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Cleveland: Midtown: Development and News

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MH, the article is in the subscription only area.  Would you mind giving us a nuts and bolts synopsis of the article, please?

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MH, the article is in the subscription only area.  Would you mind giving us a nuts and bolts synopsis of the article, please?

 

Here's my breakdown:

 

Fred Geis and the City of Cleveland are pushing to build the $20 mil office/warehouse building on E.67 and Euclid Ave.

 

Financing breakdown:

 

-  $10.7 mil  U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 108 Loan as the first mortgage

-  $250K -- city's Vacant Property Initiative.

-  $3.5 mil state's Job-Ready Sites Program

-  New Markets Tax Credit (federal program for job-creating businesses in urban areas)  Another loan has to be in place for Geis to qualify (here's info on it: http://www.cdfifund.gov/what_we_do/programs_id.asp?programID=5)

 

Mr. Geis lives in Cleveland and has plenty of real estate experience.

 

Mr. Geis currently has no tenants; however, he is banking on the expansions of CWRU, CSU, and the Health Care Industries to produce enough demand to fill his "little building."

 

No timeline is given.

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^Great summary- thanks!  Interesting that Geis lives in the city- I wouldn't have guessed it for the proprietor of a Streetsboro based business.

 

The big red flag design-wise:

Mr. Geis said the project will provide flex office space — space that can serve as offices and warehouse or assembly space with garage doors for truck entry — in the city. [Emphasis added]

 

Please let those garage doors face the rear.

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This is truely a scary development.  The thing is, it would be less outrageous if it wasn't to be placed on anyother main thoroughfare.  Chester, Carnegie, etc...

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Is this the development at E. 69 th street?  Isn't suppose to go all the way to Carnegie (that beautiful boulevard)?  If this is the case I would imagine garage doors would be off of 69th or some sort of access from Carnegie at the rear of the property, not on Euclid.  My biggest concern is what it will look like on Eucild...since some of it is warehouse space I am concerned about large stretches of blank walls.

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Is this the development at E. 69 th street?  Isn't suppose to go all the way to Carnegie (that beautiful boulevard)?  If this is the case I would imagine garage doors would be off of 69th or some sort of access from Carnegie at the rear of the property, not on Euclid.  My biggest concern is what it will look like on Eucild...since some of it is warehouse space I am concerned about large stretches of blank walls.

 

The address according to the article is 6700 Euclid Ave.

 

From the previous article:

 

Geis, his brother Greg and the Coyne family also hope to build a technology center at Euclid Avenue and East 69th Street, in the heart of the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor. The partners shared updated drawings of that project with city design officials last week. The Euclid Tech Center would target biotechnology and health care companies.

 

So maybe the project spans the area...?

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I think renderings of this project were posted here before, and if it's the one I'm thinking of, we pretty well ripped its design to shreds as being inappropriate for a transit/pedestrian corridor like Euclid. Others suggested it might be better on Carnegie.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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^Actually, I don't think we've seen rendering.  I believe someone described some early massing they saw, but that's about it.  Tough to know what to expect until we hear/see more, I guess, but I'm optimistic there won't be garage doors facing Euclid.

 

The streets south of Euclid jump from 65th to 69th, so the site is described in different ways.  In person, it's clearly marked with a big trailer with "Geis" written on the side.  Pretty sure it's the big lot south of Euclid visible here: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Cleveland,+OH&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=39.644047,106.083984&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Cleveland,+Cuyahoga,+Ohio&ll=41.503258,-81.641845&spn=0.002294,0.006475&z=18

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If it's a warehouse you've gotta have truck access, and it's often in the rear.  I don't expect trouble there.  I just hope it will have multiple stories in the front and no lawn buffer.

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I can't recall if these were ever linked to before, but the Cleveland City Planning Commission website now has renderings of the proposed senior housing and supportive housing projects on Euclid in the mid 70s that were discussed above:

 

Senior housing: http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/projects/detail.php?ID=38

 

Supportive housing: http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/projects/detail.php?ID=37

 

Neither looks to be a thrilling design, but not total disasters.  Both are 4 stories, more or less right up on the sidewalk. Lots of brick and other types of siding. 

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Not bad really, especially the second one.  Unfortunately, in both cases, the limitations on who will live there will also limit spinoff potential.  In that sense I think these represent lost opportunity for Euclid and should have been placed elsewhere.

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I really like the old police station on Payne. I hope that there will be use made of the building and that it will not be demolished. It has a real old school police station look to it...  It reminds me of Eliot Ness days.

 

 

Cleveland, developer work out unusual financing for Third District police station project

 

Published: Friday, July 16, 2010, 5:45 PM

Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A police station project in Cleveland could move 195 officers to Midtown and open up two city properties -- one in University Circle and the other near Cleveland State University -- for private development.

 

The city wants to build a new Third District police station on the former....  Read the rest at:

 

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/07/cleveland_developer_work_out_u.html

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I am not usually the one to bust on a rendering because I understand that architecture is subjective

(as I will profess my love for Moca in another thread), but where in Middleburgh Hts. is this going...uhgg

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trust me, without knowing the details, and assuming the actual building will look nothing like that, its STILL a god send from what is there now. Despite the fact the current district is 50 years old, fairly confident the ONLY reason this is happening is the city will gain ALOT from selling the current site, all of which I support, however I don't think the needs of the city are a concern here as opposed to the needs of the cities pocketbook for the current real estate

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It's hard to say that it isn't good news, but prepare to barf when you see the design:

 

 

State awards $3.5 million grant to MidTown Tech Park in Cleveland

Published: Friday, July 30, 2010, 3:04 PM    Updated: Friday, July 30, 2010, 3:46 PM

Michelle Jarboe, The Plain Dealer

 

CLEVELAND -- The state will grant $3.5 million to an office, laboratory and research building in the Midtown neighborhood, where a developer says he has several interested tenants and is ready to start construction "as soon as possible."

 

Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher announced at a news conference that the state will give its maximum grant for job-ready sites to the MidTown Tech Park, a $21 million project being developed by the Geis Cos. and the Coyne family. The project, formerly called the Euclid Tech Center, will comprise 128,500 square feet of offices, labs and research space, aimed at growing biomedical and technology companies.

 

At the southwest corner of Euclid Avenue and East 69th Street, the development site sits in the middle of the burgeoning Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor, a district that runs from East 22nd Street out to University Circle. Last month, state officials earmarked the corridor as a "Hub of Innovation and Opportunity," bringing the area a $250,000 matching grant and priority status for grants and loans awarded by the Ohio Department of Development and other state agencies.

 

more at:  http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/07/state_awards_35_million_grant.html

 

 

 

Similar story in Crain's:  http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20100730/FREE/100739974

 

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actually, I don't think it is nearly as bad as it could have been.  It's multi-storied, primarily brick, and by in large fronts euclid, with parking in the rear mainly visible to carnegie.  of course I am not quite sure of the need for it to be on a 30 degree angle  creating a small lawn... but it also does have 2 "front doors" on euclid, which make it more transit friendly.  And of course not to mention.... if they can fill 130,000 sf of office space it could create a need for more of the type of development we would like to see in some of these barren lots around it.

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Not sure why they wouldn't build a 4 story building and leave the remainder of the land for future development.  Design is of course a complete disaster, offering the worst the suburbs have to offer.  I'd really rather have an empty lot than allow this to set the precedent for future development in this area.  Yet another sad trade:  formly a high density, mixed use, transit dependent urban neighborhood for low density, insert cornice here architecture, "high tech" developement.  We should be expecting more.

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I agree with McCleveland about the design.  The building itself is quite drab and 1995 but the setback could be a lot worse.  It definitely has room for improvement aesthetically but hopefully they can add a bit more style for the final design.

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I was definitely fearing a lot worse.  If your goal is $14 psf leasable space, your building design is going to be pretty blah.  I was more worried about there being a sea of surface parking in front of a single story building, which thankfully won't be the case.  The lawn and angled setback are pretty awful though.  I would have been fine with a smaller, uniform [non grass] landscaped set-back, but the angle is just gratuitous.

 

W28th (or anyone), would going up for stories on half the footprint increased the overall construction costs?

 

Best case is that this gets the ball rolling so that the market can support higher lease rates and better buildings down the line.

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I doubt Geis would know how to build a 4 story building.  They'd stare at you with a confused look on their faces and think you were asking for a warehouse.

 

It's certainly the nicest looking building to ever come out of that company  :wink:

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The rendering seems to contemplate the demo of the older brick bookstore building at the corner of 69th (see below), which I didn't think was part of the initial Geis land purchase.  Anyone know if he now controls this parcel too?  Would have been a nice gesture to keep that old shell, but I'm guessing Geis would disagree.

 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Cleveland,+OH&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=39.456673,101.513672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Cleveland,+Cuyahoga,+Ohio&ll=41.504227,-81.642446&spn=0.002282,0.006196&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=41.504357,-81.64215&panoid=TauJA2VTAMTTVV80tcSNVQ&cbp=12,208.1,,0,-8.83

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Good lord.  I guess they truely see it as progress.... :cry:

 

*btw, I found some great Cleveland books in that store a number of years ago. Including some on Shaker Hts. design standards.

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I was expecting a lot worse from Geis, as I could probably build many of their designs with one of those build-it-in-a-weekend steel building kits advertised on TV... http://www.us-buildings-direct.com/?cmp=150384

 

While I'm surprised Geis has provided the building with windows, it's still way too suburban with no attempt at offering mixed-use or an inviting sidewalk presence with first-floor leasable spaces accessible from the sidewalk. In other words, the only people likely to be using this building are those working there. And that sure doesn't do much for pedestrianism.

 

The client and the architect should be asking: how many different uses and entry points to these differing uses are fronting Euclid? If it's just one, then do you realize that when developing in a city, you have a larger responsibility than only to your client or to your principal user? Responsibilities like increasing sidewalk activity, promoting interaction with nearby buildings by offering complementary uses and multiple access points, making walking interesting/inviting instead of boring/intimidating, enhancing security through natural surveillance (ie: eyes on the street), etc. etc. If they dismiss these things, then no wonder we end up with sexy fortresses and urban bunkers with no sidewalk activity and unrealized business opportunities. The perception to the passerby is that no one lives or works in the area.

 

Sadly (OK, frustratingly!), it takes a lot of searching to find some decent resources to show folks what we're talking about, and I doubt architects seeking to re-package another cookie-cutter suburban structure will take the incredible amount time I took to find these less-than dazzling resources....

 

http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/docs/publications/commmixedusecode.pdf?ga=t (probably the best one I could find)

 

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/planning/neighborhood/downloads/scongress/sccp_commdesign_8.pdf

 

http://www.smartgrowth.bc.ca/Portals/0/Downloads/SGBC_Health_Report_FINAL.pdf


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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I don't think the design is that horrible, maybe not what we would prefer but still. The area could definitely use some development and this could help spure other development. We can't be to picky, im glad anything is going up. And i don't find them responsible for trying to increase sidewalk activity. I mean look at the area, its has a long way to go until there will be sidewalk activity. And this will look better then an empty lot. Imagine being a tourist and driving down the cities main street and seeing an ugly giant empty lot or a brand new brick and glass building. Which one would you prefer?

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I was definitely fearing a lot worse.  If your goal is $14 psf leasable space, your building design is going to be pretty blah.  I was more worried about there being a sea of surface parking in front of a single story building, which thankfully won't be the case.  The lawn and angled setback are pretty awful though.  I would have been fine with a smaller, uniform [non grass] landscaped set-back, but the angle is just gratuitous.

 

W28th (or anyone), would going up for stories on half the footprint increased the overall construction costs?

 

Best case is that this gets the ball rolling so that the market can support higher lease rates and better buildings down the line.

 

Its hard to say for sure.  One problem I see with an 8 story building is the cost of the elevator.  Once you go over 7 stories (I'm pretty sure that's the cut-off) you have to get into a different type of elevator, different mechanically.  You would probably have some increase in plumbing costs, taller building have to get water up to top.

 

You would save some cost on foundations and possibly civil work (not digging as much dirt out).  Its hard to say either way, also potential tenants of senior housing might be more inclined to like a lower height building b/c it doesn't look as imposing and would have a more "residential" feel.

 

I was definitely fearing a lot worse. If your goal is $14 psf leasable space, your building design is going to be pretty blah. I was more worried about there being a sea of surface parking in front of a single story building, which thankfully won't be the case. The lawn and angled setback are pretty awful though. I would have been fine with a smaller, uniform [non grass] landscaped set-back, but the angle is just gratuitous.

 

W28th (or anyone), would going up for stories on half the footprint increased the overall construction costs?

 

Best case is that this gets the ball rolling so that the market can support higher lease rates and better buildings down the line.

 

That's the biggest misconception in construction.  Just because a building looks good doesn't mean it costs more.  Good Architects are very aware of construction costs and alternative materials.  A good Architect can make a great design for any budget.

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And i don't find them responsible for trying to increase sidewalk activity. I mean look at the area, its has a looooooooooong way to go until there will be sidewalk activity.

 

Agreed.  Except I decided to add some emphasis.  My opinion would change if the site was west of E55.

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That's the biggest misconception in construction.  Just because a building looks good doesn't mean it costs more.  Good Architects are very aware of construction costs and alternative materials.  A good Architect can make a great design for any budget.

 

I need this guys name.

 

$12-$14 is what you will see in the market for the area they are talking. We've found at Tyler that building out brand new space (including new systems, windows, new power..new, new, new, except for the exterior brick wall and concrete floor and ceilings) has brought us $65 to $85 PSF project costs (remember, have to pay the brokers, lawyers, designers, builders etc.. not just the contractor). That gets you to $15 PSF net pretty quickly if you want to get paid back in a reasonable amount of time (most people do).

 

Anyway, I don't know enough about the nuances of Geis' project, but I can assume he's been beating up his own guys to get to the $14 mark he's at. And pot shots asides about suburban office parks (which is admittedly been their wheel house), if you've ever worked with either the architect or engineer from Geis you'd have little to nothing negative to say about them. Absolutely class from start to finish.

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I'm sure they're fine individuals, but they clearly can't design themselves out of a box.

Whatever. I'm happy Fred's working in Cleveland and putting his money into the city. If I had to do a design build somewhere in the city I'd happily hire his company for it. I've worked with other architects and builders in Cleveland and none of them provide the kind of professionalism and customer service to the level Geis does. At least from my experience working with tenants, owners, contractors and designers.

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Does anyone have any information on the Upper Chester Project?  The project is still listed on the Planning Commissions website so I would assume the project is still under serious consideration. Anyone know if there is a new groundbreaking date set or if the it's dead in the water.

 

In my opinion the project would have the greatest impact on the city as a whole by connecting the cleveland clinic and university circle area and making chester a vibrant street that will hopefully attract other developers to finish the job connecting downtown with the clinic/university circle area.

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I'm sure they're fine individuals, but they clearly can't design themselves out of a box.

Whatever. I'm happy Fred's working in Cleveland and putting his money into the city. If I had to do a design build somewhere in the city I'd happily hire his company for it. I've worked with other architects and builders in Cleveland and none of them provide the kind of professionalism and customer service to the level Geis does. At least from my experience working with tenants, owners, contractors and designers.

 

I'm not speaking directly to any one company, but let me ask you a question.  How does a contractor make their profit?  By markup on materials and cutting corners on construction.  Now if you have a designer in your back pocket, do you think the designer will object when they go to the job site and see what they had on the drawings is not how it is being constructed?  Not if they want to keep their job.

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Does anyone have any information on the Upper Chester Project?  The project is still listed on the Planning Commissions website so I would assume the project is still under serious consideration. Anyone know if there is a new groundbreaking date set or if the it's dead in the water.

 

In my opinion the project would have the greatest impact on the city as a whole by connecting the cleveland clinic and university circle area and making chester a vibrant street that will hopefully attract other developers to finish the job connecting downtown with the clinic/university circle area.

I saw some work going on at upper chester the other day and I was wondering the same thing

 

 

We do have a thread for Upper Chester...although it is in "Abandoned Projects:"

 

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,13381.60.html

 

 

Also, does this link still work? http://www.chester82.com/

 

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I'm sure they're fine individuals, but they clearly can't design themselves out of a box.

Whatever. I'm happy Fred's working in Cleveland and putting his money into the city. If I had to do a design build somewhere in the city I'd happily hire his company for it. I've worked with other architects and builders in Cleveland and none of them provide the kind of professionalism and customer service to the level Geis does. At least from my experience working with tenants, owners, contractors and designers.

 

I'm not speaking directly to any one company, but let me ask you a question.  How does a contractor make their profit?  By markup on materials and cutting corners on construction.  Now if you have a designer in your back pocket, do you think the designer will object when they go to the job site and see what they had on the drawings is not how it is being constructed?  Not if they want to keep their job.

 

I'm not getting what you're trying to say here.

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