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CDA Hits $400 Million Investment Milestone in Northeast Ohio Real Estate Development

CLEVELAND – Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA), the real estate financing arm of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, has committed its remaining $16 million in New Markets Tax Credit allocation to two projects in two major Northeast Ohio Cities– both of which represent catalytic, collaborative efforts to support major initiatives championed by local public, civic and business community leadership.

“These two Northeast Ohio projects represent capstone developments for the use of the balance of CDA’s New Markets Tax Credit allocation. Glenville Circle North in Cleveland and The Bowery development in Akron are both right down the fairway in terms of meeting CDA’s mission” said Yvette Ittu, President of CDA. “Both projects are extremely catalytic in nature and each are positioned to drive additional growth and have a long-term impact on the character and vitality of their cities and the region. We are very excited to be able to help move these highly impactful developments forward.” 

Glenville Circle North
Mayor Jackson’s Neighborhood Wealth Building Initiative
Glenville Circle North, the first project of Mayor Frank Jackson’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, is a $16 million mixed-use development that will include 63 mixed-income housing units and 13,000 square feet of commercial space that will be programmed as incubation and accelerator space aimed at driving neighborhood wealth creation through supporting entrepreneurs.  CDA has committed a $10 million allocation of tax credits to the project, which is also being supported by a $6 million allocation from Enterprise Community Partners.

“The Finch Group (TGF) is honored to have been selected by the City of Cleveland as the designated developer for Mayor Jackson’s initial development under his Neighborhood Transformation Initiative.  The development will create the stabilization of the East 105th Street corridor just north of the Louis Stokes VA Hospital and be the catalyst for change in the Glenville Neighborhood.”   However, according to Wes Finch, Founder and Chairman of The Finch Group, “being the stabilizing force and catalyst for change also means that the area is in transition making financing difficult.  The Finch Group turned to Cleveland Development Advisors to solicit its interest in providing an allocation of New Market Tax Credits.”  

Blake Bendett, Executive VP of The Finch Group, added that “without CDA’s support with an allocation of NMTC’s this project, in a challenged demographic environment, would never get off the ground.”  

Mark Dodds, TFG’s development and construction expert based in Cleveland, said “the financing will allow for much of the commercial space to be dedicated for minority start-up entities and entrepreneurial training though a concerted public/private effort. “ 

“The $15 million Glenville Circle North housing and retail development will be the first significant private investment in the Superior – East 105 corridor as part of the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “The Cleveland Development Advisors’ decision to invest New Market Tax Credits in the development is providing necessary financing for the project. The development will leverage further private investment in new housing, the rehabilitation of vacant housing and owner-occupied homes in this neighborhood.”

The Bowery  
CDA’s first Akron Project
CDA has also committed a $6 million allocation to The Bowery project in Akron, Ohio.  The $40 million mixed-use project is considered the most important redevelopment project in Akron by the City, Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, Development Finance Authority of Summit County and Downtown Akron Partnership. It will revive the heart of downtown Akron through the redevelopment of six vacant buildings along 156-186 South Main Street, including the iconic Landmark Building as a bookend to the Northeast and the historic Akron Civic Theatre Southwest at Main and Bowery totaling 104,000 square feet. The City of Akron has been working to redevelop this strip since 2008. The Bowery Development team includes, DeHoff Development Company, Don Taylor of Welty Building Company, Kevin Brokaw of Brokaw Development Services and David Liebirth.  


The historic rehabilitation will bring 92 new apartments (including 23 affordable units), approximately 36,000 square feet of commercial, civic and retail space, and 4,000 square feet of office to the market that will be occupied by stores, restaurants, a microbrewery and grocery store.  The Akron Civic Theatre and the City of Akron will also be significant partners in the project. The developer's vision for an urban residential, retail, civic and entertainment center utilizes the rejuvenated Akron Civic Theatre as an established anchor that also amplifies Lock 3 & Lock 4, Downtown’s signature outdoor music and entertainment venue.

While CDA has invested over $405 million into 136 projects in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, this investment, expected to close in September 2018, is the first time the entity will invest its resources in Akron.  While outside of CDA’s NMTC footprint of Cuyahoga County, CDA and its Board of Directors recognized the catalytic nature of the project, not only to the City of Akron, but to Northeast Ohio as a region.  

“Without the availability of NMTC the project was in jeopardy of being stalled. CDA, realizing the catalytic nature of the Bowery to downtown Akron and Northeast Ohio, stepped up to provide $6 million NMTC,” said Kevin Brokaw, “CDA’s investment was instrumental in attracting additional NMTC to the project from outside of the market – a $10 million allocation from National Trust Community Investment Corporation.”

The Bowery Project is a truly regional collaborative effort – since securing CDA’s commitment this past May, the project sponsor has secured funding and leasing commitments from numerous sources including The City of Akron, Summit County, DSA, Akron Civic Theatre and the Knight Foundation.   

“This investment from CDA represents regionalism at its best. We are using existing expertise in Cleveland to help a key economic and political partner in our region without creating additional organizations or infrastructure. I know in some space or arena, Akron will be able to do the same for Cleveland in the coming months or years,” said Joe Roman, president and CEO of Greater Cleveland Partnership. “We’re pleased to continue to strengthen our relationship with Akron, especially with the Knight Foundation. We’re looking forward to exploring additional potential investment and capitalization opportunities with the City of Akron.”

 “The Bowery is the keystone development in our plans for downtown Akron, and it would not have been possible without the leadership and investment from Cleveland Development Advisors,” Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said.  “More and more, the success of Akron is tied to the success of northeast Ohio as a whole, and I applaud Cleveland Development Advisors for putting this principal into practice.”

CDA received a $60 million allocation of Federal New Markets Tax Credits in November 2016.  The other $44 million has been invested into five (5) other important projects in Cuyahoga County, including University Hospitals Rainbow Center for Women and Children, Charter Steel, Children's Museum of Cleveland, Dave's Grocery Store in Midtown and Boys Hope Girls Hope, generating over $210 million in total development.

About Cleveland Development Advisors
Cleveland Development Advisors (CDA) manages private-sector investment capital raised to advance economic and community development in Greater Cleveland.  Since its inception in 1989, CDA has directly invested more than $405 million and leveraged $3.7 billion in new investment dollars into 132 strategic real estate development projects.  CDA is an affiliate of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), providing vital investment dollars to assist GCP in its core mission.  Additional information regarding CDA and its investments can be viewed at www.clevelanddevelopmentadvisors.com.