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Lumen Apartment Building To Light Up Playhouse Square

The Playhouse Square Foundation broke ground Thursday afternoon on what they say is the largest apartment building in downtown Cleveland in the past 40 years. The 35-story Lumen building is the first new residential development for the organization. 

The 400 foot tall high-rise apartment building is going up on a surface parking lot on Euclid Avenue across from the Playhouse Square theaters. It will be twice as tall as its neighboring Hanna Building and contain 318 apartments.

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Playhouse Square Foundation CEO Art Falco notes that 30 years ago the Foundation worked to save the theaters from being turned into parking lots.

“What we have done is take parking lots and actually created theater spaces and now we’re turning a parking lot into a high rise apartment complex,” Falco said.    

Interview with Art Falco

The Foundation has been buying up and renovating buildings on the block. Falco said they wanted to improve their neighborhood but private developers were not stepping forward.

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“We initially felt that if we were able to draw upwards of a million people to the theaters that the surrounding neighborhood would develop on its own,” Falco said. “But what we found is we’ve had to take a leadership position to make that a reality.”

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Playhouse Sq. Foundation President and CEO Art Falco.  The site of the new Lumen building is over his shoulder next to the Hanna building at Euclid and E. 17th St. [Mark Urycki / ideastream] 

The theaters are expected to draw 1.1 million guests this year.

Besides the coming Lumen building, the Foundation now owns 5 historic theaters, 1 million square feet of commercial property, and the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Falco said that development work helps the theaters remain viable.

“It does, because it creates a neighborhood,” he said. “And I think that’s what’s really important. It has drawn more restaurants into the neighborhood and so we feel this is going to be another step forward.” 

Falco said the $135 million  Lumen building will feature studio apartments to three bedroom layouts, most with a view of Lake Erie. An outdoor swimming pool will go on the roof of an adjacent 500 space parking deck.

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The roof of the new parking deck features a lap pool and fire pit gathering spot for residents. (Playhouse Sq Foundation) 

The city of Cleveland is offering 15 years of property tax abatements and earmarking some money to construct the parking deck. 

The buildings will include some first floor retail space on Euclid Avenue. It’s scheduled to open in Spring 2020.

Development manager Hines

Architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB)

Local architectural partner Vocon

Construction contractor Gilbane

Property manager Greystar Real Estate Partners

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