Dec 3


Construction has been completed on the 34-story Lumen building, the largest downtown residential project in 40 years.

The project has 318 apartments, a parking garage and 22,000 square feet of amenities for residents. Those include an outdoor terrance with grills, a pool, a fitness center, a yoga studio, a rooftop deck, a pet spa and dog walk, and common areas where residents can either work or relax.

Residents started moving into the building at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 17th Street in late July. Gina Vernaci, Playhouse Square Chief Operation Officer, said occupancy is at 35%, with 111 of the apartments leased.

“We really are quite pleased,’’ she said, noting that 50% of the tenants are from outside of the region.

“It’s serving a very targeted demographic, people looking for a very high-end experience,’’ said Vernaci. “It’s so beautifully appointed. You walk in the door and feel like you are in a five star hotel.’’ And while The Lumen was designed in a pre-COVID 19 world, it really fits in to what tenants are looking for now, with the large square footage of common areas.

Vernaci said the average age of tenants is 34.

Funding for the $138 million project included $50 million in tax-free bonds from the Port of Cleveland; a $10 million loan from Cuyahoga County; and 30-year tax increment financing (TIF) and a $1 million loan from the City of Cleveland. The building is owned by Playhouse Square.

“Cuyahoga County is proud to support The Lumen, which is one of the most distinctive development projects in downtown Cleveland in recent years,’’ said Cuyahoga County CEO Armond Budish. “We provided a $10 million development loan to the Playhouse Square Foundation for the Lumen at an interest rate that is significantly more than we get on normal investments (that right now might earn less than 1 percent), so our support is a win for the Playhouse Square neighborhood, downtown Cleveland and for the taxpayers.’’

Groundbreaking for the project took place in April 2018. The building was designed by Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz and Vocon was the local architectural partner.

The 318 units include studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, with rents ranging from $1,400 to $7,400 per month.

The Lumen is situated on a one-acre site, replacing what was once a parking lot across from the Connor Palace. The 602,000-square-foot project is largely composed of floor-to-ceiling glass, painted aluminum panels and exposed cast-in-place concrete, making a dynamic contribution to the Cleveland skyline.