Rating the Suburbs 2012: For the View Finder

Traditional meets modern with the addition of a riverfront townhome project in the East Side village.

Chagrin Falls

From the garden rooftop terraces of the new River Walk townhomes in Chagrin Falls, the panoramic views capture the ambience of the East Side village's downtown as families stroll to the Popcorn Shop Factory and a group of high school students heads to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams to hang out.

Just a few years ago, this vantage point was nothing but a small West Orange Street parcel in need of a makeover.

Enter Silver Leaf Ventures president Rob Vitt, whose interest stemmed from his own experiences with out-of-town buyers from throughout the country. "A lot of people come to Cleveland looking for a community that has interesting things going on, and Chagrin Falls is at the top of the list," he says. "We're giving people the opportunity to enjoy the heart of this village."

Chagrin Falls offers plenty of local restaurants and specialty shops along its main square, dotted by the scenery of waterfalls from the Chagrin River, all within walking distance from historic colonials and bungalows.

Keeping in mind the architectural details and aesthetics of the village, the four-story townhomes, each equipped with an elevator, are built with materials similar to the stone and brick used throughout the village homes for generations. "We adapted this concept from a similar project we did in Newport Beach, [Calif.]," says Vitt. "It's a vertical lifestyle comparable to penthouse terraces in New York City and urban lofts in Tremont and Rocky River."

Urban might not be a word used often when talking about Chagrin Falls, but with the construction of the 38 single-family homes in the Falls Walk development, the village is anticipating increased real estate taxes and housing values within the village.

"We're a historical village, but we do move with the times," says Chagrin Falls Mayor Thomas Brick.

But with growth comes pain. A former Chagrin Falls homeowner has filed a lawsuit against Silver Leaf. A court date is set for August, but Vitt remains confident he knows what potential homeowners are looking for.

"The No. 1 attraction is the convenience and general ambience of the community," he says.

Neighborhood Hot Spot

"This neighborhood has attracted both local families and people who are relocating," says Howard Hanna's Georgia A. Murray of the Center Street area. "It's a multigenerational neighborhood with everything from empty-nesters to professionals. You have these great homes and you can walk anywhere."

What You Get

Water Street

Asking price: $775,000

Selling price: $755,000

Square feet: 4,756

No. of bedrooms: 4

No. of bathrooms: 4

Time on the market: 63 days

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