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19. Apartments at Nautica
2249 Elm St.
The basics: The facade of this former White Sewing Machine Co. building puts the "ware?" in Warehouse District. It's dingy and industrial looking, but the 55 apartment units inside are an entirely different story. The suites are carpeted and feature exposed white bricks, wood beams and ductwork. Windows are oversized, bathing the rooms in sunlight and providing expansive views of the Flats and the Warehouse District. For a panoramic city view, residents head up to the communal deck. The building also houses community and fitness rooms. There's a laundry on every floor, and a dry-cleaning service is available. The rent covers water and sewer. Attached garage parking costs $60 per month, and cats are welcome for a refundable deposit of $25.
What's unique: Residents of Apartments at Nautica, 425 Lakeside Apartments and Worthington Square Apartments receive a free Nautica Entertainment Complex Platinum Card. It's good for discounts on admission, meals and drinks at clubs and restaurants in the Flats.
A resident says: "It was basically the biggest amount of space for the money," says Melody Caraballo, whose suite features an elevated living room, a walk-in closet and a small loft area over the bedroom. "I would describe it as probably the most affordable living downtown." According to Caraballo, 25, Apartments at Nautica makes downtown housing feasible for people on a budget. "I think it's a good fit for younger, up-and-coming professionals," she adds.
20. Stonebridge Waterfront
1500 Detroit Ave.
The basics: Stonebridge's hallways are lined with windows, giving the place a summery, condo-like atmosphere. On the inside, the 125 apartment suites feel clean, safe and contemporary. Each contains granite countertops and a washer/dryer. There is also a fitness facility on site. Parking ranges from $25 per month in the gated lot to $75 per month under the building. Cats are welcome for a $20 fee and $300 deposit.
What's unique: The crown jewel of this newer construction is not what's inside the building but what's on top of it. Stonebridge is built on and around the Superior Viaduct, making its patio prime for catching a view of boats sailing on Lake Erie or drifting down the Cuyahoga. At night, the city's illuminated bridges and Friday-night fireworks displays at the Jake steal the show. The patio is also within earshot of concerts at Scene Pavilion.
A resident says: Downtown "tends to invite a more cosmopolitan group of people who are newer to the area," observes Brad Hilsmier, who moved to Cleveland from Nashville, Tenn., last year. Hilsmier often attends the meet-and-greet outings his building organizes. "Being single, it's the ultimate place to live," he says.
20A. Apartments at Stonebridge
2222 Detroit Ave.
Expected to open: Late spring/early summer 2004
From the builders of Stonebridge Waterfront comes another building, this one housing a mix of apartments and condos (see page 220). There are 129 rental units.
7. Condominiums at Stonebridge
2222 Detroit Ave.
Expected to open: Spring 2005
The first eight floors of this building contain apartments; 64 condos are housed on floors nine through 12, with separate computerized entry. The condo suites range from one to three bedrooms, and some include a rooftop balcony. All units feature granite countertops, stainless-steel kitchen appliances and a variety of skyline, river and lake views, with the option of additional customization. Also at residents' disposal are concierge service, a fitness facility, a business center and a conference room. Indoor and outdoor parking are available. The price? $149,900 to $499,900, with a 100 percent tax abatement for 15 years.
8. Fries & Schuele Condominiums
1925 W. 25th St.
Expected to open: Winter 2003-2004
Built around the former Fries & Schuele department store, this community of flats, penthouses and townhouses is within walking distance of the West Side Market and near West Side nightlife. The eight penthouses range in price from $295,000 to $326,000 and come with polished concrete floors and one parking space. There are 10 townhouses, which cost $278,000 to $305,000 and come with two parking spaces. Other features include private roof decks and in-suite laundry. Community amenities include a courtyard and a fitness facility in the main building. Buyers may choose their own floors, lighting and countertops. In addition, 36 apartments are available for rent. One-bedroom units go for $705 to $900 per month. Two-bedroom suites are $850 to $1,400 per month. Call (216) 241-2737 for more information on the rentals, which will be converted into condos in about five years.