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Cleveland Foundation HQ gets final approval, construction could start before the end of 2020

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Posted at 8:41 AM, Nov 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-07 08:41:54-05

The Cleveland Foundation’s $21.8 million headquarters project received final approval from the Cleveland Planning Commission Friday. The Cleveland Foundation tells News 5 it hopes to begin construction before the end of 2020, depending on city permits. The Foundation hopes to move in during the summer of 2022.

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Renderings show what the new Cleveland Foundation Headquarters will look like from Euclid, east of the campus.

The project would achieve a handful of community goals: create a community-gathering location, provide space for local organizations, and bridge the gap between the Euclid corridor, which has seen hundreds of millions of investment dollars, and Hough neighborhood.

Cleveland Foundation Headquarters

The building itself will be a mass timber building, joining Ohio City’s Intro Cleveland which is also being built using similar materials.

See News 5 Cleveland's previous coverage of Intro Cleveland here and here.

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Renderins show how the mass timber building will look from the corner of East 66th Street and Euclid Avenue.

Vocon Associate Design Director Nick Faehnle told the Planning Commission that the building materials were chosen because of their environmental sustainability and how they’ll help make the building more inviting to people who see it.

S9 Architecture Architect Pascale Sablan showed renderings where the building materials will be visible from the lobby, symbolically showing how the project and headquarters is about being welcoming.

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Renderings show the interior of the building, where a community staircase will create a public space for meetings, interaction.

“The ground floor is meant to be as open and transparent and inviting as possible,” said Sablan.

The building is tallest at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 66th Street with a lot of glass on the first floor allowing pedestrians to see into the building.

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One large entrance to the building will be on the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 66th Street.

As the building moves east towards Dunham Tavern, Sablan says the building “kneels down,” tapering off into a green space intended to ease the transition to the Dunham Tavern campus.

There are also plans for a cafe that would be open even when the Cleveland Foundation offices aren’t open, giving the community an additional gathering spot. Ground floor meeting rooms are designed to be visible and open into the outdoor spaces to make the building more inviting.

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The land where the Cleveland Foundation will eventually build a new headquarters is an open field right now.

Sablan also noted the design of the building was based off what already exists nearby and what the historical use of the land used to be. The region’s manufacturing history inspired the building’s warehouse-like large windows.

The Western Red Cedar wood will have a special stain on it so the wood maintains its warm color.

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The building's lobby is designed to be open, inviting, and transparent.

“I can’t wait for young children in my neighborhood to be able to look up and see such a beautiful structure in their community,” said Ward 7 Cleveland City Council member Basheer Jones.

East 66th Street Connectivity

A new Headquarters location on the corner of Euclid and East 66th Street will also allow for green space, a new street design on East 66th Street making it easier to get from Euclid Avenue to and across Chester Avenue.

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East 66th Street, facing north is pretty quiet today. This road runs all the way across Chester Avenue to League Park's front entrance.

“[Chester Avenue] has historically been a structural and infrastructural divider between the two neighborhoods,” said MidTown Cleveland Vice President of Community Development Joyce Huang.

East 66th Street would be redesigned to include a multi-use path separated from the road by green space with on street parking on the opposite side of the road.

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A new street design will make it much easier for people who live near by to travel on East 66th Street in various different ways while safely getting across Chester Avenue.

Huang told the Planning Commission it was created with input from the community considering how the street could be accessible for multiple forms of transportation and local residents.

Green spaces

Behind the Cleveland Foundation Headquarters, there are plans for a long green space that would connect the Dunham Tavern Museum through to the back of Dave’s Supermarket at the corner of East 61st Street and Chester Avenue.

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The Cleveland Foundation Headquarters project will set the stage for large green spaces that create new places for community members to interact.

“These collective projects that are being planned…really help shape and form, after the Cleveland Foundation building is completed, to really transform what we see here,” said MidTown Cleveland Executive Director Jeff Epstein.

The goal is to create large areas that are welcoming for people to spend time, mingle with other community members, and relax outside.

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The public space behind the new Cleveland Foundation Headquarters is intended to be an asset for the community.

Have you ever noticed something interesting in Northeast Ohio and wondered, “Hey…what’s going on there?”

Us, too. We love learning more about what shapes the world around us -- the buildings, the spaces and the ways we move between them.

Next time you're wondering about some building, project or piece of land, send me an email at Kevin.Barry@wews.com and I'll look into it for a possible story.

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