Friday, December 31, 2021

Stark has buyer for downtown nuCLEus properties

This was the last of several incrementally smaller designs for
nuCLEus prior to Stark Enterprises abandoning the development
and selling the properties on which it would have been built.
It isn’t known who 
the buyer is, but based on recent, comparable
downtown property sales, the buyer would have to have deep
pockets and want to deliver a large development of its own to
get a return on its sizable investment (Stark).

Properties that were part of Stark Enterprises’ ill-fated nuCLEus megaproject are in the process of being sold in a private, off-market transaction. However, the scope of the sale, the buyer’s identity and the buyer’s intentions remain a mystery. Public records emerged this week showing that there is a pending transaction.


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The 20 most-viewed news stories of 2021 on NEOtrans

Screenshot of the most viewed NEOtrans article of 2021 — Cleveland
Clinic plans to demolish the former Cleveland Play House complex on

Personal experiences matter. That’s the lesson of why one news article gets opened and another article does not. It’s why the pending demolition of the Cleveland Play House was the most-read story of 2021. It got read because people went to see a show there once upon a time, not because it was the only Cleveland-area project designed by a famous Cleveland-born architect, Philip Johnson.


Monday, December 27, 2021

Is Downtown Cleveland in Target’s bullseye?

Coming soon to downtown Cleveland? Target reportedly is in talks
with several downtown Cleveland property owners about locating
a small, urban-format store in their buildings. The store would be
similar to this 22,000-square-foot store opening this Spring in the
former Kaufmann’s department store in downtown Pittsburgh

The upscale discount retail giant Target is in expansion mode. It is focusing on locations in downtowns, near colleges and dense suburbs for small, urban-format stores. But will downtown Cleveland or perhaps University Circle be under consideration?


Friday, December 24, 2021

Brooklyn Masonic Hall repurposing as Lofts On Pearl

Located in the commercial district of historic Brooklyn Center, the vacant
Brooklyn Masonic Temple was acquired by a Lakewood entrepreneur
who intends to redevelop the structure with market-rate apartments
over two retail spaces facing Pearl Road (Brandt).

A Lakewood real estate entrepreneur and construction contractor has acquired the vacant Brooklyn Masonic Temple, 3804 Pearl Rd., in Cleveland and plans to renovate it into a mixed-use building called the Lofts On Pearl. It remains to be seen if the project will live up to the Masonic purpose of making good men better.


Thursday, December 23, 2021

Baker Building to be The Fidelity Hotel, speakeasy

Tall but small can be contradictory, but not in the case of the Baker
Building. The skinny building measuring just over 50,000 square
feet will be reborn as The Fidelity Hotel with 71 rooms and suites
restored to the building’s original Gilded Age flair. Permits were
issued last week for the start of the building’s rebirth with more
details to come soon. This view of the building was captured in

The 11-story Baker Building, 1900-1940 East 6th St. in downtown Cleveland, has received a construction permit so crews can begin work to prepare for the next stage in the 102-year-old building’s life — a mix of boutique hotel rooms and suites plus ground-floor retail/restaurants. To be called The Fidelity Hotel, the name refers back to the structure’s original name and owner — the Fidelity Mortgage Building. A design-review case at the City Planning Commission for the project was opened today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Kan Zaman expands, Ohio City parking crater endures

Kan Zaman Middle Eastern restaurant has been a fixture on West 25th
Street in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood for 14 years. The nearly
5-acre parking lot behind and to the right of it has been around even lon-
ger. But there are rays of hope that the lot could be developed in the com-
ing years if funding can be found for a parking garage containing up to

When people in Cleveland’s real estate sector heard Kan Zaman will open a new location on the east side of downtown, their immediate reaction was — are they vacating the old site in Ohio City for a new development?

Monday, December 20, 2021

Cleveland’s new police HQ, mounted unit, fire station all start

Cleveland city officials hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new
Division of Police Headquarters Dec. 16 at East 75th Street and the
Opportunity Corridor on the city’s East Side. It was one of three new
public safety facilities for which groundbreaking ceremonies were held
last week (City of Cleveland). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

City officials broke ground for three major developments for the Department of Public Safety last week, in the waning days of Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration. They were a new police department headquarters, a relocated Mounted Police facility and a new Fire Station No. 26, replacing Cleveland’s longest-operating fire station. All three new developments are located on the city’s East Side.


Sunday, December 19, 2021

Opportunity Corridor cold storage to boost local biz

The northwest corner of the planned Cleveland Cold Storage ware-
house, nearest to the corner of Opportunity Corridor Boulevard and
East 75th Street, will include a 4,000-square-foot office building that
will be “bumped out” from the warehouse to be closer to the street
and the all-purpose trail along the Opportunity Corridor to give the
building a better street presence and pedestrian access for workers
coming from nearby public public transportation (GMA).

Opinions varied on the physical appearance of a large new warehouse, as approved Friday by Cleveland’s City Planning Commission. But the project was lauded as the kind of catalytic development that’s needed for Cleveland’s food manufacturing sector, one that belongs on the newly opened Opportunity Corridor Boulevard. Construction of the distribution center is due to start this winter.


Saturday, December 18, 2021

Great Lakes Brewing Co. to start Scranton Peninsula work

Looking north across Scranton Peninsula toward downtown Cleveland,
Great Lakes Brewing Co.’s proposed production facility would rise on
 leveled land in the foreground. At the far left, a property acquired this
past summer by the brewery would also be cleared and graded, but for a
brewpub/tasting room. Leveling and removing trees from the perimeter
 of the two properties is the subject of a permit application submitted
yesterday to the City of Cleveland’s Building & Housing Department.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. (GLBC) has asked the city of Cleveland for permission to begin site preparation work prior to the expansion of brewing facilities on to Scranton Peninsula near downtown. A permit application submitted yesterday doesn’t reveal when the actual expansion work would begin, saying instead that the work would prepare for “future use” of the Flats site. However, the permit request hints structural construction for the expansion could begin in about six months.


Friday, December 17, 2021

Ten Cleveland schools OK’d for new uses

The Audubon Middle School, 3055 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.,
in Cleveland’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, is one of 10
school properties that are due to be repurposed in the coming
years with new uses. In the case of this landmark, century-old
building, it will be renovated by Boston-based TCB Ohio Inc.
and the Burten Bell Carr Community Development Corp. with
107 affordable apartments for seniors plus office and community
spaces in the school’s restored ballroom and library (Google).

City Planning Commission today gave city and school officials authority to enter into agreements with multiple proposed purchasers and real estate developers to acquire and repurpose 10 Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) properties. The disposition of those 10 properties is part of a larger effort to sell and reuse more school sites.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Midtown development sites to double in size

Demolition of the closed MPC Plating Inc. plant on both sides of East
63rd Street, between Euclid and Chester avenues, in Cleveland’s Mid-
town neighborhood opens the door to the expansion of mixed-use de-
 velopments that were built or underway along East 61st and East 66th
streets. The MPC Plating properties are outlined with black lines

A Midtown Cleveland development site is about to get twice as large. Even better, a developer is ready, willing and able to construct mixed-use developments on it, assuming a demolition request is approved. Community development officials said they are excited about the outcomes of clearing and cleaning the site left vacant by a former industrial user.


Wednesday, December 15, 2021

NEOtrans’ 56 stories about Sherwin-Williams’ 36 stories

At 618 feet tall, the 36-story Sherwin-Williams headquarters tower
will become the fourth-tallest in downtown Cleveland and drama-
tically change the city’s skyline. The tower will mean different
things to different people, but there was one storyline of how
we got to the start of construction. It involved three years and
56 NEOtrans articles that traced this project from its earliest
origins to today’s groundbreaking ceremony (Pickard Chilton).

On this date of the groundbreaking ceremony for Sherwin-Williams’ (SHW) new global headquarters, it’s not just a time to look ahead but to look back to see how we got here.

It was three years and two months ago that NEOtrans wrote the first of 56 articles about the SHW HQ project by breaking the news that SHW had started planning work for a new HQ. Or, more accurately, SHW “re-started” planning work that began several years earlier but was put on hold. Of more pressing concern from 2016-18 was SHW acquiring its rival Valspar and paying down its debt from that acquisition.


Ground broken for apartments and Meijer store

Officials from the city of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic Foundation,
Meijer grocery store, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp. and
Fairmount Properties broke ground today on a $53 million grocery
store to be topped by market-rate apartments (CCF).

In one week, three major groundbreakings were held in Cleveland. Today, representatives of the City of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Meijer, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp. and Fairmount Properties broke ground on a new grocery store and apartment complex in the Fairfax neighborhood of Cleveland, according to a written press statement released by the Cleveland Clinic.


Tuesday, December 14, 2021

38-year-old building wins historic tax credit

Another $100+ million residential development in downtown
Cleveland is due to get underway by spring. The conversion
of the former Ohio Bell headquarters in downtown Cleveland
won the state’s largest historic tax credit, even though the build-
ing was built in 1983. It was one of three Cleveland projects and
among 36 projects statewide to win Ohio historic tax credits (KJP).

Champagne was flowing in the lobby of 45 Erieview as Ohio Department of Development officials announced the winner of one of the state’s largest historic tax credits — a 38-year-old office building to be converted mostly into high-end housing. The $5 million tax credit may round out the $102 million project’s financing, allowing its sale and redevelopment to move forward.


Friday, December 10, 2021

City Club Apartments breaks ground for its first Cleveland project

Dignitaries broke ground today for the new 23-story City Club Apart-
ments, 776 Euclid Ave. in downtown Cleveland. But City Club Apart-
ments Chairman and CEO Jonathan Holtzman said it won’t be the Mi-
chigan-based company’s last project in Cleveland. Tossing dirt with
golden shovels were, from left, lead project architect and Vocon Part-
ners LLC Principal Denver Brooker, City Club’s Holtzman, Ward 3
Councilman Kerry McCormack, City Council President-Elect Blaine
Griffin and Downtown Cleveland Alliance President & CEO Michael

It wasn’t just the sound shovels hitting the dirt at the City Club Apartments’ groundbreaking ceremony today in downtown Cleveland that was heard. It was also the news that the Farmington Hills, MI developer and owner of multi-family and mixed-use properties was just getting started in establishing a presence in Cleveland. But no one overlooked the importance of the latest residential high-rise being added to Cleveland’s main street, least of all the man most responsible for it.


A large property near you may be ripe for a jail

A Cuyahoga County steering committee has supported this basic,
conceptual design of a new jail facility called the Cuyahoga County
Corrections Center. The big question now is where to put it. An request
for proposals was issued yesterday to help answer that question (JCESC).

It’s definitely an unusual move. Typically, when a government agency needs a property for a new facility, it does an alternatives analysis of all the properties that meet its criteria. It then ranks them according to that criteria and then pursues acquisition of their preferred property or properties. If that doesn’t work out, the agency pursues its second favorite site. And so on.

Not Cuyahoga County. Instead of approaching owners of big, development-ready sites for its sprawling integrated Cuyahoga County Corrections Center (CCCC), the county wants you to come to them.


Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Little Italy’s largest townhouse project in a decade

An early rendering of the Woodhill Townhomes accurately shows their
height at four stories with rooftop decks. However, in the final design,
the second-floor balconies on the townhomes are now walk-outs on
all of the fronts and on some of backs. The third-floor balconies are
Juliet balconies, meaning that the doors can be opened but a person
cannot walk out on them. But they can be serenaded by a Little Italy
Romeo. This view looks southerly along Coltman Road (SixMo).

So far in the 21st century, Little Italy has seen a large townhouse development get built roughly every decade. With past townhouse developments happening in 2001 and again in 2010, Little Italy is overdue for another. One of Northeast Ohio’s largest homebuilders is getting ready to fill that void.


Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Latest project may extend West 25th’s density

This is a basic massing of The Pearl to show its potential scale, if it wins
support from the Duck Island Block Club. Architectural details will be
added after this conceptual phase is refined. Overlooking Walworth
Run ravine, The Pearl would offer market-rate apartments above
retail at the intersection of West 25th Street and Columbus
Road. This view looks generally north (Bialosky).

A frantic pace of development continues in and near Cleveland’s Duck Island enclave, where Tremont meets Ohio City, especially along West 25th Street south of the Market District. The latest entry is Independence-based Realife Real Estate Group’s The Pearl, a seven-story apartment building over parking and a retail space.


Monday, December 6, 2021

Cleveland Flats peninsula finally coming back to life

One of the largest vacant tracts of land near Cleveland’s urban core
moved closer to development this week with City Planning Com-
mission’s approval of schematic plans for Silverhills at Thunder-
bird. The project is located on the mostly undeveloped Scranton
Peninsula across the Cuyahoga River from downtown Cleveland.
That huge peninsula, once home to steel production facilities and
lumberyards, sat mostly vacant for 40 years and is finally coming
 back to life (Dimit). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Friday was a big day for Scranton Peninsula in Cleveland’s Flats. A new brewpub opened in a repurposed industrial structure next to the Cuyahoga River. City Planning Commission gave conditional approval to plans for a new neighborhood that would add more than 300 housing units to the city’s riverfront. And the commission approved new zoning for a large area of the Flats to support additional development.


Friday, December 3, 2021

Hough tower to be redeveloped, expanded in $34M project

Vacant for at least a decade, stripped of salvageable items by thieves,
open to the elements and now vines are climbing up the side of the
condemned 10-story apartment building at 9410 Hough Ave. as
seen in this July 2021 view. But that’s not deterring SLSCO Ltd.
from taking on the project and even expanding it to include
a large new community center (Google).

A major project to redevelop a vacant and blighted 10-story building, as well as to construct a large community center on Hough Avenue on Cleveland’s East Side was revealed by a city official at today’s City Planning Commission meeting. The development is one of many planned or underway in the Hough neighborhood which had long been a poster-child for urban decay in Cleveland.


Downtown project delayed by commissioners’ absence

An aerial view looking northward toward the proposed Apartments
at Bolivar to be located just north of the Erie Street Cemetery and on
the southeast side of downtown’s central business district (Desmone).

City Planning Commission today was unable to advance a major downtown Cleveland project toward design approval, despite its members enthusiastically supporting an earlier conceptual version of the plan. In recent months, multiple commission meetings had to be ended early before important agenda items could be addressed, resulting in those projects being delayed to a future meeting where the applicants had to sit through another hours-long session.


Thursday, December 2, 2021

City Club Apartments groundbreaking set

A formal groundbreaking ceremony for the 23-story, roughly 250-
foot-tall City Club Apartments in downtown Cleveland is planned
for 11 a.m. Dec. 10. However, there are signs that site preparations
in the 700-block of Euclid Avenue are about to begin (Vocon).

Among the new Sherwin-Williams (SHW) headquarters, Fairmount Properties’ Fairfax Market/Apartments and the City Club Apartments, where was the betting line on the City Club tower officially breaking ground first? If you bet the last to be the first, you’re a winner.