Larchmere is getting some new digs.
While apartment buildings have been popping up in Ohio City, University Circle and downtown Cleveland, the eclectic East Side neighborhood is seeing new investment in the way of a four-story apartment complex set to be finished in June 2021.
Dubbed 121 Larchmere, the $23 million building’s 88 units — broken up into studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments — will be joined by a fitness room, conference rooms, a coffee bar and community lounge area with views of downtown.
Headed by First Interstate Properties, which built shopping centers Steelyard Commons and Legacy Village, along with high-rise apartment One University Circle, 121 Larchmere is geared at being a middle-market affordable option, though the developer doesn’t yet have an estimate on what rents will be.
But First Interstate president Mitchell Schneider says it’s also a sign of investment in the area.
“We’ve seen a lot of economic activity and real estate development taking place on the West Side,” he says. “We wanted to find something to do on the East Side because we felt like it would have a strong impact ... as another sign that the East Side is a place that quality development can take place.”
But the project, which broke ground this summer, almost didn’t happen. A dollar store chain was interested in the land, which was most recently the site of Life Skills Center of Northeast Ohio.
Community leaders and Ward 6 councilman Blaine Griffin opposed it because it wouldn’t fit in with the area’s mix of restaurants, such as Felice Urban Cafe, and shops, such as Loganberry Books.
Griffin himself reached out to Schneider about the vacant lot.
“It’s a really forward-thinking, very cohesive community,” says Schneider. “There is a great set of merchants, an increasing number of restaurants and experiential retail on the street — yoga, coffee shops, etc. It just seemed like a great fit for what we were trying to do.”
The community has taken to the project, though there were initial concerns regarding parking, which led First Interstate to include a parking lot.
Johnnie Spates-Greene, the president of the Larchmere Community Association and first vice president of Shaker Square Development Corp., says she’s looking forward to the influx of new people that the complex will bring to the community.
“It’s going to do well for the businesses on Larchmere,” she says. “It’s going to be good to have neighbors when we have neighborhood and