34-story upscale apartment tower coming to Playhouse Square District

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- An upscale, 34-story apartment tower will soon be a fixture in Playhouse Square.

According to a release from Playhouse Square, the building will be situated on a one-acre site at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 17th Street, replacing a parking lot across from Conner Palace.

The 34-story tower will have 319 apartments, 550 parking spaces and 22,000 square feet total for residents.

Construction will begin by late this fall. It should be finished by early 2020.

Playhouse Square will retain ownership of the property and retain the services of a management company.

The actual design will include elements that match surrounding theaters. There will be overlapping planes forming a symbolic marquee, and a stage curtain design will be incorporated on the garage facade. The tower will be largely composed of floor-to-ceiling glass, painted aluminum panels and exposed cast-in-place concrete.

“I’m sure people will wonder why a not-for-profit performing arts organization is building a high-rise apartment building,” said Jim Ratner, Chairman of the Playhouse Square Board of Trustees, “but this makes perfect sense when you consider that key components of our mission are to create an exciting district and drive economic vitality in the region. This investment is an example of our long-term real estate strategy, which is to build a working endowment to help secure the future of our historic theaters, and the entertainment and educational programs people enjoy in them.”

The project comes amid a flurry of downtown development. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance said 1,000 new apartments will be added this year, with occupancy rates remaining high.

DCA President and CEO Joseph Marinucci said the growth is sustainable. While other similar cities have 2 percent of their regional populations living downtown, that figure is only .5 percent in Cleveland.

“The reality is that although we've made great progress, when you compare us to other comparable mid-sized cities with downtowns like ours, we're really at the front end of that demand cycle,” Marinucci.

Still, several major new development projects have stalled. Construction has yet to begin on the $100 million first phase of a residential and retail development planned for a parking lot in the Warehouse District between West 3rd Street and West 6th Street. When announced, developers from Weston Inc. said the construction could begin in 2016, with completing by this summer.

There’s no sign of Stark Enterprises’ NuCLEus development, planned for a parking lot near East 4th Street across from Quicken Loans Arena. While several retail tenants have been announced, construction of the $350 million dower was initially set to be finished in 2017.
Marinucci said the design, financing and approval of complicated projects can lead to delays.

“Those developers are continuing to work on those projects, and I have a lot of confidence they'll reach fruition, but it's taking a little bit longer,” Marinucci said.

Stark Enterprises and Weston Inc. did not respond to requests seeking comment about the delays.