by Chuck Hoven
(Plain Press, March 2015) At a February 10th Ohio City Incorporated community meeting at Franklin Circle Church, Pete Snavely of the Snavely Group, offered an update on plans for a mixed use, mixed income residential project at W. 25th and Detroit Avenue. Pete Snavely hopes the project will transform three of the four corners of the intersection.
The Snavely Group has acquired the Forest City Savings and Trust Building on the Southwest corner of the intersection as well as the parking lot on the Northwest corner. Snavely said the proposed development would include roughly 240 apartments, 50,000 square feet of commercial space and 300 parking places.
The plan calls for rehabilitation of the Forest City Savings and Trust building to create 38 affordable apartments in the upper floors. The building will continue to house the Massimo da Milano Restaurant in 20,000 square feet of commercial space. Across the street in what is now a parking lot, the Snavely Group plans a building with 195 units of market rate housing, and 30,000 feet of commercial space.
Part of the commercial space in the new building will be leased to a school. Snavely would not reveal the name of the school, but said he is negotiating with several high quality charter schools. The school plans call for a courtyard where children can play and enjoy a gardening space.
Plans call for additional retail space on the first floor of the building as well as a second floor pool as part of the apartment building.
The façade of the building will be red and grey brick to give the building a similar look to that of the nearby apartments in the former Knitting Mill. The rear of the building will have balconies with views of the lake.
Pete Snavely told the crowd gathered at Franklin Circle Church that another goal of the project is to get property that housed the former CMHA headquarters on the Southeast Corner of the intersection donated to the City of Cleveland for a park. He noted that because of the instability of the land on the slope behind the buildings it is cost prohibitive to build on that corner. Snavely proposed that a 17-acre public park be built on that corner. He said he is willing to donate land to help make that happen.
Ohio City Incorporated Executive Director Tom McNair said plans to resurface W. 25th North of Detroit Avenue would include striping for a bike lane to connect to a bike path planned north of the Shoreway to Edgewater Park.
Pete Snavely noted that discussions were underway with the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) to improve the transit waiting areas on the corner as well. He said the corner is the second busiest bus stop waiting area in the city of Cleveland.
The apartments planned for the development would be one or two bedroom units, said Snavely. Asked about access for residents of the affordable apartments on the South side of the street to the amenities such as the pool on the North side of the street, Snavely said he hoped that everyone would have access to all the amenities, but that has not been vetted, so he didn’t want to make a commitment that that would happen yet.
In response to a question about security, Snavely said the apartments would have 180 underground parking spaces as well as a secure parking area on W. 28th Street. Residents would have key card access and cameras and a security system would be in place.
As far as access to the subway under the Detroit Superior (Veterans Memorial) Bridge that exists from the basement of the Forest City Savings and Trust, Snavely said while the old subway is outside of his control, he is willing to work with anyone that wants to make that happen.
Snavely said he expects ground to be broken for the new building by the end of the year. The timeline for the conversion of the Forest City building’s upper floors to apartments has not yet be determined.