CLEVELAND — Ontario Stone is listing the five-acre parcel of land on the West Bank of the Flats where the Cuyahoga River empties into Lake Erie.
"The genesis of the project was just more of an inquiry,” said Cushman & Wakefield CRESCO Real Estate Broker Rico Pietro, who is listing the land. “They wanted to know what the land was worth, was it the right time to come to development, and we absolutely jumped at it.”
Early renderings show a 26-story apartment building complex designed by Dimit Architects that could house 400-500 people steps away from the Cleveland Metroparks’ newly built Wendy Park Bridge and Whiskey Island Connector Trail.
Pietro says that added connectivity and activity is a huge boost for the project like the one he’s hoping investors are attracted to, even though part of the project will involve extending infrastructure to handle new residential units.
“It gives the recreational component immediately attached to your development so it’s almost like you get a playground for free,” said Pietro.
Flats Forward Executive Director Jim Haviland says this could be the catalyst that kicks off West Bank development.
“Once one domino starts to fall, others do as well,” said Haviland. “Certainly, trails and bike paths, not only is it multi-modal, good for your health, but it also is a driver for economic development. “People want to be living in close proximity to the trails.”
His hope is that a new development at the mouth of the river can help jump-start development through the rest of the West Bank, where one developer already is turning a former manufacturing facility into an entertainment space.
Down the street, 5.6 acres of mostly parking lot space is still for sale on the West Bank of the Flats. Right now the lot is used as parking for Windows on the River and the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.
The opportunity for development on Ontario Stone’s property is exciting for Wendy Island novice Angela Mazzolini. She was in the area for the first time after dropping her daughter off for sailing classes at the Old Coast Guard Station.
“I went across all the bridges, it’s really cool,” said Mazzolini. “I think it’s fabulous. I plan to come back and bring friend sand maybe bikes, paddleboards, and explore and eat and drink.”
If Pietro and Haviland have their way, people like Mazzolini will also be coming back to live there too.
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