New apartment complexes in Cleveland constructed with pandemic living in mind to entice renters

Posted at 6:06 AM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 09:00:49-05

CLEVELAND — There’s a lot of alluring aspects of downtown Cleveland living like the nightlife, sporting events, music venues and more, but those components have all been affected by COVID-19.

“We really think that people are craving more community and interaction right now and it’s hard to access that,” said Hannah Kohler the property manager for J Roc Development.

The group owns the Shoreway apartment complex in Battery Park and is building Electric Gardens, a soon to be 130-unit living community in Tremont.

Kohler said with the new norm of 2020, comes new marketing opportunities to entice people to make that move to downtown apartment living.

“We’re creating a solution,” she said.

The group is constructing Electric Gardens with pandemic living in mind.

“We are going to have built-in, really amazing, air purification in each apartment,” she said.

They’re also bringing a new meaning to the phrase “work from home.”

“This whole space down here is going to be filled with private offices and just open floor to work,” she said standing in the unfinished 8,000 sq. foot ground floor of the complex. “You have this new experience, where you come home and you can have your separate home and you come downstairs to work.”

She said it’s working. She’s already signed people up for leases, despite the fact that the complex is still under construction.

“I’m doing hard hat tours. I’m doing them nearly every day,” she said. “

Overall, rental occupancy rate in Cleveland is about 85% according to the Downtown Cleveland Alliance. That is down from 90% in 2019, but officials said it’s not because demand for downtown living is down, it’s because supply is up.

“We’ve been pretty lucky the last 5 to 10 years to have a very high occupancy rate in downtown Cleveland. So for it to dip to 85% because we’ve had such an influx in new apartments coming online is actually impressive,” said Alan O’Connell the president of Downtown Cleveland Residents.

Between this year and last, downtown has added over 1,900 apartments.

“We always anticipated the occupancy rate would decline with this influx in supply,” said Audrey Gerlach with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance.

O’Connell said it’s a good time to lease because to stand out from the rest, apartments are also offering incentives.

“There’s move-in specials, security deposits being waived,” he said.

And while the city lights are a bit duller and the streets a bit quieter, Kohler said she’s confident those lights will shine brighter than ever before in the near future.

“It’s a great time to get in and then be a part of everything once it comes back and once Cleveland comes alive again,” she said.

Kohler said Electric Gardens should be move-in ready spring of 2021.

To check out the renderings click here.