Cleveland State University Breaks Ground on $50M Project

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor Cleveland State University broke ground on Nov. 9 on a $50 million mixed-use project, the city’s largest residential development in more than 30 years. Polaris Real Estate Equities and Buckingham Cos. are co-developers. The groundbreaking ceremony was [...]

Cleveland State University broke ground on Nov. 9 on a $50 million mixed-use project, the city’s largest residential development in more than 30 years. Polaris Real Estate Equities and Buckingham Cos. are co-developers.

The groundbreaking ceremony was on the corner of East 23rd Street and Chester Avenue on the CSU campus. U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Cleveland, Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland City Council President Martin Sweeney, all alumni, were present at the event.

Known as Campus Village, the project will include nine buildings on nearly seven acres just north of the campus, with 9,000 square feet of retail space, restaurants, a theater and 300 market-rate apartments meant to attract young professionals, professors, alumni and students. The university owns the property. Polaris leased the site for 50 years, with seven five-year extensions possible.

The CSU campus is in the southeastern part of Cleveland’s CBD, roughly between Chinatown, I-90 and the Playhouse Square neighborhood. The site currently consists mostly of surface parking lots. Two buildings, one of them the university’s theater arts building, will be demolished. The university sold bonds to cover the cost of demolition and site preparation.

The first phase of construction is scheduled to be complete by fall 2012 and the second phase by fall 2013. Buckingham Cos. will manage the property after construction is complete. The Indianapolis-based company joined Polaris on the development earlier this year.

Cleveland State University was founded in 1964. It has an enrollment of more than 17,000 students and about 200 academic programs. The campus currently has housing for about 1,200. The goal of the project is to create a neighborhood on university property that will connect the campus to the nearby Playhouse Square theater district and will shed the commuter-school image. It will play an important role in the revitalization of the entire area, and will likely spark additional development.