Proposed Lincoln Heights development gets initial go-ahead, including 1.5 acre public park

A never-developed lot in Tremont that was formerly owned by the Cleveland Animal Protective League is slated for residential development. On January 6, developers presented initial plans for the units as well as a public park associated with the project.
A map of the development, including the proposed public green space, was part of Brandon Kline’s presentation today to the Cleveland Planning Commission.

A large piece of land on Cleveland’s near west that is slated for apartments and townhomes will include a 1.5 acre public green space, according to information presented to the Cleveland Planning Commission on Friday, Jan, 6. 

The Lincoln Heights Apartments and Townhomes, to be located at 1850 Brevier Avenue on a never-developed parcel of land tucked between Scranton and W. 25th, will feature 107 apartments and 21 townhomes, according to the submission (view it here by selecting presentation materials for the Jan. 6 meeting). The project is being developed by a partnership that includes Geis Companies, Property Advisors, Knez Construction, and Sixmo. The property is located in the Lincoln Heights section of Tremont, which is densely built with narrow streets and is an area that has seen a spate of new development in recent years. 

Rendering of the proposed Lincoln Heights Apartments and Townhomes project. Courtesy of developer.

Brandon Kline, director of design and development with Geis Companies, said the developers have had three meetings with the local block club as well as other neighborhood groups. They’re committed to building the park, he said. While its design, how it will be funded, and who will maintain the park once it’s completed have not been fully determined yet, Kline confirmed that the park will be open not only to the residents of adjacent buildings but also to the public. 

“We’re working on funding for the park, that’s why it’s not fully designed,” said Kline, who was seeking schematic approval for the project, which means that commission members weighed in on the site plan but not design details. “We’re committed to making sure the project doesn’t go forward without the park, so the lack of detail in our presentation is not to sidestep it.”

Committee members pressed Kline on the issue, asking for a fully developed park and maintenance plan when the developers come back for final approval. Ward 3 council member Kerry McCormack chimed in to agree. “I really want to double down on the commission’s recommendation,” he said. “We have to get this park right. This is an opportunity for the commission to really help ensure that. Not only is it a green space but it’s also a potential connection between two adjacent neighborhoods (Ohio City and Tremont) in the city of Cleveland.”

A view of downtown Cleveland from the proposed development site. (Photo by Lee Chilcote)

Tremont was bifurcated more than 50 years ago by the development of the I-90 and I-71 freeways, and this part of the neighborhood bears those scars. The Brevier Avenue property has never been developed, and Kline identified it as a filled ravine covered over with landfill. The Cleveland Animal Protective League once owned the property, but after completing an expansion of their facilities in the area, they sold it to the developers for $550,000, according to  NEOtrans and Crain’s (The Land was not able to independently confirm the sale price in Cuyahoga County records for the property). 

Other new construction in the area includes the Lincoln and Tappan apartments on Scranton Boulevard, the Treo apartment project on W. 25th St., and a planned apartment project on W. 20th St. 

Donna Grigonis, director of neighborhood development with Tremont West Development Corporation and Ohio City Incorporated, said the organizations would ask the developer to sign a community benefits agreement stating how they’d develop the park and maintain it. She said the groups support the project because it fits in with the Lincoln Heights master plan, which was developed with resident input several years ago. The organizations are also working with the developers of Treo on W. 25th St. to create a connection point to the park, she said. 

Tremont residents and residents of surrounding neighborhoods would be able to access the park via Brevier Avenue or Lamoille Court, Kline said. Although the drive running through the project would be privately owned, it would still be publicly accessible, he stated. Cut-through traffic would be restricted by the fact that the exit drive onto Lamoille Court would be one way, he added.

Commission members voted to provide schematic approval to the project, but they asked to see a circulation plan showing how the project would connect to surrounding streets, a stormwater management strategy, and a plan for the park when the developers return for final approval. 

To view Cleveland Planning Commission agendas and meeting details and find out how you can attend and participate, visit www.planning.clevelandohio.gov

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