Polaris to Build Housing Plus Mixed-Use for Cleveland State

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor Cleveland State University struck a deal with Polaris Real Estate Equities on June 1st that will allow the local developer to build a $50 million, 308-unit housing complex on the north side of the university’s campus. Polaris [...]

Cleveland State University struck a deal with Polaris Real Estate Equities on June 1st that will allow the local developer to build a $50 million, 308-unit housing complex on the north side of the university’s campus.

Polaris will lease 6.8 acres of land along Chester Avenue, between East 21st and East24th streets, and will build market-rate apartments and retail. It will offer one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units in three- and four-story buildings for students and non-students alike.

Polaris informed CSU that rental rates could range from $850 to $1,550 per month. The university’s main focus was to make the project attractive for students, young families and workers from nearby institutions, such as Cuyahoga Community College and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.

Polaris will construct nine buildings along Chester over two years, including 10,000 to 25,000 square feet of ground-level restaurants, stores and other student-serving businesses. The project will also include an outdoor pool, a clubhouse, a cyber cafe and 300 parking spaces, tucked into one or two low-lying garages surrounded by five apartment buildings.

Cleveland State will sell between $5 million and $6.5 million worth of bonds to finance land preparation, which includes the demolition of an existing building on the site, CSU’s Theater Arts Building. Polaris agreed to sign a 50-year lease with seven five-year extensions. It will pay an annual lease determined by the cost of the bond issue. It will also pay an amount based on 7 percent of the land’s appraised value, up to $125,000 a year. Once the bonds are paid off, Polaris’ annual lease will be 15 percent of the appraised land value, not to exceed $250,000.

The project will start within 60 days and is expected to be completed by October 2012. It will play a big role in building up the community and the economy around the university.