Tuesday, October 31, 2023

County Courthouse project gets seven proposals

An intriguing proposal for the new Cuyahoga County Courthouse was
submitted by DBL Development LLC, a partnership of local companies
seeking to locate the court facilities in multiple structures that would
replicate historic buildings from downtown Cleveland’s past (DMD).

While the specific proposals for a new or renovated Cuyahoga County courthouse haven’t been publicly released yet by the county, a list of who submitted the proposals was provided to NEOtrans as a result of a public records request. And the list of seven respondents provides some insight as to who has presented what for the county’s nearly 900,000-square-foot courthouse facility that could cost $400 million to $700 million to build or renovate.


Gordon Square: more apartments, townhomes

Looking north toward the proposed Breakwater Residences, the existing
Edison at Gordon Square apartments just beyond, and Lake Erie in
the distance. Herman Park is at the bottom of the image (Dimit).

Less than a year after acquiring the Premium Metals property, 5901-6001 Breakwater Ave., in Cleveland’s Gordon Square neighborhood, Beachwood-based developer TurnDev has released conceptual plans for developing the site with a mix of multifamily apartments and townhomes. Tentatively called Breakwater Residences, its 193 housing units and a long, five-story building represent a significant project but not as large as what was previously proposed for the site by another developer. And it’s less dense than what the city’s zoning code allows.


Sunday, October 29, 2023

Local projects may benefit from federal incentives

Construction is moving along on the high-rise Farnsleigh Apartments at
the Van Aken District in Shaker Heights at the end of the light-rail Blue
Line. Many housing developments are planned at or near rail and bus
rapid transit stations in Greater Cleveland to address a housing shortage
but tight lending and high interest rates have slowed the start of new
projects. New guidance for existing federal financing could free up

Having too much office space, not enough housing inventory and tight private financing to address those conditions isn’t just a Greater Cleveland phenomenon. It’s a nationwide problem. So the federal government on Friday announced incentives to encourage the conversion of high-vacancy commercial buildings to residential use and develop surplus land owned by transit agencies.


Friday, October 27, 2023

North Coast development authority launched

An aerial view of proposed plans for redeveloping Downtown Cleveland’s
lakefront are shown looking northwesterly from the perspective of down-
town. The landscaped malls are at lower left from which a new North
Coast Connector land bridge would cross the lakefront railroad tracks
and Shoreway highway converted into a boulevard. A transportation
center with parking plus a rail and bus station is planned next to the
connector which would end at Lake Erie’s shore (FO).

With updated plans for redeveloping downtown Cleveland’s lakefront steadily rolling in like Lake Erie’s waves, the nonprofit development corporation charged with funding and implementing those plans also is coming together. Today, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb announced the initial board of directors for the new North Coast Waterfront Development Corp. (NCWDC) and its chair, David Gilbert, CEO of Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.


Thursday, October 26, 2023

Old Aquarium razed for South Gordon Park plan

On the city’s East Side, a Cleveland Metroparks contractor yesterday
began demolishing the old Cleveland Aquarium at South Gordon Park.
The aquarium closed in 1985 due to structural problems with the build-
ing and has sat empty and decaying ever since (Brian Zimmerman).

After sitting empty and rotting away for nearly four decades, the old Cleveland Aquarium at South Gordon Park was finally demolished yesterday by contractors for the Cleveland Metroparks. The regional park system, whose long-term lease of this city-owned site took effect earlier this month, wasted no time in taking down the long-closed aquarium building. In the coming months, Metroparks officials said they intend to seek community input on how to improve South Gordon Park.


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Ohio City finance firm moving to the Flats

Next spring, Skylight Financial Group intends to relocate into a smaller
space above the BrewDog Cleveland Outpost on Scranton Peninsula
near downtown Cleveland. As recently as two years ago, this was
a lonely outpost in a desolate part of the Flats but is steadily
gaining more commercial and residential neighbors (KJP).

Another significant office tenant with naming rights to their building is on the move -- and shrinking. This time, it's Cleveland-based financial planning firm Skylight Financial Group which is a general agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) in multiple Ohio cities. But unlike Ernst & Young (now EY) moving from one side of downtown Cleveland to the other, Skylight Financial will be leaving Ohio City's Market District in 2024 for Scranton Peninsula in the Flats.


Monday, October 23, 2023

North Coast plans updated, go public today

An aerial rendering of the planned changes to the North Coast Harbor area
of downtown Cleveland’s lakefront. This view shows Cleveland Browns
Stadium dominating the scene with the port facilities and West 3rd
Street at right and Voinovich Park at the foot of East 9th Street

In a virtual session held earlier today, the community got to see a refinement of plans for Downtown Cleveland’s lakefront that were first shared publicly in July, namely for the area near North Coast Harbor. The plans, showing stadium renovations, transportation investments and conversion of lakefront parking lots to year-round public uses, were developed and refined by a consulting team hired by the city and led by Field Operations, a public spaces design firm based in New York City.


Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Bell to ring people home in 2024

The former Ohio Bell headquarters on East 9th Street in downtown Cleveland
was custom-designed for a specific office user. When Ohio Bell successor AT&T
left in 2019, it was a difficult office space to fill, especially in a weak office market.
It was also a difficult residential conversion due to the building’s large floor plates
and blank walls on the east and west sides. But The Bell’s development team is
pulling it off, with an April 2024 target for opening (KJP).

At first, construction work at The Bell has a familiar ring to it. But this isn’t the usual conversion of a zombie office building in downtown Cleveland into residential or hotel uses. Instead, conversion of the former Ohio Bell Company headquarters, ongoing since July 2022, has been a different calling. What were once large, wide-open floors at the 16-story, 40-year-old office building have since been divided up into an average of 31 apartments per floor in the residential portions of the building at the southeast corner of Lakeside Avenue and East 9th Street.


Thursday, October 19, 2023

Cavs-Clinic Riverfront building is big, evolving

Although lacking in texture at this early stage of design, this massing of
Bedrock Real Estate’s planned Cleveland Clinic Global Peak Performance
Center, including the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new practice facility, shows the
large scale of the proposed development along the Cuyahoga River. After
input from the Cleveland Planning Commission is received, exterior
materials will be digitally added by architects to the center (Populous).

More illustrations were made publicly available this week, showing the large size of a new facility planned next to the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ basketball practice facility and Cleveland Clinic’s sports health-related medical services. Kansas City-based architectural firm Populous submitted the plans for what would be Bedrock Real Estate’s first new building in its ambitious $3.5 billion riverfront development to the City Planning Commission’s Design Review Committee.


Monday, October 16, 2023

Ubotica puts US HQ in Greater Cleveland

Ubotica Technologies, an Irish firm developing artificial intelligence capabilities
for satellites, will locate its United States-based headquarters and business opera-
tions at the Ohio Aerospace Institute in the Cleveland suburb of Brook Park.
The site is next to the NASA Glenn Research Center (OAI).

When a Dublin, Ireland-based maker of artificial intelligence software for commercial satellites looked for a home in the nation with the world’s largest space program, it didn’t choose to be near any of the NASA complexes south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Instead, it picked the only NASA center north of it to be its neighbor.


Friday, October 13, 2023

Depot on Detroit plans at RTA station unveiled

Several miles west of downtown Cleveland, The Depot on Detroit, an
apartment building planned for just west of the West Boulevard station,
will put 60 affordable apartments a short walk from frequent transit on
the Red Line and the 24-hour No. 26 bus, plus the hourly No. 18 bus.
That will give residents access to jobs, school, shopping and health
care (City Architecture). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

Conceptual plans for a new apartment building to be located just west of the West Boulevard rapid transit station in Cleveland’s Cudell neighborhood were submitted to the city this week. Called the Depot on Detroit, it’s the latest in a series of new apartment buildings planned, under construction or built recently near stations on Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) rail and bus rapid transit lines. These transit-oriented developments are intended to address poverty by shrinking the spatial disconnect between jobs and job-seekers caused by urban sprawl.


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Browns add more land to Berea development site

The Cleveland Browns’ CrossCountry Campus in suburban Berea is almost
set to expand. This view from August 2021 looks south down Pearl Street
from Lou Groza Boulevard. One of the few houses still standing in the way
of the campus expansion and associated mixed-use development is seen

As the Cleveland Browns and their owners continue to acquire more property this month in suburban Berea, its mayor recently teased news of their potential, still-secret development to occupy that land as an “exciting opportunity” for the community. Meanwhile the city approved the demolition of eight more houses just west of the Browns’ existing headquarters and practice facility. That’s in addition to 24 homes and a church leveled so far for what sources said would be a mixed-use development featuring a hotel, Browns- and football-themed restaurants and shops, plus sports and recreation facilities open to the public year-round.


Monday, October 9, 2023

Stark grounded as war erupts in Israel

Cleveland-based real estate firm Stark Enterprises’ founder Bob Stark, left, along
with his son and CEO Ezra Stark are in Israel after war erupted over the weekend.
Ezra is attempting to return to Cleveland as soon as possible (StarkEnterprises.com).

Greater Cleveland real estate executive Ezra Stark is grounded in Israel by the outbreak of war over the weekend, Stark confirmed to NEOtrans through a company spokesperson. He was scheduled to fly out Sunday but most airlines including all U.S.-based carriers have temporarily suspended flights to and from the Middle Eastern nation due to its worsening security situation following a surprise, massive attack Oct. 7 by the terrorist group Hamas.


Friday, October 6, 2023

Ohio City’s largest build site: the Lutheran lot

The Lutheran Hospital employee and patient parking lot is outlined in red with
the I.B. Development LLC parcels outlined in yellow. This view is looking
east toward downtown Cleveland from the Ohio City neighborhood (Google).

Sooner or later, development pressures will find their way to Lutheran Hospital’s huge surface parking lot on West 25th Street in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. All around the 5-acre Cleveland Clinic Foundation-owned Lutheran Hospital parking lot, investors have built on or have big plans for just about every available piece of land. Even an unstable hillside across West 25th is being reborn as Irishtown Bend Park. There isn’t much room to grow. So the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio City Inc. and others are trying to get a handle on how best to develop the Lutheran lot someday in the future while making sure Clinic employees still have a place to park.


Thursday, October 5, 2023

Seeds & Sprouts 33 – Sankofa Village Phase 4 coming, West 48th gets more townhomes, So might Midtown, Intro adding salon

A conceptual rendering of the fourth and final phase of Sankofa Village to
be built in the south end of the Campus District, just southeast of downtown
Cleveland. When completed, a total of 235 mixed-income residential units
will be provided, replacing the former Cedar Estates public housing
projects that stood here since the 1940s (City Architecture).

Sankofa Village will be adding its fourth, final phase in Cleveland's Central neighborhood. An extra space just off West 48th getting more townhomes. One Midtown Luxury Townhomes seeks expansion. And Intro gains national beauty salon chain as tenant.


Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Cleveland seeks developers of JFK High

The former John F. Kennedy High School on Harvard Road, just east of Lee Road,
is already being demolished. What comes next depends on the responses the city
of Cleveland gets from real estate developers and others to an invitation to show
their interest in the nearly 14-acre site on the city’s southeast side. This is how
the school looked in April (Google). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

With demolition underway at the 14-acre former John F. Kennedy High School and Recreation Center site in Cleveland’s Lee-Harvard neighborhood, nearby residents may wonder what’s going to reactivate this large property. City officials began taking steps yesterday to answer that question by inviting real estate developers and others to express their interest in the site, 17100 Harvard Rd., just east of the Lee-Harvard Shopping Center.


Monday, October 2, 2023

Glenville’s Cory Church, nee Park Synagogue, to be renewed

From the far corner of East 105th Street and Drexel Avenue in Cleveland’s
Glenville neighborhood, all appears well with Cory United Methodist Church,
built as the Park Synagogue. But closer inspections reveal many cracks in and
decay to the building’s masonry exterior. Those are about to receive a lot of

Cory United Methodist Church (UMC), the first stop on Cleveland’s Civil Rights Trail and a landmark in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood for more than 100 years, is about to undergo major repairs to its worn exterior. Thanks to recent grants and donations, the fa├žade of the former Park Synagogue will see significant restoration work to include fiberglass replacements of missing pieces of masonry, repairs of cracked concrete and bricks, plus a rebuild of its columns, cornices, parapets, granite stairs and more. Plans for the repairs were recently submitted to the city.


Getting empowered to shape Cleveland’s landscape

Cleveland Development Advisors and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
jointly initiate Cleveland Equitable Development Initiative to bolster
the number of successful minority real estate developers and boost
economic growth in Greater Cleveland (Adam Greene).

Fourteen promising entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds have been selected to participate in an innovative new real estate development program with a clear mission: to break down historical barriers and empower these individuals with the knowledge and tools needed to shape the future of Cleveland’s communities. The Cleveland Equitable Development Initiative, or CLE-EDI, will bolster the ranks of successful minority real estate developers in the region and to stimulate economic growth in the communities from which these entrepreneurs hail.