Properties Magazine January 2016 : Page 23

Resurgence on the Waterfront Flats East Bank Phase II sprouts new residential, dining & entertainment experiences By Doug Bardwell | Photos by Scott Pease “P ersistence.” In one word, that summarizes how Scott Wolstein and his team are transform-ing the Flats into what you see today at Flats East Bank. Taking up an entire block at 1065 Old River Rd. in Cleveland, the 550,000-square-foot, eight-story, $155-million, Phase II includes 241 apartments, a 250-space private parking garage and a number of restaurant/entertainment units along with a 1,200-foot boardwalk along the Cuyahoga River. As Phase II opens, this “impossible” project has many other developers scratching their heads as people gravitate here to work, to live and to play. Phase II now brings the residential component down to the river, linking recreation and entertainment to create Cleveland’s hot-test new neighborhood. This development builds off of Phase I, completed in 2013, which incorpo-rated the 23-story Ernst & Young Tower and attached Starwood Aloft Hotel. As if that weren’t enough, plans are already underway for an even larger Phase III than originally envisioned. recalls Scott Wolstein, principal of The Wolstein Group. Although the Cuyahoga River was a drawing card, “the only way you could enjoy it was to pay a cover charge, walk through a bar, and go sit on their patio,” says Wolstein. The river was there, but it couldn’t be enjoyed by other than a select few at a time. Drinking wasn’t enough to maintain the momen-tum, the environment wasn’t conducive to affluent clientele, and the excitement and entertainment gradually faded away. Having traveled the world, Wolstein was impressed with The Rocks historic district in Sydney, Australia; as well as others in Lisbon, Portugal; Seattle, Washington; and the island of St. Maarten. Cleveland needed that vibe. Vacant industrial buildings weren’t the vision that Scott’s parents Bart and Iris Wolstein originally had for the Flats. With much property already acquired back in the ‘80s by Scott Wolstein and James Schoff, the poten-tial was too great to ignore. “It was probably in the mid-‘90s, we decided that we needed to really control the entire district, and we needed to start over and open up the site to provide access to the riverfront,” says Wolstein. “So then, that’s when we started coming up with the master plan to open up the site and provide view corridors to the river. Providing public access to the river made the larger property more valuable than just a strip of land that was along the west side of River Road.” Partnering with Fairmount Properties in 2005, plans began to coalesce. “I knew Randy Ruttenberg and Adam Fishman www.propertiesmag.com 23 Success is elusive When business boomed in the Flats in the ‘80s and ‘90s, nationally known res-taurant chains were eager to join the mix,

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