Properties Magazine March 2017 : Page 28

New Directions on West 25th Challenging renovation creates new apartments from historic Ohio City properties By Doug Bardwell | Photos by Joe Albert Studios O ne hundred fifty years ago, Cleveland’s hottest new brew pub was the Jacob Baehr Brewery, which opened for business at West 25th and Church Avenue. Successful from the start, the family added upper levels for the family residence above the saloon, as well as a brick horse stable and a brewery out back, including a 90-foot-tall smoke stack. in the Underground Railway, a large historic plaque is mounted right outside the church. Walking out of the church, facing south in 1872, parishioners would have first witnessed the brewery going up to the building was the site of huge galas and meetings. Looking to the right, around 1906, parishioners watched as Henry Bollinger constructed a factory at the corner of West 28th Street for his Phoenix Ice Machine Company. The sound of horse’s hoofs gave way to the sound of automobiles, and machine noises undoubtedly filled the air as the two center sections of the block were built out about 1930 and 1950. During the summer of 1953, a tor-nado that ripped through much of western Cleveland caused extensive damage to the third and fourth floors of the Odd Fellows Building, requiring them to be removed. Until 1978, much of the space on the east end of the block was used by Reister and Thesmacher for their sheet metal business. Exhibit Builders occu-pied the West 25th Street buildings later. The western end became Lester Engineering, a heavy stamping machine Properties | March 2017 Today, these historic buildings in Ohio City have been transformed as part of the much larger West 25th Street Lofts at 2599 Church Ave. It’s a 165,000-square-foot, $27 million reno-vation on two acres that includes 83 apartments, 9,600 square feet in four retail areas, a 55-car indoor heated garage and fenced parking for 70 cars outside. The apartments were already 85% leased as of February 1, and approximately one new apartment is being leased each day. Of the 83 apartments at West 25th Street Lofts, 85% were already leased as of February 1, and approximately one new apartment is being leased each day. the left along West 25th Street. The sound of horse’s hoofs would have clat-tered along the hard dirt street in the years that followed, as the beer wagons made their deliveries to local bars. By 1873, next to the brewery, a four-story, Gothic-inspired building was added along West 25th as home for the Westside International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF). By the 1880s, Going back 200 years Activity in this area really began in 1816, as a small group of Episcopalians met to begin what would become St. John’s parish at West 26th and Church Street. In the same year Cleveland became incorporated as a city (1836), work began on the church and was completed in 1838 on what remains today as Northern Ohio’s oldest con-secrated structure. Honored for its role 28 Photo by Mark Watt

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