It’s all about reaching a tipping point. Hit a certain point and downtown growth will perpetuate development — an ever-expanding upward spiral that will make Cleveland truly world class.
According to a Downtown Cleveland Housing Study commissioned by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance and developed by Philadelphia-based Urban Partners, Downtown Cleveland needs 800 “for sale” housing units to reach its long-term goal of having 30,000 residents by 2030. Thanks to new developments by Knez Homes and the Frangos Group, the city is off to a great start on reaching that goal.
“The Housing Study conservatively projected Downtown Cleveland welcoming 30,000 residents by 2030 if we continue to grow at our current rate,” says Joe Marinucci, president and CEO of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. “The development of more ‘for-sale’ housing with new apartments diversifies downtown’s housing market by offering a variety of options for potential residents and builds confidence among developers to invest in homeownership opportunities.”
New developments are playing a key role in broadening Cleveland’s appeal as a home destination, expanding beyond young urban professionals and attracting more families and empty nesters as permanent residents.
Like many new “for sale” downtown developments, The Avenue from Knez Homes is in close proximity to all Cleveland attractions. However, they are tucked away in a quieter corner of the city that offers a quick retreat from the daily hustle and bustle. Located on the corner of East 13th Street and Superior Avenue, The Avenue offers lake views from a rooftop deck, as well as an attached two-car garage, “which is very attractive for families and empty nesters,” says Elaine Keating, vice president of sales and marketing for Knez Homes, who also is a resident.
“While it’s a quick walk to Playhouse Square and Heinen’s, it’s very easy to get pretty much anywhere from here,” she adds. “There is also a trolley that will take you down to the Flats.”
It’s also an inexpensive Uber or Lyft ride to any of Cleveland’s neighborhoods, as well as Lakewood. However, families and empty nesters are looking for a little more than easy access, says Keating. They want the kind of amenities that make life more comfortable and easier.
While expanding the downtown demographic, “for sale” properties also are providing investment opportunities for people moving into Cleveland.
“The people who moved back downtown in the early phases of The Avenue have only seen their property values go up,” Keating says. “And a lot of our clients are relocating from other cities and are used to urban living. We’re seeing people relocating from cities like Denver, New York, Chicago and Atlanta who are used to living urban and want to buy.”
Located between the Theater and Gateway districts, the American Book Bindery from the Frangos Group is another development that is within walking distance of entertainment and professional sports venues like Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and Progressive Field. Fine dining, nightlife and shopping at Heinen’s Grocery Store in the old Cleveland Trust rotunda are easily reached by foot as well.
These industrial-contemporary condos are a unique blend of today’s sophistication and edgy rawness of a 1900s commercial building, featuring 11-foot ceilings, huge windows, spacious open kitchens with granite and stainless steel, concrete beams, exposed ductwork and creative layouts. Each unit includes ample storage and a utility room complete with a washer, dryer and sink. The building offers a modern elevator, pleasant and quiet hallways and a first-floor workout room. Secure, covered parking is available as well.
The downtown “for sale” housing market will only expand as projects like Sherwin-Williams’ new corporate headquarters come online and more families move to the area. Although “for sale” housing is on the uptick, there are still a lot of rental housing units going up.
Developed by Geis Cos., The Avenue District is currently comprised of 62 apartments and Tres Chic, a full-service boutique salon.
“We are currently under construction for Phase II of The Avenue District, named 12th & Ave,” says Mollie Neale, executive vice president of Geis Residential Management. “12th & Ave will be comprised of 35 two- and three-bedroom apartments.”
The property already attracts a variety of folks, including empty nesters, doctors, families and business professionals, such as attorneys, accountants and executives. It boasts unique amenities, including attached indoor and outdoor parking, a 4,700-square-foot rooftop sundeck, fountain, bocce court, fitness center, community room, business center, dry-cleaning service, on-site concierge and outdoor dog park.
Located in the NineTwelve District on East 12th Street and St. Clair Avenue, 12th & Ave is situated in a breathable pocket of downtown, with excellent proximity to city attractions, while still offering congestion-free access to all major highways for those who want to do the reverse commute.
“We understand the importance of retaining a strong resident base in Cleveland,” says Neale. “Geis is committed to opening 12th & Ave late fall of this year.”
Downtown offers plenty of apartment and condominium opportunities for millennials and young, urban professionals, but these new properties also are driving growth in a new direction and expanding downtown living appeal.
With Cleveland’s downtown population well on its way to reaching its long-term goal of 30,000 residents, even more companies are sure to gravitate to the city’s core — a self-perpetuating growth paradigm that Cleveland is on the verge of achieving.