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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

Developers Plan Almost 400 New Apartments for Downtown Cleveland

12 Jul 2014, 4:42 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Although apartment construction in Greater Cleveland has reached a five-year high, developers are not ready to slow down. They continue to announce new projects, with the two most recent expected to bring almost 400 new units to the city’s downtown area.

According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Nathan Zaremba, CEO of Zaremba Cleveland, plans to start work on a 108-unit apartment project on land once slated for townhouses at the dormant Avenue District development. Zaremba submitted documents to the city of Cleveland last week.

Plans call for the construction of nine two- and three-story apartment buildings that will house 59 one-bedroom units and 49 two-bedroom units, ranging in size from 600 to 1,100 square feet. The project also includes parking spaces for 77 vehicles, as well as bicycle parking and storage.

The Plain Dealer also reported that Weston Inc., a Warrensville Heights developer, recently acquired the Standard Building for $3.9 million. The 21-story property, which is in need of significant renovations to its exterior, changed hands for the first time in its 90-year history.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, the nation’s oldest labor organization and the former owner of the property, put the Standard Building up for sale in 2012 for $8.8 million, but Weston purchased it at a lower price than even its current market value of $6.1 million. Now it plans to invest $60 million to convert the old office building into  apartments.

Weston is working with Sandvick Architects and is considering two redevelopment plans. The first calls for the creation of 287 apartments with retail on the ground floor. The second plan would bring 240 apartments, ground-floor retail space and offices on the second through fifth floors.

Construction won’t start immediately, as the 400,000-square-foot building is still 45 percent occupied. It might start a year to 18 months from now, with project completion scheduled for the second half of 2016.

The steady economic growth and the new development in the city’s downtown continue to attract people to the Cleveland area. The Downtown Cleveland Alliance reported at the end of the year that downtown apartment occupancy was nearing 95 percent. Demand for apartments is high and continues to grow. And even though this year’s completions are expected to increase vacancy to 6.2 percent, it won’t affect average rents, which will continue to rise in 2014 to $805 per month.

Charts courtesy of Marcus & Millichap.

Joint Venture Buys Cleveland-Area Shopping Center for $47M

4 Jul 2014, 4:50 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

A joint venture between two East Coast companies has purchased the Golden Gate Shopping Center in Mayfield Heights. New York-based Hornig Capital Partners LLC and Hutensky Capital Partners of Hartford, Conn., paid $47.1 million for the premier retail plaza. Cleveland-based Forest City was the seller. The deal represents one of the largest single-asset retail sales in the Cleveland market in the past two years.

The property was constructed in 1958. It offers 371,748 square feet of space and is anchored by well-known stores such as Marshalls, PetSmart, Golf Galaxy, h.h. gregg, OfficeMax and Jo-Ann Fabrics. Golden Gate’s convenient location, at the intersection of Mayfield Road and Interstate 271, makes it easily accessible from many of the neighboring Cleveland suburbs. The property was last renovated in 1995.

Joseph Khouri, first vice president at CBRE Inc., represented the buyers in the transaction. Goodman Real Estate Services Group LLC represented Forest City.

“I am very proud to be part of such a monumental transaction in the Cleveland market. It is gratifying to see hard work pay off while providing the highest level of service and ultimately value to our client. We represent a number of active buyer-clients currently pursuing quality unlisted or off-market retail assets in Ohio in various asset categories from $10 to $100 million,” Khouri said in a news release.

In its second-quarter retail market report for the Cleveland-Akron area, Marcus & Millichap says that investor demand for multi-tenant assets has accelerated. Sales activity has surged 60 percent over the past 12 months, with the average sales price rising 5 percent to $114 per square foot.

Photo credit: Forest City
Chart courtesy of Marcus & Millichap

Ten Northeast Ohio Rehabilitation Projects Receive More Than $20M In Historic Tax Credits

27 Jun 2014, 9:09 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Round 12 of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program has brought good news to 35 rehabilitation projects in 13 communities across the state of Ohio. They will receive a total of $37.7 million in tax credits. According to the Ohio Development Services Agency, these 35 projects are expected to leverage nearly $250 million in private investments.

Ten projects are located in Northeast Ohio. They were awarded about $20 million, more than half of the entire sum. Three of them won $5 million each. The remaining developments received tax credits worth between $180,000 and $1.9 million. The 10 winners are as follows:

  • The redevelopment of the Firestone Triangle Building in Akron – The $25.5 million project will turn a more than a century-old industrial building into offices. It was awarded a $5 million credit.
  • The redevelopment of the Garfield Building in Cleveland – A $31.5 million project will convert an empty building, originally constructed in 1893, into 167 market-rate apartment units and three separate restaurant spaces. It was awarded a $5 million credit.
  • The redevelopment of the Stambaugh Building in Youngstown – The $25.5 million project will turn the building into a full-service hotel with 120 rooms. It was awarded a $5 million credit.
  • The Falls Stamping and Welding Building project in Cuyahoga Falls – The $1.3 million project will turn the old industrial structure into office space and will create as many as 15 jobs. It received $241,261 in credits.
  • The Akron Soap Co. building project in Akron – Once the $2.3 million rehabilitation is complete, it will create 54 permanent jobs. It received $448,000 in credits.
  • The Guernsey Apartment Building in Cleveland – A $1.7 million project will rehabilitate the four-story apartment building and will bring 25 units to the market. It was awarded  $248,375 in credits.
  • The Murphy Hall modernization project in University Heights – A $36.6 million project will upgrade the interior of the old college dormitory located in the John Carroll University North Quad National Register Historic District. It received $1.9 million in credits.
  • The Near West Lofts Storefront in Cleveland – A $1.1 million project will rehabilitate the building’s commercial space for a restaurant tenant. It was awarded $180,499 in credits.
  • Our Lady of Mercy redevelopment project in Cleveland – MCM Cos. will redevelop the former Catholic parish into office space. The cost of the project is $5.1 million. It was awarded $1 million in credits.
  • The Ogilvie Block project in East Liverpool – Pennsylvania-based New Castle School of Trades plans to invest $6.5 million and bring new life to the vacant building. This is the first project in East Liverpool and Columbiana County to access the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. It was awarded $1.1 million in credits.

The awards will aid developers in the rehabilitation of these historic buildings, many of which currently sit vacant. Once complete, the projects will help improve the local economies. A Cleveland State University study has revealed that $1 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits generates $8 million in construction spending, $40 million in total economic activity and almost 400 jobs from construction and operations.

“The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit leads to investment in both small towns and big cities,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, in a statement for the press. “These projects strengthen local communities and create construction jobs during the renovation and permanent jobs once the building reopens.”

Last December, the 11th round of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program saw the Ohio Development Services Agency award $33 million in tax credits to rehabilitate 31 historic buildings in 10 communities across the state. Five Northeast Ohio projects scooped up more than $20 million, almost two-thirds of the sum.

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