Region Buzzes with Megaproject Real Estate Activity

Chances are, if you see a large commercial real estate development project going up in the region, our real estate team was likely involved. We are fortunate to be partnering with some of the most reputable developers, owners and lenders in the real estate business to maintain a large book of business that’s having a major economic impact throughout Northeast Ohio and beyond.

Some of our higher visibility projects include Pinecrest in Orange Village, the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village in Canton, the Bowery and Goodyear East End Projects in Akron, the Link59 Project in MidTown, the IBM Building in Opportunity Corridor, the Columbus Avenue Project in Sandusky, the Playhouse Square Foundation Apartment Project in Downtown Cleveland, the Scranton Peninsula Project in the Flats, and the Church and State and Music Settlement Projects in Hingetown. These projects represent billions of dollars in development costs, some of which have already been expended and some that are yet to be spent over the next several years.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the progress being made at these noteworthy projects:

Pinecrest is well underway and slated to open in 2018. This upscale mixed-use district has captured tenants such as Whole Foods, REI, and Williams Sonoma, along with a Marriott AC Hotel and residential apartments. Our lawyers have represented the developer in every aspect of the project, from land acquisition to TIF to zoning, financing and leasing. It’s a truly inspiring project.

Our representation of developer Stu Lichter and Industrial Realty Group, the master developer of the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, has been on the fast track since the inception of the project. It recently hit a milestone with completion of Phase 2 of the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium which opened to rave reviews at the Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Cardinals in August. Ground has broken for a 4-5 star Hilton Hotel-Curio Collection adjoining the Stadium and Center for Excellence. The Youth Field Complex has been busy, and our lawyers have been working on development of and financing for the balance of the project, including the organization of and related financing for the State’s first Tourism Development District.

The Bowery Project in Downtown Akron will be a mixed-use development financed in part with both Historic Tax Credits and New Market Tax Credits. This transformative project will also have a TIF aspect as part of its capital stack.

The Link59 Project in MidTown between East 59th and East 61st is under construction with a spec office building fronting on Euclid Avenue, a renovated office building on East 61st, and a new ground-up Dave’s Supermarket. A very complex capital stack has been assembled for the Dave’s project, including multiple NMTC allocations, grants and conventional loans. It will bring a full-service supermarket and new jobs to this food desert in an economically distressed part of the City.

The Columbus Avenue Project in Downtown Sandusky is a twinned HTC/NMTC transaction that will bring three older buildings to life and transition the City of Sandusky offices to the renovated buildings in Sandusky’s newly formed Historic District. Market rate apartments and ground-floor retail will also be part of the innovative development in a City which has not previously enjoyed the benefit of tax credit allocations and financing.

Massive and exciting is the only way to describe Playhouse Square Foundation’s announced market rate apartment project at E. 17th Street and Euclid Avenue across from the Connor Palace Theatre. At 34 stories, it will bring apartment living in the City to new heights, along with a new 550-space parking garage. Construction is slated to begin towards the end of 2017.

The announced sale of Forest City Realty Trust’s Scranton Peninsula property to a group of local investors is a harbinger of development to come for this prime piece of real estate that has been on the waiting list for decades. Our attorneys represented the developer group which acquired the property and will be a team member as plans move forward for the property.

Last but not least, the Hingetown area situated between Ohio City to the north and Gordon Square to the west continues on its rapid pace of development and redevelopment. Our real estate attorneys represent the joint venture which will construct the Church and State apartment project on the south side of Detroit Avenue between West 28th and 29th Streets. Our attorneys also represent The Music Settlement (TMS) in connection with its new Hingetown location in the mixed-use project being constructed by The Snaveley Group and other investors at the northwest corner of W. 25th Street and Detroit Avenue. TMS will take 19,000 sf. of space on the first floor of the building and open six early childhood classrooms, music instruction rooms, a music therapy room, a dance studio, and much more.

We thank our great clients for their vision and their work. We are proud to be team members with them in bringing these projects to life.

Jack can be reached at (216) 928-2914 or jwaldeck@walterhav.com.