CLEVELAND - To some, it’s considered the final piece of the puzzle. The Cleveland Athletic Club, by all accounts, was the last project to get the go-ahead in the stretch of Euclid Avenue from Playhouse Square to Public Square in Downtown Cleveland.
Cleveland’s City Council signed off on the massive project totaling well over $62 million. The city is looking at making millions of dollars on the project which is just the latest, in what has been a booming few years for rejuvenation in downtown Cleveland.
Since 2007, the Cleveland Athletic Club has sat vacant.
“It’s kind of a missing tooth on Euclid Avenue,” said Cleveland Councilman Kerry McCormack.
McCormack was happy to sign off on a $62 million renovation of the Cleveland Athletic Club, one that’ll put 200 apartment units and street-level retail complete with shopping, bars and restaurants in the historic building.
“In Cleveland, we’ve lost a lot of good buildings due to demolition over the years,” he said.
“So it’s exciting to see a building like the Cleveland Athletic Club which has such a rich and interesting history to it, be preserved in a vibrant and productive use," McCormack said.
Euclid Avenue is no stranger to renovation. The latest in its renaissance is the old Huntington Bank building and the stretch of storefronts next to it. McCormick says the Huntington Bank and Athletic Club projects are crucial to driving tax dollars downtown and getting to the coveted 20,000 downtown residents the city has been hoping for.
“It’s projects like that that are going to get us there,” he said.
Also, projects like the NuCLEus, the planned 55-story residential, commercial and retail space that’s been in the works for years. For those still wondering, it’s still happening, according to McCormack.
“When you have folks moving into the city, these are going to be income taxes that are going to be coming into the city’s coffers, folks that are going to be patronizing the retail in the area and spending in other places,” he said.
Construction on the Athletic Club has already begun. It will likely take 1.5-2 years to complete McCormack said.