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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

City Council Moving on Major Johnson Court Development

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 10:37 AM

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Last night, City Council approved a tax-incentive plan that greatly moves forward the proposed Johnson Court development — a renovation job that will bring 98 loft apartments to what are currently a bunch of vacant, 100-year-old buildings on a mostly forgotten alley in the Warehouse District.

(We wrote about this project almost three years ago and reported the important news that the secret garden of mystery tucked behind those buildings will be rehabbed and open as part of this work.)

On top of the residential component, the project will also bring retail and dining and parking to the Worthington complex. Construction is set to begin in January. The project is being run by Dalad Group of Independence to the tune of $32 million. (Dalad also rehabbed the Hat Factory building and the Hoyt Block building.)

The city's tax-incentive approval comes in tandem with bond financing from the Port Authority, as Crain's reported earlier this year.

For the Warehouse District scene, which finds itself tucked between the competitive forces of the Flats East Bank and the steadily popular East Fourth Street, the Johnson Court job comes at an excellent time.

“We can start thinking of it as a really important pedestrian connection between West 6th and West 9th,” Thomas Starinsky, associate director of Historic Warehouse District Development Corporation, told Scene a while back. Despite recent commercial turnover in the district, the Worthington development seems to only add to the neighborhood’s presence in Cleveland. And those on the ground point to even more on the horizon.

“It’s really building momentum to create a market for building on these parking lots finally,” Starinsky said. And that's just terrific news.

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