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March 11, 2012

University Circle Plans $100M Tech, Office and Apartment Complex

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Lot 45, a surface parking lot with 200 parking spaces, sits today at the edge of University Circle and Little Italy, a crucial piece of real estate in one of Cleveland’s most important neighborhoods. Starting next year, however, a more than $100 million project could turn it all into a hub for technology companies, offices, apartments and a 700-car garage.

Spread across 2.2 acres off Mayfield Road, north of Circle Drive, the project would be one of the largest in University Circle. University Circle Inc., a nonprofit corporation established in 1957, owns 1.8 acres of the 2.2-acre site. It has hired the Coral Co. of Cleveland and Panzica Construction Co. of Mayfield Village to develop the project.

As Cleveland’s Little Italy is ranked among the top 10 Little Italies in America, the project received the name Intesa. It means ”understanding” or ”accord” in Italian. It will feature buildings ranging from eight to 12 stories, more than 100,000 square feet of offices, 96 apartments and even student housing.

The buildings would share retail and space for start-up companies on the first and second floors. Offices and apartments would be situated on the higher floors. The lack of office buildings in University Circle could work in favor of Intesa, as many companies would not pass up the opportunity to work in such a vigorous neighborhood.

Coral and Panzica have 12 months to secure major tenants and financing. The developers will bring $30 million to the project. The two companies are trying to attract the expanding Cleveland Institute of Art, which is looking for new housing for its students.

Bialosky + Partners Architects, an award-winning architectural firm based in Cleveland and New York City, is the project architect. If construction starts in early 2013, Intesa is expected to open in 2015.

Image courtesy of Bialosky + Partners Architects.

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