CLEVELAND — What was once a void in the Detroit Avenue commercial corridor will soon become a sign of its resurgence. Flanked alongside the project’s developers, city and county officials ceremonially broke ground on a $60 million mixed-use development near Detroit Ave. and West 29th Street. that will bring much-needed housing units, retail space and a publicly-accessible to Ohio City. The name of the development, Church+State, pays homage to the area’s history by deriving its name from where it will be built: the intersection of Church and West 29th streets, formerly known as State St.
The development, which also includes underground parking and a 200 space garage for bicycles, will take the place of two largely vacant, under-utilized parking lots.
“There’s a really exciting development that is coming to Cleveland. It’s something that really weaves into the existing urban fabric but then raises the level of design,” said Graham Veysey, one of the project’s developers. “We are really proud of the design aesthetic that’s being brought to this project.”
The project will consist of two separate buildings. In-between them will be a publicly-accessible park that will feature an amphitheater. Surrounding the area will be approximately 20,000 square feet of retail space. Inside the buildings will be 158 apartments, which range in size from 585 to 1700 square feet. Units will be offered in studio, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom formats.
As many as 120 construction jobs will be created, all of which will be held by union labor, Veysey said. Contractors will be using green technology during construction and the units will be furnished with energy efficient appliances.
“Church and State will be the first multi-family residential LEED silver certified development on Cleveland’s west side. That is something we are really proud of,” Veysey said. “It’s a transit oriented design that compliments the existing public transportation infrastructure. Church and State really is a nod to the historical part of the neighborhood.”
The transit-friendly design of the development is also a nod to its proximity to some of the city’s assets, including Public Square, Gordon Square, West Side Market and Edgewater Beach. Even with the emphasis on multi-modal transportation, the development will also feature ample parking thanks to the addition of underground parking spaces and diagonal parking spaces on Detroit Ave.
“We’ll have a net gain of 100 plus parking spaces,” Veysey said. “We’ll be able to make sure the neighbors that are moving in are respecting the neighbors that have been here for sometimes decades and decades.”
Veysey has a particular interest in the project because he and his wife life in a historic building next door that features remodeled apartment buildings. From the project’s onset and nearly two years of public engagement, the development has been modeled and adjusted with the neighborhood in mind, Veysey said.
“We don’t only care about it as developers but we care about it first and foremost as neighbors,” Veysey said. “We’re excited to be adding to the existing urban fabric and really strengthening it.”
Ben Trimble, the senior director of real estate and planning for Ohio City Inc, said the Church+State development not only fills an empty space on Detroit Avenue, but also fills a void in the supply of housing units. An increase in the number of housing units, especially luxury housing units, can help mitigate gentrification, Trimble said. The Church+State project fits perfectly into Ohio City Incorporated’s strategic plan of responsible growth, Trimble said.
“There’s a huge demand for housing units right now. Any time we can add more supply to the market, it helps to bring down the cost of demand. It allows other units in the neighborhood not to be converted into, for instance, luxury apartments,” Trimble said. “Any time you can add more housing units to vacant land in the city, it helps to meet that demand without displacement.”
Construction on the project has already started as crews begin to install pilings that will support excavation efforts. Construction is expected to be complete by the summer of 2020.
The apartment units will rent for $1300 to $1400 for a studio; $1495 to $1995 per month for a one bedroom unit; $2050 to $2750 for a two bedroom unit; and $2700 to $3900 for a three bedroom unit.