Hough renovation secures financing, start date

When renovations are concluded in about 18 months, a modernized building at 9410 Hough Ave. in Cleveland will provide affordable housing near University Circle and a setting more befitting the mostly positive direction that the Hough neighborhood is headed (RDL). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Ten-story tower near University Circle gets second life

In a long-planned redevelopment, the renovation of a vacant and vandalized 10-story apartment building at the east end of Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood finally has the green light to start work. That green light came today as $47 million in financing closed for the project and construction is due to start before the end of this month.

NEOtrans broke the story on this emerging project at 9410 Hough Ave. back in December 2021. Back then, the project was estimated to cost $37 million but due to rising interest rates and cost of supplies, the budget has increased by $10 million.

The development team, led by Northern Real Estate Urban Development (NREUV) of Washington DC, said a complicated and innovative financial structuring of both public and private funding was critical to helping to close the project’s sizable gap and getting the project to a financial closing.

Planned is Ninety-Four Ten, a vacant 116-unit apartment building and associated new-construction community center that will serve households earning 60 percent of the area’s median income, or $35,880 to $46,680 a year. NREUV’s partner, Sullivan Land Services Co. (SLSCO) of Galveston, TX, bought the 51-year-old building in June 2021 for a mere $1.5 million. The building has been condemned for a decade.

Gina Merritt, founding principal of NREUV, led the financial structuring of the complex deal, which includes 14 types of public and private funding including $8 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds from the city of Cleveland and $1.1 million in financing from Enterprise Community Partners.

This long-vacant apartment building on Hough Avenue at the east end of Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood is about to start construction thanks to financing getting secured today (Google).

Other lenders and investors include JLL, Freddie Mac, Citizens Bank, CREA LLC, Ohio Housing Finance Agency and Village Capital Corporation. Another organization called WFL Collective is partnering with NREUV on the project with $2.8 million in combined funding from The Cleveland Foundation ($1.5 million), The George Gund Foundation ($500,000), the State of Ohio ($557,000), and Cleveland Development Advisors ($250,000).

WFL Collective of Washington DC is a non-profit organization that leverages a network of social service, educational and training providers, to help underestimated individuals to access employment opportunities and create career pathways.

NREUV is working with SLSCO as its co-developer, a general contractor and construction management company. SLSCO is focused on helping communities recover from economic challenges and natural disasters. RDL Architects, a Cleveland-based firm, is the architect of record.

“SLSCO took a chance on us and they, along with their consultant Springcreek Advisors, has been instrumental in facilitating this opportunity for NREUV,” Merritt said in a written statement. “This project has been stalled for two years but we have been steadfast in our commitment to the people in the Hough community and are thrilled to work with them to reinvigorate their neighborhood.”

The team will renovate the property into 51 one-bedroom and 65 two-bedroom units for families earning 60 percent of the area median income. The redevelopment will include climate justice mitigation with energy efficient systems, access to transportation and healing-centered design.

To the right or west side of the existing 10-story apartment building will be a community center and clubhouse for the Ninety-Four Ten development (RDL).

The project will also include a community amenity center that will provide residents with mental and physical health services, education, training, financing literacy, entrepreneurship development, employment services, and arts and music programs. The Hough neighborhood is seeing development increasing due to its proximity to booming University Circle.

NREUV will partner with WFL Collective and Project Community Capital to provide economic empowerment services to the Hough community including skills training, job placement, entrepreneurship acceleration, barrier removal and housing support.

NREUV has partnered with Famicos Foundation, a Cleveland-based community development non-profit whose mission is to improve the quality of life in Greater Cleveland, to provide children’s programming at the center.

In addition, NREUV is redeveloping MLK Plaza, which includes constructing 149 multi-family units, along with 7,500 sq. ft of commercial space and 6,700 sq. ft of live-work space. Future phases of the Hough Project will include townhomes and multi-family housing, along with 50 units of family housing on a vacant lot across the street from 9410.


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