Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Here come Cleveland's mid-rises!

Proposed skyscrapers invariably overshadow smaller building projects when it comes to attracting media attention. But mid-rise new-construction projects far outnumber their loftier counterparts in Greater Cleveland. So here's an inventory of planned mid-rise projects in the region.

For purposes of this article, "mid-rise" means buildings in the range of 5-15 stories tall. They are presented below in alphabetical order. Some have been reported here at NEOtrans before. Other new-construction projects that are already well underway are not included or are mentioned in passing, such as Church+State and Dexter Place.

When first announced by Zaremba Co. in the mid-2000s, the
Avenue District included several shorter, mid-rise buildings in
addition to the 10-story building that was built at the northeast
corner of St. Clair Ave. and East 12th St. (Zaremba).
Avenue District -- Look for news in the coming weeks about a mid-rise project here by a major firm. The reason is that Knez Homes has shaken up the for-sale market downtown with its Avenue Townhouses on Superior Avenue at East 13th. The 12-unit first phase sold out as construction continues, with a second phase of up to 24 homes pending at City Planning Commission. Knez is easily exceeding its 50-percent presale goals for each phase.

What's even more remarkable is that the townhomes are selling for about $500,000, or $250 per square foot. And they're doing so despite being located amid a striptease club, a seedy apartment building and an aging bowling alley. Considering high-rise construction in downtown Cleveland costs $200 to $225 per square foot, one can see the sudden interest in building apartment-style condos downtown be they in mid- to high-rise buildings.

Azure is one of two projects that is adding some economic life
to the northeast gateway into downtown Cleveland (Knez).
Azure -- Knez again, this time up the shoreline at East 55th and the Shoreway. There, company founder Bo Knez will build 136 homes and eight commercial spaces. It includes a 100-unit, five-story apartment building and 36 townhomes.

Knez has been building single-family homes in the suburbs for years, but is focusing more of his efforts in the city, including townhouses and multi-family. And this development will rise not far from where he grew up, in the St. Clair-East 55th neighborhood, home to increasing real estate investment activity.

One of Cleveland's most visible development sites will
reportedly become Bridgeworks, featuring eight-story
and seven-story apartment buildings (Allegro).
Bridgeworks -- Hemingway Development this spring has tentatively won the nod from Cuyahoga County to develop the 2-acre county Engineer's headquarters property, 2429 Superior Viaduct. Terms of the deal are not yet finalized.

However, Hemingway is apparently confident enough that the county council will approve the property sale to not only come up with the Bridgeworks brand name for the project. It also is reportedly planning two residential mid-rises on the site -- one eight stories tall and the other seven stories. Earlier rumors had Hemingway planning a single, taller building on the site.

This would be Hemingway's second mid-rise development in Ohio City's booming Hingetown neighborhood. Construction on the foundations for its mostly residential Church+State project are virtually done, with a tower crane now onsite to go vertical on the 11- and six-story buildings.

Library Lofts, at left, will be the second phase of the multi-
building Circle Square development. The first phase is the
renovation of Fenway Manor apartments at right (Bialosky).
Circle Square -- An 11-story apartment building called Library Lofts, topping the new MLK Branch Library, would be the first new-construction element of the four-block, Circle Square plan by lead developer Midwest Development Partners.

The many new-construction elements of the Circle Square development require significant public sector coordination and sequencing. That includes acquiring and demolishing the old Third District Police Station on Chester Avenue as well as accommodating the relocation of the city's MLK Branch Library into a new home in the development. The old library will be demolished and the site developed with new uses, per the Circle Square vision.

An early rendering of 4005 Detroit Ave. shows the seven-
story apartment building's northern facade. The southern
side reportedly has been reduced in scale so that it doesn't
tower over Wheat Court and the houses behind (LDA).
4005 Detroit -- In another Hingetown effort, as reported here in May, Hayoun Corp. is seeking to build a seven-story apartment building with ground-floor retail between Cleveland Bagel's store and Progressive Urban Real Estate's office. However, the design has since been adjusted so that the south side doesn't tower over Wheat Court and the homes behind it.

This will be Adam Hayoun's first new-construction project. His resume includes many home renovations on the near-West Side. Hayoun reportedly has some well-heeled partners, so this probably won't be Hayoun's last new-construction project. More mid-rise projects are apparently brewing with him and his backers.

A five-story, 21-unit apartment building will begin rising this
year in booming Tremont on West 7th Street (Wigwam).
Grosvenor Place -- Wigwam Partners, a union between Smythe Property Advisors and property owner Brian McCreary of Gilbane Building Co., is pursuing a five-story apartment building at 2430 W. 7th St. in Tremont.

Much of the financing for the 21-unit apartment development is coming from a fund enabled by the new Opportunity Zone program. Demolition of a small apartment house is required before construction can begin this year.

Finch Group proposes the 11-story Infinium development on
Euclid Avenue between East 117th-118th streets (Finch).
Infinium -- Replacing the vacated University Circle facility for the Centers for Dialysis Care (CDC), 11717 Euclid Ave., could be an 11-story mixed-used development. Proposed by the Finch Group are 133 mixed-income apartments above a glassy, two-story retail and restaurant atrium facing Euclid Avenue. Along East 117th and 118th streets, 32 townhouses are proposed, concealing an interior parking garage.

An updated rendering of Akara's Kenect Cleveland apartment
building, sans movie theater, in the Wolstein Group's Flats
East Bank development downtown (Akara).

Kenect Cleveland -- When the Wolstein Group wraps up construction of several riverside restaurants this winter in the first part of Phase 3 of its Flats East Bank development, look for it to proceed with construction of the second half of Phase 3. This includes a 12-story apartment building and shops in partnership with Chicago-based Akara Partners. That means construction should start next year.

An updated site plan for Cumberland's lakefront development
shows a more realistic approach to adding new life to city-
owned land on Cleveland's lakefront (Cumberland).
Lakefront -- After the Cleveland Browns defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game at First Energy Stadium Jan. 19, 2020, construction workers will begin tearing up parking lots used by football fans north of Erieside Avenue. In their place will be a port warehouse converted into offices and restaurants, at least one mid-rise apartment building, a school and possibly a six-story hotel.

In fact, Cumberland Development's Richard Pace said that work will begin during football season to demolish a Dock 39 warehouse and convert the other to an open, collaborative office space. Requests for proposals are being issued to hoteliers for the planned structure north of the Great Lakes Science Center. Cumberland is also reportedly looking for a new partner in the joint venture as Trammel Crow is out.

Chicago-based Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors hopes to start
construction on Market Square in Ohio City this fall (HBREA).
Market Square -- This fall could see demolition of a retail strip and expansion of water and sewer lines in preparation for construction of the $150 million Market Square development. The wood-framed 10-story office building will have 150,000 square feet of space and a seven-story apartment building, also wood-framed, will have 260 units.  About 75,000 square feet of retail and at least 560 structured parking spaces will round out the project.

With a fall groundbreaking in the cards, the One Lakewood
Place development will add new economic life for the inner-
suburb's downtown area (CBRE).
One Lakewood Place -- With demolition of the old Lakewood Hospital progressing, look for a fall groundbreaking on the first phase of One Lakewood Place by Carnegie Management & Development Corp. With 184,000 square feet of Class A office space over ground-floor retail and restaurants, downtown Lakewood will begin offering office facilities that are competitive with those in downtown Cleveland and out in Westlake.

Squeezed between Judson Manor apartments at left and the
Park Lane Villa apartments at right, the Park Lane Condos
would add housing options or University Circle (Finch).
Park Lane Condos -- Another Finch Group project located in University Circle, this 11-story building would rise next to the firm's Park Lane Villa apartments. With just 18 condo units, this skinny building would be built atop the garage entrance for Park Lane Villa, 10570 Park Lane, and cost about $20 million to build.

Shoreline phase 2 in the center will add to Shoreline phase 1
at left. This development along with Azure mentioned above
will enhance the northeast lakefront gateway (Vocon). 
Shoreline Phase 2 -- As first reported here at NEOtrans, this is another mid-rise development at East 55th and the Shoreway, like Knez's Azure. This time, it's on the north side of the Shoreway next to Lake Erie, alongside the Shoreline Phase 1. The first phase was the conversion of the Nicholson Warehouse into Quay 55 apartments, later renamed and expanded with more housing units.

Proposed is a 212-unit, five-story apartment building by a partnership led by Mark Coffin who redeveloped and owned the Nicholson Warehouse until his firm defaulted on a federally guaranteed loan. Total parking onsite for phases one and two will be 561 spaces, planning documents show.

Snavely's phase 3 of its Hingetown development would feature
a 5-story new-construction apartment building in addition to a
renovated commercial building at left (Vocon).
Snavely Hingetown -- Hingetown is home to several mid-rise developments underway, including Church+State, Casto's Dexter Place and Snavely's multi-phase Hingetown development that is now entering phase three with a fourth phase reportedly in planning.

The Snavely developments are transforming both sides of Detroit Avenue west of West 25th Street in Ohio City. They include mixed-income residential over commercial in a combination of renovated historic buildings and new construction. The community's mix of uses offers opportunities for residents and entrepreneurs to climb the ladder of success.

Tucked away on East 70th Street between Euclid and Carnegie
avenues, Sabor Group would add new housing to Cleveland's
Midtown District (Grassroots).
The 70 -- One of the more intriguing developments is the five-story apartment building by the Sabor Group. It would be located midway between Euclid and Carnegie avenues on East 70th Street, without a presence on either major thoroughfare. But the site is located between the Dealer Tire headquarters and the Midtown Tech Park. Sabor develops real estate in Hungary and the USA (Cleveland and Detroit) including the Euclid Lofts, 3800 Euclid Ave.

The revised plan submitted by Solove for redeveloping the old
Spitzer Chrysler-Plymouth property has an eight-story apartment
building proposed on the east side of Parkwood Avenue. The
original plan had it on the west side of Parkwood (Solove).
The View on Detroit East -- Of the two Lakewood developments planned by Columbus-based Jerome Solove Development Inc., the one that would raze the former Spitzer Chrysler-Plymouth dealership has a mid-rise building in it, as first reported here.

But the eight-story apartment building originally proposed on the southwest corner of Detroit and Parkwood avenues would instead be placed on the southeast corner and add ground-floor commercial space. In its place, west of Parkwood, surface parking for the development will be provided.

That parking lot will be next to Bruce's Automotive owned by George Shaker who refused to sell his property to Solove. The placement of a surface parking lot next to Bruce's is likely to create a placeholder for a future phase that could include the Shaker property, at Detroit and Bunts Road. A Solove development, The View on Detroit West, planned at the former Steve Barry Buick site would not exceed four stories.

People coming up Cedar Hill from University Circle into
Cleveland Heights are greeted by an ugly vacant lot. But
that could soon be transformed into a vibrant corner (F&C).
Top Of The Hill -- After a long and exhaustive design-review process, the city of Cleveland Heights and developer Flaherty & Collins are hopefully coming down the home stretch in approving a final design for the $75 million development. The mixed-use complex on city-owned land would feature a 10-story apartment building at the corner of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Blvd.

In the parking lot in the foreground at 2200 Prospect Ave., a
joint venture seeks a nine-story apartment building (Google).
2200 Prospect -- Although still in an early stage, a joint venture between property owner GBX Group and developer Cumberland (same developer as the lakefront project) would put a 9-story apartment building on part of the parking lot for the former YMCA building, now the GBX-owned Domain at Cleveland student housing.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Investors pump up height of planned Cleveland skyscraper

With an address of 725 W. St. Clair Ave., this 11-parcel, 2.3-acre
parking lot in downtown Cleveland's Warehouse District, owned
by Stark Enterprises, is the site for a residential tower proposed
 by Realife Real Estate Group that may be taller than Playhouse
Square's 34-story The Lumen skyscraper (Google).

Upon opening Realife Real Estate Group's Web site, a video begins to roll. The video is from a drone coming in low from the west, soaring above downtown Cleveland's Warehouse District. And it is not a coincidence that the first parking crater it passes over is the multi-parcel lot on the southeast corner of St. Clair Avenue and West 9th Street.

That's where Israeli real estate principal Yaron Kandelker and other investors from his home country hope to build downtown Cleveland's next residential skyscraper, according to sources. Proposed is a $100 million project that is desired to be taller than The Lumen, now under construction in Playhouse Square.

Kandelker's investor group reportedly has significant resources and has invested in other projects in Israel and Moscow, Russia, but is looking for bargains in largely untapped, inexpensive markets like Jacksonville, FL and Cleveland. Opportunity Zone-enabled financing has become an important factor in Cleveland's attractiveness.

The Lumen apartment tower rises in downtown
Cleveland's Playhouse Square. Despite its large
physical presence in the skyline, it will make a
small dent in downtown's housing market that
could accommodate another dozen Lumen
towers-worth of housing stock according
to a 2018 market study (Twitter).
Realife could have lots of competition for new downtown residential high-rises here as Stark Enterprises, City Club Apartments, Geis Companies and the Frangos Group all want to get in on the action. But it appears that Stark Enterprises may be less of a competitor and more of a partner to Realife.

The property at St. Clair and West 9th is owned by West 9th Street Parking, LLC, an affiliate of Stark Enterprises. Stark in 2014 acquired Los Angeles-based L&R Group's Cleveland portfolio for $26 million. That portfolio includes properties that sources say Stark intends to begin clearing in August for nuCLEus, a $354 million, two-24-story-tower development in the Gateway District.

But the portfolio also included a 2.33-acre, 11-parcel property at 725 W. St. Clair Ave., at the southeast corner of West 9th. To reduce costs of development, Stark may retain ownership of this property and enter into a joint venture with Realife. Kandelker didn't return an e-mail seeking comment.

However, Stark Enterprises' Chief Operating Officer Ezra Stark did respond and said that he could not comment on any joint venture discussions with Realife. He did say that Stark Enterprises was not selling the land to Realife and has had no conversations in that regard.

If Stark does partner with Realife in its future efforts, it wouldn't be the first time Stark helped the firm expand its real estate foothold here.

Just last December, Stark sold its five-story headquarters building at St. Clair and West 3rd Street to Kandelker for $2.65 million, below Stark's asking price of $2.9 million. Stark also provided to Kandelker the financing for the purchase and filed the paperwork to create Kandelker's company, 1350 W6 LLC, which acquired Stark's old HQ. And Stark hurriedly moved out to a temporary headquarters at 629 Euclid Ave. while nuCLEus (Stark's new HQ) is being built.

Realife is focusing its downtown investment efforts on two of
its largest parking craters, both in the Warehouse District. Its
proposed skyscraper would be built on the westernmost crater
owned by Stark Enterprises while it purchased Stark's former
headquarters located next to the largest crater, dubbed the
Superblock which is owned by Weston Inc. (Google).
Realife hasn't officially pursued a development plan for Stark's old HQ at 1350 W. 3rd St. However, the property is listed on Realife's Web site as a potential multi-family project. Sources say a four-story-tall billboard on the west side of the building generates significant revenues, so there is no hurry to find new uses or tenants for the building.

Realife's proposed high-rise residential project down the street comes as nearly all of downtown's obsolete office towers have been converted to residential. More new-construction residential towers are planned to rise following the completion of The Beacon 29-story tower and The Lumen 34-story tower.

As mentioned earlier, Realife seeks to build a tower taller than The Lumen, and likely higher than any of the other proposed residential high-rises, according to source familiar with the project. However, the square footage, amenities and excavation would have to be less than The Lumen's in order to meet Realife's reported $100 million budget for its tower.

The Lumen is a $135 million, 602,000-square-foot residential tower with 318 apartments in Playhouse Square on Euclid Avenue at East 17th Street. Preliminary cost of building the tower is $224 per square foot.

The Lumen's high cost per square foot was due, in part, to the removal of 30,000 cubic yards of dirt for a roughly 30-foot-deep, 1-acre wide "bathtub" that includes underground parking and services for the building. It also dug 175-foot-deep supportive caissons to bedrock.

Parcel map for the property 725 W. St. Clair Ave. being
marketed for sale by Stark Enterprises and shows some
adjoining parcels that are not involved in Realife's
nascent skyscraper plans (Cresco). 
A source familiar with both The Lumen and Realife's proposed tower said Realife is also reducing the cost per square foot of its tower by shrinking its floorplates, not just reducing the amount of excavation and amenities. That would allow Realife to build taller than The Lumen while constructing fewer square feet of structure.

In addition to a roughly 100,000-square-foot garage and a fifth-floor amenity deck, The Lumen has floor plates of about 12,000 square feet in the tower. Those features are also instructive to estimating what Realife may have in mind for its skyscraper.

The comparison to The Lumen and Realife's $100 million budget suggests that Realife's tower could be about 40 stories tall, measure 500,000 square feet including 90,000 square feet of parking, have floorplates of less than 10,000 square feet, and have construction costs of $200 per square foot.

Considering that only 2 percent of downtown Cleveland employees live downtown, there is still a large, untapped market for downtown housing. A 2018 Housing Demand Analysis for downtown Cleveland showed that there is a market for building another 3,800 housing units beyond the 3,000 units already under construction or in planning. To meet that demand would require building the equivalent of another dozen Lumen-sized skyscrapers downtown.

Realife Real Estate Group's Yaron Kandelker (LinkedIn).
Since 2015, Realife affiliates dramatically increased their presence in Greater Cleveland. They acquired more than 55 mostly single-family residential properties in Cleveland and inner-ring suburbs for nearly $4 million, county records show.

Realife has also added multi-family properties to its portfolio, including in Fairview Park, Lakewood and Cleveland, the latter having Luchita's West 117th Street flagship restaurant on the ground floor. But neighbors of some of Realife's properties have complained about the lack of maintenance on them.


Friday, July 12, 2019

Demolition for NuCLEus to start by mid-August

As demolition of the 114-year-old building in the foreground,
hosting Mr. Albert's Men's World clothier, awaits that store's
relocation, razing of the eight-level parking garage behind it
can begin within weeks to give way to the planned nuCLEus
development (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
Two sources confirm that demolition is slated to begin by mid-August for the nuCLEus development in downtown Cleveland. While there is no news yet of a groundbreaking date for the $354 million development led by Stark Enterprises, most signals appear to be green for building the mixed-use project. But there are still some yellow signals, too.

NuCLEus will feature two 24-story towers, one with offices and the other with residential built atop a pedestal of parking and retail.

As noted last month, Cleveland Construction will be the general contractor for the nuCLEus development. A demolition subcontractor reportedly has been hired to raze a multi-story parking garage at 601-611 Huron Rd., a two-story mixed-use building at 620 Prospect Ave., and the Herold Building, 310 Prospect.

Demolition of the eight-level parking garage is scheduled to begin as soon as possible -- roughly three to four weeks from now, a source said. The Herold Building may be next, pending the city's concurrence.

The Herold Building was condemned by the city and the subject of a 2013 lawsuit by the city against LR 310 Prospect Investors, LLC that was dismissed without prejudice when L&R Group of Companies sold the building along with the parking lots to the east of it to Stark in 2014.

The dark structure the center-foreground is the Herold Building,
owned by Stark Enterprises. It is next to 300 Prospect Ave., at
far right, which was home to Record Rendezvous where some
of the first rock-and-roll records could be bought (Google).
The lawsuit was dismissed because Stark pledged to restore the Herold Building at that time. However, the condemned, vacant building has continued to decay in the five years since. It remains to be seen whether the Board of Zoning Appeals will approve demolishing the Herold Building.

To clarify, this building wasn't home to Record Rendezvous (1939-1987). Rather, the famous record store was next door at 300 Prospect where some of the first rock-n-roll records could be bought. The record store's building was acquired in 2012 by a partnership of Weston Inc. and restaurateur Bobby George for a future development that has yet to materialize.

The third structure due to succumb to the wrecking ball hosts Mr. Albert's Men's World clothing store as well as Nick's Sports Corner bar. While the bar is making way for demolition, the clothing store hasn't yet.

Store owner Ike Simmons apparently hasn't identified a new location for his urban clothier even though he owns the shuttered Goldfish Army & Navy Store just down the street, at 202-210 Prospect. Simmons couldn't be located for comment.

A streetview rendering of the planned nuCLEus development,
as seen from the corner of Prospect Avenue and East 4th Street.
NuCLEus' residential tower is seen here along with a future,
unidentified development barely visible at far right (Stark).
Stark reportedly wants Mr. Albert's Men's World to find a new location rather than pursue an eviction. Gateway Huron LLC, a partnership between Stark and J-Dek Ltd., own the building that hosts Simmons' store. The partnership owns all of the other properties needed for developing nuCLEus. Chief Operating Officer Ezra Stark didn't respond to an e-mail requesting more information.

The market for nuCLEus appears strong. Two-thirds of its office space is already leased, most of its retail spaces are spoken for, and the residential market continues to be strong. In his latest blog, Stark described factors affecting the residential market, especially in a low-cost market with big-city amenities like Cleveland.

"Primarily, we’re seeing a surge of millennials and fresh college graduates who are intent on escaping their suburban upbringing to live in a more convenient and convivial urban environment," Stark wrote. "While this does present development opportunities, high demand for high quality housing begets high rents."

Until all the structures are cleared, a groundbreaking date for nuCLEus cannot be set. But at least things are moving steadily in that direction.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Seeds & Sprouts III - Early intel on real estate projects

This is the third edition of Seeds & Sprouts - Early intelligence on Cleveland-area real estate projects. Because these projects are very early in their process of development or just a long-range plan, a lot can and probably will change their final shape, use and outcome.

After completion this summer of the $515 million Health Edu-
cation Campus, 9501 Euclid Ave., there are no cranes in the
sky over Cleveland Clinic's Main Campus. That will soon
change as several projects shown in red above come to the
Fairfax: Cleveland Clinic shifts back into construction mode

For the first time in a long time, there are no construction cranes over University Circle or the Cleveland Clinic. Just don't get used to it.

In the coming months, look for movement on several Cleveland Clinic-related projects. There is already some visible movement starting on one of them -- the Brooks BioRepository proposed to be built at 10300 Cedar Avenue. The site is at the northwest corner of Cedar and East 105th Street.

City Planning Commission's Design Review Committee will review plans this week for Brooks Automation Inc.'s proposed 21,000-square-foot biorepository to enhance researchers’ study of human tissue samples and advance personalized medicine for an array of conditions -- including cancer, heart disease and epilepsy.

The facility is located in Fairfax's New Economy Neighborhood on the under-construction Opportunity Corridor. Geis Construction is the general contractor and the biorepository will be built on Cleveland Clinic-owned land.

On East 105th's next block north, between Carnegie and Euclid avenues, Cleveland Clinic plans to build a new inpatient facility for the Cole Eye Institute. Dubbed the Cole Bed Tower, the structure will be about four or five stories tall but will fill a large footprint -- an existing parking lot just south of the existing Cole Eye Institute. The new building will be physically connected to the existing institute by walkways.

Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic noted in his annual State of the Clinic address in February that the global health care system would pursue investments in the Cole Eye Institute as well as a new Neurological Institute. The site for a new Neurological Institute isn't known, but sources say that it might be where Buildings M and S are currently located off East 90th Street. Both of those buildings are apparently slated for demolition.

Building M is the old Children's Hospital and Building S is an inpatient facility in a 10-story brick tower with an H-shaped floorplan. It is just south of the historic T Building on Euclid that will not be demolished. Word is that the Cleveland Clinic will issue requests for proposals to construction firms for the Cole Bed Tower and the Neurological Institute by the end of summer or early fall.

Areas shown in red are properties
not yet acquired for the Irishtown
Bend Park. The large Ohio City
Farm, shown in the lower half
 of the image and owned by the
Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing
Authority will likely remain
under its current ownership and
use (Google).
Ohio City: Properties transfer for Irishtown Bend Park

A notable event occurred June 17 in the progress toward building the 17-acre Irishtown Bend Park above the Cuyahoga River. That's when eight parcels totaling 6.9 acres located between Riverbed Street and West 25th Street transferred from the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) to Riverbed West, LLC -- a dba for the West Creek Conservancy.

The transfer of June 17 also started an 18-month clock ticking, during which time West Creek Conservancy must demolish two structures on the CMHA parcels. The structures are a 27,600-square-foot CMHA office building at 1441 W. 25th St. and the Riverview Family Estates, a boarded-up, three-story apartment building at 1505-1525 W. 25th.

A demolition clock exists because a $1.4 million Clean Ohio grant awarded for the property acquisition and structural demolitions included the deadline. The grant was awarded in February 2017.

LAND studio applied for the grant but West Creek Conservancy took possession of the properties because it has better liability protections. The conservancy previously acquired 3 acres of land from private owners in December 2017 between Riverbed Street and the Cuyahoga River. It will eventually transfer all of the Irishtown Bend land to the City of Cleveland for the planned park.

But the grant clock started ticking one year later than hoped due to delays by the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development in signing off on the property transfer. The delay doesn't jeopardize the grant.

Although officials involved with the project hope to demolish the structures and clean the land by the end of this year, next spring is more likely, officials involved with the project said. The unstable hillside demands a careful demolition process, as do the significant foundations on which the newly acquired buildings set.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority is organizing funding and implementation of a $49 million hillside stabilization effort. Another 4.5 acres of CMHA-owned land, called Ohio City Farms, will be a part of the park.

Three privately owned parcels are still to be acquired. They are each owned by separate firms -- Snavely Group, Mortgage Investment Group LLC and Front Steps (dba Womens West Housing Corp.). Snavely is donating its land, valued at $95,000, to the conservancy as part of the grant's local match. Snavely is developing multiple properties in the adjacent Hingetown neighborhood.

Front Steps is building a new facility farther south on West 25th and, when completed, its existing site will be vacated, sold to the conservancy for a yet-to-be-determined price and demolished. The future of a commercial building owned by Mortgage Investment Group at the southeast corner of West 25th and Detroit Avenue is unknown.

A Cleveland landmark for more than a century,
the grand old Rockefeller Building has faded with
time, as has the primary partner in its ownership
group. So the word on the street is the building
is for sale, albeit quietly (LoopNet).
Downtown: Shhh...the Rockefeller Building is for sale

Keep an eye on one of Cleveland's most famous and historic buildings -- the Rockefeller Building, 614 W. Superior Ave. You won't see it listed for sale on any real estate brokerage site or other public listing service. However, numerous spaces are available for lease.

But make no mistake about it, the Rockefeller Building is available for sale. At least a half-dozen potential buyers have toured the building in recent months but there have been no takers yet, according to real estate sources.

The current owner is the Rockefeller Building Associates, a partnership of Benjamin Cappadora and Diana Miller, Trustee. The former is of Cleveland; the latter of Brooklyn, NY. But the primary person in the partnership is Cappadora who, before 1988, owned the building as Cappadora Realty Corp.

The reason why the office building is available is because it is half vacant, it cannot leverage high rents as an aging Class C office product, and Cappadora is 87 years old. Miller apparently is not an active partner. It is not listed for sale publicly because Cappadora reportedly doesn't want to spook existing tenants.

Although the 261,261-square-foot building is dirty and in need of updating, it is an architectural gem. It was built in 1905 by the Rockefeller family and named after Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller. When it first opened, it was the city's tallest building at 17 stories and 212 feet.

It was briefly named the Kirby Building (1921-23) by Josiah Kirby, founder of the Cleveland Discount Co., then a large mortgage firm. But that angered the Rockefeller family who bought the building back and renamed the structure. It has been called the Rockefeller Building ever since.