been under discussion by Greyhound and Cleveland-based partner Barons Bus, as well as by city and Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) officials. One site is GCRTA’s Stephanie Tubbs Jones Transit Center, 2115 E. 22nd St., in Downtown Cleveland.

The other bus station site is the Puritas-West 150th Red Line rapid transit station, 4200 W. 150th St., in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood. The stations aren’t mutually exclusive meaning both may be served, said a GCRTA spokesman.

NEOtrans has learned from a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity that the foundation intends to use the Greyhound station to “open up the north entrance to Playhouse Square” and “to provide some entertainment/dining options.” That is consistent with prior information about the site from sources, including some comments made on the record.

In September 2023, Szymanski told NEOtrans it was appropriate to refer to a recent media report that the foundation welcomed seeing the Greyhound station redeveloped as an entertainment venue, such as a jazz club, supper club and/or education space. But that was when private developers were plotting the station’s future.

The landmark Greyhound station in Downtown Cleveland has served as the start and end of many journeys for more than 75 years. Now, the station is about to start a new journey under the ownership of the Playhouse Square Foundation (KJP).

The confidential source who was familiar with this week’s sale said that Twenty Lake’s continued involvement with the site is no longer in the cards, even as a potential respondent to a lease or development partner. Neither is Glimcher Capital Group of Westport, CT which planned to partner with Twenty Lake on redeveloping the site as a fee developer of a possible high-rise apartment building.

If such a residential development is pursued, it would be by another developer or on a neighboring property not owned by Playhouse Square Foundation, the source said. To the north and east of the station, parking lots owned by Victory Properties Inc. were offered by Victory Vice President Paul Shaia to be part of Twenty Lake-Glimcher’s now-moot development.

“I’m thrilled to see Playhouse Square take ownership of this singular property!” Shaia said of the Greyhound station.

On Chester, immediately west of the Greyhound station are parking lot properties on both sides of the street that have also been considered for development. To the north of Chester is a city-owned lot with a Playhouse Square Foundation-owned lot on the south side of Chester. All of these lots offer great potential to Playhouse Square, said a major downtown real estate broker.

“The Greyhound station is in good hands with Playhouse Square,” said Terry Coyne, a vice chairman in Newmark’s Cleveland office. “Craig Hassall has not been CEO long but he is already expanding the footprint of the organization. We are excited to hear about the plans for this iconic property, which sold for a surprisingly low number.”


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