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Uptown project in University Circle could see work start on $21 million second phase in January

Posted December 19, 2012 in Articles

Author: Michelle Jarboe McFee

Count students among the newest denizens of Uptown, a sleek retail-and-residential project lining Euclid Avenue in Cleveland's University Circle.

MRN Ltd., the developer behind Uptown, aims to break ground in January for the neighborhood's $21 million second phase. Rising to 85 feet near Ford Drive, the new building will hold ground-floor businesses, 43 traditional apartments and student housing for the Cleveland Institute of Art.

MRN expects to buy 1.5 acres from nonprofit group University Circle Inc. and to close its financing deal for the project this week.

Dorms are a departure for Uptown, a high-profile development at the core of Cleveland's medical, educational and cultural center. The project's first two apartment buildings, just northeast on Euclid, are 90 percent leased at some of the highest rents in the city. Ari Maron, a partner in family-owned MRN, says he still hopes to build and sell condominiums in the neighborhood as the housing market recovers.

But Maron and the major institutions backing Uptown say student housing fits their vision of a diverse district where people of different ages, incomes and professions produce 24-hour bustle. And the project offers a solution for the art institute, which is consolidating its campus in an old Ford Model T assembly plant northeast of Uptown.

Original Article: http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/12/uptown_project_in_university_c.html

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