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Developers Plan to Break Ground This Fall of Phase I of Intesa

10 May 2014, 4:04 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

In March 2012, University Circle Inc., a nonprofit corporation established in 1957, announced it had hired the Coral Co. of Cleveland and Panzica Construction Co. of Mayfield Village to develop the mixed-use Intesa, one of the largest such projects to be constructed in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood. Groundbreaking was scheduled for early 2013, but the project was delayed and many people started to wonder if it would ever happen. But its time has come.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently reported that after spending the past year renegotiating its deal with University Circle Inc. and redesigning the buildings, the development team plans to start work this autumn on the first phase of the project.

The Intesa will be developed on Lot 45, a surface parking lot with 200 spaces at the edge of University Circle and Little Italy, a crucial piece of real estate in University Circle. Originally, the project called for the construction of buildings ranging from eight to 12 stories, more than 100,000 square feet of offices, 96 apartments, retail, a 700-car garage and even student housing.

The reconfigured project features all the same elements, but the buildings have changed location on the site. The apartments will sit at Mayfield and Circle, the offices will move to the east and the parking garage to the north to make it more accessible from Euclid Avenue.

This fall, Coral and Panzica plan to start construction on almost 200 apartments as well as the 700-space parking garage. There will be a single residential tower, with three types of apartments: traditional apartments, micro-suites and 13 two-story, townhouse-style penthouses. Units will range in size from less than 300 square feet to 1,900 square feet, with rents going from $600 to $3,000 per month. The apartments and the parking garage are expected to open in the spring or summer of 2016. The 11-story office building will be constructed in the second phase of the project, once it has tenants lined up.

The award-winning Bialosky + Partners Architects designed the Intesa. The entire project is expected to cost between $100 million and $110 million.

Photo credit: Bialosky + Partners Architects.



Developers Break Ground on $272M, 600-Room Hilton Cleveland/Downtown Convention Center Hotel

2 May 2014, 6:28 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Cleveland is getting ready to say hello to a new skyscraper. On April 28, ground was broken on the new Hilton Cleveland/Downtown Convention Center Hotel, a massive structure standing 32 stories tall. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson joined Ted Ratcliff, senior vice president of operations for Hilton Worldwide, for the groundbreaking ceremony.

The new hotel will feature a 28-story tower with 600 hotel rooms, positioned atop a four-story podium of ballrooms, meeting space, retail and the hotel’s lobby. Amenities include approximately 55,000 square feet of meeting space, a restaurant, a lobby bar, a rooftop bar, an indoor pool and a fitness center. The hotel will also have underground connections to both the Cleveland Convention Center and the Global Center for Health Innovation.

The cost of the project is $272 million. The Hilton Cleveland/Downtown Convention Center Hotel will be constructed on the site of the demolished Cuyahoga County Administration Building, right in the heart of downtown. Cooper Cary, an Atlanta-based architectural firm, designed the project. It is being constructed by Turner Construction Co., Ozanne Construction Co. and Van Aukin Akins Architects. Hilton Hotels & Resorts will operate the hotel.

According to Cuyahoga County, the hotel’s construction will employ 25 percent small businesses, 7 percent female-owned businesses and 15 percent minority-owned businesses. Cuyahoga County and Turner Construction also plan to meet or even exceed residency goals for employees hired during the construction project, including 40 percent Cuyahoga County residency and 20 percent city of Cleveland residency.

Scheduled to open in 2016, the new hotel is expected to create 2,800 jobs construction jobs and 450 full-time jobs.

Photo credits: Cuyahoga County



Local Investors Buy Historic Aurora Inn, Plan Full Renovation

25 Apr 2014, 4:36 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

A group of local investors has acquired the historic Aurora Inn. Led by Dan Bliss, Stephen Mansfield and Matt Lopatin, Aurora Hotel Partners LLC plans to invest into this well-known fixture in the center of Aurora’s historic district and give it a full makeover.

The Aurora Inn was built in 1927, on a site that was a stagecoach stop in the 1800s. A fire burned the hotel down in 1963, and it was rebuilt and reopened the following year. Nowadays, the Aurora Inn includes 69 rooms, a restaurant, indoor and outdoor pools, and conference facilities.

The current ownership plans to breathe new life into the historic property at the intersection of Routes 82 and 306 through a renovation of its rooms, restaurant, bar, lobby, ballroom and pools. The renovated Aurora Inn will feature 67 rooms, including three suites, a restaurant, patio dining, a bar, an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness center and an outdoor event/wedding space.

HGTV celebrity designer Genevieve Gorder has been hired to oversee the design of the hotel. She will work closely on the project with Cleveland-based architect David Krebs of AODK. The new owners have also retained the Riley Hotel Group, an award-winning management company based in Medina, to manage the hotel.

Bliss, CEO of the Bliss Venture Group, was born in Aurora. He believes the historic hotel can can serve the region’s unmet demand for quality food, atmosphere and event spaces. “For many years, the Aurora Inn was known as a destination for great food and a vibrant bar. Sadly, that was lost over the years. We expect to turn that around and restore the hotel’s stature in Northeast Ohio,” Bliss said in a statement for the press.

“Thousands of people have attended weddings and events at the Aurora Inn, or they’ve dined with their families, or they’ve been members at the pools. There are so many memories here. Our team will restore the Aurora Inn in a way that pays respect to its long history, while also providing guests with the modern amenities of a luxury hotel,” Mansfield added.

Photo credits: AuroraInnOhio.com



Akron’s Newest Luxury Student Housing Community to Open in August

19 Apr 2014, 4:13 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

In May 2013, the Cleveland-based NRP Group, one of the largest multifamily developers in the nation, started work on a 624-bed, four-story luxury student housing community in Akron. Called the Depot, the project is now nearing completion. It is scheduled to open for residents this August.

The Depot is located at 80 East Exchange St., just across the street from the campus of the University of Akron. It offers 624 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units, as well as a host of amenities including a resort-style heated pool, lounge areas, an on-site concierge, a modern clubroom, an on-site mini market, an indoor gas fireplace, a game room, a media lab, a conference room, group study areas, a large group fitness classroom and two state-of-the-art fitness facilities.

Units range in size from 592 to 1,386 square feet. They come equipped with granite countertops, in-unit washer and dryer, walk-in closets, contemporary furnishings and a 42-inch flat screen television. The units are all leased by-the-bed. This means each resident will only be responsible for his or her individual rent.

The Depot is managed by Asset Campus Housing, a leader in the management and development of student housing facilities nationwide. The Houston-based company is also in charge of finding residents. Leasing started last August, and since then the Depot has generated significant interest. The one-bedroom units are completely sold out.

The NRP Group is developing the Depot on the site of the old Akron Beacon Journal newspaper storage and sorting facility. It invested $30 million in the project. Together with other important projects, such as the $200 million expansion of the Akron Children’s Hospital campus, it has significantly improved downtown Akron.

Aaron Pechota, vice president of development at The NRP Group, gave assurances that the new community will open on time. “We look forward to welcoming The Depot residents into their new home come August,” he added.

Photo credit: The Depot



Developers Plan $130M, 28-Story Apartment Tower in University Circle

14 Apr 2014, 6:14 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Cleveland is getting ready to say hello to a new residential tower, the first to be developed in the city in more than 40 years. The new high-rise will cost $130 million and will be located in the city’s University Circle neighborhood.

University Circle Inc. has partnered with two local developers, Mitchell Schneider of First Interstate Properties and Sam Petros of Petros Development, for the project, called One University Circle. Their plans call for the construction of a 25- to 28-story building, with about 280 units. Work is expected to start in the summer of 2015, with the first units ready for occupancy in mid-2017.

The apartments will range in size from 720 to 4,200 square feet. They will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and will offer residents views of the city skyline and Lake Erie. One University Circle will include such amenities as concierge services, a fitness center, an indoor pool, a green rooftop, an entertainment theater/gaming room and lounges.

Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell described the project as ”good news for University Circle and good news for Cleveland.” In a news release, she said One University Circle “will generate multiple benefits for University Circle and Cleveland. It’s going to add a new component to the neighborhood, offering residents a new housing option and bringing additional economic diversity and benefits to the neighborhood. This is going to be another gem in this jewel-filled neighborhood that helps to define Cleveland.”

“One University Circle will provide a quality urban design solution that meets a market demand, brings greater density to University Circle and supports neighborhood businesses with new residents. We believe this project will continue the momentum of University Circle and the renaissance underway in Cleveland – from downtown to University Circle along the Euclid HealthLine. One University Circle will be a welcoming gateway to the institutions of University Circle and a home for their employees coming from all over the world,” Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle Inc., added.

The project will feature green-building principles. One University Circle will be constructed on a site mostly owned by University Circle Inc. However, a portion of it is occupied by the Children’s Museum of Cleveland. University Circle Inc. has been working together with the museum to find it a new location in Cleveland, one that will better accommodate its plans to expand.

Photo credits: Google Maps







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