Apartments Coming to Cleveland

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor The time is ripe for apartment construction, and developers are heeding the call. With most private sectors adding jobs in the Cleveland area, payrolls are expected to grow this year at the fastest pace in more than a decade. In the coming months, improvements in the local economy will support [...]

The time is ripe for apartment construction, and developers are heeding the call.

With most private sectors adding jobs in the Cleveland area, payrolls are expected to grow this year at the fastest pace in more than a decade. In the coming months, improvements in the local economy will support the creation of new renter households. And apartment vacancy will fall to the lowest levels in 15 years and push rents to grow even more.

In Cleveland’s East Side suburbs, record-high demand for apartments is driving a small building boom. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Zaremba Group is one of the developers striving to supply this need. The Lakewood developer plans to bring 336 apartments to Mayfield Heights.

The apartments will be constructed on the former Locust Grove golf course. The 14-acre property is located at the northeast corner of Cedar and Lander roads and has lain dormant for a long time. Zaremba has a contract to buy the former golf course and will build two five-story apartment buildings linked by a clubhouse complex on the northern part of the property, leaving almost one third of the site untouched.  Plans call for one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging in size from 700 to 1,400 square feet and featuring indoor and outdoor parking, a pool and a courtyard with fire pits.

Demand for apartments is also high in downtown Cleveland. Just recently, the K&D Group closed on the acquisition of the Hanna Building Annex after nine months of negotiations. In coming weeks, the Willoughby-based apartment developer, owner and manager will start work on a project that will turn the 120,000-square-foot building in PlayhouseSquare into 102 apartments. Rents will range from  $800 to $1,500 a month. The first apartments are expected to open in March and the entire project to be finished by next August.

Marcus & Millichap reports that metrowide apartment vacancy will retreat to 3.9 percent this year. Asking rents will to climb to $750 per month, while effective rents will reach $722 per month. As investors rush to build new apartment buildings and convert other vacant buildings into residencies, hundreds of apartments could be added to the Cleveland area in the next few years.

Charts courtesy of Marcus&Millichap.