West 25th Street Lofts Experiencing Delays, Some Tenants Leaving Lease Agreements

click to enlarge A rendering of the cross-section of the West 25th Street Lofts.
A rendering of the cross-section of the West 25th Street Lofts.
At least a fraction of the eighty-three units that will comprise the West 25th Street Lofts complex were supposed to be completed and inhabited by now. Earlier this year, tenants signed lease agreements for the chic new apartments at W. 25th and Church Avenue with move-in dates scheduled for June 1. 

But those dates have been pushed back more than once, first to July 1 and then to August 1. Now, it's looking like the first units won't be available until mid-to-late August at the earliest.

Developer Rick Foran, of the Foran Group, told Scene that he's meeting with the project's general contractor Tuesday and that he'll have a more precise idea of the opening date after that meeting. He called the delays frustrating, and said that there have been yelling matches between parties as the project has stalled. 

Foran said that though 54 of the 83 units are already leased out with down payments paid, they've lost at least two tenants because of the delays.

"We've had doctors who moved to Cleveland to begin their residencies on July 1," Foran said. "And it's not like they can just sleep on mom's sofa until the apartment is ready because they're not from here."
The big hold-up turns out to be windows, which are being manufactured by Traco Windows and shipped from Pennsylvania. Extensive back-and-forths were required with the state of Ohio's historical preservation office and the National Parks Service, according to Foran, before the windows could be built.

"We have had iterative discussions and revisions of extremely detailed shop drawings where the two preservation agencies poured over minute specifications and profiles," Foran clarified via email. "This began in November, 2015, and we got a conditional release May 6, 2016 which is when we released the order into production."  

Once the windows are installed — the first batch will arrive Tuesday, July 19 — the units will have to dehumidify for five days, after which point the wood flooring can be laid. Twenty-two units on the complex's western end (what Foran called Building C) will be available first. Then, 26 units in the building that fronts West 25th Street will come online. The remaining units likely won't be available until November. 

"As a developer, you never want this to happen," said Foran. "In the meantime, all we can do is continue to apologize and work as fast as we can." 

One tenant who signed a lease agreement in February told Scene that she was informed last week that her move-in date would now be September 1. Free storage and hotel accommodations were to be arranged until the West 25th Street Loft units were available.

But the "hotel accommodations" turned out to the Chelsea Apartments in Tremont, a residential location that's not often associated with the sort of urban living for which millennials have lately clamored. If tenants preferred not to live in the Chelsea in the interim, they were given the option of having their deposits returned. 

"I'm sorry that [some tenants are unable] to move in when we thought but we are meeting at least twice a week trying to find ways to accelerate the schedule," Foran said. "In the meantime, we thought it only right to give all those 54 tenants a worst case move in time so that they can decide which route to take." 

Given the demand for trendy apartments in Ohio City, a demand that has yielded a building boom around Detroit Avenue and W. 25th Street specifically, odds are most prospective tenants will endure the frustration of the delays.  

About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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