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Mar. 18, 2013

Port Authority to Issue $90M in Bonds to Pay for New Cuyahoga County HQ

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority’s board of directors voted during its meeting on March 14 to sell as much as $90 million in bonds to finance Cuyahoga County’s new headquarters. The project is expected to revitalize one of downtown Cleveland’s older business districts and provide an anchor for surrounding mixed-use redevelopment.

Earlier this year, Geis Cos., a real estate developer and construction company based in Streetsboro, acquired the Ameritrust complex from the Cuyahoga County Council for $27 million. The company will construct an eight-story, 222,000-square-foot government headquarters building on a 0.72-acre portion of the property at East Ninth Street and Prospect Avenue and then lease it to the county.

Geis Cos. will not only construct but also manage the headquarters, which will belong to the Port Authority, as part of the bond deal. Cuyahoga County will lease the property until 2040. At the end of the lease term, it has the option to buy the building from the Port Authority for $1.

The Port Authority will issue the bonds in the weeks to come. The financing only applies to the headquarters building. The complex includes the Cleveland Trust Rotunda, Ameritrust Tower, 1010 Euclid Ave., the so-called “P and H” buildings and a parking garage with 1,050 spaces. Geis Cos. plans to turn them into apartments, retail space, offices and a hotel.

The Streetsboro-based developer will raze the “P and H” buildings to construct the new headquarters. Geis Cos. expects to deliver it by July 2014.

At the same meeting, the Port Authority board also approved the sale of 1906 E. 40th St. to Charter Stone Capital L.L.C. for $2 million. Currently leased to I Can Schools, the building was once home to Myers University and later to Chancellor University. Proceeds will help support the port’s 2013 capital program.

Photo credits: Google Maps.