Friday, February 7, 2020

University Circle-area housing finds new Heights

Integrity Realty Group plans to develop a 58-unit boarding
house complex across Euclid Heights Boulevard from the
hotly contested Top of the Hill project (Cleveland Heights).
Last week, this blog reported on a $72 million dormitory project by Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to add 600 beds to the South Residential Village at Murray Hill and Adelbert roads. This week, a private developer joined the party with a 58-unit boarding house project just up the hill.

Integrity Realty Group LLC's plans for property it owns in Cleveland Heights, at 2345-2361 Euclid Heights Boulevard, were revealed when the 12-year-old Beachwood-based firm applied for a conditional use permit from the city. The permit is requested because the site plan proposes 93 parking space whereas 111 are required by building code.

The developer is also seeking five variances to permit several new buildings to be built in closer proximity to each other than the building code allows. Integrity Realty is scheduled to appear before Cleveland Heights' Board of Zoning Appeals at its next meeting on Feb. 18.

Dan Siegel, founder of Integrity Realty, said that his firm's proposed development doesn't need that much parking because it would legally be a boarding house -- rooms are larger than those in a dorm but smaller than an apartment unit. If the new buildings were considered as a dormitory or apartment building, the proposed development would exceed the minimum required parking spaces.

Integrity Realty's proposed boarding house will be marketed to students and interns -- a growing population in and near University Circle. The site is located within easy walking and biking distance of much of the CWRU campus, several major hospitals, Cedar-Fairmount shops and the development site is served by frequent bus services.

"The project is a small luxury student housing development," Siegel said. "That will serve the many students at Case and the hospitals. It is very well located for that purpose."
Site plan for Integrity Realty's proposed boarding house
development at the intersection of Overlook Road and
Euclid Heights Boulevard (Cleveland Heights).
It is also across the street from the site of the Top of the Hill development that will rise on land owned by the City of Cleveland Heights. After more than 40 public meetings, some of them contentious, the $100 million project by Flaherty and Collins Properties is due to break ground this spring. It will feature 275 apartments, 15,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and 550 parking spaces.

Siegel said he doesn't expect his proposed development will get the same level of public scrutiny as Top of the Hill did.

"My project is a much lower density project than the Top of the Hill," he said. "Our design will mesh with the neighboring buildings so the impact is not close to Top of the Hill. My development will look similar to the other existing condo developments on its block."

He added that, since he owns the land on which he intends to build, there is less community involvement compared to building on city-owned property as was the case with Top of the Hill. There is also a complex legal agreement and extensive public financing with Flaherty and Collins that required community input.

Through an affiliate Overlook Park Partners LLC in April 2019, Integrity Realty acquired not only 2.44 acres of land but several existing structures on the site for $2.46 million, according to county records. The existing structures include a 45-unit apartment building, 5,200-square-foot house and a 5,140-square-foot carriage house.

Integrity Realty plans to renovate the houses with three residential units in each, then build three new boarding houses on the site totaling 88,829 square feet of new construction. The total amount of square footage will be less than the maximum allowed by the city's zoning code. That site's multi-family zoning allows a high-rise apartment building to be built.

No dollar amount for the development's projected cost was provided. Based on the cost of other recent, similarly sized developments, Integrity Realty's investment in the community could be between $10 million and $20 million.


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