Ohio

By Todd Pease, Michelle Klingenberg and Britney Aviles, JLL Since the Cincinnati office landscape upended during the pandemic, area businesses, building owners and broader leaders sought opportunities to help entice employees to return to the office, reclaim the area’s vibrancy and spur economic growth. These stakeholders realized that to entice employees back into the office, they would need to make it worth the commute.  Throughout this evolution, one thing continues to drive tenants into office buildings: high-quality amenities. Amenity demands have changed over the last few years and there are new ways for building owners to create spaces that engage employees. Amenities of the past Up until 2020, the standard “five days in the office” model meant that office buildings strived to accommodate as many professionals as possible while maintaining efficiency. The space planner was the lead consultant on planning offices, and they would work with tenants to design spaces in a way that most efficiently accounted for their company headcount.  Regarding office amenities, tenants most valued high parking ratios, conference facilities, gyms and locker rooms, and onsite food options. It was all about productivity and it didn’t matter if productivity took place in a gray cubical under florescent lighting.  …

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SANDUSKY, OHIO — Cafaro Co. is nearing the lease-up of its Villas at Sandy Creek townhome rental community in Sandusky, about 60 miles west of Cleveland. The 126-unit property marks a pivot for Cafaro, which focused on the development of retail centers for 75 years. In 2022, Cafaro partnered with Crossroads Group LLC to transform 15 acres of Sandusky Mall into multifamily use. Villas at Sandy Creek offers two floor plans — two-bedroom ranch suites and two-story, two-bedroom townhouses. Both types offer private entrances and attached garages. Tenants have access to a community clubhouse. Monthly rents range from $1,575 to $1,645. Sandusky Mall opened in 1976 and totals more than 1 million square feet of retail space.

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CLEVELAND — The Bell Apartments, an adaptive reuse project that involved the conversion of the former Ohio Bell Building into apartments, has opened at 45 Erieview Plaza in downtown Cleveland. Cross Street is handling leasing and marketing for the 367-unit luxury apartment building, while Peak Properties is the property manager. Formerly the Ohio Bell telephone headquarters, the property now features amenities such as a rooftop pool, coworking space, 10,000-square-foot fitness center, pet areas and 24-hour door attendant. Residents can choose from one- and two-bedroom floor plans. Monthly rents start at $1,224, according to the property’s website.  

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COLUMBUS, OHIO — DWG Capital Partners has acquired a 75,906-square-foot industrial facility in Columbus for an undisclosed price in a sale-leaseback transaction with Buckeye Shapeform. The property at 555 Marion Road features three dock doors and clear heights ranging from 12 to 25 feet. Phil DiGennaro and Dorothy Lee of Stream Capital Partners represented Buckeye Shapeform, a manufacturer whose specialties include custom fabrication of metal and plastic instrument enclosures, instrumentation and novelty cans as well as precision deep draw metal.

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CLEVELAND — Spark GHC and Cleveland Construction Inc. have formed a joint venture to redevelop a 400,000-square-foot office building in downtown Cleveland into mixed-use space. Dubbed Project Scarlet, the $100 million development involves the adaptive reuse of the Rose Building, which formerly served as the headquarters of insurance company Medical Mutual. The joint venture plans to transform the property into a boutique hotel with apartment units and ground-floor retail space. The project team says the development will not only breathe new life into a historic structure, but also address the evolving needs of the Cleveland community for contemporary living spaces and upscale hospitality offerings. Founded in 1934, Medical Mutual is the oldest and one of the largest health insurance companies based in Ohio. The Rose Building had served as the home of Medical Mutual since 1947, but the insurer announced in late 2022 that it would leave the downtown offices for its suburban headquarters in Brooklyn, Ohio, according to Cleveland.com. Since 2020, the Cleveland market has emptied nearly 2.4 million square feet of office space due to negative absorption, according to Newmark. The office vacancy rate increased to 23.4 percent in the first quarter of 2024, up 50 basis points …

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WEST CHESTER, OHIO — PACE Loan Group has provided a $17.7 million C-PACE loan for the completion of a 136-room Hyatt House-branded hotel and attached medical rehab annex in West Chester, about 22 miles north of Cincinnati. The loan proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt and complete construction of the property, which also secured $9 million in financing from Eclipse Bank. With the total capital stack of $38.2 million, the COVID-stalled project is on track to open by the fourth quarter of this year. Through a Hyatt-approved special design, the hotel will have 23 wellness rooms, which are intended to be utilized by guests in conjunction with the onsite rehabilitation clinic, VitaLuxe. Plans call for 40 wellness rooms by 2026. Since Ohio’s C-PACE authority only authorizes C-PACE financing in a special improvement district (SID), the City of West Chester created a SID specifically for this project. The C-PACE proceeds will be used to finance energy conservation and renewable energy measures. Qualifying projects include HVAC, plumbing, lighting, electrical, building envelope and elevators. The renewable and energy conservation measures are expected to save $31,620 annually. In addition to the 10,800-square-foot wellness/medical annex, the hotel will feature an 8,000-square-foot conference center, …

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COLUMBUS AND MACEDONIA, OHIO — National Church Residences has received two 9 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) awards from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency for two affordable housing projects in Ohio. Divinity Landing is a new 54-unit affordable seniors housing property to be developed in Macedonia, a suburb of Akron. The three-story property will feature a community room, exercise center, multipurpose room, outdoor patio and onsite walking paths. The Commons at Grant, an existing 100-unit permanent supportive housing community in Columbus, was originally constructed in 2002 through the 9 percent LIHTC program. The development provides affordable housing for formerly homeless, veterans and disabled individuals. The planned renovation will include upgrades to apartments and common areas, as well as a new roof and windows. Construction on both projects is slated to begin as early as spring 2025.

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NORTHBROOK, ILL. — Pine Tree, in partnership with a state pension fund, has purchased six open-air shopping centers from SITE Centers Corp. (NYSE: SITC) for $495 million.  The portfolio comprises 2.5 million square feet and includes properties in metros such as Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati; Phoenix; and Portland, Oregon. The assets included in the portfolio are: The portfolio’s retail anchors include Kroger, New Seasons Market, The Fresh Market, Target, Ulta Beauty, Nordstrom Rack, Dick’s Sporting Goods and 13 stores leased by TJX Cos. Pine Tree is a retail developer and management company based in Northbrook, Illinois. The deal, which was sourced off-market, brings Pine Tree’s assets under management to a total of approximately $2.5 billion and 20 million square feet. SITE Centers is a retail REIT based in Beachwood, Ohio. The SITC stock price opened at $14.56 on Friday, June 14, up slightly from $13.19 one year prior. — Channing Hamilton

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RAVENNA, OHIO — Geis Cos. has completed a 248,000-square-foot manufacturing facility for LG America in Ravenna, about 15 miles east of Akron. The two-building property consists of a three-story, 100,000-square-foot Customer Solutions Building and a single-story, 148,000-square-foot Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Compounding Building. The latter building features a fitness room, employee cafeteria and multiple labs for testing, inspection and weighing ABS compounds. Geis and First Energy worked together to engineer a transmission line and substation that is now owned by LG and will power the facility. The project involved significant coordination with the LG design team in South Korea. Geis Construction provided design-build services.

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MASSILLON, OHIO — Axiom Realty has acquired Amherst Shopping Center, a 98,305-square-foot property in Massillon near Canton. The purchase price and seller were undisclosed. The center was 64 percent occupied at the time of sale. Jonah Warsaw and Jacob Baruch of Legacy Realty Group Advisors brokered the sale. Axiom is finalizing lease negotiations with a national fitness user that will bring occupancy up to 81 percent. Marc’s, a discount grocery and drug store chain with 60 locations in Ohio, has anchored the property since 1995.

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