Top of the Hill project
  • Street: RESTRICTED
  • City/State: CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio
  • Sq Ft: 25,000
  • Number of rooms/Units: None
  • Building Type: N/A
  • Plans/Drawings: RESTRICTED
  • Last Updated: September 23 2020
  • Pre-Construction Bid Date: None
  • Status: Work in progress

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  • Description:
    • Cleveland Construction is providing #preconstruction services for the new Top of The Hill project in #ClevelandHeights #Ohio. Our team is excited to begin #construction on this "gateway" project that will include apartments, commercial space, green space, and a parking garage.
      CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- The city’s Architectural Board of Review has approved final design drawings for the Top of the Hill project, effectively clearing the way for construction to begin in early 2020.
      Thursday (Oct. 10) was developer Flaherty & Collins Properties’ fourth appearance before the ABR. The last one was held on July 10, when the three-member city panel signed off on the overall conceptual design, including the 10-story apartment building at the point of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard.
      “At the prominent gateway between the Heights and University Circle, the Top of the Hill’s development has been a long-time goal of the city,” an Oct. 11 press release stated, referring to the “transformative and catalytic” project now moving ahead.
      Going into the Oct. 10 meeting, there were as many as 50 architectural and building material issues that still needed to be addressed for final approval.
      City officials hailed it as the final procedural step for the $84 million project, as well as a culmination of design and architectural details evolving over the past year based on comments and feedback from the ABR and the public.
      Some critics felt that input could have been put to more use, although city officials noted that with Thursday's unanimous approval, there were also some building conditions outlined.
      The “Planned Development Overlay” district on about four acres of city-owned property calls for:
      • 275 market-rate luxury apartments
      • Up to 15,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space
      • Close to square feet of green space
      • A 550-space parking garage
      • Additional surface parking
      The next order of business will be the continued development of even more detailed construction documents, starting with the parking garage, which the city has 12 months to complete before it has to start paying penalty fees for temporary parking arrangements throughout the Cedar-Fairmount District.
      Those close to the project said earlier that F&C and Eppstein Uhen Architects plan to go with Cleveland Construction Inc. of Mentor as the Top of the Hill contractor.
      Recent work by Cleveland Construction has included the new Residence Inn by Marriott, which opened this summer in University Circle, as well as the Residences at Terminal Tower conversion of 12 floors at the downtown landmark.
      Brandon Bogan, F&C Vice President of Design and Pre-Construction, expressed confidence that the Top of the Hill apartments will be successful because they would be offering "luxury-style living with unmatched amenities."
      Plans hit critical mass
      The latest plans presented to the Cleveland Heights ABR showed a first-floor co-working space, pet spa, dog park, indoor bicycle parking with a bike wash station and fitness center, as well as a 10th-floor pool, terrace and common space for socializing.
      The pool was moved to the top floor to help scale down the perceived mass of the building, a sticking point with many critics.
      Architect Bill Eberhard, a member of the group called Citizens for Great Design, has argued throughout that concerns expressed at previous ABR meetings have been ignored and, as a result, “the project has not changed appreciably.”
      This includes the massing that Eberhard feels is still not appropriate or proportionate -- "not with a 10-story building across the street from one- and two-story residential and commercial buildings."
      City officials have pointed out that the Top of the Hill site was previously occupied by the eight-story Doctors' Hospital, which prior to that was the Edgehill Apartments.
      Eberhard also disputed the “luxury” claims made by the developer, given proposed materials that he called “cheap,” including metal panels, utility brick and vinyl windows.
      Joyce Rajki was equally critical of the “stamped asphalt” drive between the parking garage and the neighboring Buckingham Condominiums, where residents have complained to the city about the potential blockage of natural light to their building.
      "Thoughtful input to encourage the development of a project that respects the architectural heritage, historic fabric and vernacular of the city has been disregarded," Eberhard said.
      Recent shakeups on the ABR
      Members of the Citizens for Great Design also questioned the recent shuffling of the lineup on the ABR, which they felt affected continuity, focus and intensity of questioning.
      Present for the Oct. 10 meeting were ABR Chair Melissa Fliegel, alternate Terry Saylor and a newly-appointed board member Joseph Strauss, who reportedly replaced Greg Goss.
      Joining Fliegel on the July 10 panel were another alternate member, Jonathan Kurtz, who was unavailable for the latest meeting, and Martin Johannessen, who resigned in the interim due to work conflicts.
      Completion of the project is anticipated in 2021.
      "As the gateway to our city, I am excited to break ground next year and have even more people experience all that Cleveland Heights has to offer," City Manager Tanisha Briley stated in the press release. "We are certainly excited to work with the Flaherty & Collins team on this important project.
      "They have been an outstanding partner and bring years of experience and many successes in other communities from across the country," Briley added.
      Parking open houses
      At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 15) and Oct. 23 at the Cleveland Heights Community Center, the city’s Economic Development Department staff will host open houses regarding the temporary parking plan for residents and permit holders who will be displaced when the 220-space “Lot 9” closes for construction next year.
      A future meeting will also be scheduled to discuss the city’s updated traffic and parking studies for streets surrounding the project.

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