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Forest City Sells Cleveland’s Halle Building for $20M

15 Dec 2014, 4:32 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Halle Building

One of Cleveland’s oldest landmark buildings has changed hands. Forest City Enterprises Inc. announced it completed the sale of the Halle Building at the start of December. The property was acquired by affiliates of K&D Management LLC for $20 million.

The Halle Building is located at 1228 Euclid Ave. in downtown Cleveland. The property was constructed in 1910 and was originally the home of the Halle Brothers upscale department store. It was reconfigured and now features 392,000 square feet of office space and a total of 409,000 square feet of space. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Forest City purchased the former department store in 1986. In a news release, the company said the sale generated net proceeds of approximately $8.3 million. It also added that the new owners plan to convert it into rental apartments, with retail, office and restaurant space on the first two floors. Forest City did not disclose any other details about K&D’s planned project.

On the same day it announced the sale of the Halle Building, Forest City also said it sold a 322-unit independent senior apartment community in Lauderhill, Fla. Pacifica Lauderhill LLC purchased the property, Forest Trace, in a sale that generated net cash proceeds of $18.5 million to Forest City. The buyer also assumed the existing mortgage on the community.

“These sales, which include our last assisted-living apartment community, reflect continued execution of our strategy to narrow the focus of our operating portfolio, monetize non-core assets and use proceeds to further reduce leverage and selectively reinvest in opportunities in core markets,” David LaRue, Forest City’s president & CEO, said in a statement for the press.

Since 2012, Forest City has sold 48 primarily non-core assets, generating cash proceeds of approximately $945.4 million. Over that same period, the Cleveland-based company has reduced total debt by approximately $1.9 billion and annual fixed charges by nearly $300 million.

Photo credit: Forest City Enterprises Inc.



Kent State to Invest More Than $142M in Construction, Renovation Projects

8 Dec 2014, 5:36 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Rendering of the new College of Architecture and Environmental Design building.

Kent State University has announced it will spend more than $142 million for the construction and renovation of several buildings on its campus.

The university’s board of trustees approved spending $37.6 million for the construction of the Integrated Sciences Building for the College of Arts and Sciences. The new facility will be LEED Silver certified. It will have 57,000 gross square feet of space, with an additional 13,500 square feet of unfinished basement space, and will wrap around and connect to the existing Williams Hall.

According to the university, the project is financed by $5 million in state funding, $30.5 million in bond revenue funds and $2 million from Kent State’s contingency reserve for campus facilities. The new Integrated Sciences Building will be used for research and teaching chemistry, biology and physics.

Kent State will invest $57.2 million to renovate and modernize laboratories and classrooms in Cunningham, Williams and Smith halls. These three facilities were all constructed in the late 1960s. The renovations will replace the failing air-conditioning system, will bring automatic fire-protection systems and will make restrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Kent State will finance the project with the help of $7.2 million previously approved by the board for critical work that has been completed or is underway, $29.5 million from the state of Ohio, and $20.5 million in bond-revenue funds.

The university will start work on these renovation and construction projects next year. They are all scheduled for completion in 2017.

Kent State also announced that the design plans for the new College of Architecture and Environmental Design building are now complete and that it will move forward with the first phase of construction. The facility will be constructed across from Franklin Hall, at a cost of $47.9 million. It will have 107,000 square feet of space.

Rendering courtesy of Kent State University.



Visconsi Plans to Add 205 Apartments in Little Italy

1 Dec 2014, 2:38 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

More than 200 new apartments are coming to Cleveland. A Pepper Pike-based developer plans to build a six-story apartment building in the city’s Little Italy Neighborhood.

According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the project has recently taken another step toward the start of construction. Earlier this month, the Cleveland Landmarks Commission granted it a preliminary approval, as well as approving the developer’s request to clear the Woodhill Supply property on E. 123rd Street.

Visconsi Cos., the project’s developer, plans to replace the vacant industrial complex in Little Italy with two blocks of apartments, with green space between them. There will be 29 studios, 99 one-bedroom units and 77 two-bedroom units. The 205 apartments could range between 445 and 1,369 square feet. Plans also call for the construction of a two-level, 258-space parking garage. Cleveland-based Vocon designed the project.

The developers did not reveal how much they plan to invest or a timeline for the project. They told The Plain Dealer that the acquisition of the site might occur in the first half of 2015. They also said they hope to start work next spring and that construction could take between a year and 18 months.

In its fourth quarter 2014 apartment market report, Marcus & Millichap said that this year Cleveland will receive the largest addition to its apartment inventory in more than a decade. Builders will deliver 1,100 units this year, increasing apartment stock by 0.7 percent. In spite of this, the elevated demand will continue to push down vacancies. By the end of the year, apartment vacancy in the Cleveland area is expected to reach 4.3 percent. This will enable operators to boost rents by 2.1 percent this year, to $812 per month.

Photo credit: Cleveland Landmarks Commission



Two New Hotels Open in Akron

24 Nov 2014, 2:58 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Homewood Suites by Hilton Akron Fairlawn

Homewood Suites by Hilton has announced the opening of its newest property in the state of Ohio. Called the Homewood Suites by Hilton Akron Fairlawn, OH, it is the brand’s first hotel in the Akron area and its 15th in the state.

The new Homewood Suites by Hilton Akron Fairlawn is located at 210 Springside Drive, close to downtown Akron and its many restaurants, shops and popular attractions. It has 105 studio, one- or two-bedroom suites, each with complimentary living areas, Internet access, kitchens and flat-screen TVs. According to the hotel’s website, room rates start at $159 per night. The Homewood Suites by Hilton Akron Fairlawn also features a 1,624-square-foot boardroom that can accommodate as many as 47 people, a business center, a swimming pool, a fitness center and a 24-hour shop.

“Homewood Suites Akron Fairlawn is the ideal place to stay for guests looking for value-added amenities like our daily complimentary breakfast and high-quality fitness center,” Jenilee Taylor, the new hotel’s general manager, said in a statement. “Our hotel, in close proximity to area attractions, offers guests everything they need to feel comfortable while visiting for one night or an extended period.” TMI Hospitality is the owner of the new Homewood Suites by Hilton Akron Fairlawn.

Another Akron hotel also opened its doors to the public, just one day before the Homewood Suites by Hilton Akron Fairlawn. The Hilton Garden Inn Akron is the first new hotel constructed in the city since 1980.

Pittsburgh-based Summit Development and Industrial Realty Group LLC started work on the $18 million project last year, on three acres of land formerly occupied by the Goodyear world headquarters. It delivered a 139-room hotel with a full restaurant and bar, an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center and meeting rooms offering about 3,000 square feet of flexible space.

The Hilton Garden Inn Akron is part of the larger East End mixed-use project. Also developed by IRG and Summit, when finished, it will bring 1.7 million square feet of offices, retail and residences to Akron.

Photo credit: www.facebook.com/AkronFairlawnHomewood



Investors Buy Two Cuyahoga Falls Shopping Centers

19 Nov 2014, 4:37 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Plaza at Chapel Hill

Two Cuyahoga Falls shopping centers have changed hands this month in separate transactions. The Plaza at Chapel Hill and the Shoppes at Chapel Hill are both located on Howe Avenue.

Devonshire REIT Inc. bought the larger of the two properties, The Plaza at Chapel Hill. The real estate investment trust announced the acquisition on Nov. 12. It purchased The Plaza at Chapel Hill together with two other properties, the 174,384-square-foot Oak Park Town Center, in Chattanooga, Tenn., and the 105,698-square-foot Forest Park Plaza, in Brazil, Ind. Devonshire REIT paid $88.4 million for the three shopping centers.

The Plaza at Chapel Hill is located on Highway 8. It offers 456,044 square feet of space and is home to several national tenants, among them Giant Eagle, TJ Maxx and Dick’s Sporting Goods. At the time of the sale, the shopping center was 94.3 percent occupied.

“Each of these properties sits at the gateway entrance to their respective city, is the dominant shopping center in the area, and boasts an exciting mix of tenants. With 95 percent average occupancy and predominantly national tenants, the centers provide both stable cash flow and upside potential. The Plaza at Chapel Hill is especially noteworthy because it’s the single-largest property acquisition in the history of Devonshire, and it offers 18 acres of undeveloped space that’s already drawing significant interest,” Mike Denman, executive vice president of real estate operations for Devonshire REIT, said in a statement for the press.

According to Crain’s Cleveland, Damar Ltd. sold the Shoppes at Chapel Hill to Akron Jupiter L.L.C. and Akron NPR L.L.C., two affiliates of Boca Raton-based Pebb Enterprises. The sale price was $10.5 million. The shopping center is located at 645 Howe Ave. It was constructed in 1992 and offers 85,000 square feet of space. Its tenant roster includes national retailers such as Michael’s, Staples and Panera Bread.

Photo credit: Devonshire REIT







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