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Ohio Development Services Agency Awards $20M in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits to Five Northeast Ohio Projects31 Dec 2013, 8:52 am
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
On Dec. 20, the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded $33 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits to rehabilitate 31 historic buildings in 10 communities across the state. Five of these projects are located in Northeast Ohio.
The Round 11 Winners of the Historic Preservation Tax Credits in Northeast Ohio are 264 Broadway Ave., the Akron Masonic Temple, the Hoover West Factory Complex, Johnson Court and the May Company Apartments. They were awarded more than $20 million, almost two-thirds of the $33 million. The Northeast Ohio projects are expected to leverage more than $250 million in private investments. In total, the tax credit recipients in the state of Ohio are expected to leverage more than $400 million. The awards will help developers rehabilitate the buildings, many of which sit vacant today, and bring new life to the surrounding neighborhoods.
At a cost of $477,000, 264 Broadway Ave. is the smallest of the Northeast Ohio projects. It was only awarded $93,200 in tax credits. Plans call for the transformation of the former mental health facility in Youngstown’s historic Wick Park neighborhood into five market-rate apartments.
The almost century-old Masonic Temple at 103 S. High St., in Akron, will be turned into a full-service, 16-room hotel at a cost of about $48 million. It was awarded $4,997,737 in tax credits.
The Hoover West Factory Complex is the central landmark of downtown North Canton. It consists of 19 buildings, with half-a-million square feet of space. A $51 million project will turn the former home of the nation’s leading vacuum manufacturer into a mix of retail, office and residential space, creating 132 market-rate residential units. It is the first North Canton project to use the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program and will receive a total tax credit of $5 million.
The Johnson Court complex is one of the last properties in Cleveland’s Warehouse District to be rehabilitated. A $30 million project will transform the 200,000-square foot structure into 73 market-rate apartments, with indoor parking and commercial space. Plans also include a rooftop penthouse. It was awarded $5 million in tax credits.
The mammoth May Company Building in Cleveland sits almost completely vacant today, although it once housed one of Cleveland’s leading department stores. This autumn, developers announced their plans to turn the century-old building into a residential tower with 353 apartments and about 600 parking spaces. The total cost of the project is $129 million, the largest of the 33. It was awarded $5 million in tax credits.
“The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit strengthens local communities by restoring a piece of its history,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, in a statement for the press. “These projects help enrich cities across Ohio, preserving the character and charm of buildings that may have otherwise been demolished.”
Arhaus Furniture to Move 230 Employees to New Corporate HQ in Boston Heights23 Dec 2013, 4:22 am
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
Arhaus Furniture, one of the fastest-growing furniture retailers in the United States, has announced it plans to build a new $43 million corporate headquarters and distribution center in the village of Boston Heights. Construction is slated to start in March 2014. Arhaus Furniture hopes to move into the new building by April 2015.
The company’s current headquarters building is located at 7700 Northfield Road in the village of Walton Hills. It only offers a combined 270,000 square feet, and is unable to accommodate the growing company’s needs. “Walton Hills has been home to us for nearly 20 years. While here we’ve experienced tremendous growth and expanded our facility several times to accommodate our high growth. We’ve now reached a point where we have literally run out of space and the ability to expand further,” Greg Teed, Arhaus Furniture CFO, said in a statement for the press. He added that a major expansion was necessary in order for the company to continue to be an industry leader.
Arhaus Furniture’s new headquarters building will be constructed on 64 acres of land at the former site of the Boston Hills Country Club, on East Hines Hill Road, near the intersection with State Route 8. The new facility will offer 770,000 square feet of space, with the possibility of expanding to 1 million square feet. “It will be substantially larger to not only accommodate the growth we’ve experienced recently in staff numbers and product assortment but continued success and expansion that we are planning for the next 10 years,” Teed said.
The furniture retailer will bring its staff of 230 to Boston Heights. It also plans to create at least 30 new positions each year. “We’re excited to welcome such a reputable and responsible company to the village of Boston Heights,” Boston Heights Mayor Bill Goncy said. “Their commitment is not only to sustainability in the design and construction of their furnishings but to minimizing their impact on our local environment with energy efficiencies for all buildings. This is a complement to the other companies already here and our residents. We look forward to having them as a corporate partner for many years to come.”
Arhaus Furniture also considered other states but chose to keep its operations in Ohio. The incentives offered by state and local officials convinced the company to stay. Arhaus will receive an 85 percent property tax abatement for 15 years. “We are very appreciative of the work that the village of Boston Heights has done in bringing such a wonderful company to our area,” said Superintendent Phil Herman. “The continuous revenue stream generated by this new corporate neighbor will provide much needed resources for the district’s on-going permanent improvement projects and other programs, benefiting both our students and community.”
Photo credits: Google Maps
CSU Breaks Ground on $45M Center for Innovation in Health Professions16 Dec 2013, 9:28 pm
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
Cleveland State University broke ground on Dec. 9 on a new health sciences building. Called The Center for Innovation in Health Professions, it will be a place for students to learn and work together in interdisciplinary collaboration. The project is expected to cost $45 million.
The state-of-the-art facility will be located at the corner of Euclid Avenue and E. 22nd Street, on the site of the former Viking Hall dormitory, the Wolfe Music building, the Rascal House restaurant and Peabody’s Concert Club. CSU started the demolition of the Peabody’s and Rascal House buildings earlier this month.
The 100,000-square-foot center will serve as the new home of the Partnership for Urban Health, a partnership between CSU and the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), dedicated to training physicians and other health professionals. Nursing, occupational and physical therapy, music and art therapy, social science research, criminal forensics, cultural anthropology and contemporary alternative medicine also will be taught at the center. NEOMED will occupy about 20 percent of the new building and will lease the space for 25 years.
The new facility will include:
- An Innovation Center that supports creative teaching and learning strategies as well as collaborative and innovative research;
- A Speech and Hearing Clinic, complete with observation and testing labs.
- Nursing simulation labs;
- An occupational therapy/physical therapy training room;
- The CSU Health and Wellness Services Department;
- NEOMED standardized patient exam rooms; a pharmacy simulation lab and classrooms;
- Distance-learning rooms and classrooms for students from both universities;
- “Touchdown” rooms for small-group learning;
- Quiet study areas;
- A café;
- A large central atrium for informal gatherings and events;
- Faculty and administrative offices clustered to maximize collaboration.
“Our new health sciences building will foster an exciting new model for health-care education,” CSU President Ronald Berkman said in a statement for the press. “For too long, healthcare education has been relegated to silos, with little or no interaction among aspiring physicians, nurses and other health professionals. In a city renowned for world-class healthcare, our collaborative approach to healthcare education will lead to new efficiencies that ensure better health, better care and lower healthcare costs.”
Construction is scheduled to start this month. Internationally renowned architectural firm Pelli Clarke Pelli designed the building. The New Haven, Conn.-based company also designed New York City’s World Financial Center, Malaysia’s Petronas Towers, Hong Kong’s International Finance Centre and Cleveland’s Key Tower. The Center for Innovation in Health Professions is expected to open in June 2015.
Photo credits: Cleveland State University Tumblr
Devonshire REIT Buys Mentor’s Great Lakes Plaza for $8M10 Dec 2013, 9:49 am
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
Another Cleveland-area shopping center has changed hands. A few weeks ago, Starwood Capital Group has completed the acquisition of two Northeast Ohio shopping centers, as part of a seven-property portfolio for which the Greenwich, Conn.-based investment firm has paid $1.6 billion to the Sydney, Australia-based Westfield Group. Now, Devonshire REIT, Inc. Has announced it has closed the purchase of Great Lakes Plaza.
Great Lakes Plaza is located at 7900 Plaza Boulevard, in Mentor, a far eastern suburb of Cleveland, on the south shore of Lake Erie. The shopping center is co-anchored by Michaels Stores, Inc., the largest arts and crafts chain in the United States, and hhgregg, Inc., a publicly traded electronics and home appliance retailer. Its tenant roster also includes other national retailers such as: Shoe Carnival, Tuesday Morning and Cato Fashions.
Great Lakes Plaza offers 81,349 square feet of leasable space. According to a press release by Devonshire REIT, Inc., the shopping center is 100% leased. The Whitehouse, Oh.-based fully integrated real estate investment trust acquired the property from the Simon Property Group for $8.0 million. The Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company provided financing.
“As a value-oriented center, the property is a perfect fit for our portfolio, it is also 100% leased, will be accretive to earnings, and expands our footprint into the Cleveland MSA,” said Chris Campbell, President and CEO of Devonshire REIT, in a statement for the press. Mike Denman, Executive Vice President of Real Estate Operations, also added that “Great Lakes Plaza is in a prime location across the street from Great Lakes Mall, which is a destination shopping center for Northeast Ohio. It’s a great center with a solid tenant mix and we’re excited to include it in our portfolio.”
Devonshire REIT, Inc. owns, operates, and develops dominant shopping centers primarily in the Great Lakes and Midwest regions of the United States. The company’s portfolio currently consists of 36 properties representing over 2 million square feet of leasable space.
Photo credits: Devonshire REIT, Inc.
Cleveland City Council Approves Financing for FirstEnergy Stadium Modernization Project2 Dec 2013, 4:38 pm
By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Cleveland Browns fans, as their team recently lost to two longtime rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, in the 2013 NFL regular season. But the Cleveland team did manage to score one important victory. On Nov. 25, the Cleveland City Council approved a financing plan to modernize FirstEnergy Stadium.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam announced the project earlier in the month, just days before the important game against the Cincinnati Bengals. At a cost of $120 million, the project is expected to improve the fan experience and also help the team win as many games as possible. It will be carried out in two phases, in 2014 and 2015.
During the first phase, the Browns will install two new video boards, triple the size of the current boards, and add new LED video boards and a new audio system. The seating capacity of the 15-year-old stadium will be reduced from 71,000 to 68,000, but the lower bowl will be reconfigured to include more seats closer to the field and provide better views of the game. New escalators will be installed in both the north and south end zones. In 2015, the Browns will upgrade the general concession areas as well as the club seats and suites. Work is scheduled to start after the final home game of the 2013 regular season.
To fund the project, the Browns will use a $62 million loan from the NFL, the money from the city and a bank loan to cover the remainder. The city, which owns the stadium, will provide $2 million in funding each year for the next 15 years. The $30 million represents a present-day value of $22 million.
According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the financing was approved after a four-hour debate, with 13 votes in favor and five against. The ordinance needed at least 12 votes to pass. The council members were divided and several of them spoke out against the project, saying that the money could be put to better use improving the city’s neighborhoods.
Mayor Frank Jackson expressed his gratitude for the council’s vote and for Jimmy Haslam’s investment in the stadium, saying that “this type of private investment in our city is essential to our continued success.”
“We respect the process we went through with City Council and Mayor Jackson and appreciate their support for this project. We look forward to moving ahead with the renovation of FirstEnergy Stadium. We know it will positively impact our fans’ experience, and our community will be proud to showcase the transformed home of the Browns for the rest of the country,” Jimmy Haslam said in a statement for the press.
Photo credits: http://www.firstenergystadiumproject.com