Platform Brewery property is on tap

The former Platform Brewery production facility and warehouse at Fulton Road and Vega Avenue is for sale. It is one of several properties in the immediate area that are in play for possible redevelopment (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Momentum brews for area’s redevelopment

The latest in a series of properties at the northwest end of Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood is in play for possible redevelopment. The former Platform Brewery, 3506 Vega Ave., hit the market today after the microbrewer ceased operations in February following its acquisition in 2019 by Anheuser-Busch.

CBRE Cleveland First Vice President Kevin Moss teased the listing yesterday evening on social media, writing “Launching this tomorrow – this is going to be a
@NeotransB level news bomb.” He followed up by sharing a video today of the brick, 100,000-square-foot building that Cuyahoga County’s property web site says dates to 1903 and was added onto over the following decade.

Moss has declined to publicly provide an asking price for the 1-acre property. He also told NEOtrans that the owner, Justin Carson of Cleveland, declined to be interviewed about the offering. Carson owns Gypsy Real Estate Holding LLC which in turn owns the property, public records show.

Carson and Paul Brenner founded Platform Beer Co. as well as Gypsy Brewing a decade ago. They relocated their production and warehousing facilities into 3506 Vega which was built as a bottling plant for the Leisy Brewing Co. across Fulton. Leisy was once Cleveland’s largest independent brewery.

The beer-making history of the area goes back 160 years. In 1864, German immigrant Frederick Haltnorth opened a small brewery that bore his name on Vega at Fulton. it was acquired in 1873 by several brothers of the Leisy family, also originally from Germany. They began the Leisy Brewing Co.

Numerous current and planned developments as well as transportation infrastructure surrounds the former Platform Brewing Co., a property owned by Gypsy RE Holding LLC (

The company expanded and modernized Haltnorth’s brewery to where it eventually covered 8 acres on both sides of Fulton and extended east along Vega to where the family built a palatial mansion. The plant closed during Prohibition but a Leisy descendant reopened it upon Prohibition’s repeal.

The Western Reserve Historical Society’s Encyclopedia of Cleveland History said the plant closed permanently in 1958 after it expanded to a new location in Buffalo and after Ohio enacted an $0.36-a-case tax on the distribution of beer. Much of the Vega Avenue plant was demolished in the 1970s. Platform Brewery’s building west of Fulton was one of the few Leisy structures that wasn’t razed.

NEOtrans broke the story last year that the Leisy Brewing property east of Fulton had sold to a Westlake-based company called Sanctus Capital LLC led by Jesus Vega, Andy Lembach and others. The 5-acre property was owned by Caraustar Recovered Fiber Group and operated as a recycling center. Sanctus Capital paid $750,000 in cash for the site. Around the same time, it also bought several small parcels to the east near West 25th Street.

Last month, Sanctus Capital made a paper transfer of the former Leisy Brewing property to itself, an affiliate called 3400 Vega Avenue, LLC, county property records show. A source familiar with the buyer’s interests said it hopes to redevelop the site with mixed-use and preserve the historic building fronting Fulton.

Just east of that, Sixth City Glazing plans to start construction this summer of a new glass-glazing business relocating from the suburbs to the corner of Train Avenue and West 30th Street. The new $3 million plant for the growing business will add up to 20 jobs to the neighborhood and repurpose a long-vandalized property.

Looking northwest along Vega Avenue toward Fulton Road and the railroad tracks, the Leisy Brewing Co. had already grown quite large by the 1890s, which is when this illustration was produced. Also visible is the Leisy family’s mansion seen at right. While most of the complex was demolished in the 1970s, some buildings remain today including Platform Brewery’s former production facility which was built in 1903 (WRHS).

More redevelopment is in the works for the area. To the south of the former Platform Brewery facility, on the other side of Interstate 90, is Roberto Clemente Park, 3690 Seymour Ave. In addition to efforts to revitalize the park, investors and developers are buying up land around it with the goal of adding infill housing for immigrants and refugees.

Along and near Fulton, apartments are planned offering a mix of incomes and housing types, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Near Fulton and Clark, the Walton Senior Apartments is planned with 52 units for persons 55 years and older and earning 30-70 percent of the area’s median income.

To the north of the former Platform Brewery, is the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s (GCRTA) Red Line as well as the Red Line Greenway. Next to them, Knez Homes is building the third phase of the Bailey Bridge Townhomes totaling 56 units.

Investors have also occasionally eyed the ScrapCom scrapyard, 3301 Monroe Ave. Four years ago, Cleveland-based apartment builder NRP Group reportedly was interested in the ScrapCom site for a mixed-income apartments development and even approached GCRTA about possibly adding an infill train station at Fulton.

GCRTA officials told NEOtrans they were receptive to the idea but then NRP cooled on the prospects of developing market-rate and workforce housing here. This is the longest section of the Airport-Downtown-Windermere Red Line without a station. There is also no overhead access to the greenway from Fulton or nearby streets.


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