$110M Project Could Bring 400 Apartments to Cleveland’s May Co. Building

Downtown Cleveland is a magnet for multimillion dollar developments. The newest project on the list which includes Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation, the renovation of Public Square, the Flats East Bank or the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland could transform the massive May Co. building on Public Square into apartments.

Downtown Cleveland is a magnet for multimillion-dollar developments. The newest project on the list–which includes the Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation, the renovation of Public Square, the Flats East Bank and the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland–could transform the massive May Co. building on Public Square into apartments.

The building was designed by the world-famous Chicago architect Daniel Burnham and constructed at the start of the last century as a six-story structure. An expansion in 1931 added two more stories, making it the largest department store in the state. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and is now eligible for federal tax credits for historic preservation.

The department store was unable to compete with the newer shopping malls, so it closed in the 1990s, becoming a huge blight on Public Square. Morgan Reed, the current owner, acquired the building in 2007 through an affiliate, Euclid of Cleveland LLC, paying $11 million for it. According to the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Offices, the May Co. building is now worth $13.6 million. CBRE Group Inc. is marketing the property for the owner. Largely unoccupied, it houses only the Cuyahoga Community College’s Hospitality Management Center and a restaurant called Pura Vida.

According to The Plain Dealer, a local group of investors plans to buy the old department store. The group includes Robert Rains and John Carney, managing partners of Cleveland’s Landmark RE Management LLC , as well as David Goldberg, a longtime civic leader and real estate investor. Their $110 million project calls for the transformation of the 930,000-square-foot property into a residential tower with about 400 one- or two-bedroom apartments and 600 parking spaces. The apartments would rent for $1.35 per square foot.

There’s still a long way to go before the deal is done and the project can start, but it could be a success. Downtown Cleveland apartment occupancy is high, as is the demand for apartments in the area.

Charts courtesy of Marcus&Millichap