On Friday, Sept. 3, the Cleveland Planning Commission granted final design approval to 42 new for-sale townhomes slated to be built on the former Saint Luke’s Hospital site in the Buckeye neighborhood. The new development, Entrada at Woodland Heights, will offer 1,400-1,500 square foot units starting in the low to mid $200,000’s.
According to a submission to the Cleveland Planning Commission, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) has partnered with Keystate Homes, Glimcher Capital Group, and Baya Build on the project. The development is to be located on the site of the former Saint Luke’s Pointe project, which stalled out during the 2008 housing recession and has sat vacant ever since then.
The new homes will be located along MLK Jr. Drive behind the former Saint Luke’s Hospital, which was transformed by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress a decade ago into a multi-use project featuring senior housing, The Intergenerational School, and other services. Harvey Rice School and library are located adjacent to the site, which is about a mile west of the Larchmere and Shaker Square shopping areas.
Danny Glimcher of Glimcher Capital Group said the project aims to create high-quality, modern homes at a fairly moderate price point, at least for today’s housing market. “We tried to give the buildings a very high design look while honoring the architectural language that exists in the neighborhood,” he said.
The Entrada project also dovetails with the city’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, which seeks to concentrate public and private investment in Buckeye. “This project executes the vision we had all had for the renaissance of this long-underserved neighborhood, and will create value for its residents and for the homeowners surrounding the project site,” Ward 6 council member Blaine Griffin wrote in a support letter.
The units have some unique design features. First of all, they will be accessible, slab on grade homes (there are no steps to enter them). Second, they are three bed, three bath units with first floor bedrooms and bathrooms, with opportunities for aging in place or inter-generational living. Finally, they will be built to Cleveland green building standards and have an optional solar product that will allow people to build net zero homes (one that makes as much electricity on-site as it will consume over the course of one year).
Other features include two-car attached garages, garage roof decks with downtown views, open floor plans, and wraparound front porches that aim to pay homage to the existing, porch-filled neighborhood. The homes will have open floor plans, quartz or granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances.
The builders also aim to hire a workforce that is representative of the community with MWBE (women and minority owned) contractors, Glimcher said. With 15 year tax abatement, the homes could have a payment of about $800 per month at current mortgage rates, he stated. (A 30-year mortgage of $200,000 at a 3.257 interest rate would be $871 per month, not including taxes or insurance. By contrast, the average rent in Cleveland is $1,154, a 3% increase over the previous year, according to RentCafe.)
Commission members were impressed by the homes’ universal design, or the design of buildings, products or environments to make them accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability or other factors.
“This sets a really nice precedent and we hope that everyone in the city takes a look at one you’re doing here, to be honest,” said planning commission member Lillian Kuri. “This idea that when people build accessible units, they tend to not be beautiful … this to me just strikes that. You can’t tell the difference between an accessible unit and a non-accessible unit. They’re just all accessible. And this, I think, is the future of universal design.”
For more information about the Cleveland Planning Commission, visit http://www.planning.clevelandohio.gov. For more info about Entrada at Woodhill Heights, email Andrew Gotlieb of Keystate Homes at [email protected] or call 216/591-1942.
Lee Chilcote is editor of The Land.
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