Our conclusion on the Colonial Marketplace was that it represented a large footprint, nearly 70,000 square feet in the heart of the city - essentially two streets under glass with many storefronts inside a beautiful historic structure. We knew that, in order to be successful, it would need to be leased thematically with one entity focused on a brand and leasing so we pursued the concept of a Master Lease. Ultimately, we orchestrated this lease with Dick Pace and Cumberland Development. Since then the Colonial Arcade has been re-branded as the 5th Street Arcades with a theme of “local retail.” 5Th Street Arcades is well connected to all the surrounding assets and has become the model for rejuvenated retail in downtown Cleveland. In addition, the solution for the arcades made their presence as a connection to the hotel, an amenity rather than a management challenge. When the owners elected to sell the hotel, they were able to do so, in part, because this Master Lease was in place and the future of the arcades was resolved.
A Historic Structure in a New Light
One of our most exciting endeavors this year involves an engagement with Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art. As the museum’s new building nears completion, MOCA has selected the RES team to commission and manage the facility. Real Estate Services will be acting in a transitional capacity as the project is handed off from construction management to property management. We are using the time before the building opens to establish and incorporate various protocols, ensure the construction closeout is complete, and verify that all necessary warranties are in place.
Construction for the new Dwellworks space is underway! Dwellworks, a residential real estate services provider, will be moving close to 40 employees from its office in Warrensville Heights. The company has leased the second floor of the building at 1317 Euclid Avenue, originally an F.W. Woolworth Company dime store, for its new corporate headquarters. Megan Fleming, an interior designer and LEED AP at Vocon, explains that since the project is a rehabilitation (rather than a preservation), the group will have several key historical and architectural details they need to maintain, but that the group will have a great deal of flexibility with regards to the various design decisions they make throughout the process.
Construction has begun at the site for the Eaton Corporation’s new world headquarters in Beachwood. The 580,000 SF facility, situated on fifty-three acres, will house approximately seven hundred employees. According to Doug Miller, Vice President of Leasing at the Jacobs Group, the plan boasts several exciting features. The new headquarters will be LEED Gold certified, utilizing systems developed by Eaton with the latest technology in energy conservation. It will also feature a full cafeteria and fitness center for its employees, as well as jogging and walking trails winding throughout the scenic campus setting. Miller also explained that the site is perched atop the second highest elevation in Cuyahoga County – so Eaton’s employees will have some of the best views around! The project is scheduled to be completed by late 2012.
Restaurant owner and chef Zack Bruell will open his fifth restaurant in the fall. Cowell & Hubbard, named to honor its legacy, will feature a modern French-themed dining room, offering lunches and dinners ranging from $12 to $22. Situated in PlayhouseSquare, an area that attracts approximately 1 million patrons per year, the new restaurant will afford Bruell the opportunity to tap into a vast customer base. Lighting up one more storefront on Euclid Avenue, the restaurant will provide yet another link towards the creation of a cohesive neighborhood that stretches from Public Square to PlayhouseSquare and CSU’s campus.
The Euclid Corridor Transportation Project was recently chosen as a winner of the 2011 Urban Land Institute’s Award for Excellence. The Awards for Excellence program recognizes demonstrations of best practice in the effort to promote better land use and development. Describing the winning project, ULI remarks, “The $200 million Euclid Avenue Transportation Project brings bus rapid transit and an improved streetscape along 8.3 miles of Cleveland’s historic Euclid Avenue, connecting the central business district with major cultural, medical and education users—all at one-fourth the cost of light rail. The transit project has helped catalyze $4.7 billion in spin-off investment and 11.4 million square feet of new and planned development, offering a successful example of the economic leverage potential for bus rapid transit.”
In May, PlayhouseSquare Real Estate Services was featured in the WALL STREET JOURNAL in an article that described PlayhouseSquare as a “model of economic viability in the arts.” The article emphasized the uniqueness of the foundation, highlighting its key realization that a successful theater district could only work when coupled with an equally successful neighborhood.
The May issue of Downtown Cleveland Alliance's Downtown Business & Development Newsletter includes some of these headlines:
Just in time for the 2010/2011 PlayhouseSquare season to begin, the E. 14th Streetscape project began, extending the brick sidewalk to make E. 14th Street feel more like a pedestrian street than a rush hour street. The project coincided with an increase of programming at the Hanna Theatre and East 14th Street Theatre, both located on E. 14th Street.
Plans for the Middough Building on East 13th were finalized when Cleveland State University agreed to have the building will house a preschool through graduate arts education program. The building will be shared by PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland State’s undergraduate and graduate drama and dance department, the Cleveland Play House and Case Western Reserve’s graduate acting program.
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The Plain Dealer editorial board commends PlayhouseSquare Real Estate Services’ efforts in revitalizing downtown. With businesses and education both a part of what is primarily known as a theater district, the article declares: “Expect many more encores from this fertile district for years to come.”
The Plain Dealer featured a story about the history and future of PlayhouseSquare’s real estate properties. PlayhouseSquare’s investment in real estate properties has not just supplied needed revenue for arts and education programs, but positioned the area to be a true downtown destination.