Uptown Project Attracts Retail, Restaurants to University Circle

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor Though months from opening, the Uptown Project in Cleveland’s University Circle is fast running out of retail room. Already, 95 percent of the ground-floor space in two apartment buildings has been filled by local and national [...]

Though months from opening, the Uptown Project in Cleveland’s University Circle is fast running out of retail room. Already, 95 percent of the ground-floor space in two apartment buildings has been filled by local and national restaurants and stores.

Constantino’s Market will open a 12,500-square-foot store plus a mezzanine on East 115th Street. It will be joined by a Barnes & Noble college bookstore and a wireless store on Euclid. New restaurants and quick-service chains catering to college students will open across the street. 

However, no apartment has been leased yet. Rental rates have not been disclosed.

The Uptown project is a multi-phase retail, entertainment, restaurant and cultural project developed by Cleveland’s MRN Ltd. and sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and University Circle Inc. Work on the first phase of the $300 million project started in August 2010. It includes two buildings consisting of 102 apartments and more than 56,000 square feet of retail space. The first phase will cost $44.5 million.

The apartments will replace a dusty parking lot and a gloomy shopping strip at East 115th Street, across from the expanding Cleveland Institute of Art. Additional anchors include a $50 million expansion of the Cleveland Institute of Art and a $32 million new home for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Later phases will include a hotel, more apartments, condos, more retail and a new Euclid – East 120th RTA Rapid Transit station.

Uptown is located in the heart of the 550-acre University Circle, a thriving urban center in a neighborhood containing more than 50 cultural, medical and educational institutions, providing over 40,000 jobs, attracting 13,000 students and drawing more than 2.5 million visitors a year. At Uptown, MRN plans to build apartments for nurses, doctors, graduate students and professors. Phase I of the project will be finished in 2012.