Cleveland’s Denison Manor may get rehabbed

Denison Manor Apartments and the Kleinschnitz Building at right are a few feet east of the intersection of Denison and Lorain avenues in Cleveland’s West Boulevard neighborhood. Its owner, a Long Island, NY investor, intends to turn its subsidized apartments into larger, more marketable units (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Unpermitted work started, city orders halt

An historic apartment building set near one of the west side’s most important intersections is proposed to get a major renovation by its new owner. The Denison Manor Apartments, 3206 W. 100th St. in Cleveland’s West Boulevard neighborhood, could get its interiors completely rebuilt to offer larger, more marketable, subsidized apartments. But work reportedly began without securing the proper permits and the city ordered the work halted.

Located at the intersection of Denison and Lorain avenues, with West Boulevard’s intersection just west of that, the 1918-built Denison Manor is in a busy area. But it’s also seeing increased blight and vacant buildings, including the neighboring, vandalized 111-year-old Kleinschnitz Building, 10009 Denison.

Baldeep Chwala of Lynbrook, NY, on Long Island, bought both buildings through a company he created called 3206 W 100 LLC, according to Cleveland Building Department records. In June 2022, he acquired the three-story Denison Manor for $725,000 and the two-story Kleinschnitz three months later for $63,000, Cuyahoga County records show.

Chwala owns a digital marketing company Clear Sky Local and invests in real estate throughout the country, according to his LinkedIn profile. NEOtrans tried to connect with him through LinkedIn but to no avail as yet. NEOtrans also e-mailed his architect Christopher A. Lobas & Associates, Architects of Parma earlier this week and is awaiting a reply.

Site and location of the Denison Manor Apartments which includes Buildings A and B, provided as part of a renovation permit application to the city. The two buildings wrap like a reverse-L around the east and south sides of the Kleinschnitz Building on Denison Avenue (Lobas).

Nearly 40 building code complaints and violations were filed against both properties in the past 15 years, city records reveal. The latest was filed yesterday for 3206 W. 100th by a city inspector who noted that “Interior demo is taking place. Dumpster outside. Port-a-Potty. Permits have not been pulled or applied to.” The owner or his contractors have until June 20 to respond, the notice reads.

“Submit three sets of plans by a registered architect or registered professional engineer,” the city order continued. “Approved plans must be kept at the work site. Work shall not be started until the permit is posted on the job (site) and you have given the (city) inspector 12 hours notice. A late fee will be charged when applying for a permit after starting work.”

However, two work permits were applied for — not for the West 100th address the city used but for the Denison Manor’s seldom-used address on Denison Avenue — 10005 Denison. On May 15, contractor Trinity Painting Perfector of Nashville, TN submitted a permit application for $80,000 worth of drywall work at the Denison Manor.

Then, three days later, Lobas submitted plans for a $750,000 revival of the 20-unit apartment building. It would convert the one-bedroom apartments into 17 two-bedroom suites in effort to boost the building’s occupancy. This was considered the primary phase of work for the 20,425-square-foot building. Neither permit application has been approved yet by the city.

Like the Denison Manor out of view to the left, the Kleinschnitz Building on Denison Avenue in October 2022 was in bad shape when Baldeep Chwala bought it. So far, no plans have been submitted to the city to improve it despite numerous Building Department complaints and violation notices (Google).

“For this apartment complex, our first efforts would be the marketability of the units, many of which have but one bedroom, when two would be advantageous, especially with consideration from the CMHA (Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority) as Section 8 housing,” said the applicant in its May 18 submittal. Lobas then used some colorful wording not usually found in permit applications.

“The lack of well-apportioned residences for families and individuals and families without means has left many marginalized individuals in the Cleveland area trampled underfoot,” Lobas wrote. “Our efforts will respond to this need by way of the provision of well-designed, affordable, decent housing. Our intent is to alter the layout of each unit to maximum flow and efficiency, to use materials both durable and affordable.”

Development team members said they will rely on their structural engineer to assure that their renovation work will maintain the building’s integrity. The team’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers have surveyed the building’s systems “rigorously” and proposed solutions that offer “expedient” installation and long-term value, the application noted.

No permit applications have been requested for the renovation of the neighboring Kleinschnitz Building. Other than complaints and violations notices, the only “work” requested at the site in the last 20 years was a board-up order for the building in May 2021, public records show. Windows on the building’s second floor were not boarded up, however. Vandals have since thrown objects through them, partially breaking or entirely removing the glass.


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