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University Circle and East Cleveland Bridge Border to Build Circle East Townhomes

Posted October 13, 2011 in Press Releases

A dark, dilapidated bridge has been the literal and figurative barrier between East Cleveland and University Circle for many years. The former, once the home of the great innovator John D. Rockefeller, and the latter, the current home of education, medical, and arts global innovation, are taking a sweeping step toward breaking down barriers and creating a seamless connection between their neighboring communities.

“This project is symbolic of what is possible when collaboration and thinking beyond geographic borders comes together,” says Chris Ronayne, president of UCI. “We are excited to get this project started and provide additional living options for our growing residential base.”

With the support of the Cuyahoga County Executive, Council, and Land Reutilization Corp., University Circle Inc. (UCI) today joined successful urban developer, The Finch Group, and East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton to break ground on Circle East Townhomes.

“The County’s participation in the Circle East Apartment project is a perfect example of the kind of quality place-based strategic investments we are targeting,” says Ed FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County Executive. “These kinds of strategic investments will provide local municipalities like East Cleveland with the economic boost they need to jumpstart their revitalization. Our $1.9 million of NSP [Neighborhood Stabilization Program] dollars represents a significant investment in our region’s future.”

Circle East Townhomes will include 20 two-bedroom apartments, which come with 2.5 bathrooms and a two-car garage. The expected rent is $930 a month before a one-month discount for employees of University Circle institutions. The construction is expected to finish in mid-2012.

“This project will serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of our city and a clear demonstration of regional collaboration that fulfills the missions and visions of the partnering organizations, institutions government agencies and this city,” says Gary Norton, Mayor of East Cleveland. “This project will allow residents of East Cleveland, Cleveland and all of Cuyahoga County to grow as one regional community.”

Circle East Townhomes is possible because of the collaboration of several entities that have pulled together the necessary resources, combining both public and private money, to get the project done. They include: Cuyahoga County; The Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp.; City of East Cleveland; UCI; The Finch Group; and PNC Bank.

“This is without a doubt one of the most exciting projects the Land Bank has been a part of,” says Bill Whitney, Chief Operating Officer of The Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corp. “We are very pleased to be able to work closely with the other dedicated funders and developers of this catalytic project.”

The Finch Group that previously brought University Circle’s Park Lane Villa back to life, as well as making investments in several other Cleveland based projects is the developer on the project.

“Many people questioned if Park Lane Villa would be a success when we began that project several years ago, and today it is 100% occupied,” says Wes Finch, Chairman of The Finch Group. “I expect the same from Circle East in a few years since we are providing the same high quality homes to potential residents.”

And PNC Bank, which has made substantial investments in the University Circle area, is the first mortgage holder on the project. “PNC is an active supporter of University Circle and its adjacent neighborhoods through lending, community support and economic development,” says Paul Clark, PNC regional president for Cleveland. “The Circle East Townhomes can serve as a catalyst for future growth in East Cleveland. We have seen great success with this type of approach since the nearby Park Lane Villa apartments were constructed, mixing the housing stock to create positive economic development."

For more information and updates on Circle East Townhomes, please visit universitycircle.org.

Original Article: http://

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