Sunday, June 05, 2011

Next Phase of Cleveland State's Housing Plan to Start - Campus Village


Cleveland State trustees sign off on $50 million housing deal with private developer

12:51 pm, June 1, 2011

CSU North - Camous Village
Cleveland State University trustees have signed off on a deal to allow a private developer to build a $50 million, 308-unit housing complex on the north side of the university's campus.

The university will lease 6.8 acres to Polaris Real Estate Equities, a developer in Gates Mills, to build the mixed-use housing complex, known as Campus Village, off Chester Avenue between East 21st and East 24th streets for students and non-students.

Officials involved with the project said the idea is to create a neighborhood on university property flush with housing and retail options to further the university's transition into a residential, rather than commuter, campus.

Cleveland State president Ronald Berkman noted there has been significant retail development along the Euclid Corridor during the last two years, and the infusion of more housing options will augment that growth.

“We'll see an expansion and acceleration of what we've already seen,” Dr. Berkman said.

The project is expected to be completed by October 2012. It is slated to include a parking garage, nine buildings and an outdoor pool. Officials expect to start construction within 60 days.

The buildings to be constructed off Chester Avenue will include about 10,000 square feet of retail space with parking, according to Guy Totino, owner of Polaris Real Estate Equities. 

“There's a dire need for retail,” Mr. Totino said. “Restaurants would be a big one, but we're trying to focus mostly on Cleveland operators. We think there are some excellent Cleveland restaurateurs that would be pleased to be part of the landscape of Cleveland State University.”

A first for Polaris
Cleveland State expects to sell between $5 million and $6.5 million of bonds to finance the demolition of an existing building on the site and to prep the land for development. Polaris' lease is for 50 years and holds seven, five-year renewal options.

Polaris' rent, which will be used to pay off the university's debt, will be determined once the university sells the bonds this summer, according to Stephanie McHenry, the university's vice president for business affairs and finance.

Also, Polaris will pay 7% of the land's appraised value not to exceed $125,000, which will serve as the university's revenue from the lease. Once the bonds are paid off, the additional rent will increase to 15% of the appraised value, not to exceed $250,000.

“This is a perfect example of a public-private partnership,” Dr. Berkman said.

Polaris' niche is developing land near urban campuses. It has worked on projects in Indiana, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

“We've built a lot of projects across the country,” Mr. Totino said. “We've never created a neighborhood. It was Cleveland State's vision to do that, and we're thrilled to be a part of it.”