Cleveland on the Rise - University Circle to be site of city's first market-rate, 20+ story residential tower in more than 40 years
Posted April 10, 2014 in Press Releases
University Circle is about to get a big addition. University Circle Inc. has partnered with a world-class development team to bring a $130 million residential high-rise that will be a towering and tasteful addition to this east side neighborhood of Cleveland.
The project – One University Circle – will include approximately 280 units ranging in size from 720 square feet to a 4,200 square foot penthouse, with floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views of the city skyline and Lake Erie. Preliminary plans call for the building to consist of between 25 and 28 stories.
One University Circle will be a sustainable, transit-oriented development, emphasizing green construction principles and offering easy access to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s HealthLine.
Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle Inc., expects the project to help satisfy a strong demand for housing.
“There is substantial demand for this type of housing in University Circle,” Ronayne said. “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.”
The lobby of One University Circle will have concierge services available to all residents. In addition, the building will offer a first-class amenity package that will include a fitness center with private training rooms and an indoor all weather pool facility with indoor/outdoor access allowing for connectivity in the warm weather months. The project will also include a common area green rooftop for community gathering and extended living spaces with an outdoor kitchen, an entertainment theater/gaming room, indoor community lounges, a community room with kitchen, as well as other potential amenities that will evolve through design development. All modern security measures will be included in the building design.
Ronayne said he believes the project will be a truly global community attracting international residents working in the “eds, meds and arts” institutions as well as others from throughout Northeast Ohio.
“Attracting more residents to Cleveland will provide citywide benefits by generating tax revenues and spending within the city, supporting grocery stores and other retailers recently added to University Circle,” Ronayne said. “Our plans were to build 1,000 new units in University Circle to create a complete urban neighborhood. It’s the people who bring the concept to life. With One University Circle adding 280 units and more than 400 residents, we’re rapidly reaching our goals.”
Work is expected to begin in the summer of 2015 on the 280-unit project with the first units ready for occupancy in mid-2017.
University Circle is partnering with local developers Mitchell Schneider of First Interstate Properties and Sam Petros of Petros Development, both of whom are Cleveland natives. Schneider is also teaming with National Real Estate Advisors, which makes equity and debt real estate investments and has a portfolio totaling nearly $2 billion. More than a third of that portfolio is comprised of high-rise residential developments.
Schneider said this project helps to validate Cleveland’s resurgence.
“One University Circle is a testament to what is happening in Cleveland,” he said. “That’s not an exaggeration, it’s a fact. University Circle is exploding with development and there is a tremendous amount of positive energy there and throughout the city.”
“We want to deliver a high-quality, distinctive building that will complement the neighborhood and build on that momentum,” Schneider added. “And we want to build on the City’s efforts to create a modern city with a range of choices for residents.”
Petros said he’s looking forward to the opportunity to help build Cleveland’s future.
“I’m very pleased to be part of the exceptional team that has been assembled to do this project,” Petros said. “It’s going to be a well-built, fabulously-designed structure that will add so much to University Circle. The demand for this building is strong and we look forward to providing the highest quality product to meet that need.”
First Interstate Properties is the developer of eight premier shopping centers in Northeast Ohio, including Legacy Village. In 2006, Schneider took a substantial risk to develop the $150 million Steelyard Commons, the successful urban shopping center near Tremont. Petros is a premier residential developer in Northeast Ohio having built more than $600 million of Northeast Ohio homes. He also has international experience with two mixed-use high-rise structures in Singapore with a combined value of $780 million.
Schneider and Petros are particularly enthusiastic about creating a model for sustainable, transit-oriented development and healthy living in Northeast Ohio. The project will feature green-building principles. Residents will be steps away from the more than $200 million investment in the Euclid Avenue HealthLine, providing direct public transit to Uptown, Playhouse Square, other downtown Cleveland attractions and connections to Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Residents will also be able to walk and bike to their University Circle and downtown jobs and enjoy recreational biking through Rockefeller Park to the Lakefront and to Shaker Lakes to the south.
One University Circle would be built on a site that is largely owned by University Circle Inc. A portion of the site is now occupied by The Children’s Museum of Cleveland, which is located in what was once a Howard Johnson’s restaurant. The building was identified as a temporary site for the Museum 30 years ago and is no suitable for its expansion plans. University Circle Inc. and the Museum have been working together to find another site suitable for the Museum.
Maria Campanelli, Executive Director of The Children’s Museum of Cleveland, said they have been in close communication with University Circle Inc. as the Museum seeks a new location in the city that will better accommodate its plans to expand. The Museum board has appreciated University Circle Inc.’s transparency with its process, allowing time to initiate strategic planning and pursue relocation.
“The record attendance for the Museum and our attraction of visitors from throughout Northeast Ohio are outpacing what can be accommodated long-term at our current facility in University Circle. Now is the time to expand, and with University Circle Inc.’s vision for the current site moving forward, we too are moving forward on plans for an expansion at a new location. We intend to create a new children’s museum that rivals those in other cities,” said Campanelli.
Schneider said the development team is confident the project will create real opportunities for Cleveland residents.
“Our entire planning and construction process will incorporate MBE, FBE organizations and employment opportunities for city of Cleveland residents,” he said. “We intend to respect the new community benefits framework put in place by the City of Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Partnership to assist in apprenticeship opportunities for tradesmen in our community, and, we hope to work with our immediate neighboring high schools to provide ongoing internship opportunities for students at Cleveland School of Architecture & Design housed at John Hay High School and the Cleveland School of the Arts.”
Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell, who represents University Circle, said “This significant project 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.”
“Put simply, this is good news for University Circle and good news for Cleveland,” she added.
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