Nonprofit Developer Maintains Affordable Rents in Cleveland

Mission-driven Community Builders has acquired the Commodore Place Apartments in Cleveland, which will continue to operate as a mixed-income housing community.

Commodore Place Apartments, a mixed-income residential building located in Cleveland’s high-profile University Circle neighborhood, will remain an inexpensive rental location after the property’s recent sale to a nonprofit real estate developer.

Commodore Place Apartments in Cleveland’

Commodore Place Apartments in Cleveland’

The Community Builders Inc. paid $8.7 million to acquire the 198-unit building at 10700 Euclid Ave., according to Crain’s Cleveland Business. The Boston-based nonprofit developer of mixed-income housing bought the property from University Circle Inc., with plans to invest an additional $28 million into its redevelopment and maintain it as an affordable apartment community.

In other words, low-income renters will continue to live side-by-side with students and other tenants at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Ford Drive, close to the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and across from the apartments at Uptown, which command some of the highest rental rates in the city.

Rents at Commodore Place Apartments range from $697 to $966 a month. About 73 percent of the building’s units are considered “affordable,” reported. Tenants in these apartments pay only a portion of the rent, with the difference coming from landlord subsidies provided under a contract with HUD.

“We look at two things,” Terri Hamilton Brown, The Community Builders’ vice president of development for the Midwest, said in a statement. “One is preserving affordable housing for families and seniors. Secondly, we very much look at opportunities to make mixed-income communities that are vibrant and integrate affordable housing in emerging markets. And so this property offers both. … In fact, we hope that this is the beginning of future investments in Cleveland.”

According to Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle, it took the nonprofit two years to find the right buyer for the Commodore, where occupancy is currently at 92 percent.

“We get that this is one of the 100 percent corners in Cleveland,” stated Ronayne, “and why shouldn’t persons of all economic means enjoy that 100 percent corner?”

The property initially opened as the “Commodore Hotel” back to 1924. The renovation will bring exterior and interior upgrades, including improvements to the building’s heating and cooling system.

“We are proud that this next chapter will be led by the nation’s largest nonprofit affordable housing provider. The Community Builders have the capacity and the experience to further enhance our neighborhood and the Commodore Place Apartments. This is truly a win-win for our community and the residents of the Commodore,” Ronayne said in the news release announcing the sale.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons