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New Euclid Grand apartment building nears completion on John Hartness Brown complex site

Euclid Avenue development fills long-time gap
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Posted at 7:00 AM, Mar 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-13 07:00:57-05

CLEVELAND — The Euclid Grand is just a few weeks away from being fully completed along a well-traveled stretch of Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland.

The $80 million project has 240 apartments, 20,000 square feet of retail along the Euclid sidewalk and 200 parking spaces below the building, located at 1101 Euclid Ave.

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New ground floor retail space waits for new tenants along Euclid Avenue.

More than a century ago, this stretch was part of Millionaire’s Row. That was before John Hartness Brown imagined a retail hub in that same location, according to ClevelandHistorical.org.

“According to a January 22, 1909 Cleveland Plain Dealer article, it was the start of construction of these buildings in 1901 which sparked the beginning of the Upper Euclid Avenue shopping district--one which for much of the twentieth century stretched from East 9th Street to Playhouse Square, and to which thereafter some of Cleveland’s most glamorous and iconic department stores, including Halle Brothers, Sterling-Lindner-Davis, and even, for a time, Higbee’s, before it relocated to the Terminal Tower complex in 1931."

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The John Hartness Brown complex as it stood along Euclid Avenue around 1915. The Statler Hotel is to the right in the picture.

While other retail locations opened nearby, Brown’s plans were never fully realized.

“While by 1909, Halle Brothers, Sterling-Lindner and even Higbee’s had all successfully relocated to the new shopping district which Brown had envisioned, his own building remained only partially built and had become an eyesore on Euclid Avenue,” according to Cleveland Historical.

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Brown owned much of the land on Euclid between what is now East 12th (Murson) and East 9th Streets (Erie). The street from Euclid to "Chestnut" no longer exists.

The structures were eventually finished by other developers and joined the downtown retail community. As Cleveland’s momentum slowed in the 1970s, the building was eventually used as office space.

By the time Alto Partners bought the building, much of it had been vacant for a decade and needed a big facelift.

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By 2018, the buildings had been vacant for a decade and needed a lot of love.

“That stretch between East 9th Street and 12th along Euclid has been a challenge for a long time,” said Downtown Cleveland Alliance Executive Vice President Michael Deemer.

“It’s been a roller-coaster ride,” said Alto Partners CEO Michael Sabracos.

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Creating the interior courtyard required cutting through some of the walls that separated one building from another.

In the more than two years that it took the project to be completed, Downtown Cleveland saw many other apartments open up but also saw rioting after George Floyd’s death and weathered the COVID pandemic.

“We came to a screeching halt for a while everywhere,” said Sabracos. “We’re starting to ramp up."

He said residents now are looking for space and technology, because they’re working from home.

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The building's original steel beams are exposed in the interior courtyard. The new building cut a whole in the middle of the original structure to allow light in for interior apartments. It also creates a place for yoga off the gym.

Sabracos says Alto Partners spent a considerable amount of money making Euclid Grand a “smart building.”

USB ports are in some outlets, allowing residents to charge their phones with USB cords, keeping outlets clear. An app for residents allows them to control the apartment’s lights, temperature and locks from their phone.

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The dog park sits on top of the loading dock in the back of the building.

Residents are already moving in while some of the finishing touches are put on some common areas. When it’s all done, there will be a gym with workout equipment and also hydro-massage chairs and a space for outdoor yoga in an interior courtyard. Upper-level common rooms will have a golf simulator, wine storage, wine-tasting, a shuffleboard and art studio. Outdoor rooftop space will have fire pits and grills overlooking Euclid Avenue.

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Some of the original ironwork remained on the backside of the building. Incorporating it into the new building was a big challenge for Alto Partners.

It's come a long way from when the building was abandoned.

“Euclid Avenue from Playhouse Square to Public Square really feels like that complete, historic district Main Street that it has always been and has always meant to be,” said Deemer.

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The ironwork remains after the renovation. The space is a small balcony for the apartments inside, allowing the ironwork to stay in place.

“We lit up this block,” said Sabracos. “The block was dead. Now it links Playhouse Square to the downtown area.”

Next door, the old bank building has plans to become The Centennial with workforce housing and a restaurant and historical showcase in the lobby.

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