Two new developments on Fulton Road in Ohio City are adding more than 150 apartments to the neighborhood, but the real selling point is how they use context-based design as well as public art, restaurants and retail spaces to create more vibrancy at the street level.
The Dexter apartments, located at 2800 Franklin Boulevard at the northern end of Ohio City, recently welcomed their first resident. The project features 115 units ranging in price from $899/month for an efficiency to $3,449 per month for a three-bedroom, penthouse suite.
The building’s exterior features murals by local artists Antwoine Washington, Mac Love, Lindsey Krivenki, and April Bleakney. It also features a pedestrian walkway that connects the building to nearby Dexter Court, as well as nearly 8,660 square feet of retail space.
“We loved the site and neighborhood; it checked all of the boxes for infill development for us,” said Kolby Turnock, vice president of residential development for Casto, a 94-year-old real estate company headquartered in Columbus. “We want to feed off the energy that’s already happening in the neighborhood.”
The Dexter has smartly-designed units with quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, spacious kitchens, and washers and dryers. The units feature large windows, many with balconies with views of downtown and Ohio City. “We are not right on the main roads on Detroit and West 25th, we’re a little more part of the neighborhood, but you still have access to the city if you need it,” said property manager Dominic Edwards. “It gives you more of a neighborhood feel.
South of Lorain, Tinnerman Lofts is a conversion of the historic Tinnerman Steel Range Company building at 2048 Fulton. Dating back to the late 19th century, the company’s pioneering founders wanted to create a lighter alternative to cast iron stoves, so they invented the steel range. Tinnerman Steel Range Company merged with Eaton in 1969. The building, which was occupied by Vista Printing until a few years ago, has now been completely renovated inside and out.
The Tinnerman Lofts are also now welcoming their first tenants. The project brings 51 loft-style apartments to the area, ranging in price from $1,320/month for a one bedroom to $2,600 for an 1,800 square foot, two-level, two-bedroom suite. Next to the building, a historic home has been converted into a future restaurant space.
The developer, The Dalad Group, has also brought back to life a former VFW Hall at 2054 Fulton Road. The building had previously fallen into foreclosure. It will soon be home to a to-be-named restaurant with an outdoor pizza oven, bocce courts, outdoor seating, a fire pit, grill, and a spacious lawn area.
Tinnerman Lofts also features a giant community living room filled with art hand-picked by Dalad Group curator Liz Maugans. There are more than 90 pieces of art in the building, from a giant, sculptural cuckoo clock by Michael Loderstedt to a lenticular photograph by Donald Black Jr.
“This is a part of the glorious industrial past of Cleveland that we really embrace,” said Amy Viny of The Dalad Group. The real estate company also developed the Hat Factory, Worthington Yards in the Warehouse District, and others in Cleveland. “We really like the Midwest culture that we have here,” she said. “From the artists to the artisans, there’s just so much here to celebrate. We love giving these projects a sense of place.”
Viny said that the project is helping to connect nodes of activity and development in Ohio City. “This area has now become its own distinct neighborhood,” she said.
Ohio City Incorporated (OCI) executive director Tom McNair said that both The Dexter and Tinnerman Lofts were spurred in part by the $8 million redo of Fulton Road completed last year, including adding a traffic circle at Fulton and Franklin Boulevard, which was a streetcar turnaround at the turn of the last century. McNair and Shaw are pleased with how the traffic circle turned out and its traffic calming features — though they have concerns about other aspects of the Fulton re-do (see companion story here).
McNair aacknowledges the need for more affordable housing. Last month, OCI announced the creation of the Near West Land Trust, a collaboration with Tremont West Development Corporation to bring more affordable, for-sale housing to the neighborhood.
The developers strengthened their project by working with the community, McNair said. The Dexter’s architects were able to envision a curved building that complemented the new Franklin Circle. With the Tinnerman Lofts, the developers worked with the city to vacate a rear alley that had previously been a safety concern for nearby residents of West 38th Street south of Lorain.
“We facilitated a conversation between the developer, the city and the community,” said McNair. “More density is appropriate on Fulton. We asked, is there a way to do something beneficial to the community that would also work for the developers? Everyone agreed they’d like to see new life on the site.”
McNair said that with further improvements, Fulton has the potential to help connect different west side neighborhoods and promote more equitable development.
“It’s really starting to be that bridge between Ohio City and Clark-Fulton to the south,” said McNair of Fulton Avenue, which he described as a mixed-use street with a lot of different building types, both residential and commercial, that helps to connect different parts of Cleveland’s west side. “It’s one of those streets that I think makes cities interesting. It makes you want to take a walk.”
This article has been updated to reflect correct pricing for Tinnerman Lofts. We apologize for the error.
Lee Chilcote is a freelance writer and editor of The Land.
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