Downtown’s Rose Building to be hotel, apartments

The Rose Building was the headquarters of Medical Mutual insurance company since the 1940s until it left for suburban Brooklyn. Like many other historic office buildings downtown, it will be renovated and repurposed for residential and hotel uses (file photo). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Former Medical Mutual HQ target of $100M project

In a strategic collaboration that allows Cleveland’s urban gems to shine in a new light, Spark GHC and Cleveland Construction today announce a groundbreaking joint venture. Project Scarlet represents a significant commitment of $100+ million to transform a 400,000-square-foot office space, formerly Medical Mutual’s headquarters, into a dynamic mixed-use development.

With a shared vision of enhancing the vibrancy and livability of Cleveland’s downtown core, the two partners will spearhead the conversion of the iconic Rose Building into a sophisticated boutique hotel with modern multifamily apartments, along with a unique ground-floor retail experience.

This transformative mixed-use project not only breathes new life into a historic structure but also addresses the evolving needs of the Cleveland community for contemporary living spaces and upscale hospitality offerings. Spark GHC and Cleveland Construction are both based in Greater Cleveland.

“This joint venture marks a pivotal moment in Cleveland’s ongoing evolution,” says Bhavin “B” Patel, co-founder and principal of Spark GHC in a written statement. “By leveraging our collective expertise and resources, we are poised to create a destination that not only honors the city’s heritage but also propels it into a new era of growth and prosperity.”

When it was built in 1902 by financier Benjamin Rose, the Rose Building was the largest office building in Ohio at that time. It was also built so far outside of the central business district that it was called “Rose’s Folly” as well as the “New Center” (CBRE).

“The Rose Building holds a special place in the history of Medical Mutual. It’s important to us that it’s being used to invigorate the area and contribute to the vibrancy of Cleveland’s downtown,” says Steve Glass, Medical Mutual’s president and CEO. “That’s why passing the baton to Spark GHC and Cleveland Construction feels right.”

Cleveland Construction, renowned as a builder for innovative development projects, brings invaluable experience to the table. “We are excited to be part of this endeavor to reimagine urban spaces,” says James Small, owner of Cleveland Construction. “Together, we will create a landmark destination that enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.”

The collaboration with Dallas-based CBRE, the global leader in commercial real estate services and investments, and its brokers, Jamie Dunford and Kevin Yates, were instrumental in navigating complex negotiations and ensuring the success of this joint venture.

“Through creativity, we were able to align and structure a partnership with all parties that will result in an optimal outcome for the Rose Building and the city of Cleveland,” added Kevin Yates, first vice president at CBRE.

Like many Gilded Age buildings in Downtown Cleveland, the Rose Building has features that are richly detailed and uses decorative materials like brass on this entrance (CBRE).

“This project is a testament that superior real estate can be activated when facing significant headwinds in the current economic landscape,” says Jamie Dunford, senior associate at CBRE.

The revitalization of the Rose Building into a boutique hotel and multifamily apartments, along with ground-floor retail, is not just a development project; it is a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in shaping the future of cities. As Cleveland continues to evolve into a dynamic and inclusive urban hub, this joint venture sets a new standard for unique investment and community-driven development.

Spark GHC is a minority-owned, U.S.-focused private real estate firm focused on developing, acquiring, and operating hospitality, multi-family, and commercial assets. Spark GHC’s mission is to improve the daily guest experience through technological innovation, remain strong stewards of the community where assets are located, and be a driver of positive culture.

The Spark and GHC family of companies have $350 million in assets under ownership consisting of -3,000 hospitality keys and multi-family units. Over the past 15 months, the companies have acquired eight hotel assets and two multi-family properties. Spark GHC was founded by Amit Patel, Bhavesh Lad, Bhavin Patel, Michael J. Smith and Saagar Parikh.


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