Cleveland Skyscraper Avoids Foreclosure

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor Great news for the Tower at Erieview, one of downtown Cleveland’s best-known buildings. A foreclosure case against the office-retail complex at 1301 E. Ninth St. has been dropped, thanks to the efforts of Werner Minshall, the owner of the property. He managed to find a lender willing to buy out [...]

Great news for the Tower at Erieview, one of downtown Cleveland’s best-known buildings. A foreclosure case against the office-retail complex at 1301 E. Ninth St. has been dropped, thanks to the efforts of Werner Minshall, the owner of the property. He managed to find a lender willing to buy out the note and also invest and help upgrade the property.

The Tower at Erieview opened in 1964. It was designed by the renowned architectural firm of Harrison & Abramovitz and was the centerpiece of an urban development program known as the Erieview Project. Amenities include an underground parking garage, a new state-of-the-art conference center, full-service banking and ATM services, and 24-hour security.

The 40-story skyscraper is located in the heart of the Central Business District, providing its tenants with excellent panoramic views of Cleveland. The Tower at Erieview is also connected to The Galleria at Erieview, a two-story shopping center that opened in 1987. The Galleria provides retail and commercial business services, as well as fine dining and a full food court. Minshall-Stewart Properties acquired Erieview Tower and the Galleria in 2002.

RAIT Financial Trust of Philadelphia, which already held a second mortgage on the tower, acquired the $42 million first mortgage at a significant discount. According to court records, C-III Asset Management of Irving, Texas, a special servicer tasked with handling bad loans, filed a motion to dismiss the foreclosure lawsuit on Monday, June 25. C-III Asset Management filed to foreclose on the property last March.

RAIT Financial also provided $17 million for renovations. Minshall will now have the funds to redo the tower’s lobby, replace elevators and reopen the ceiling to its original 1960s height. He also plans to seek U.S. Green Building Council certification for the complex.

Although Cleveland’s downtown office market is improving slowly, it remains to be seen whether Minshall and RAIT Financial can find tenants for the almost half-vacant skyscraper in an area with a 20 percent office vacancy rate.

Image courtesy of http://www.toweraterieview.com.