Investor Trio to Breathe New Life into Avenue Tower

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor With Downtown Cleveland’s occupancies approaching 96 percent and growing, according to Metro Trends, a local group of investors is hoping to acquire the residential portion of the Avenue District condominium tower downtown and rent out the empty apartments. Located at the intersection of East 12th Street and St. Clair Avenue, the [...]

With Downtown Cleveland’s occupancies approaching 96 percent and growing, according to Metro Trends, a local group of investors is hoping to acquire the residential portion of the Avenue District condominium tower downtown and rent out the empty apartments.

Located at the intersection of East 12th Street and St. Clair Avenue, the tower has a sad story. It had the bad luck to be ”born” during the last recession and only five units were sold in the 10-story building before a contractor filed to foreclose on the property in early 2010. Until recently, its future seemed certain to include a sheriff’s sale.

And this is where the group of investors comes in. Called the “Avenue District Investors L.L.C.,” it includes Tim Zaremba, brother of Nathan Zaremba, Avenue District’s original developer; construction contractor Tony Panzica; and industrial-office developer Fred Geis. The plan calls for the trio to buy the empty condos for $6.8 million, while two parking lots east and south of the condo building and earmarked for potential future development would still go to auction. Once priced between $240,000 and $1.2 million, the 57 unoccupied units would become high-end rentals. The proceeds from the condo sales would be divided to satisfy a $15.5 million loan from KeyCorp’s Key Community Development New Markets Investment Fund and a $12.2 million note from what is now PNC Corp.

The ball is now in judge John P. O’Donnell’s court. He is considering the proposal and could decide on it at a June 29 hearing. If the group’s plan succeeds, it could bring the building back to life, help the people who own units in the tower and revive a dormant corner. It could also help all those looking to rent apartments in downtown Cleveland.

Image courtesy of Google Maps.