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Construction starts on new Circle Square project in University Circle

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Posted at 9:06 AM, Apr 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-10 23:02:49-04

CLEVELAND — Circle Square starts construction

Crews in University Circle are getting the site ready to start building the first pieces of Circle Square: The Artisan, Library Lofts, and a new Cleveland Public Library Branch below the Lofts.

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The residential building will sit on the former location of a Cleveland Police Station.

Circle Square is a large plan for the land between Euclid Avenue to the south, Chester Ave to the north and east as it bends away from Wade Lagoon.

The Artisan

The Artisan will sit on the site of a former Cleveland police station at the corner of Chester Avenue and Stokes Boulevard. The station was demolished in 2019, making way for the new apartment building that will have retail on the ground floor and a parking garage behind the building. The goal is for the ground floor retail to be amenity-based, like a dry cleaner or bank. Work on that building will start this month with a completion date at the end of 2022.

Crews are preparing the land where The Artisan will be built over the next 18-20 months.

The Artisan will be a "23-story, 298-unit luxury high-rise apartment property that will include a mix of studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom spaces along with ample covered parking and commercial retail space," according to the project's website.

Library Lofts and new Library

The second piece of the project will build a new Cleveland Public Library Branch on Euclid Avenue just west of Stokes Boulevard, replacing the Martin Luther King Jr. branch on Stokes Avenue. The Library Lofts will be above the new library. That section of the project could start in August or September and be finished by March 2023.

The Artisan will be at the top of the picture. Library Lofts and the new Cleveland Public Library branch will be in the bottom left of the picture. The Circle Square office tower will be to the right of the picture.

Work on these parts of the larger vision is starting from the outside of the footprint and working in so that the library branch will remain open during construction even as it moves around the corner. The old building won’t be impacted until the new library is operational.

Circle Square

Eventually, the completed project intends to have a 13-floor office building across Stokes from the residential structures in what’s now an open grass field. Five levels of parking will be capped with seven levels of office space.

The office building will occupy the former home of the Elysium, a skating rink that sat at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 107th Street. It was built in 1907 and demolished in 1951, according to Case Western Reserve University’s Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.

This rendering shows where Circle Square would fit in compared to Wade Lagoon to the right.

The building would have Class A office space with views of Wade Lagoon on a plot of land that is now open grass and trees across the street from Fenway Manor.

Developers say they are still in the process of finding tenants and sorting out the financing to make the later stages of the project work.

Midwest Development Partners is partnering with White Oak Realty Partners out of Chicago, which is the lead developer on the project.

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This picture shows where the Artisan will go (center) and where future development will follow.

Midwest Development Partners tells News 5 it’s been working on the project for about five years, trying to coordinate the large number of institutions involved to get the project done. The land is within University Circle, but it is near Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, The Cleveland Clinic, and involves moving a branch of the Cleveland Public Library.

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