Saturday, March 13, 2021

Asiatown development could be largest in 15 years

Both sides of Payne Avenue in the vicinity of East 33rd Street are
targeted for a multi-phase, mixed-use development by Frontline
Development, Fairmount Properties and NRP Group (Google).

Cleveland's Asiatown enclave could soon be seeing its largest development in 15 years. This newest endeavor involves a mix of renovation and new construction on properties used for the since-relocated Dave's Supermarket. The last big development in Asiatown was Tyler Village.

On the north side of Payne Avenue at East 33rd Street, the 43,000-square-foot supermarket is proposed to be repurposed by Fairmount Properties and Frontline Development Group as a 45,000-square-foot office/commercial complex called Culture33 for one or many tenants.

On this 1.26-acre parcel was the site of the original Dave's Markets Inc. The current building was built in 1957, remodeled in 1988 and again in 2006. Two years ago, the market moved to a larger store on Chester Avenue at East 57th Street. There are several other small- and medium-sized grocery markets in Asiatown most of which specialize in Asian foods.

Dave's Markets grocery chain was founded in 1930 by Alex Saltzman who operated a produce wagon on Payne. The growing business passed to his son David, for whom the business is named. His son Burton currently is the owner of the Payne Avenue properties totaling nearly 3 acres, county records show.

Looking north on East 33rd toward Payne, the former Dave's
Supermarket is proposed to be renovated and repurposed as
as Culture33 offering new office spaces for lease (Bowen).

Among those properties is 0.23 acres at the northwest corner of Payne and East 33rd and 0.5 acres at the southwest corner of Payne and East 33rd. Both are shown as potential development sites in promotional materials about Culture33 made available by Fairmount and Frontline. Retail, restaurants and/or medical services are envisioned for those parcels.

The developers had hoped to deliver phase one of Culture33 by June, consisting of professional office space in the repurposed former Dave’s Supermarket building. But pandemic-induced softness in the office market has apparently delayed delivery. Sheila Wright, president of Frontline, and Scott Pollock, senior vice president at Fairmount, did not respond to e-mails prior to publication seeking more information.

On the south side of Payne, the parking lot for the Dave's Supermarket is proposed to be developed by NRP Group and Frontline as Payne Avenue Apartments. The $13 million, 51-unit mixed-income apartment development would feature an L-shaped building along the sidewalk of Payne, between East 33rd and 36th, and extend south along East 33rd.

Proposed on the 0.93-acre parking lot is a four-story apartment building with parking behind. It will include one, two, three and four-bedroom units. Apartments will be affordable to individuals and families from 30 percent to 60 percent of the area's median income and will contain eight units designated for project-based vouchers.

A rendering of the proposed Payne Avenue Apartments in the
Asiatown neighborhood. This development will added density
in the community, across the street from Culture33 (NRP).

Monthly rents are forecast to range from $351 (reduced by $409 in subsidies) for a 657-square-foot, one-bedroom unit to $1,195 without direct subsidy for a four-bedroom, two-bath, 1,222-square-foot unit, according to data submitted to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA).

The developers are working with the City of Cleveland, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority and MidTown Cleveland Inc. to secure community support and state financing for the project. 

The development is in the service area of the the St. Clair-Superior Development Corp. But MidTown is overseeing the project given its greater staffing and historical capacity to facilitate real estate developments, said Joe Duffy, executive director of St. Clair-Superior Development Corp.

"The NRP Group and Frontline Development Group submitted an application for a competitive low-income housing tax credit funding to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency for a mixed-use, mixed-income, joint venture development at the corner of Payne and East 33rd," said Jeff Epstein, executive director of MidTown Cleveland.

To finance the residential project, developers and their partners are seeking $10 million in housing tax credits over 10 years from OHFA. Epstein said OHFA will publicly announce its funding decisions in late May.

Looking west on Payne toward downtown Cleveland in 2019, the
recently closed Dave's Supermarket is on the right and its parking
lot is on the left. With the pending developments, this scene may
look very different and more lively in the coming years (Google).

Other Cleveland-area projects seeking OHFA funding include:

Bedford Heights Senior Apartments, 24819 Columbus Rd., is an $11 million, 52-unit senior housing community will address needs for more housing, especially senior housing in Cuyahoga County. Amenities in the immediate area include the Bedford Heights Community Center that offers recreational opportunities and a full-service senior center. It is also next to Mother Theresa Manor.

Cleveland Scholar House, 2565 Community College Ave., is up for its third try in securing tax credits for the $12 million project. CHN Housing Partners will be the developer, property manager, owner and supportive service provider of the proposed 40-unit building situated within walking distance of Cleveland State University and Cuyahoga Community College’s Metropolitan Campus.

Franciscan Annex, 3648 Rocky River Dr., is a collaboration of Our Lady of Angels Apartments, Inc. and Salus-Joyce Development LLC. This new-construction, multi-family building will provide 63 non-subsidized mixed income units for tenants over the age of 62.

Warner and Swasey II, 5701 Carnegie Ave., is part of a larger redevelopment by Pennrose Development and MidTown Cleveland of the prominent and historic Warner & Swasey manufacturing facility. This mixed-income development will bring 50 affordable residential units to help restore this building and boost prospects for additional investment the area.

Tyler Kapusta contributed to this article.


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