Properties Magazine March 2017 : Page 31

BIG CHANGES Plans for the renovation and transformation of West 25th Street Lofts called for installation of a new below-ground parking garage, plus conversion of existing spaces into first-floor retail areas and apartments. builder. Then, in 1985, the complex was purchased by CMHA for office space. Fast forward to the 21st century In 2007, Rick Foran, of the Foran Group Development LLC, was on the board of a non-profit group who was looking for a location for a women’s shelter. While in the neighborhood visiting his son, who co-owns Market Garden Brewery and Nano Brew Cleveland, he happened to notice the former Odd Fellows Building and was attracted to it with its Gothic windows. Thinking it might make a suitable shel-ter, he took an option on the property. Relatively soon thereafter, the organiza-tion changed its plans, but Foran held onto the option. Upon the suggestion of City Councilman Joe Cimperman, Foran began exploring the option of convert-ing it into market rate apartments. “About that time, a good, mutual friend of ours, the late Ken Fleming, introduced me to Chris Smythe, pres-ident and CEO of Smythe Property Advisors, LLC,” Foran says. “As I was showing Chris my idea of converting the buildings at the east end of the block, he asked what was being done with the then-vacant CMHA parcel at the other end of the block. It turned out to be available and they quoted us a price.” credits, which he applied for and were approved in round one in 2007. The developers then turned their attention to the CMHA property. Before plans were even drawn for the project, a local real estate broker stopped by, looking for space for a char-ter school prospect of his. A deal was struck for CMHA space in the western end of the building. With that commitment, they applied for financing from Charter One (now Citizens Bank). Since the bank could get Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) credits, and since the property had a commercial tenant’s lease in hand, they were approved in late 2008, possibly the only commercial real estate loan in Cleveland to close in November of that year. With that, Arts & Sciences Preparatory Academy moved in. As a perfect transition tenant, the acade-my’s rent covered the mortgage expense while plans were being formulated for the larger project. A vacant property initiative (VPI) city loan was then secured, which enabled them to purchase the remaining build-ings at the east end, which had fallen in and out of option multiple times. To com-Proud to have provided concrete services for WEST 25TH STREET LOFTS with Foran Group LLC and PCScompanies &build NOR TH COAST CONCRETE Brian R. Dalrymple, Vice President Ź Ź Quality Workmanship On-Time Performance Ź Ź Customer Satisfaction Emphasizing Safety Member of: Landing historic tax credits Meeting with Mary Lovett at Ulmer & Berne, Foran was introduced to the concept of state historic preservation tax 216-642-1114 6061 Carey Dr., Valley View, OH 44125 31 Rendering courtesy of City Architecture

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