Friday, March 31, 2023

Board of Elections is moving out

When most of us think of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, we think
of this 1950s-era structure called the Robert Hughes Building at the northwest
corner of Euclid Avenue and East 30th Street. But there are also two other
locations used by the Board of Elections which it would like to consolidate
by Jan. 1, 2024 in an existing, relatively low-rise building that’s accessible
by car and transit (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Cuyahoga County’s Department of Public Works this week issued a request for proposals from building owners and real estate brokers who can accommodate the requirements of a proposed consolidation of operations by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections (BOE) into a new location. For decades, the BOE’s main offices have been located at 2925 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland’s Midtown neighborhood. But it also has two other locations that, in total, equal the size of their main offices and could be consolidated into a new, accessible location by year’s end, county officials said.


Thursday, March 30, 2023

Browns, city want you to rule out FES renovation

FirstEnergy Stadium is only 24 years old and will be 30 just a few months
after the Cleveland Browns’ lease with the city runs out at the end of the
2028 National Football League season. Where the Browns play after that
will depend on a community dialogue that will take place over the next

I write that after this week’s statement from Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam which followed NEOtrans’ most recent article about the Browns’ desire for a new all-purpose stadium for Cleveland. At the National Football League’s (NFL) Annual Meeting, the Haslams said “They remain committed to upgrading the Browns’ stadium — with the primary goal of renovating FirstEnergy Stadium in accordance with the City of Cleveland’s plans to upgrade waterfront area between Lake Erie and downtown.”


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Bedrock defers to others on riverfront

Bedrock owns 35 acres of land along the downtown riverfront, but nothing
will get built here unless others respond to Bedrock’s vision for the

Bedrock has something that few other investors in downtown Cleveland have — about 35 acres of prime, developable land, mostly along the riverfront below Tower City Center. But unlike many other downtown land owners with hopes for the future, they have no intention of developing anything themselves, be it new buildings or the infrastructure to sustain them.


Monday, March 27, 2023

Berkadia to expand at Key Tower

Unlike some other downtown Cleveland office tenants that have reduced
space or left downtown entirely, commercial loan originator Berkadia Com-
mercial Mortgage is expanding on the 14th floor of Key Tower, 127 Public

By the end of this year, commercial loan originator Berkadia Commercial Mortgage will be showing off its greatly expanded offices on the 14th floor of Key Tower, 127 Public Square. And that expansion offers a couple of statements about Greater Cleveland’s economy in general and downtown Cleveland in particular.


Sunday, March 26, 2023

Blue Abyss may build $250m research center here

A conceptual rendering of Blue Abyss’ planned deep sea and space research,
training and test facility in Cornwall, United Kingdom. Reportedly, their
research center next to NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland
will be very similar in purpose and design (Blue Abyss).

A British company, Blue Abyss Diving Ltd., is pursuing the development of a new research center devoted to deep sea and space research in the Cleveland suburb of Brook Park on land next to NASA Glenn Research Center. The project, with a total estimated price tag of $250 million, could be one of the most significant business investments resulting from the presence of the NASA facility. It could also be nearly identical to a major research center Blue Abyss is building in the United Kingdom county of Cornwall.

Friday, March 24, 2023

From Kyiv to Cleveland, art firm HQ moves

This public art installation is planned by the City of Cleveland and Dion
Art on downtown Cleveland’s malls and will feature 3D polygons with
artwork representing, from left, Ukraine, city of Cleveland, and the
United States It is one of many public art installations made, under
way or planned in Cleveland by Dion Art that is moving its head-
quarters and studios from Ukraine to Cleveland (Dion Art).

Founded in Ukraine nearly two decades ago, Dion Art has been expanding thanks to stunning, innovative public art projects and a stabilizing, growing nation. When that growth slowed to a trickle a year ago when Russia began its all-out invasion of Ukraine, its founder and his friend made a choice — move Dion Art to Cleveland.


Thursday, March 23, 2023

Irishtown Bend Park stakeholders announce deal for George property

The George family-owned property at West 25th Street and the Detroit-
Superior Bridge in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood will be rede-
veloped as a George-owned and operated restaurant as part of the Irish-
town Bend Park after an agreement was reached today (Freethink).

Partners working together on the transformational Irishtown Bend Park project have reached a tentative settlement agreement today following a lawsuit by an affiliate of the George family against the use of eminent domain to acquire their land for the project. Terms of the deal were not officially disclosed at this time but it appears to be a really good deal for the Georges.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Seeds & Sprouts XXVIII – Seeds & Sprouts XXVIII – Big retailer to Steelyard, AJ Rocco's progresses, Hemingway bets on offices, Leather shop reno, Bakery to Euclid Ave

The Best Buy consumer electronics store at Steelyard Commons in Cleveland
will soon be a Ross Dress for Less department store, the fifth such store in
Cuyahoga County and the latest location for the nation’s third-largest
off-price retailer (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Ross Dress for Less is opening at Steelyard Commons. AJ Rocco’s Restaurant & Bar renovation work progresses downtown. Hemingway Development bets on Midtown office spaces. TRD Leather gets new insides on the West Side. And a new bakery is coming to Euclid Avenue.


Monday, March 20, 2023

It’s official: Lakewood Center West sells

Lakewood Center West, seen at left next to its big brother Center North
Apartments in downtown Lakewood, was sold to a New York developer
who intends to redevelop it with residential over retail (Google).

While Lakewood waits on the Downtown Lakewood development, a mostly residential development could come to this inner-ring suburb’s former office and current retail district even sooner. According to Lakewood city officials and Cuyahoga County records, a Brooklyn, NY-based developer has acquired the seven-story Lakewood Center West at the northeast corner of Detroit and St. Charles avenues for $2.4 million. The developer told NEOtrans that they envision 60-70 apartments on the upper floors and will retain the ground-floor and basement commercial tenants.


Sunday, March 19, 2023

Cleveland Hts Cedar Lee Meadowbrook “A done deal”

Construction is due to start in “the coming weeks” on the Cedar Lee
Meadowbrook project in Cleveland Heights thanks to the wrapping
up of its financing in the past week (F&C/City of Cleveland Hts).

The City of Cleveland Heights and its development partner, Flaherty & Collins Properties, announced the real estate and financial “closing” for the Cedar Lee Meadowbrook project, clearing the way for construction to commence in the coming weeks. It’s the second major project for the Indianapolis-based developer in the eastern inner-ring suburb of Cleveland.


Friday, March 17, 2023

Half of Bulkley Building to be residential

The nine-story Bulkley Building, at center, is due to be refurbished by its
owner the Playhouse Square Foundation,  including with four floors converted
 to residential, four floors remaining as offices with a large new office tenant
and ground-floor retail/restaurants. The ninth floor is not visible from the
street as it is on the far side of the building (Google).

A significant building in downtown Cleveland’s theater district is proposed to undergo a transformation that would convert nearly half of the structure to residential and add a high-profile office tenant. The Bulkley Building, or simply The Bulkley, 1501 Euclid Ave., is not only owned by the Playhouse Square Foundation but is also the current site of the foundation’s offices.


Thursday, March 16, 2023

Cleveland adds fewest apartments among major metros

The largest development in downtown Cleveland that’s adding more
housing is the 23-story City Club Apartments at 720 Euclid Ave. that
will add 303 housing units. Other projects in the works could add
thousands more apartments in the next couple of years (KJP).

New data from a leading North American real estate services firm shows that Greater Cleveland had the smallest number of new apartment units under construction in the USA in the fourth quarter of 2022. That snapshot of construction activity in America’s multi-family rental market shows that, not only is Greater Cleveland lagging way behind the nation’s largest metropolitan areas in adding new apartments, it’s also lagging behind many of its peer metros. The report comes as the City of Cleveland considers reducing its financial incentives for new developments.


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Cleveland Habitat for Humanity opens first union-built home

 Sierra stands with a large group of people who helped make her new home
on Grandview Avenue in Cleveland’s Buckeye-Woodhill  neighborhood
possible. That included those standing closest to her, Habitat for Humanity
President/CEO John Litten, Habitat’s Associate Director of Affordable
Homeownership Jessica Morrison, and Cleveland City Council President
Blaine Griffin. Also standing with Sierra are representatives of the city,
donors and workers who helped finance and build the home (Emma Wind).

A new home on Grandview Avenue was the first all-union-built home in Greater Cleveland to be provided by the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity program. And yesterday its residents got the keys to it. Thanks to the Habitat for Humanity program, the 14th house was built on Grandview Avenue in Cleveland’s Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood. The resident, Sierra, mother of six, couldn’t hold back her tears of happiness.


Saturday, March 11, 2023

Casket maker brings factory to life

Starting as early as this summer, manufacturing operations are expected to
begin at Victoriaville & Co.’s new casket and urn factory in Cleveland’s
Bellaire-Puritas neighborhood following an investment of about $1 million
to retrofit and existing building on West 130th Street (Victoriaville & Co.).

Construction permits were filed this week with Cleveland’s Building Department to retrofit a west-side factory so Victoriaville & Co. of Victoriaville, Québec, Canada can open its first manufacturing operations in the USA. The plant will manufacture what’s called “death care merchandise” — namely caskets and urns in what is a growing market as the oldest Baby Boomers approach 80 years of age.


Friday, March 10, 2023

Downtown Lakewood work starts for new bank

Façade designs for the new Chase Bank in downtown Lakewood, showing
the north side facing Detroit Avenue and the south side facing the parking

Persons visiting or passing through downtown Lakewood have likely noticed the demolition of a small bank branch-turned-bagel restaurant and wondered what is going to replace it. The answer is that another bank branch will return to that site but with a more pedestrian-friendly approach to the building’s design this time around. And while the new structure will be bigger than its predecessor, the amount of floor space in the building isn’t as much as the new structure makes it appear.


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Two Cleveland-area projects win millions

Looking northward up South Taylor Road at the Taylor Tudors, a trio of historic,
Tudor Revival apartment buildings over street-level retail. The view in this
rendering is from a future phase of the same overall development in Cleveland
Heights’ Stadium Square Historic District which includes 208 apartments, about
24 townhomes and more than 300 parking spaces in a deck hidden behind the
new apartment buildings (RDL). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Two Greater Cleveland historic rehabilitation projects got an unexpected boost this week to the tune of nearly $7.2 million. The Taylor Tudors portion of a larger development in Cleveland Heights plus a renovation of McKinley School in Cleveland’s Westown-Jefferson Neighborhood were beneficiaries of an oversight by the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD).


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Cleveland Clinic to raze ex-TRW HQ

Cleveland Clinic’s Lyndhurst Campus, the former TRW headquarters and
its surrounding 98-acre site, was on the market for nearly four years. During
that time. Clinic officials said they received no acceptable offers. But that
was disputed by Lyndhurst Mayor Patrick Ward (LoopNet).

Two significant structures on a large piece of land in Cleveland’s eastern suburbs, whose prominence is owed to the industrial giants of Gilded Age Cleveland, face very different fates. One, the 106-year-old, 45-room Frances Bolton Mansion, will be preserved. The other, the 1985-built, former TRW headquarters with its four office wings radiating from a glassy central atrium, is proposed to be demolished by the end of the year.


Monday, March 6, 2023

Chicago builder expands to Cleveland

Leopardo Companies’ first project in Cleveland certainly won’t be its
last. In September 2022, representatives of Leopardo Companies’ joined
with those of Wolfe Real Estate, Bluelofts, Inc., Sandvick Architects, and
Comprehensive Zoning Services to start redeveloping the former Ohio
Bell headquarters at 45 E. 9th St. in downtown Cleveland into The Bell
a $102 million mixed-use project featuring 367 apartments (Leopardo).

Chicago-based Leopardo Companies is already making a name for itself in Cleveland by serving as the construction manager of two major development projects in downtown. But while some construction companies might be content with overseeing a couple of big building projects in a secondary market like Cleveland before moving on to the next opportunity somewhere else in the country, Leopardo has different ideas.


Sunday, March 5, 2023

More downtown firms making moves

The 19th-century Grand Arcade in downtown Cleveland’s Warehouse
District is often thought of as a residential property. But it also has
office condos. The wife of the founder of Herman Legal Group bought
one and is renting it out to the immigration law firm which will move
into it next month (REmax). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM

Three legal and financial service firms in downtown Cleveland are on the move to new addresses in the central business district, with two firms seeking smaller spaces as part of an ongoing trend by many office-based employers to downsize their work spaces after the pandemic. The third firm moved to accommodate significant new growth in Cleveland. And each firm is staying downtown, investing in their new office locations, with none of the three seeking a reduction in employment. Indeed, even as some office spaces shrink, the number of employees at those tenants’ aren’t shrinking. Instead, they are taking advantage of remote working and web-based contact with clients.