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Cleveland Indians to Renovate Progressive Field

18 Aug 2014, 3:53 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Cleveland Indians announced on Aug. 7 that Progressive Field is getting a makeover. Called “The Progressive Field Evolution,” the multimillion-dollar renovation project will start in the off season. Most of it is expected to be complete by Opening Day 2015, with the remainder to be finished early in the season.

Progressive Field opened in April 1994. At that time it was called Jacobs Field. The baseball park set a major league record by selling out all of its 43,000 seats for 455 straight games between June 12, 1995, and April 4, 2001. However, in recent years the Indians have registered a drop in attendance. The Tribe said on its website that it is drawing an average of 18,659 fans per game this season.

The renovation project is meant to bring fans back. For the past four years, the Indians have researched other sporting facilities and have listened to what their own fans have had to say. The result is a 100 percent privately funded project that will enhance the fan experience at no cost to the taxpayer. Delaware North Cos., the Tribe’s food and beverage partner, will also help pay for the renovation.

Plans call for a reduction in capacity for the 43,000-seat facility. The new Progressive Field will have between 37,000 and 38,000 seats, and will put more focus on group gathering spaces. It will feature a revamped Gate C entrance at E. Ninth Street, new bullpens among the seats, a beyond the right-center-field wall, a new group seating area, a two-story bar for adults, and an expanded Kids Clubhouse with a climbing wall, batting cage and pitching machine.

“We cannot only think about ‘on the field,’ ” Tribe president Mark Shapiro said in a statement for the press. “We also have to obsess about being innovative in every single aspect of fan experience in our business. The reality is, as sports entertainment has evolved, media and technology have impacted not only the way our fans view our game and our sport but the way they consume it and experience it in the ballpark.”

In spite of the seating reduction, the Indians will not change their ticket price structure. They’re also working on other modification plans, to be announced in the next two or three years.

“We want the experience to be more compelling,” Shapiro said. “We want people to come to the ballpark.”

Photo credit: The Cleveland Indians

Global Healthcare REIT to Expand in Ohio with Nursing Home Acquisition

9 Aug 2014, 4:41 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

At the end of July, Utah-based Global Healthcare REIT Inc. announced plans to expand into Ohio. The company has entered into an agreement to purchase the Meadowview Nursing Home, located in Seville, Ohio. It will be the fifth such property in Global Healtchare REIT’s portfolio.

The Meadowview Nursing Home is located on five acres of land in Medina County, about 25 miles west of Akron and 40 miles south of Cleveland. In a news release, Global Healthcare REIT said the area has an attractive population growth in the 65 to 74 year age bracket. The facility offers 27,500 square feet of space and is licensed for 100 skilled nursing beds.

Global Healthcare REIT will pay $3 million for the Meadowview Nursing Home. The deal will close after the satisfactory completion of a 45-day inspection period and other conditions customary in transactions of this nature. The REIT said it will secure financing to cover a portion of the price. The Utah-based company also said it has several financing opportunities but at the moment has made no firm commitments. The transaction is scheduled to close on Sept. 30. Global Healthcare REIT will not operate the facility; it will lease it to an unaffiliated third-party operator.

“The forecasted financial metrics on this facility are extremely favorable once we have implemented our planned changes and upgrades. We continue to evaluate properties opportunistically and hope to complete several additional acquisitions currently in the pipeline,” Christopher Brogdon, president of Global Healthcare REIT, said in a statement for the press.

InterContinental Hotels Group Opens Cleveland’s First Hotel Indigo

2 Aug 2014, 2:50 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The city of Cleveland is welcoming a new hotel brand. InterContinental Hotels Group has opened the first Hotel Indigo in the area. Located in Beachwood, the new hotel is designed to reflect the history and culture of the surrounding neighborhood. It also celebrates the Cleveland Metroparks system, a beautiful and diverse network of green spaces dedicated to conservation, education and recreation and referred to by the locals as the “Emerald Necklace.”

The new Hotel Indigo Cleveland-Beachwood stands four stories tall and offers 100 rooms with hard-surface flooring, plush bedding and other features. It is located off interstates 271 and 480, close to many shopping and dining options. Hotel amenities include an outdoor courtyard, Wi-Fi, a 24-hour fitness center and 7,500 square feet of meeting space.

CBHV LLC is the hotel’s owner, with Atlantic Hospitality as the manager. Prior to its conversion to the Hotel Indigo brand, the ownership invested $8 million to renovate the property. The project uncovered an original brick wall, which was carefully restored and now serves as a unique design feature in the lobby.

Murals of the local green spaces that make up the “Emerald Necklace” and nature-inspired design accents featuring wood, grass and pebbles show the hotel’s connection to the surrounding Beachwood neighborhood, while the meeting rooms are named the Hunter Room and Jumper Room in tribute to the Hunter Jumper Classic competition, one of Northern Ohio’s annual summer traditions, held at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field.

“We love our neighborhood and look forward to introducing guests to some of our favorite places,” Cynthia Eckrich, general manager of the hotel, said in a statement for the press. “Whether it’s taking in a sky-high view from a hot air balloon during The Blossom Time Festival or keeping your feet on the ground on a local nature trail, we can connect our guests to the neighborhood like no one else.”

All Pro Freight Systems Expands in Lorain County with 118,000-SF Industrial Lease

28 Jul 2014, 3:38 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

All Pro Freight Systems Inc. is expanding its presence in Lorain County. The Avon-based transportation and logistics company recently leased 118,000 square feet of space at the former Accutech/Cleveland Plastic Films facility in Elyria.

The facility is located on 10 acres of land at 41740 Schadden Road. It was built between 1973 and 2002, and consists of two buildings with 60,000 and 57,500 square feet of space, respectively. They include office space, production capabilities and warehouse amenities.

“We are securing space anticipating the increased volume at the Avon Lake Ford Plant. This building will put All Pro Freight at over 600,000 square feet in Lorain County,” Chris Haas, president & CEO of All Pro Freight, said in a statement for the press.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Cleveland office brokered the lease. The team consisted of executive managing directors Mike Petrigan and Terry Coyne.

CBRE reports that the Cleveland industrial market experienced 994,558 square feet of sales and leasing activity in the second quarter of 2014. It was the least active quarter since the first quarter of 2013. Vacancy remained stable at 6.3 percent, with the overall availability rising from 7 to 7.2 percent.

The average asking rent also remained fairly steady, at $4.52 per square foot, the same as in the previous quarter. Although rents remain lower than the U.S. average, the low vacancy rates in the market outperform the national vacancy rates.

Contrary to the first quarter of the year, average rents increased for warehouse, distribution and manufacturing facilities.  For warehouse and distribution facilities, the average rent reached $4.35 per square foot, exceeding the levels registered at the end of the previous year. For manufacturing facilities, rents rose from $3.28 to $3.33 per square foot. However, in the case of R&D/flex spaces, the average asking lease rates decreased from $9 to $8.88 per square foot.

Photo credit: Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Charts courtesy of CBRE.

Cuyahoga County Finally Opens New Administrative HQs

18 Jul 2014, 9:49 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The new Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters building is finally open for business. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, County Council President C. Ellen Connally and Fred Geis of Geis Cos. were present on July 15 at 2079 E. Ninth St. to celebrate the event. The new headquarters will be home to more than 600 county employees.

Cuyahoga County first announced its plans to move its headquarters in 2012. This new location is part of the former Ameritrust complex, acquired by the Geis Cos. last year. The Streetsboro-based developer is investing more than $260 million to revitalize this once dormant section of downtown Cleveland. Once finished, it will be home to apartments, offices, retail space and even a hotel.

The new headquarters building is LEED Silver certified. It stands eight stories tall and has 220,000 square feet of space. Geis started work on the project in April 2013. Cuyahoga County will lease the new facility for the next 26 years. At the end of the lease, the county has the option to purchase the building for $1.

In a news release, Cuyahoga County said the move is a major component of its Real Estate Property Consolidation Project. By consolidating its operations, the county could save $84 million over 20 years.

Cuyahoga County also said that Geis Cos. has exceeded the requirement to hire a 40 percent “in-county workforce,” including 20 percent Minority Business Enterprises and Female Business Enterprises, set before the start of construction. Forty-seven percent of the workers hired for the project came from Cuyahoga County, with 52 percent Minority Business Enterprises or Female Business Enterprises.

As for the former Cuyahoga County Administration Building, that site is now the home of the new Hilton Cleveland/Downtown Convention Center Hotel, scheduled to open just prior to the 2016 Republican National Convention, in the spring of 2016. The $272 million project was started earlier this year.

“The new Administrative Headquarters is a building for the residents of Cuyahoga County,” Ed FitzGerald said in a statement. “Built for accessibility and efficiency, the headquarters marks the return of the Ameritrust complex to the private sector and the revitalization of a long-dormant corner of downtown Cleveland. Surrounded by the thriving Playhouse Square district and the new Convention Center and rising hotel just blocks away, this building is just one of many exciting projects bringing new life to the city.”

July is turning out to be a really good month for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, as the opening of the new Cuyahoga County Administrative Headquarters is just the last in a long line of good news the region has received in recent weeks.

First, the city was picked to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, an event with an estimated economic impact of about $400 million. Next, LeBron James announced he’s returning home. This move made FitzGerald very happy. Last Monday, he released an analysis showing that LeBron’s return might result in an annual direct economic impact on the region of $170 million from Cavs games, as well as an indirect impact of approximately $500 million per year and other benefits, including new jobs and the increase of personal earnings.

Photo credit: Geis Companies

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