Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Dream Hotel tower at Masonic Temple in Midtown planned

A 202-room Dream Hotel is proposed to rise next to and be
connected with the 2,300-seat Masonic Temple on Euclid
Avenue at East 36th Street in Cleveland's Midtown dis-
trict. Construction is due to start in early 2021 on the
proposed mixed-use development project (Bialosky).
One thing's for certain -- the Coronavirus pandemic hasn't slowed the rapid spread of plans for high-rise towers in Cleveland.

The latest is a proposed 19-story, $60 million Dream Hotel proposed to rise alongside the Masonic Temple, 3615 Euclid Ave. The project was announced today by investor Beaty Capital Group of Fort Smith, AR.

Beaty Capital bought the 99-year-old temple in 2017 and renovated it last year for $8 million with another $10 million in renovations planned. The same firm bought and renovated several other Masonic halls nationwide.

Proposed is a 207-room lifestyle hotel that will include restaurants, nightlife venues, a fitness center and 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The project, called TempleLive, will also include a 400-space parking deck. Hotel guests will also be able to access the renovated 2,300-seat theater in the adjoining Masonic Temple.
This view is looking west towards downtown Cleveland, with
the Masonic Temple on the other side of the new tower (Bialosky).
The mixed-use development is proposed to rise starting in early 2021 on a 0.9-acre property on the east flank of the Masonic Temple. The property is currently a parking lot and owned by an affiliate of Beaty Capital, Templelive Cleveland LLC. The same affiliate owns the temple property. Beaty Capital acquired both parcels for $725,000, county records show.

"Today’s announcement is a testament to the strength of our brands and growing confidence in the travel industry despite these unprecedented times," Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein said in a written statement.

“Cleveland is the birthplace of rock and roll, and much like the Dream Hotels brand, it is a city marked by a youthful, vibrant energy, creative spirit and burgeoning arts and culture scene that many aren’t yet aware of," he added. "Together, with partners Beaty Capital Group, our goal is to deliver an experience-driven property that surpasses expectations, blending great food and beverage, creative programming, entertainment and world-class hospitality, in the heart of Midtown Cleveland."

"It is exciting to look beyond this recent period of anxiety and uncertainty to bring such an iconic project to Midtown Cleveland, “ said Lance Beaty, president of Beaty Capital Group.
Location of the existing Masonic Temple and proposed site
of the Dream Hotel and TempleLive development (Google).
“As you could imagine the project has been delayed by recent events, but we feel that it’s important for the city of Cleveland, the live music and performing arts, the hospitality industry, and the country as a whole to regain confidence and move forward with our lives. We believe this announcement today is an exciting and positive step in that direction," Beaty said.

"They've been working on it for a while," said Jeff Epstein, executive director of MidTown Cleveland Inc. "When they purchased the (Masonic Temple) building, they talked about a hotel as being a component. My understanding is that, the fact that this is going to be next to a large performance venue was a big pull. The (Dream) Hotels themselves are destinations."

Interestingly, this is the second time a high-rise tower was proposed next to the Masonic Temple. The first time was shortly after the temple was built. Then, a 23-story Masonic Memorial office tower was proposed to be built between the front of the temple and Euclid Avenue. Like most developments in all cities, that tower never came to pass.

Except for the 22-story Wilson Apartments built in 1969 at East 55th Street and Chester Avenue, no high-rises have been built in Midtown. There are a number of underutilized properties nearby, which lends one to wonder if this hotel project could foster some spin-off developments.
The 23-story Masonic Memorial Build-
ing was proposed on the front of the
temple in the 1920s (KJP file).
"I think this will certainly have an impact on other properties," Epstein said. "There's nothing planned that I can share."

An article in Talk Business notes that Daniel MacDonnell and George Qiao with Cushman & Wakefield Global Hospitality represented Beaty Capital in developing the project and construction financing. Cleveland-based Bialosky is the project architect and the general contractor is Cleveland Construction. Bialosky also managed initial stabilization and preservation work on the Masonic Temple in 2018.

The hotel project is the latest of many high-rises proposed in Cleveland. It seems like there's a high-rise revealed or announced every other week, despite the pandemic.

"It's really crazy," Epstein said. "It's great. Plan at the bottom and work your way up."


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Flats West Bank high-rise plans revealed

Two views of the proposed Superior Viaduct apartment tower
were  among the preliminary designs shown to the Riverfront
District Block Club on May 26. The project won't be voted on
by the block club until its June meeting (Dimit).

At a meeting today of the Riverfront District Block Club, developers presented their plans for a high-rise apartment tower near the top of the hill above Flats' West Bank. It is the first of what is likely to be more residential towers announced publicly in the near future for the West Bank.

The development team, led locally by Walton Hills resident Wayne Jatsek of Jatsek Construction Co., presented preliminary plans for a 24-story tower at 2208 Superior Viaduct with about 186 market-rate apartments above six levels of parking totaling roughly 128 spaces, according to planning documents presented by Paul Glowacki of Lakewood-based Dimit Architects.

Proposed data for the building can and probably will change as the plan works its way through the city's design-review process, said Jatsek. That process started today with the input gathered from the block club and by residents living near the proposed tower. NEOtrans broke the story about this development nearly two weeks ago.

But a block club vote won't be taken until next month's meeting, said club President Scott Aylesworth. Glowacki said that means that the earliest it could appear on the docket for the City Planning Commission's Design Review docket is late July. That points to a potential target date for groundbreaking at about 8-12 months from now, Jatsek said.
Paul Glowacki of Dimit Architects presents the conceptual plans
for the 24-story residential tower, proposed to be built at 2208
Superior Viaduct, above the Flats West Bank (KJP).
He would not reveal the identity of the other investors involved in the project but acknowledged at least one of them is from outside Greater Cleveland and is nationally prominent.

"I'm pleased that they see Cleveland as an attractive place to invest," Jatsek said. "We're seeing more national investors show interest in Cleveland."

Although the developers haven't completed their market analysis yet, the developers said they do have preliminary findings from their Cleveland-based consultants. And they said they are encouraged by how fast apartment developments lease out in and near downtown Cleveland at the rents they command.

For that reason, the proposed apartment tower will have many of the same features and amenities as the new towers in downtown, such as The Beacon and The Lumen. Unlike those high-rises, this proposed Superior Viaduct tower is proposed to have balconies for every residential unit.
A preliminary cross-section of the proposed high-rise, with
Superior Viaduct of the left side of this view and Washington
Avenue to the right side (Dimit).
There will be what Glowacki called "an active front" on Superior Viaduct -- a main entrance with a small area for a residential amenity such as a concierge desk, Amazon lockers, bike room and/or dog wash. And while the tower doesn't currently contain any ground-floor retail like a small cafe, it would be considered it even though "it isn't the highest and best use for the developer," said attorney John Christie who identified himself at the meeting as a spokesman for the developers.

Jatsek and his team have a purchase agreement with Daryl Kertesz's Downtown Ventures LLC to acquire the 0.3-acre property and its two-story, 120-year-old building. The property was listed for sale at $1.5 million. The actual purchase price has yet to be disclosed.

The roughly 275,000-square-foot tower's construction cost hasn't been identified yet either but could be $100 million or more, depending on how the building's programming and finishes are ultimately decided in the coming months.

The building height, although still in flux with the market analysis and public input still ongoing, is currently pegged at about 237 feet. The building is relatively skinny, with the residential floorplates limited to 11,000 square feet, plans show.
The white, two-story building in between the two four-story
buildings would be demolished for the proposed high-rise
tower. This view looks east on Washington Avenue (KJP).
The residential floors will be perched atop a parking and entry/service pedestal of 12,800 gross square feet per level. That floor area limits the number of parking spaces to 28 or less per level but revised plans are in the works to increase the amount of parking, Glowacki said.

The maximum building height for the Flats West Bank area per the zoning code was raised to 250 feet by the city a few years to allow and encourage vertical development projects such as this. It's working, based on the sudden arrival of new development projects in the area.

"Lots of projects are getting going due to the city's updated zoning," Glowacki said.

All vehicular access will be via Washington Avenue which is lower in elevation than Superior Viaduct. Superior Viaduct is owned by the city but leased to K&D Group -- developer and owner of the neighboring Stonebridge complex, built in the 2000s.
A map showing the location of 2208 Superior Viaduct in rela-
tion to other currently proposed developments nearby (KJP).
The plans received some modest push back from residents of the 11-story Stonebridge condominium building across the street, complaining they would lose their views of Lake Erie. Some of those in attendance at the block club meeting were concerned about traffic and parking.

Another resident said he moved to the still-new luxury condo tower because of the gritty industrial nature of the West Bank and said it would be ruined by living next door to a "Miami high-rise -- it just doesn't fit."

"We're going to meet and work it out," said Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack who was in attendance at the block club meeting. "We're more than happy to have these conversations."

Aylesworth, a Stonebridge resident, said he welcomed this development because it would add to the vibrancy of Flats West Bank. After Stonebridge was built, much of the building boom of the 2010s that occurred in the rest of the Flats, Ohio City and downtown had eluded the West Bank -- until now.


Monday, May 25, 2020

Plan to boost "Edgewater East" arrives in shipping containers

A 70-unit apartment development is proposed to rise on East
72nd Street south of Gordon Park. The housing is proposed to
be built from recycled shipping containers by WRJ Developers
and Container Homes USA, both of Cleveland (A&A).
Proximity to the Great Lakes has long been a real estate selling point. For much of Cleveland's history however, access to Lake Erie centered on industrial development. But in the post-industrial era, being close to the lake means attracting investment in recreational and residential uses.

That's what the principals of WRJ Developers LLC are trying to do with their proposed development called ArkiTainer on 72nd. This would be the first apartment buildings in Cleveland built from repurposed shipping containers. WRJ is the first initials of the firm's managing members -- Willie Levy, Richard Singleton and Jermaine Brooks.

Located on the east side of East 72nd Street, between Gordon Park and St. Clair Avenue, the $13.8 million, 70-unit residential development would replace several abandoned apartment blocks and vacant lots with three, four-story buildings totaling 51,200 square feet. The developers are trying to brand the area "Edgewater East," referring to Edgewater Park and the booming, neighboring residential development on the city's near-west side.

Fifty of the units would be priced as affordable housing with the rest market-rate. Through WRJ Investment Fund, LLC, the developers have acquired four parcels and have options on three others, 887-915 E. 72nd, totaling about 1 acre, according to plans posted at
Proposed site of ArkiTainer on 72nd, located in
Glenville (
The development site is located in the Glenville-Rockefeller Park Innovation District -- a designated Opportunity Zone. It is home to the 30-acre Shoreway Commerce Park, formerly the truck assembly plant for White Motors, redeveloped by First Interstate Properties a decade ago. Also, Michael Cantrell's New Creation Builders earlier this year bought 2.6 acres of land just north of WRJ's development site.

"We are seeking Opportunity Zone Equity and private equity investors to raise 25 percent equity for project financing," WRJ Developers said in a written statement. "WRJ Investment Fund, LLC is prepared to accommodate all Opportunity Zone investors."

ArkiTainer on 72nd is proposed to be a mix of 50 one-bedroom, one-bath apartments and 20 two-bedroom, two-bath and in two or three connected shipping containers, respectively. Each two-bedroom apartment also has an office that might be used alternatively as a bedroom for a small child.

The one-bedroom units would measure about 640 square feet while the two-bedroom units would measure about 960 square feet. All units are proposed to have either decks or balconies, plans show.
An example of a four-story apartment building in London
that was built from shipping containers (
The container-based housing would be developed by Cleveland-based Container Homes USA, according to WRJ Development's plans.

"I'll be doing the development," said Derrick Childs, director of construction and design at Container Homes USA. "We got it approved with the city. This is what we specialize in. They (WRJ Development) were referred to us. They came to us asking about a multi-family development."

This would be Container Homes USA's first multi-family housing development in Cleveland, Childs said. But the firm has a lot of experience in building single-family homes from containers, selling them for under $100,000.

"We have 52 units going in off of East 93rd, 13 units in Ohio City and Tremont, we're doing a shipping container restaurant and an Air B&B unit in Fairview Park," Childs added.
One- and two-bedroom apartment options that would be built
from two and three containers, respectively (A&A).
He said their single-family homes are fully insulated, climate-controlled, energy efficient, mold- and termite-proof, have marine-grade exterior paint, tankless water systems, premium bath layouts, custom kitchen cabinets, quartz or granite countertops and are expandable.

"These homes are the future," he said. "They're green and affordable and they have high-quality finishes."

Container Homes USA also is manufacturing at its mechanical shop at Miles Avenue and East 143rd Street prototype Smart Disinfecting Systems for lease during the Coronavirus pandemic. Childs said the firm can mass produce thousands of them for use at the entrances to sports stadiums and other large venues.

In addition to Opportunity Zone funding, WRJ Developers said it will seek a 15-year tax abatement for the construction of the multi-family ArkiTainer on 72nd, and Enterprise Zone tax abatement for the creation of a building management company that will permanently employ five people. There is no target date as yet for site clearance and construction.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

New buyer(s) emerge for two Cleveland-area Ford plants

Ford continues to work through a list of potential bidders for
the sale and productive re-use of two of its closed, moth-
balled Cleveland-area factories (
After one failed bid to acquire Ford's Brook Park and Walton Hills plants, there is good news pointing to the eventual, productive re-use of both mammoth factories.

Ford Motor Co. last week entered the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Voluntary Action Program (VAP) for its Brook Park Engine Plant No. 2 that closed nearly 20 years ago, according to a source who was not authorized to speak publicly about the development.

The source also said that Ohio EPA was also notified that Ford would recommence the VAP assessment of its Walton Hills Stamping Plant that closed in 2015. VAP work was halted earlier this year for two reasons -- the Coronavirus crisis and because Ford's first choice to buy both the Brook Park and Walton Hills plants had fallen through.

The latest news points to the likelihood that Ford has a buyer or two for both of these properties. It also strongly suggests that the new buyer(s), like the failed bidder before, would continue to use the properties for the manufacturing of cars or the components of cars. Why?

The VAP process starts when a property owner submits environmental data for Ohio EPA to review and determine if any environmental contamination exists and needs to be cleaned. Afterwards, if the property is found to be clean enough to meet Ohio EPA standards, the property owner would receive a covenant not to sue from the state.
Ford is selling 195 acres of its property in Brook Park, next to
Hopkins International Airport. The sale includes Engine Plant
No. 2 as well as the demolished and cleaned Casting Plant
property next door. Engine Plant No. 1 and the site's power
plant are not part of the sale (CBRE).
This covenant protects the property owner or operator and future owners from being legally responsible to the State of Ohio for further investigation and cleanup. It is important to note this legal protection applies only when the property is used and maintained in the same manner as when the covenant was issued.

In other words -- these are still auto manufacturing plants, albeit vacant, and would remain as auto plants. Furthermore, the source said Ford doesn't intend to demolish the vehicle production-related structures on these properties even though they are both about 65 years old.

The identity of the buyer(s) remains unknown.

"They (Ford) have a comprehensive program for their closed factories," the source said. "They (Ohio EPA) will provide technical assistance to Ford. They've already given some (data and technical assistance) for our Walton Hills plant. They'll provide more on that (plant) later this year."

Two years ago, Ford notified the cities of Brook Park and Walton Hills that it was interested in selling the two sites. Ford's Brook Park property that it put up for sale is larger than Walton Hills' for-sale property (195 acres vs. 111 acres) but the remaining buildings are larger at Walton Hills than at Brook Park (2.1 million square feet vs. 1.7 million square feet).
Crews from Independence Excavating 2013 demolish
Ford's Brook Park Casting Plant, followed by environmental
cleanup by subcontractors (National Demolition Association).
Ford had already spent $10 million to demolish structures and remediate environmental conditions at its 1.4-million-square-foot Brook Park Casting Plant in 2013. Contractors used 3 million gallons of water to wash down the entire building superstructure prior to demolition. Then workers cleaned 10 miles of underground sewers nearby. More than 60,000 tons of scrap material was removed from the site and recycled.

Monitoring of any remaining pollution on the site continues to this day, seven years after demolition of the casting plant, according to another source. That source said Ford received 15 bids for either the Brook Park or Walton Hills plants, but most bidders wanted both.

"Ford shortlisted the bidders based on their capacity and intent," the second source said.

NEOtrans has speculated who's on the short list of bidders. Considering the bidders are apparently large manufacturers of cars or car components and likely either a Ford partner or supplier -- not a competitor of Ford, it limits the possibilities.

Those possibilities could include auto parts maker Tenneco which has endured some financial hardships lately, or possibly Ford partners Volkswagen, autonomous vehicle firm Argo AI, or electric vehicle startup Rivian.
Also for sale, possibly to the same buyer as the Brook Park
plant, is Ford's Walton Hills Stamping Plant (CBRE).
Brook Park Mayor Mike Gammella started his work career on a Ford assembly line at age 19 and rose to become president of the UAW Local 1250. He has kept a close eye on the situation at Ford's mothballed Engine Plant No. 2 and the site of the cleared-away casting plant. On March 3, according to meeting minutes, he reported to City Council some recent progress.

"(I) spoke with Ford representatives earlier today and they are going with the second and third bidders for the property," Gammella said. "The primary bidder was unable to get financing."

Two weeks earlier, at another council meeting, he gave more detail about the failed bid that led to Ford considering other bidders.

"That was a mega-deal that concerned Walton Hills as well as Brook Park," Gammella said. "Currently, that company is having financing problems and is supposedly 98 percent complete with the financing but isn't there yet. Ford is very despondent about this and I talk with them on a weekly basis. I thought there would be a deal at the end of 2019 and hoped to have an announcement on Dec. 31 (2019)."

NEOtrans will continue to follow this developing story and share any insights if and when they become available.


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Co-working biz expands to Cleveland with Hingetown launch

COhatch, a community-centric co-working business, plans to
launch its first Cleveland location in early 2021 at 2814 De-
troit Ave. in Ohio City's Hingetown neighborhood. The lo-
cation is the former Bounce nightclub (Tim Lai Architect).
In 2020, as the practice of social distancing has dominated, a relatively new business is taking the opposite approach. COhatch, founded in Columbus in 2016, is creating a community-centric approach to co-working where people not only work together, but socialize, exercise, host events and support new business ideas with the help of local investors in the same location.

COhatch is designed to be a place to work, meet and live, and its vision is to replicate a "whole life" approach through aggressive expansion nationwide. The goal is to be in 500 locations in 50 communities in the U.S. by 2030.

The company currently has 11 locations, with seven in Greater Columbus, two in Greater Cincinnati and one each in Greater Dayton-Springfield and Greater Indianapolis. It plans 15-20 locations in Northeast Ohio, totaling 150,000 to 200,000 square feet according to its business plan.

"We plan to have upwards of 10 locations in the Greater Cleveland area but are still working through our definitive plans," said Janet Brumfield, COhatch's director of public relations and communications.
Site plans for COhatch's two-floor Cleveland launch site in
Ohio City's Hingetown neighborhood (Tim Lai Architect).

She said the company is pursuing locations primarily in walkable urban areas, usually involving the revitalization and restoration of buildings to honor their history and architecture. However, some of their existing sites are in shopping centers. None of COhatch's locations so far are in downtown areas of major cities.

Their Northeast Ohio launch site was to be at the former Charming Charlie space at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst by the end of this year. But the emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic-forced shutdown of retail and lifestyle centers delayed those plans.

Instead, their new launch site will be at 2814 Detroit Ave., in the Hingetown section of Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood. It has a scheduled opening in the first quarter of 2021 but has yet to enter the design-review process, beginning with a possible vote on May 28 by the Franklin/Clinton Block Club of the project's site plans.

The Hingetown location is proposed to be in the former Bounce nightclub that closed in November 2017. The property is currently owned by an affiliate of Cresco Real Estate, county records show. The two existing buildings totaling 14,713 square feet would be repurposed with about 8,000-square-feet of co-working spaces and two restaurants/bars.
A typical interior of a co-working space in a COhatch
community, above, and another angle of the proposed
Hingetown site, below (COhatch/Tim Lai Architect).

One restaurant/bar would have 3,300 square feet on the ground floor and the other 1,900 square feet on the second floor. There would also be a 2,100-square-foot rooftop patio overlooking Detroit Avenue.

Additionally, COhatch's preliminary plans show 12 proposed off-street parking spaces for cars and a rack for parking 12 bicycles. COhatch said it is developing a local leadership and investor team for its Cleveland-area locations.

"We are giving local residents another reason to work, meet, live in the vibrant communities that they love," said Matt Davis, co-founder and CEO of COhatch in a written statement. "We see Cleveland as a perfect fit for our lifestyle concept that brings together entrepreneurs, start-ups, non-profits and large companies in a community townhall 2.0 concept where we provide the space, locations, tools and activities to help individuals and organizations flourish."

Each COhatch location offers a combination of private offices, dedicated desks, game areas, co-working spaces, meeting rooms, large conference rooms and family-friendly indoor-outdoor event spaces. It also includes a standard set of business amenities such as WiFi, desk, fax/mail services and more.


Friday, May 22, 2020

Warner & Swasey redevelopment is a Midtown catalyst

The key to redeveloping the heart of Cleveland's Midtown dis-
trict is the former Warner & Swasey plant. The most recogniz-
able part of the complex is this hulking brick building along
Carnegie Avenue, east of East 55th Street. The entire site is
proposed to be redeveloped as a 140-unit apartment building
with up to 30,000 square feet of offices, plus a small retail
space for residents and office staff (Geis/Pennrose).
When Pennrose LLC won a $1 million tax credit allocation this week from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency for the redevelopment of the Warner & Swasey factory, it not only boosted the project's development prospects, it also boosted Midtown's.

Warner & Swasey's tool-making manufacturing plant and offices at 5701 Carnegie Ave. were active from 1880 to 1990. The property has sat vacant and rotting away for 30 years under the ownership of the city of Cleveland, which has been seeking a buyer and developer to make a go of the property.

Pennrose won a 2018 bid to acquire the property that includes buildings totaling 220,000 square feet. The city committed $250,000 for structural stabilization and exploratory assessments and $3.75 million in other funding, according to project documents made available by Philadelphia-based Pennrose.

The derelict plant, windowless, tagged with graffiti and vegetation sprouting up here and there, is a ball and chain to efforts to redevelop Cleveland's Midtown district. Located midway between downtown and University Circle, Ohio's largest and fourth-largest employment hubs respectively, Midtown has been relegated to pass-through status for decades.

That started to change in the 2010s for the east-west thoroughfares like Euclid, Chester and Carnegie avenues where vacant lands and underutilized buildings have found new life. But that's not been the case for its main north-south corridor -- East 55th Street.

"Redeveloping the Warner & Swasey building will be incredibly catalytic for Midtown and have ripple effects for development on Carnegie, Euclid, Chester and East 55th," said Jeff Epstein, executive director of MidTown Cleveland Inc., a nonprofit community development corporation.
A conceptual land use plan for the area along East 55th Street
between Chester, Euclid and Carnegie is shown here (Pennrose).
"The building is a highly visible vacant and blighted structure on one of the busiest commercial corridors in Northeast Ohio and its redevelopment will be a highly symbolic way of preserving an important piece of Cleveland history," Epstein added. "We expect the Warner & Swasey redevelopment to stimulate future residential, retail and office development in the area."

He considered the project to be the newest critical anchor development for the neighborhood, joining the connective community fabric being formed by assets like the Dave’s Market and eatery, UH Rainbow Center, Dunham Tavern, Agora Theater, DigitalC's MidTown Tech Hive, Tru hotel by Hilton and the future Cleveland Foundation headquarters.

"These projects all reinforce one another and bring important elements of a strong and connected neighborhood," Epstein said.

Another one of Midtown's most visible properties is at the corner of Euclid and East 55th where a gas station stood until last year. That property was acquired by Euclid 55 Partners LLC in July 2019 and then sold to the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority in December, county records show. Euclid 55 Partners is a combination of MidTown Cleveland Inc. and Berusch Development Partners.

That transaction put five vacant parcels of land totaling 2.6 acres bounded by Euclid, East 55th and Prospect Avenue under the ownership of the port authority for land assembly and environmental remediation. While 2.6 acres doesn't sound like much, in an urban setting it's a large, blank canvas for developers to pursue their vision.

"The vision for the East 55th site isn't yet clear as the focus is on environmental clean-up for the time being," said Russell Berusch, president of Berusch Development Partners.

Site plans for the Warner & Swasey redevelopment (Pennrose).
He said the coronavirus pandemic has slowed his development efforts in general. But progress on the Warner & Swasey redevelopment will help his efforts to secure end-users and financing in the long run, however.

"Certainly its redevelopment would be a big shot in the arm for the area," Berusch said.

That applies to another big piece of land, this one assembled by the Cleveland Foundation. In March, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's board approved the sale of 2.38 acres of land at 5508-5510 Euclid for $550,000. The title transferred on April 22 to Civic Property Development LLC, an affiliate of the Cleveland Foundation.

“As part of our collaborative vision to create a new civic district in Midtown that connects downtown with University Circle, our board of directors approved strategic land acquisition to help steward thoughtful, inclusive development in the short- and long-term that will benefit our community,” said a Cleveland Foundation spokesperson.

The foundation also is moving its headquarters from the Hanna Building in downtown to alongside the Dunham Tavern, 6709 Euclid. The foundation acquired property in December for a three-story, 50,500-square-foot headquarters building on the northeast corner of of Euclid and East 66th. On the northwest corner, the foundation proposes a future Center For Innovation measuring 100,000 square feet.

The Warner & Swasey redevelopment is a $53 million project that will add 140 senior and workforce housing units, plus 30,000 square feet of office space for job readiness, workforce development and employment training organizations. A small amenity retail component will also be included for residential and office tenants, Pennrose planning documents show.
View of the machine shop portion of the Warner & Swasey
plant, to be used mostly for covered parking, with down-
town Cleveland visible in the distance (Scene).
The Ohio Housing Finance Agency's award this week will be directed at converting a portion of the Warner & Swasey property to 56 units of affordable senior housing. That portion is estimated to cost about $15.6 million. The Ohio Housing Finance Agency's 9 percent tax credit was the most competitive part of its proposed public funding package. Pennrose requested and won $1 million.

"Affordable housing development, preservation and rehabilitation is critically needed in our state, and we are proud to support these efforts by awarding these credits," said Ohio Housing Finance Agency Executive Director Sean Thomas in a written statement.

Additionally, Pennrose is seeking $15 million in New Market Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Tax Credits and historic tax credits but those elements are less competitive. Indeed, as long as a project meets the requirements for some programs, such as the Ohio Housing Finance Agency's 4 percent housing tax credit, it will receive them.

Pennrose also has $1.25 million in hard debt plus $1.5 million in Opportunity Zone funding but is seeking another $8.5 million in O-Zone equity, according to the project's pro-forma that Pennrose submitted to the state. At this pace of capital assembly, Pennrose could start construction on the project as soon as title to the property transfers from the city of Cleveland, expected in early 2021.

This is the second project Pennrose has pursued in Cleveland. Six years ago, Pennrose completed a $63 million renovation of the 1927-built St. Luke's Hospital, closed in 1998, into 139 senior apartments. The project, located at 11311 Shaker Blvd., involved $36.7 million in various tax credits, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The redevelopment of St. Luke's was spearheaded by Neighborhood Progress Inc. whose senior vice president of real estate at the time was Berusch. Pennrose- and Berusch-led projects will be across the street from each other at East 55th, if their latest efforts prove successful.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Wolstein goes west as backer of Flats West Bank tower

An investor group that reportedly includes Flats
East Bank developer The Wolstein Group is pur-
suing redevelopment of 1250 Riverbed St. on the
West Bank into a 20-story tower with 85 apart-
ments and 200-key Dream Hotel (DLR Group).
An important local real estate developer has emerged to lead a proposed apartment and hotel tower on the Flats' West Bank, giving the project further legitimacy. That backer is the man who brought the Flats' East Bank back from the ruins of being Cleveland's Party Central in the late-20th century to become a bright, attractive mixed-use development.

Scott Wolstein, CEO of the Wolstein Group, has reportedly stepped forward to help develop a proposed 20-story tower above two historic buildings at 1250 Riverbed St., according to a high-level real estate source. That's a significant turn of events considering the last 20-30 years of Flats development.

Historically, Wolstein developed the Flats' East Bank and Jeffrey Jacobs the West Bank. But Jacobs Entertainment Inc. is focused on its gaming interests these days. Jacobs' Nautica Entertainment LLC is selling off its properties on the West Bank, starting with 5.6 acres of riverfront property. An unknown, potential buyer has emerged for the riverfront parcels, three sources said.

Wolstein was contacted by e-mail, asking if he was involved with developing 1250 Riverbed and if there was a target date for starting construction on a long-proposed 12-story building on Flats East Bank, featuring 320 apartments built over ground-floor commercial uses including possibly a cinema.

"I really have no update at this time," Wolstein replied.
Flats East Bank Phase 3B is a 12-story apartment building over
ground-floor commercial and retail spaces, including a cinema
and costing about $100 million to build (Perkins+Will).
The question about the status of Flats East Bank is connected. After all, Wolstein would not get involved with the West Bank of the Flats unless further progress on the East Bank was either dead or was fully financed, merely awaiting a go-ahead from the city and/or a general contractor.

According to another source, the Flats' East Bank Phase 3B or 3.2, as the 12-story building at Main Avenue and West 11th Street is sometimes called, has completed its capital stack thanks to gap financing from Cleveland-based GBX Group LLC. The Wolstein Group has partnered with Chicago-based Akara Partners, LLC to build its brand-name apartment offering here, called Kenect Cleveland.

Although Wolstein would not provide a target start for construction, an updated Dodge Reports listing says the project has a "Construction start targeted within 2020 -- definitive schedules to be determined." Schematic designs have yet to be considered by the city's Planning Commission for the $100 million project, to be built on a 2.45-acre parking lot owned by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

Flats East Bank is a $500 million development featuring a mix of uses including a trophy-class office tower, luxury apartments, three-star hotel and riverside restaurants. The first phase of construction on Flats East Bank began in 2010, starting with the 18-story Ernst & Young office tower and an eight-story Aloft Hotel. Phase 3A, or 3.1,  is under construction now, consisting of two riverfront buildings hosting four different restaurants.

Unfortunately, the financial health of at least one part of Flats East Bank may be in serious trouble, according to Fitch Ratings. It recently issued a notice called Fitch's Loans of Concern (FLOC), downgrading five of Cantor Commercial Real Estate (CFCRE) commercial mortgage trust series 2017-C8 pass-through certificates.
At right, in front of the permanently raised Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad bascule lift bridge, is 1250 Riverbed St. where a 20-
story apartment/hotel tower is proposed. To the left of Supe-
rior Viaduct, in the middle of the image, is a
parking garage that could see construction by year's end.
  The Cuyahoga River is seen on the right side. (AoDK).
The largest of the certificates it downgraded was for the 150-key Aloft Cleveland Downtown, having an original loan amount of $27 million. Aside from the hotel, ground-floor retail and a surface parking lot north of the hotel, no other Flats East Bank properties are part of the collateral. Fitch said the hotel's revenue has declined over the past three years to a level where it is no longer able to cover the debt service.

Also, the property's largest retail tenant, 17,000-square-foot EB Fitness Club, closed at the end of 2017 but was replaced in late-2019 by Browns Fit, a team-themed fitness center that temporarily closed during the pandemic. The FLOC didn't acknowledge the new tenant in its report.

The hotel is owned by Flats East 1111 Hotel LLC which, in turn, was owned by Fairmount Properties until the second quarter of 2018 when Fairmount sold its share in Flats East Bank to Wolstein. Fairmount and Wolstein were partners in Flats East Bank's development until Fairmount went off on its own to develop the $230 million Pinecrest lifestyle center in Orange Village.

But that setback apparently hasn't stopped Wolstein from looking across the river to 1250 Riverbed St.. That property is comprised of a four-story, 103-year-old building and an attached six-story, 108-year-old building. Together, the two buildings total 50,000 square feet. They were converted from commercial uses to 28 residential units in the 1980s and renamed the Left Bank Apartments.

Up to 16 stories are proposed to be added above these timber-framed, brick buildings to accommodate 85 apartments and a 200-key Dream Hotel, according to marketing materials from Washington DC-based Coloma River Capital.
Proposed plan for adding 16 stories above two historic
apartments buildings at 1250 Riverbed (DLR Group).
That firm has a purchase agreement to acquire the property from 1250 Riverbed Street LLC, an affiliate of an ownership group led by Eliahu Adahan. A source said that there are still significant gaps remaining in the capital stack for the proposed 20-story tower.

Design/engineering firm DLR Group proposed a unique approach to suspend the 16-story addition over the historic buildings. Two thick concrete, vertical cores would rise up through the interiors of the two buildings from which a grid of rigidly-jointed frames called Vierendeel trusses would support each floor.

"They (the concrete cores) would have to go down to bedrock to support the (proposed) tower," said Lee Tucker, previously a project manager with Marous Brothers Construction and one of the few remaining residents of the Left Bank Apartments. Tenant leases at 1250 Riverbed aren't being renewed.

"When I first came down here and saw the bridges and the historic buildings and the ships, I knew I wanted to be here," he said about his choice to live in the Flats.
Map of the Flats' West Bank showing the locations of various
proposed developments under consideration (KJP/Google).
The Left Bank Apartments are on the river side of the 142-year-old Superior Viaduct which was closed to through traffic in 1920. On the other side of the viaduct from 1250 Riverbed is a vacant acre of Jacobs'-owned land on which a 700+ space parking garage with a green roof is proposed.

Estimated to cost about $25 million, the garage would provide parking for the proposed tower as well as for the Nautica Powerhouse and the Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. Those attractions would lose about 670 parking spaces (370 of them permanently) when Nautica's 5.6 acres are sold and redeveloped with their own buildings and parking decks.

Another potential development on the Flats' West Bank is a 23-story residential tower over several levels of parking, proposed to rise at 2208 Superior Viaduct. Sources says an investor team fronted by Wayne Jatsek has a contract to buy the property from Woodmere-based Activity Capital, led by Daryl Kertesz.

All of this new development and proposed parking combined with the Flats' many narrow streets and movable bridges to clear paths for slow-moving lake freighters and pleasure boats is causing traffic worries. It is also spurring ideas of how to improve access to Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) services.
Conceptual idea for adding a train station to the Greater
Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's Cuyahoga Viaduct.
The station would be on the Airport-Downtown-University
Circle-Windermere Red Line rapid transit (Google/KJP).
"Spending millions of dollars on parking doesn't make sense here, better transit does," said Christopher Stocking of Clevelanders for Public Transit. "At the same time, GCRTA's budget is limited. We have to get creative and take advantage of the transit assets we already have."

That could include adding a station on the Red Line rapid transit that soars above the Columbus Road peninsula. A train station built above the planned Canal Basin Park, between Center Street and Settlers Landing, with elevators and stairs down to street level could provide pedestrian access to/from the Flats' West Bank, East Bank, Columbus Road peninsula and Scranton Peninsula.

"Increasing ridership on the Red Line makes sense and requires no additional operating funds since the service already exists," Stocking said. "This would also link the area to Cleveland's entire transit network, including University Circle, Ohio City and the Airport directly." 

He said another idea may be to cut the No. 81 bus loop around Lakeview and instead look at running a bus through the Flats and up to Lakeview then continue to Tremont/Steelyards via Market Square as a replacement. It could be evaluated as part of GCRTA's system redesign currently taking place.


Saturday, May 16, 2020

Cleveland's exciting parking garage project. No, seriously

A green-roofed parking garage could see construction by year's
end next to the Superior Viaduct on the Flats' West Bank. The
green-topped garage is visible in this eastward-looking rener-
ing above the viaduct and the Stonebridge development. At
right, in front of the permanently raised Baltimore & Ohio
Railroad bascule lift bridge, is 1250 Riverbed St. where a
20-story apartment and hotel tower is proposed. The
Cuyahoga River is seen on the right side. (AoDK).
Parking garages aren't usually all that exciting. But one planned for the Flats' West Bank might be the most exciting parking garage in Cleveland in 15 years.

In 2005, the nine-level 515 Euclid garage was designed and built with the promise of a future high-rise atop it. That garage ended up attracting Stark Enterprises which built the 19-story, $95 million Beacon apartment tower. Beacon saw construction start in 2017; it opened last year.

While the proposed Flats' West Bank garage might not get a tower built atop it someday, it's impacts could even be more catalytic. And we may not have to wait 12 years for its impacts to be seen, either.

Two sources say the new garage is being caused by and/or is causing three development opportunities. The sources were not authorized to speak publicly about the project.
Four planned developments on the Flats' West Bank are shown
with the proposed parking deck added in green (Google/KJP).
The garage will reportedly offer about 750 total parking spaces among six levels, not including the top level. More on that later. It will be located on a 1-acre plot of land bounded by Superior Viaduct, the Nautica Powerhouse, Elm Avenue and a vacated right of way for Washington Avenue.

This magical garage is visible in Nautica Entertainment LLC's master plan renderings and in a Vimeo video by AoDK Architecture. Nautica Entertainment is owned by Jeff Jacobs. In those presentations, the garage is surrounded by multiple new buildings of 10-20 stories.

But the garage will reportedly be built before anything else on Flats' West Bank. The reason? It has to in order to get other dominoes falling, the sources said.

Although the garage has been proposed for more than a year, it has suddenly been put on the fast track, the sources said. And that's a strong indicator of other potential progress on other aspects of the West Bank master plan -- plus two newly proposed developments that are beyond the scope of Nautica's plan. Those are a 23-story apartment tower at 2208 Superior Viaduct and a 20-story apartment/hotel building at 1250 Riverbed St.
Looking east on Superior Viaduct, the top deck of which is
shown here redesigned as a more attractive public space.
The proposed parking deck with the green roof is seen
on the left. To the right are the roofs of the Left Bank
Apartments at 1250 Riverbed. A 16-story building
is proposed to be built above them (AoDK).
Here are the three development opportunities that are causing and/or being caused by the big new garage:

1. Jacobs has a potential buyer for some or all of his 5.6-acre riverfront plot of land he listed for sale, according to three sources. An additional source was asked about this situation since NEOtrans' May 13th article. The source confirmed what the other two sources said about Jacobs having a potential buyer. The buyer's identity is not yet known, however.

The land for sale, which has a price tag of $17.5 million, is used by Nautica Entertainment for three surface parking lots. There are about 670 spaces divided among the three lots in that 5.6-acre sale offering. But part of that offering is for air rights. The air rights offering is above a 300-space lot which Nautica will likely regain use of after whatever is built above it is completed.

So Nautica will permanently lose at least 370 parking spaces after Jacobs sells Nautica's riverfront land and air rights (not to mention the temporary loss of 300 spaces). That's why Nautica needs the 700- to 750-space garage now despite it incurring construction costs of about $25 million to $27 million, according to unit cost estimates.
Looking north from the east end of the Superior Viaduct, this
access point via the planned parking deck, would make the
viaduct accessible to pedestrians from both ends rather than
be a dead-end. Also, the green-roofed parking deck would
be a destination accessible via the the viaduct (AoDK).
2. A cool design feature of the proposed parking garage is that it would be built with a green roof. And the roof would be built at the same level as the former roadway surface of the Superior Viaduct, which opened to traffic in 1878 and was closed to traffic in 1920. It is owned by the City of Cleveland.

It's 10-arch, sandstone structure is used as a public space and parking lot for the Stonebridge residential and office complex developed by a partnership of K&D Group and Robert Corna in the 2000s. There are approximately 130 parking spaces on the viaduct, some of which could be moved to the new parking garage so that the top of the viaduct might be redeveloped someday with a linear park, similar to New York City's High Line.

But the new parking deck's roof would provide a large destination greenspace at the east end of the viaduct as well as an pedestrian access point at what is now a dead end. The Nautica Master Plan shows the garage's roof with multiple conceptual uses -- a soccer field, basketball court, tennis court and an indoor gym.

3. A proposed 20-story residential and hotel tower, built in and on top of what is currently the Left Bank Apartments, 1250 Riverbed, lacks parking according to a draft presentation produced earlier this year by Cleveland-based DLR Group. Washington D.C.-based Coloma River Capital has an agreement to purchase the property that includes the historic four- and six-story Left Bank Apartment buildings.

But Nautica's proposed garage, to be located 60 feet away on the other side of Superior Viaduct from the new tower, could satisfy 1250 Riverbed's parking needs. That new tower at 1250 Riverbed is proposed with a 200-key hotel topped by 85 apartments. The underside of the viaduct could provide a unique, weather-protected check-in/out/drop-off/pick-up lane for the hotel/apartment building.
A 20-story apartment and hotel tower is planned
at 1250 Riverbed St. by Coloma River Capital.
The building would be suspended over the Left-
Bank Apartments from two concrete cores using
a grid of Vierendeel trusses (DLR Group).
If Nautica's riverfront parking lots and air rights are sold and developed, Nautica will likely regain use of its 300-space parking lot closest to the Nautica Powerhouse, even if that parking lot is below whatever is developed above. But that would open up 300 spaces in the new garage built next to Superior Viaduct. And those spaces should be sufficient to meet 1250 Riverbed's parking needs.

The other proposed high-rise on the Flats' West Bank, at 2208 Superior Viaduct, would reportedly have its own structured parking deck at the base of the residential tower. That 23-story tower is being spearheaded by a group of local and national investors fronted locally by Wayne Jatsek, two other sources said. They have a purchase agreement for 2208 Superior Viaduct.

Even though one of the sources said that Nautica's proposed garage is on the fast track, he declined to provide a potential start date for construction. He argued that nothing is ever a done deal until Jacobs actually starts building it.

"I have learned never to forecast anything that Jacobs does," the source said. "They are an irrational actor when it comes to development. Jacobs is first and foremost a gaming company that uses real estate as a place to park their cash flows. Everything they do, the first and last question is: 'how will this potentially affect our gaming operations?'"

David Grunenwald, vice president of development at Jacobs Investments Inc., did not return a voicemail message seeking comment.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Developers, investors making big plays on Flats' West Bank

Four individual development sites are in play between the
Cuyahoga River and Ohio City's Hingetown on the Flats'
West Bank. All are large-scale proposed projects because
they are 20+ stories tall, they cover a large area, or may
offer both (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
Despite the economic slowdown, several prominent local and national developers and investors are making big real estate plays on the Flats' West Bank, across the Cuyahoga River from downtown Cleveland. The end result could be a mix of buildings with mostly residential offerings and at least two of the developments possibly rising to 20 stories or higher.

As one real estate insider said, "That area might be the next hotspot after Hingetown." He's referring to the northeast corner of Ohio City, adjoining Flats' West Bank, where just about every block since 2000 has had a development project built, underway or planned. It's about time, as the Flats' West Bank sat out Cleveland's redevelopment boom of the 2010s.

That insider, plus a few others who also spoke off the record because they were not authorized to speak publicly, revealed four potential projects emerging on the West Bank. All four of the projects could be impressive in their scale and only one remains a closely guarded secret. Details are emerging about the other two projects. And the fourth is fairly well known, but still early in its project development process.

One instigator of the Flats' West Bank developments is the recent and ongoing infrastructure investments, namely several all-purpose trails. They include the Lakefront Bikeway Connector to Battery Park and Edgewater Park, the Centennial Lake Link Trail along and west of Center Street, and an extension of the Towpath Trail onto Columbus Road peninsula.

Plus, construction is well underway on the Wendy Park Bridge over the busy Norfolk Southern railroad tracks to connect the Flats West Bank to the lakefront. In the other direction is the site of the future, massive Irishtown Bend Park where hillside stabilization efforts are progressing.
This unofficial rendering shows the potential scale of a 23-story
building sought for 2208 Superior Viaduct between the Flats'
West Bank and Ohio City's Hingetown neighborhood (KJP).
Two real estate development projects for which details are emerging still have many unknowns. But what is known is that a 23-story apartment building and a 20-story apartment building over a possible hotel are planned along the riverfront.

The 23-story apartment building is proposed to rise at 2208 Superior Viaduct, on a 0.3-acre parcel that's listed for sale at $1.5 million. The listing shows a sale is pending. According to two sources, that buyer is Wayne Jatsek. If that name doesn't ring a bell with you, you're not alone.

He and several of his family members are involved in everything from home renovations to heavy highway construction locally. Currently, he is serving as the frontman for a 24-unit luxury townhouse development in Westlake called Hillsborough Point on Center Ridge Road.

Jatsek, the two sources said, is also a frontman in this case, too. He is the lead investor for a group of people with much deeper pockets, and at least one of them is reportedly from out of town. A phone message left for Jatsek at his Walton Hills residence was not returned prior to publication.

In fact, the investor group's pockets are apparently deep enough that the only thing keeping them from building higher than 23 stories is the height district in the city's zoning code. On this site, structures as tall as 250 feet can be built unless a variance is requested from the city's Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA).
The two-story white building, sandwiched between two four-
story buildings, is 2208-2210 Superior Viaduct -- as seen from
the Washington Avenue side. It is under a purchase agreement
and would be torn down for a 23-story residential tower (KJP).
Cleveland's BZA hasn't met since March due to the pandemic and isn't scheduled to meet again, albeit virtually, until late June.

However, sources said plans for the apartment tower were developed by Dimit Architects and submitted to the City Planning Commission for review. The project could appear on the city's Design-Review Committee docket as early as June. Design-Review began meeting virtually this month.

Plans include demolishing the existing 120-year-old, 16,462-square-foot light-industrial building on the property and digging subterranean parking for the tower above.

The property abuts the west end of 142-year-old Superior Viaduct. The bridge, originally built with 10 sandstone arches, was the main route for pedestrians, horse carriages and streetcars linking downtown to the west side of the city until 1920. It was replaced two years earlier by the Detroit-Superior Bridge. Three of the old viaduct's arches were later removed so the river could be widened.

At the east end of the remaining viaduct is the site of another remarkable, proposed development -- 1250 Riverbed St. Here, two historic buildings are proposed to be retained, renovated and vertically expanded to create a 20-story apartment and possibly hotel structure.
One of the most stunning and imaginative proposed projects
on Flats' West Bank is a 20-story tower at 1250 Riverbed St.
A 16-story addition would be "suspended" over two existing
 historic buildings using a pair of concrete cores built through
the two buildings. From those cores, the new floors would be
suspended using a grid of Vierendeel trusses (Coloma River).
Up to 16 stories are proposed to be added to a four-story, 103-year-old building and an attached six-story, 108-year-old building. Together, the two buildings total 50,000 square feet. They were converted from commercial uses to 28 residential units in the 1980s and renamed the Left Bank Apartments.

An adult lifestyle nightspot called Club Eros moved out of the ground floor of the six-story building more than a month ago. Only a couple of apartments remain occupied between the two buildings, a source said.

Washington DC-based Coloma River Capital has a purchase agreement to acquire the building but the deal hasn't closed yet. The seller is 1250 Riverbed Street LLC whose managing members are two Rochester, NY men, Eliahu Adahan and Peter R. Hungerford, according to Cuyahoga County records. Contact information for Hungerford couldn't be located. Abahan didn't reply to an e-mail before publication.

The requested sale price wasn't publicized but, according to another source, 1250 Riverbed Street LLC wanted $3 million for the valuable riverfront property. The seller reportedly accepted about $2.6 million, the source said. The for-sale listing for 1250 Riverbed was removed last month.

E-mails sent to Coloma River Capital's Managing Partner Charles Paret, to a general e-mail address for the company, and to a public contact form on the firm's Web site weren't returned prior to publication.
An earlier proposal for repurposing the Left Bank Apartments
into a hotel was scrapped due to the property's high sale price
and the need to generate more revenue to offset the purchase
price. So a project of larger scale is planned (Coloma River).
However, NEOtrans was able to secure two marketing pieces from Coloma River Capital about the project. One is a January 2019 marketing brochure. Last year, the project originally was limited to adding only two stories of small-floorplate restaurant/event space to the top of the building and converting the property to a 102-room Dream Hotel.

"Coloma River Capital has assembled a 'best in class' team to reposition and re-brand the property into an upscale luxury boutique hotel to open by June of 2020," the brochure noted. "Immediately upon closing of the property, the team will begin planning for a renovation of all rooms, public spaces, adding a spa, and various creative spaces."

Since then, Coloma River Capital reportedly repositioned the project to one with a larger scale. The smaller-scale project and an already softening hotel market wouldn't generate enough revenue to offset the high purchase price. So a 16-story addition was proposed and more investors were secured. Their identities remain unknown at this time.

Omaha-based DLR Group was hired for design and engineering services to renovate and expand the historic, timber-framed buildings into a 20-story structure comprised of 85 apartments and 200-key hotel, according to a draft presentation from earlier this year. It is possible that the hotel may be scaled back or removed altogether given the deepening weakness in the lodging market.

DLR Group proposed a unique approach to support the 16-story addition over the historic building -- a building that could scarcely support the previously proposed two-story addition. Suggested are two thick concrete, vertical cores through the interior of the two historic buildings from which Vierendeel trusses (rigidly-jointed frames) would support each floor. In effect, the addition would be suspended above the existing buildings.
A mixed-use development called Bridgeworks will rise
on highly visible land being purchased by a partnership
of Michael Panzica and Graham Veysey from Cuyahoga
County. But the extent of each mixed use -- residential,
commercial, parking -- is under review in these uncer-
tain times (Cuyahoga County/Allegro).
"On the front of the building you're looking right at the water where you can go kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding," said Coby Socher, Keller Williams broker who represented Coloma River Capital, in a Vimeo video about the project. "There's just all these cool things you could be doing right outside your door. Whether it's in the middle of the day on Tuesday or nightlife on a Saturday night there's always something happening."

Heading back west on Superior Viaduct to where it intersects with West 25th Street is the former Cuyahoga County Engineer's property. Not only did NEOtrans break the story in late-2018 that the county was disposing of the property, NEOtrans also broke the story in June 2019 that developer Mike Panzica and his team won the bid to acquire it.

At the time, Panzica was perhaps known best as a principal of Hemingway Development. He is wrapping up work there while starting up his own company M. Panzica Development and working in a partnership with Hingetown investor Graham Veysey called Bridgeworks LLC. Bridgeworks is acquiring the 2-acre county property for $4.15 million.

Originally, Bridgeworks was proposed to be a one- or two-building development offering about 200 apartments and ground-floor retail. Given the size of the property, the development probably would not exceed 10 stories in height and might even be a few stories shorter. But the pandemic and resultant economic slowdown has forced the partners to adjust their plans.

"We're still moving forward but slowly," Panzica said in an interview earlier this week. "We've shifted some of the programming to reflect the changed environment we're now in. Graham (Veysey) and I will be in a position to reveal more in a couple of months."
An interested party has reportedly stepped up to buy some or
all of three for-sale properties in the Nautica Waterfront Dis-
trict despite the steep asking price and a national economy in
turmoil. But investors and developers
are making real estate
 plays for a new Cleveland 
that emerges from the global emer-
The for-sale parcels are located on the lower-right side
of this conceptual rendering. The tallest building and the two
identical riverfront buildings are concepts for using the pro-
perties that Jeff Jacobs has put on the market (LoopNet).
The biggest parcel of land in play right now on the Flats' West Bank is cloaked in the most secrecy. Two sources say a buyer has emerged for some or all of Jeff Jacobs' Nautica Entertainment LLC-owned 5.6 acres of land. But the real estate broker who has the listing -- Terry Coyne of Newmark Knight Frank -- isn't talking. And that's newsworthy right there.

"He is not talking which is akin to a unicorn sighting," joked one of the two sources.

Coyne either likes to chat about properties he's promoting or enjoys waxing lyrical about big sales he's achieved. So if he's not talking, it may be because there's something afoot but not yet signed, sealed and delivered.

Coyne didn't respond to a personal message on Twitter seeking more information about a possible buyer and development on the listed properties.

The list price for the Nautica riverfront parcels is a steep $17.5 million. Even if the site is sold in pieces near the divisible asking price, it will still likely require a significant development to generate enough revenue to achieve a decent return on the investment. That's a tall order at any time in low-rent Cleveland, least of all during a national emergency.

But it is a waterfront property and it's in a height district where buildings up to 250 feet tall can be built. Lastly, it's increasingly surrounded by significant real estate plays and public infrastructure investments that are making the Flats' West Bank more attractive after a decade that developmentally passed it by.