Properties Magazine (November 2023)

Page 1


Real Estate

Facility & Property Management






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November 2023, Volume 77, Number 11


OFFICE MANAGER Lisa Larissey 440.429.6153 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Doug Bardwell, Scott Esterly, Dan Holland, Christopher Johnston, Alec Pacella MEDIA CONSULTANTS Matt Lehnert 216.251.6753

Photo by Doug Bardwell

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mark Watt 216.251.2655


Recognizing Top Merit Shops of 2023


Coming Home to Community


Terminal of Tomorrow


35 Years + Still Pushing Forward


Making the Grade

ABC Northern Ohio honors construction achievements with annual awards program Omni’s residences in Mentor offer seniors a full range of lifestyle options Flexjet’s Global Operations Center brings industry-leading aviation tech to Richmond Heights People, technology continue driving H&M Landscaping, Snow Pros’ brand ahead

Larry Overbey 216.251.6649

Exterior, HVAC upgrades elevate learning environment at Lutheran High School East

OWNER Real Estate Publishing Corporation Jeff Johnson, CEO

50 Cautious Optimism + Credible Concerns: Marcum’s 16th Annual Construction Survey reveals industry leaders’ views on year ahead

Cover photo: Flexjet Global Operations Center, by Doug Bardwell

50 Special Section: Supporting Cast - Spotlighting the Professional Service Providers Behind Successful Construction Projects 53 Tightening Loan Standards? What a more conservative lending environment means for real estate projects in 2024 55 Commercial Deed Restrictions, To Be or Not to Be: Understanding deed restrictions & their impact on deals 58 Am I Paying Too Much? How to determine if your property is being over-assessed 62 Surrender, Surrender, But Don’t Give Yourself Away: Understanding a landlord’s damages for temporary repair costs at the end of a lease term 64 Office Conversions Gaining Momentum: Can a new ‘affordable housing conversion tax credit’ help languishing office buildings? 66 Financial Strategies: Owning Up 70 Legal Perspectives: Are You Prepared for New Prevailing Wage Rules? 72 NAIOP News: It’s Time for Permitting Reform in Ohio

Properties (ISSN 033-1287) is published monthly for architects, engineers, building owners and managers, general contractors, home builders, mortgage bankers, savings and loans, real estate agents, appraisers, servicers and suppliers in Northern Ohio by Properties, Inc., 8305 Chesterfield Ave., Parma, OH 44129-1813. Copyright © 2023 by Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use, without written permission, of editorial or pictorial content is strictly prohibited. Periodicals postage paid in Cleveland, Ohio and additional offices. Subscription rates: one year $30, single copy $9, back issues $12 when available. Postmaster: send change of address notices to Properties, 8305 Chesterfield Ave., Parma, OH 44129-1813.

DEPARTMENTS 6 38 66 70 72 74


PROPERTIES PEOPLE Highlighting notable industry events










Photos courtesy of BOMA Greater Cleveland


4 1 Dean Pol, Marika Smith and Dan Lee (JSI Janitorial, LLC) 2 Curt Sonntag (Millennia Commercial) and Dawne Sonntag 3 Sami Mares (ABM Industries), Christine Gerome (ABM Industries), Alexis Cox (Diamond Roofing) and Dan Cox 4 Diana Lis (Lee & Associates) and Rich Matonis (Clearview Cleaning)

Annual BOMA Clambake The Greater Cleveland chapter of BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) held its 77th Annual Clambake at Klima Gardens in Cuyahoga Heights recently. More than 70 attendees enjoyed pleasant weather, food, games, prizes and good company. 6

Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern Ohio (ABC) recently hosted its Excellence in Construction and Safety Awards Gala at The Aviator in Cleveland. The annual event recognizes outstanding achievements by Merit Shop contractors in Northern Ohio. (See full story, pg. 9)

1 Wyatt Strumm, Dan Phillips, Dave Pierce, Josh Clark, Mahdi Ali and Brian Barry (Five Star Mechanical, LLC) 2 Robert Steel, Lisa Smyth, Maurice Allen and Jim Thompson (Kwest Group) 3 David Conwill and Amy Neil (Redwood Living, Inc.) 4 Joe Weber (Marcum), Brett McWilliams (Pride One), Meghan Bracken (Cleveland Construction), Anthony Santell (Cleveland Construction) and Dan Dietrich (Cleveland Construction) 5 Bryan Williams (ABC of Ohio) 6 Bret McWilliams (Pride One), Kyle Lake (KCS Contracting, LLC), Mackenzie Michalski (KCS Contracting, LLC), Keith Michalski (KCS Contracting, LLC) and Ryan Martin (ABC) 7 Eric Woolace and Dawn Woolace (Woolace Electric Corp.) 8 Dustin Ernst (RJ Martin Electric) and Mike Delsanter (Pepco) 9 Ryan Szymanski (Station 73), Jason Snyder (Station 73) and Andrew DeMuesy (Marous Builders)




AIA Akron & Akron-Canton CSI Annual Golf Outing AIA Akron (American Institute of Architects) and Akron-Canton CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) held their Annual Golf Outing recently at J.E. Good Park Golf Course in Akron. Attendees enjoyed a day of golfing and networking, while raising funds for AIA and CSI scholarships.

1 Alex Tomlinson (Terracon), John Collett (Hasenstab Architects), Mark Diekmann (Hasenstab Architects) and Chett Siefring (Terracon) 2 Louis Kooshkalis (Above Deck Solutions), Chris Kuhn (Moisture Guard), Pam Neely (Inpro), Ty Martin (Tycor Roofing) and Bruce Martin (Tycor Roofing) 3 Aaron Rodebaugh, John Peterson and Chris Bader (GPD Group) with Ron Stroh (WL Tucker) and Lee King (SoL Harris/Day Architecture) Properties | November 2023

Photos by Jillian Tipton

ABC Northern Ohio Annual Awards Gala


Photos by Poses A Studio



3 3


BOMA Greater Cleveland Annual Vertical Trade Show BOMA Greater Cleveland held its Oktoberfest-themed Annual Vertical Trade Show recently at the Holiday Inn – Independence. Before the show started, Alec Pacella gave a keynote presentation on the current economic state of Cleveland. Over 60 property management professionals and 39 vendor companies came out to enjoy the event.



1 Alexis Cox (Boak & Sons), Brenda Viviano (Rubbermaid) and Doug Krumrei (ABM) 2 Michael Wallenstein (Neptune Plumbing & Heating Co.), Tony Asher (Weston) and Sam Cooper (Weston) 3 Alec Pacella (NAI Pleasant Valley) 4 Associates Council: John Brezine (ServiceMaster CDR), Dom Rich (Boak & Sons), Tom Demarco (M. Conley), Judy Nowak (KONE, Inc.), Natalie Nemanic (BOMA Greater Cleveland), Heather Thompson (BOMA Greater Cleveland), David Tucker (Kimberly Clark Professional) and Michael Wallenstein (Neptune Plumbing & Heating Co.) 5 Will Wachs (RWK) and Oliver Mahnke (RWK) 6 Kevin Krcmar and Charlie Young (SP+)

Ryan Schmitt (First National Bank), Mark Gepperth, Mike Gordon (First National Bank), John Quinones (Inspire Workplace Interiors) and Casey Smith (Ace Relocation Systems)

NAIOP Northern Ohio Cornhole Tournament NAIOP Northern Ohio recently hosted a Developing Leaders Cornhole Tournament at Whiskey Island in Cleveland. More than 40 members and guests attended the event for a day of friendly competition, networking and lunch.


PREFABRICATED LOAD-BEARING AND BUILDING ENCLOSURE SYSTEMS Fully customizable building enclosure systems and load-bearing structural wall and floor packages. Mammoth Prefab saves time, money, and coordination. 7

Photos courtesy of NAIOP Northern Ohio

Photos courtesy of BOMA Greater Cleveland


ABC Northern Ohio Congratulates

Cleveland Construction Winner of the 2023 Marcum Eagle Award (L-R) Joe Weber (Marcum), Brett McWilliams (Pride One Construction), Meghan Bracken (Cleveland Construction), Anthony Santell (Cleveland Construction), Dan Dietrich (Cleveland Construction) and Ryan Martin (ABC Northern Ohio)

for their work at

The Residences at 55

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 21,000 members. Based on the merit shop philosophy, we help our members develop people, win work and deliver work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work.

Safety | Education | Business Development | Advocacy

Phone: (440) 717-0389

Recognizing Top Merit Shops of 2023

ABC Northern Ohio honors construction achievements with annual awards program Story & photos provided by ABC Northern Ohio


ore than 100 members of the Northern Ohio chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) and guests gathered at The Aviator Event Center in Cleveland recently to honor top projects completed in the region. The annual Excellence in Construction and Safety Awards celebration recognizes outstanding quality and innovations in merit shop construction projects. Attendees celebrated at a formal dinner, followed by an elegant awards presentation ceremony. Independent judges, representing a cross-section of construction industry experts, awarded more than 25 companies the awards of Merit, Excellence, Safety and Project of the Year. Award winners included:


LAFAYETTE LAKE ROAD PHASE 1 (Medina, OH) GC Residential Multifamily - All Contract Amounts Up to $100 Million Architect: MPG Architects Engineer: Davey Resource Group Owner: Redwood Development

Fahrenheit Cleveland

Five Star Mechanical

FAHRENHEIT CLEVELAND (Cleveland, OH) Specialty Contractor Mechanical - Commercial Under $2 Million Architect: Vocon Engineer: Denk Associates

Ashland University Dormitory Renovation Zarbana Aluminum Foundry

Simonson Construction

ASHLAND UNIVERSITY DORMITORY RENOVATION (Ashland, OH) GC Institutional - $5 to $10 Million Architect: MPG Architects Engineer: Davey Resource Group Owner: Ashland University

Kwest Group

PTIA NEW RENTAL CAR FACILITY (CLEARING) (Greensboro, NC) Specialty Construction Commercial - Under $10 Million Engineer: WK Dickson Owner: Piedmont Triad Airport Authority

Graft Electric Inc

Project Silver for Shape Corp.

KCS Contracting

PROJECT SILVER (Trenton, OH) Specialty Contractor Commercial - Over $5 Million Contractor, Architect & Engineer: S.S.O.E. Owner: Shape Corp.

ZARBANA ALUMINUM FOUNDRY (Columbiana, OH) Specialty Contractor Electrical - Industrial Under $2 Million Contractor: C. Tucker Cope & Associates, Inc Engineer: S.A. Engineering Owner: Zarbana Aluminum Extrusion

Clouse Construction Corp

CLINTON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT. STATION (Tiffin, OH) GC Institutional - Under $5 Million Architect: Virtual Design Studios, LLC. 9

Engineer: CES, LLC Owner: Clinton Township

Clouse Construction

KALMBACH LAB (Upper Sandusky, OH) GC Commercial - $10 to $15 Million Architect: Technicon Design Group Engineer: Bockrath & Assoc. Engineering Owner: Kalmbach Feeds (Averitas Agrilabs)

Ashland Theater Renovation

Shalersville 1M Spec Building

RJ Martin National Contracting Solutions

SHALERSVILLE 1M SPEC BUILDING (Shalersville, OH) Specialty Contractor Electrical - Commercial Under $2 Million Architect: GLSD Architects, LLC Engineer: GDOT Design Owner: Stonemont Financial Group and Geis

Woolace Electric

MARYSVILLE WATER TREATMENT (Marysville, OH) Specialty Contractor Electrical - Industrial $2 to $10 Million Contractors: Peterson Construction Company CM: Shoaf Consulting LLC Engineer: AECOM Owner: City of Marysville

ICON Construction

NEW GROCER TENANT SHELL (North Olmsted, OH) Specialty Retail Commercial - Under $10 Million GC: Builtech Services LLC Architect: MCG Architecture - Cleveland Engineer: Shenberger & Associates Inc. Owner: B33 Great Northern II LLC

EXCELLENCE AWARDS RJ Martin National Contracting Solutions

OLD DOMINION FREIGHT LINE - CLEVELAND (Cleveland, OH) Specialty Contractor Electrical - Commercial Under $2 Million Contractor: Frampton Construction Architect: The Mollenkopf Design Group, LLC Engineer: Oliver Little Gipson Owner: Old Dominion Freight Line

Cleveland Construction

THE RESIDENCES AT 55 PUBLIC SQUARE (Cleveland, OH) General Historical Restoration/Renovation - $5 to $100 Million Architect: Berardi + Partners, Inc. Engineer: Denk Associates, Inc. (MEP) Owner: The K&D Group

Simonson Construction Services Inc. THE ASHLAND THEATER RENOVATION (Ashland, OH) GC Commercial - Under $5 Million Architect: Simonson Construction Services, Inc Owner: The Ashland Schine’s Theatre Organization

Congratulations to all ABC Excellence in Construction & Safety Participants Station 73 at Battery Park

Marous Builders

Sgt. Clean Car Wash (Lakewood, OH) | 440.716.4000 | #BuildwithFW 10

STATION 73 AT BATTERY PARK (Cleveland, OH) GC Commercial - $25 to $100 Million Architect: Sullivan Bruck Architects Engineer: McMullen Engineering Co. Owner: Battery Park North LLC Properties | November 2023

Fortney Weygandt Inc.

SGT. CLEAN CAR WASH (Lakewood, OH) GC Renovation - $2 to $4 Million Architect: Blatchford Architects Owner: Sgt. Clean Car Wash

Clouse Construction

NORTH CENTRAL ELECTRIC CO-OP (Attica, OH) GC Renovation - $4 to $10 Million Architect/Engineer: Technicon Design Group Owner: North Central Electric Co-Op

CHAIRMAN’S CUP The 2023 Chairman’s Cup (Eagle Award) was presented to Cleveland Construction, recognizing The Residences at 55 Public Square as the top project of the year. Collaborators included architecture firm Berardi + Partners, Inc., MEP engineer Denk Associates, Inc. and developer/owner The K&D Group.

ABC NATIONAL SAFETY TRAINING Finally, the 2023 ABC National Safety Awards were presented to a

The Residences at 55 Public Square

variety of companies from throughout the region. RJ Martin National Contracting, Inc. earned the National STEP Bronze level award and Redwood Construction Company achieved the National STEP Silver level award. Close Construction

Corp. and Bell & Blaire LLC received the highest safety award, the STEP Platinum Level Safety Award, while two companies received the National STEP Diamond Level Safety Award: Kwest Group, LLC and STARCON, A Cianbro Company. P 11

General Contracting, Development, Property Management Mixed-use Properties • Apartments • Hotels • Offices • Medical Facilities • Senior Living Facilities

Honored to have served as General Contractor for Vitalia Mentor

Coming Home to Community

Omni’s residences in Mentor offer seniors a full range of lifestyle options By Christopher Johnston | Photos by Doug Bardwell & Mark Watt


“We’ve been working on this property for at least three or four years,” says Jeremy Wilson, director of construction, VITALIA, Omni Lifestyle Living. “Mentor has been in the conversation since I started with the company four years ago. This piece of property right on I-90 is advantageous for us, and the demographics fit very well for our clientele.” Omni also built and operates similar senior residential communities in North Royalton and Strongsville, and another new East Side campus in Highland Heights will open later this year. Designed by GPD Group and built by Snavely Group, VITALIA Mentor serves as the main grouping of five connected buildings that provide a full range of senior living residences. Each building contains three floors of 89 independent

living (IL) and two floors of 45 assisted living (AL) options, including one- and two-bedroom apartment or studio units, while the 16 memory care (MC) units on the first floor below the AL section are all studios. Total construction cost of VITALIA Mentor was $24 million. Nearby, on the southwest corner of the total 26.9-acre Mentor campus, the V Living Experience property currently features a community clubhouse and 24 villas that are open, with another 39 villas planned for later construction phases. The villas are all ranch-style cluster homes with one-and-a-half to two-car garages and several floor plan options. The two- to three-bedroom, two-bath residences are a little larger, so they offer more of a home-style experience, rather than an apartment setting. Construction

cost for the villas – designed by a local architecture and planning firm, C3 Studios LLC – was $5 million. Harlan + Associates, of Beachwood, acted as owner’s representative for both projects, overseeing the construction of the villas and main campus. “We built our Mentor campus and designed portions of the main buildings so that we could offer additional services to the villas,” Wilson says. “So the residents of the villas will have full access to everything that we have on our campus.” One of the benefits of Omni’s development, Wilson explains, is that they offer senior residents all-inclusive, progressive living choices and an opportunity to age in place. “When residents move in, if or when they need any increased level of care, they 13

Photo by Doug Bardwell

hen Omni Lifestyle Living opened its VITALIA Mentor and V Living Experience campus last month, it became its ninth property in Northeast Ohio and first in Lake County. Known for their spacious, comfortable and upscale senior residences, Omni’s properties in the region are located as far west as North Olmsted and extend south to Montrose and now east to Mentor. The campus is Omni’s first college-based community, since it is located next door to Lakeland Community College.

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Call for Your Free Building Inspection & Assessment INVITING WARMTH Exterior elements of textured stonework and wood provide VITALIA Mentor with a warm, rustic feel, reminiscent of a hunting lodge or ski resort.

can potentially move from the villas over to an IL apartment or an AL apartment or into memory care and get the extra care they need without having to move very far or out of the community,” he says.

Key amenities at VITALIA Mentor

From the outside, the main building resembles a hunting lodge or ski resort, presenting an inviting place to reside. There is also a very natural feel, with a lot of stone and woodwork outside and inside the wood-frame buildings. “Driving by it kind of reminds you of an Aspen ski resort,” Wilson says. “We’ve used this style of stonework, which is actually called Vitalia blend. This is the fourth or fifth building we’ve used it on. North Olmsted, North Royalton, Highland Heights and Mentor have it, and then we started using it in some of our villas, too, in Mentor and Montrose.” Joel Levis, AIA, project architect for GPD Group in Akron, says they made some slight adjustments to the exterior for Mentor. “The exterior palette is not quite as dark as some of the others,” Levis says. “Omni wanted to keep that lodgelike feel but brighten it up a bit, and I think we did that quite successfully, since everyone has been pleased, from what I’ve heard, about how the building looks.” Inside, residents and visitors are greeted by open, spacious two-story lobbies with a sizable reception area and “discovery rooms” on one side, where prospective residents are initially interviewed by Omni staff to introduce them to the community and help determine whether it would be the right fit for them. 14

Properties | November 2023

Photo by Mark Watt

OPEN ATMOSPHERE Inside, residents and visitors are greeted by spacious two-story lobbies with a sizable reception area.

“We worked closely with Omni to make that a very open space,” Levis says. “Up above, all of the spaces are open to the lobby below, so that when you walk into the building, it feels inviting and comforting but also full of activity.” One of the primary amenities connected to the lobby that all residents enjoy is the dining room, which operates as a full-service restaurant called The Harbor, rather than a cafeteria. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., the dining room offers residents varying selections off of a menu and friendly wait staff to take their orders. Levis also worked with Omni to customize a Bistro space where residents can relax and enjoy self-serve snacks and beverages away from the main dining area. While similar Bistro spaces have been situated on the first floor of previous VITALIA properties, the team relocated this amenity area to the second floor at VITALIA Mentor, just above the lobby. It also introduced another new feature: a walk-out roof deck. “We were able to provide a great opportunity for residents to get refreshments in the Bistro and then go outside and enjoy the fresh air and view from the roof terrace,” Levis says. Omni aims to continually refine and improve their building designs, and Wilson says that feedback from residents led to the changes with the Bistro.

“Part of it was to increase our awareness of wanting to make them centrally located, but also having the Bistro upstairs offers second-floor residents an opportunity so that they don’t have to take the elevator to get to it,” he says. Additional amenities and activities inside include a game room/library next to the Bistro, a beauty salon and a 35-seat theater for movie showings or college classes lead by neighboring Lakeland Community College, plus a demonstra-

tion kitchen where the culinary staff gives cooking and baking demonstration and healthy cooking lessons. The building includes a fitness center, which doubles as home court for seated volleyball teams that regularly compete against groups from other senior centers. Nearby on the first floor, there is a swimming pool designed for hydro and other physical therapy sessions. Outside, residents can relax in their choice of comfortable seating areas

Congratulations OMNI, GPD Group and Snavely

Lanza Design is proud to have provided interior design services for vitalia

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Properties | November 2023

FEATURED FACILITIES Residents can enjoy a variety of amenities, such as a game room (top), a full-service restaurant called The Harbor (middle) and a demonstration kitchen where culinary staff provides cooking lessons (bottom)

while conversing, reading, playing games or solving jigsaw puzzles in pleasant surroundings. More physically active residents can utilize pickleball or bocce ball courts. There is also a putting green and a dog park, since many of the residents own pets. “We designed it so that our residents don’t have to leave, if they don’t want to,” Wilson says. “But we also offer transportation services and off-site physical therapy opportunities.”

Interiors reinforce Omni’s brand

Working with GPD and Omni, Renee Lanza, president of Akronbased Lanza Design, says that she wanted to update and expand on the developer’s previous interior design standards. She focused on some of the feature areas, such as the game room, where her design made the fireplace

“We tried to bring the lodge elements into the interiors, so slightly more rustic, but still an elevated design because that fits [the Omni Living] brand, and it feels like home for the residents.” Renee Lanza Lanza Design

Photos by Mark Watt

and book cases flanking it taller and wider to make them look “grander, more luxurious and higher end, so it feels like it fits with Omni’s brand, while maintaining the budget. “The premise for Omni in terms of their brand is to emulate how it feels for the resident in their home, so we tried to maintain that and give them a little bit more,” Lanza continues. “We tried to bring the lodge elements into the interiors, so slightly more rustic, but still an elevated design because that fits their brand, and it feels like home for the residents, which was our primary goal so that everybody feels like they are welcome.” 17

Photo by Doug Bardwell

LIVING WELL VITALIA Mentor is comprised of five connected buildings, each containing three floors of 89 independent living and two floors of 45 assisted living options, including one- and two-bedroom apartment or studio units, plus 16 memory care units.

Other revisions included new LVT struction of the Guaranteed Maximum ing through supply chain issues and flooring and lighting fixtures to provide Price project, according to Levis. related challenges. a more updated look to the building and He recalls that he began designing “Material sourcing and cost escalathe community, she adds. VITALIA Mentor from his basement in tions were constantly fluctuating, so Wilson notes that because the average the spring of 2020. He was learning how H+A helped the owner procure long age of residents is 82, the new fixtures not to use Zoom for meetings with the rest of lead items directly,” he says. “We were only needed to look nice, but the quality, the design/construction team, while his able to bid and procure the wood color and temperature of the lighting all kids played upstairs. framing package, elevator package and needed to be taken into account. site work outside of the GC, prior Modular carpeting, utilized in the “We designed [VITALIA Mentor and V Living to the GMP, and once the GC lobbies, the dining room and some was hired, we worked with them of the hallways, was selected for Experience] so that our residents don’t have to ensure subcontractors provided easy replacement, Lanza notes, while submittals quickly and ordered much thought was put into reducing to leave, if they don’t want to. But we also materials immediately. It helped thresholds for the safety and comfort offer transportation services and off-site that the owner was willing to pay of residents. for and store materials ahead of “[Those details] don’t seem like physical therapy opportunities.” time. The use of design-assist and much when you’re able-bodied, of long lead items Jeremy Wilson prepurchase but when you’re in a wheelchair allowed the project to meet the Omni Lifestyle Living owner’s budget and schedule” or use a walker or a cane, those are the small changes that make a big For Spencer Diedrich, projdifference,” Wilson says. “Everyone had to adapt, and we got ect engineer with Snavely Group’s Lanza selected architectural design ele- through the design, and then we revis- Construction Division, the main ments for panels in the IL lobbies to break ited the design later,” he recalls. “Omni challenge, a common one for all postup and decorate the large expanses of wall. wanted to change some of their goals pandemic construction projects, was She also worked closely with Omni to with the building, so we revisited the acquiring the electrical switchgear, the select locally produced artwork through- design the following year. Then it went hub of electric power for a building. out, including photographs and paintings into construction in the fall of 2021, “That can take up to 52 weeks to that incorporate familiar images for resi- but we were still feeling the effects get,” Diedrich says. “Week 51 came dents, such as nearby Mentor Headlands. of COVID, and the supply chain was around, and they told us it was going severely disrupted by then.” to take another six months or so, so we Challenges at VITALIA Mentor Eric Greenberg, partner with Harlan had to jump through hoops to get the COVID pandemic conditions + Associates (H+A), concurs, noting building up and running, but that was definitely impacted the design and con- that strategic planning was key in work- the main concern.” 18

Properties | November 2023

Proud to be on the team at Vitalia Villas

Wayne Miller General Manager 330-466-3571

Norman Electric, Inc.

Photos by Mark Watt

330-359-5886 |

ONSITE AMENITIES With a beauty salon (above), a swimming pool, fitness room and more, the development is designed so residents can access a variety of services without needing to leave campus.

Snavely completed the buildings in about 21 months. Highlights for Diedrich include the M Light lighting control system, a panel in each building’s electrical room on the first floor that controls every light in the building. Also on the first floor, the water heater farm contains 14 tankless, wallmounted water heaters that don’t take up substantial space but heat the entire building. The EIFS (exterior insulation finishing system) that wraps the entire building at roof level, he says, was different from what they had used for the North Olmsted buildings and was an easy product to work with. The sizeable diesel generator that powers all of the red outlets in the building for the majority of lobby and corridor lighting is located at the rear of the property and requires a 680gallon tank. The building contains all LED lighting. Some rooms have manual switches, but everything else in the public areas is programmed on schedules. For safety, all of the stairwells feature motion sensors for activation.

Challenges at V Living Experience

Facing the same delays as Snavely to acquire parts and products they needed to construct the 24 villas, Corbin Masters, COO with Winesburg-based Alpha Construction LLC, says his team faced a different challenge.


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Properties | November 2023

WELCOME HOME The campus also includes the V Living Experience property, offering 24 ranch-style villas in several different configurations (top, middle), as well as a community clubhouse (bottom). Another 39 villas are planned for future phases.

“We were trying to drywall and do finishes and light concrete pouring when it was cold out and having to individually heat every one of those villas,” he says. “We had three 30 KW towable generators out there to power the whole site. Unlike a building where everything is centralized, the villas are spread across the entire site.” The company boasts a history of building senior facilities, but this was Alpha’s first project for Omni. “Omni really produces a thoughtful and quality product,” Masters says.

“The use of design-assist and prepurchase of long lead items allowed the project to meet the owner’s budget and schedule.” Eric Greenberg Harlan + Associates “We enjoyed our experience working with them and we are looking forward to a long-lasting relationship.”

Achieving success

Photos by Mark Watt

According to Levis, everyone worked together to overcome anything that interfered or interrupted the design and construction of VITALIA Mentor and the V Living Experience. “Things went remarkably smoothly, given those challenges,” he says. “We had the ups and downs of random challenges, but everything turned out really well here,” Wilson concludes. “Having our proven relationships where people step in and take accountability or assist even when it’s not 100% their responsibility made it great to have everything come together, especially over the last four or five months when all of the finishing touches got put in, which are the most impactful parts of what our residents experience.” P 21

Terminal of Tomorrow

Flexjet’s Global Operations Center brings industry-leading aviation tech to Richmond Heights Story & photos by Doug Bardwell


s the world’s second-largest fractional jet operator, Flexjet has set the bar for the entire aviation industry. Its newest building is the $50 million, 51,000-square-foot global headquarters housing the country’s largest seamless indoor LED display. With industry-leading technology, Flexjet’s new headquarters is a model of operational efficiency with room for planned growth. Currently, the firm maintains a fleet of nearly 270 planes and 12 helicopters, with 4,000 support employees, 670 of whom are based in Cleveland. Current growth projections look to double Flexjet’s fleet in the coming years. The new headquarters is part of its 243,000-square-foot campus at 26180 Curtiss Wright Parkway in Richmond Heights. In addition to the extensive support staff, Flexjet employs 1,100 pilots in the United States, plus more in Europe.

From hanger to headquarters

Built in the ‘20s as one of Cuyahoga County Airport’s early hangers, the former building on this site eventually added a restaurant, but both have been closed for years. Old and dilapidated, it was right where Curtiss Wright Parkway 22

curves, so your eye was automatically drawn to that site. “It was a shame,” says Kenn Ricci, principal of Directional Aviation Capital and chairman of Flexjet, “because Richmond Road is a high-traffic area, and when you looked over at Cuyahoga County Airport, this was the area you saw.” Ricci is a long-time Cleveland resident, having graduated from Saint Ignatius High School. Having a passion for aviation, he quickly learned to fly. He came by that naturally, as his father was involved with George Steinbrenner in sponsoring the Cleveland National Air Shows. After a stint working for some Cleveland corporations, managing their flight operations, he purchased his first hanger at Cuyahoga County Airport to service their aircraft. More hangers were

added on the west side as his customer base increased. As the business grew, it then became an FBO (fixed base operator) at its east side location. In 1981, he formed Directional Aviation, acquiring Corporate Wings, a global provider of aircraft management, fueling, storage and charter flight services. “But the epiphany was in 1998 when we decided to become more than a Cleveland company,” recalls Ricci, as he formed Flight Options, with a pre-owned fractional program for corporate travel. “With the decision to go international, we added operations centers in Dallas, Orlando and Farnborough, England.” In 2013, Directional Aviation acquired Flexjet and planned an immediate expansion of its fleet, placing a $5.6 billion order for Bombardier jets, including Properties | November 2023 • 440.442.4300 We are proud to serve as Construction Manager for the new Flexjet Global Flight Operations Center. Congratulations on the grand opening! CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT - DESIGN-BUILD - GENERAL CONTRACTING

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ELEVATING ACCESS Flexjet is the world’s second largest fractional jet operator. With a fractional ownership model, owners purchase a share of an aircraft at a prorated cost. Aircraft access is determined by the size of one’s ownership share.

Challenger, Learjet and Global Express aircraft. In 2014, anticipating the need for longer flights, it entered into an agreement for 50 aircraft, including the G450, G500 and its largest and longestrange craft, the G650. In 2015, Michael Silvestro, co-CEO of Flexjet, introduced its “Red Label” service with dedicated flight crews, artisan interiors and the most modern fleet in the fractional jet ownership industry. In 2019, it introduced yet another way to please existing customers and attract new customers with Premier Lifestyle Experiences. “We made it easy for people to enjoy events they might not have thought possible,” says Silvestro.

All those programs are obviously working, because he says they now have well more than 10,000 customers contracted across all their companies. Much of their new business comes from referrals, which bodes well for their future. “As COVID hit, the pandemic had a tremendous impact on private aviation,” explains Andrew Collins, co-CEO of Flexjet. “As people sought control of their travel, it absolutely drove phenomenal growth in the industry. We also escalated our technology during that time, allowing customers to easily book their flights via text message.” To further service customers’ needs, Flexjet recently acquired a fleet of heli-


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copters, 12 in the U.S. and 10 overseas, explains Collins. They’ve also invested in the future delivery of eVTOLS, the hottest new iteration of electric helicopters. With all that growth in customers and flight destinations, they needed a new home.

An operations center designed to fly

Before this campus expansion, operations of their worldwide fleet were managed with a flight control center next door to the new building. Patterned after NASA’s control center, it featured row after row of 52 managers looking straight ahead at a 50-foot-wide screen, with projectors in the back of the room. They also had a flight control center located in Farnborough, England. “We operate similar to a worldwide taxi service,” explains Ricci. “After we drop off a customer in London, we have to decide what to do with that plane. Does our Farnborough office dispatch it to Paris, or does our Cleveland center dispatch it? So the solution was to consolidate all our worldwide operations in one location.” That explains the enormous LED screen displaying every facet of each flight daily, but the exterior now also has a “wow” factor suitable for any Hollywood Properties | November 2023

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COMMAND CENTRAL The operations center is one giant hexagon, with half of the room tiered down into five levels of sight facing the mammoth 176-foot-wide by 19-foot-tall screen. The massive display is the largest indoor seamless screen in the country.

Pleaseconference check it virtually for accuracy and rimless and can content. simultaneously sci-fi film. The building will impress with enter one of the glass-walled By approving this proof, you are approving the content for placement in Sabre Publis protruding star-shaped projections and rooms overlooking our giant ops center display any number of video or computer or InScope) only. The payment you have agreed to is for “space only”. — Thank you and immediately get products the ‘wow.’ screens. The LED wall takes up three angular, slanted window walls. & services!The “We are the second largest fractional screens could have been designed to entire walls of the hexagon and two halfownership company in the world,” look any direction, but we intentionally walls on the remaining two sides. Flexjet’s operations control center explains Ricci, “and fully 30% of our oriented them so that’s the first thing screen is the largest indoor seamless customers come from referrals, so we our customers see.” By approving thispeople proof, the content placement inFBE Sabre Publishing, Group inCity the ofcountry and the third larg-Inc., publi want to impress withyou our are build-approving The operations center for is one giant screen Cleveland SBE Cuyahoga County hexagon, with half tieredonly”. est in— the Thank world. On two walls ing. That’s why it looks it does. you have or InScope) only. The like payment agreed to ofis the for room “space youtheforright, choosing Sabre Publishin “When people arrive via one of our down into five levels of sight facing the of screens show every single plane schedproducts & services! Institutional, andGantt 19-foot- uled to fly that day, with 24-hour planes, the plane pulls under one of mammoth 176-foot-wide andCommercial, of charts showing the past four hours and our overhangs, and the people come tall screen. The screen is composed Industrial Painting Contractor right in, even if it’s raining. They then 1,572 individual LED panels, which are the next 20 hours on their schedule. The

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CLEAR + QUIET Considering that jet airplanes start up just outside the building, it is surprisingly quiet inside. Various thicknesses of Viracon glass were used, with one-inch tinted solar glazing on the runway side of the building.

center screens are large maps showing real-time GPS positions of all planes in the U.S. and Europe, and whether they are occupied or being repositioned. Further left are four live video feeds of their terminals in Cleveland, Teteboro, Dallas and White Plains. To the far left are changeable panels for special events and/or weather events. Three meteorologists monitor these screens. The stadium-styled tiered seating, close to the LED wall, spreads 89 workstations across the five tiers. On the opposite side of the room are another 48 workstations, notes Jason Christensen, vice-president of operations. “Each station is equipped with high-resolution, 49-inch-wide, curved gaming monitors, wireless mouse and keyboard for clean aesthetics, and USB-C outlets for communication headsets,” Christensen says. On the top level, called the bridge, are four communication specialists with direct links to all pilots. With a 180degree view of the entire LED wall, they can monitor all planes in the air or awaiting takeoff. Behind them is a “decision ring” where specialists can come and help with a situation. The ring’s center desk has pop-up 34-inch monitors and USB-C plugs so the person summoned can plug in and access all their files and contacts, just as though they were seated at their desk. The ring is especially valuable at peak season when flights are booked back-to-back and require heightened coordination. One tier down are the duty trackers, who watch over a group of flights and can turn around and talk with the decision-makers directly above them. Down another level, for each class of aircraft, there is a team of three flight communication specialists, one scheduler and a few maintenance schedulers. At the very bottom level, behind the screens, there are another 50 seats for logistics teams and vendor reps. All electrical and data services find their home on this level as well. With almost 300 flights in the air, can you picture losing power and communi-

cations with all of them at once? Or after power is restored, can you imagine waiting for all your computers to reboot and refresh all the flight information boards? No? Neither could the Flexjet team. Hence, massive battery racks provide uninterruptible power service (UPS) for the entire operation. When a power outage in Richmond Heights occurred shortly after beginning operations in this new headquarters building, the boards never even flickered since power continued to flow through the massive battery racks. While able to power operations for a day on battery power, two large generators outside can swiftly recharge the batteries and run for days. Every sister firm to Flexjet also has representation in this operations control center; the company has added five new firms over the past five years. Flexjet’s aim

is for every plane to be ready to resume travel within 90 minutes of touchdown, so they have their own maintenance groups located around the world. Unlike the major airlines, which organize their operations into departments (maintenance, ticketing, baggage, food, etc.), Flexjet organizes its operations into teams. Each team is related to a specific aircraft type. So, a Gulfstream team will have its own maintenance, logistics, optimizer and pilot. Each team then knows its aircraft inside out and can quickly summon care at the first sign of any issues. Flexjet is undoubtedly different than the major airlines. Commercial airline pilots rarely ever inspect the physical interiors of their aircraft. Not only do Flexjet pilots check the inside and outside of their craft, but they also don’t 27

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Properties | November 2023


READY TO RECHARGE An employee lounge, furnished with a variety of seating options and windows that look out onto the airfield, is situated along a corridor that leads to Flexjet’s old control center.

think twice about mentioning a scuffed tabletop or scratched woodgrain interior, and, at their next stop, there will be maintenance personnel waiting to attend to it.

Anything but square

Panzica Construction was selected as Construction Manager at Risk with a GMP through a typical RFP and interview process. Beginning in 2020, they also provided preconstruction services, working with the architect, Hebard & Hebard, of Indiana. Budgets were updated as drawings progressed, and scheduling and procurement lead times changed as COVID disrupted supply chains. “On a project as complex as this,” says Jeff Walters, senior project manager for Panzica Construction Company, “we were constantly evaluating products and means and methods, especially those related to the curtain walls, panels and HVAC systems.” Before beginning construction, they needed to demo the old hanger, which it turns out was located in a historic district along Curtiss Wright Parkway. They also required special FAA approval to work inside the controlled airport space. Work finally began in March 2021. After looking at the drawings and walking the facility, this writer was

amazed at the complexity of the architecture, so I was anxious to talk to the contractors to see if their impressions were the same. When I asked their initial thoughts, they were close to mine. “My first thought,” says Walters, “was, ‘How are we going to build this?’ There’s not a square or a 90-degree angle in the building. So, it was a matter of how we would be sure we had quality control in place to maintain all of the control points in the building. Every single column and beam in this place is at an angle or skewed, including the exterior walls. We needed excellent coordination between the steel, the thermal systems, the panel systems and

the structural stud systems so that they all integrated together.”

Each design feature was an installation nightmare...

As excavation began in May 2021, the challenges became evident immediately. “There was groundwater and shale Mentor, OH 44060 everywhere,” states Charlie Shantery, 440-951-6004 field superintendent for Panzica. ThatPens Art for required the team to add an entire under-slab waterproofing system and redesign the tiered control room levels. “Add to that, all work had to be scheduled with the county and the control tower,” adds Shantery, “plus any crane work required additional permits.”

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Photo courtesy of Flexjet

TOP SPOTS Upstairs on the executive level are offices for the chairman and both co-CEOs. Each occurs under one of the star wings protruding out over the tarmac. With floor-to-ceiling angular glass walls and tubular strut supports for the wings above, each office bespeaks aviation.

Steel had been preordered due to the in all directions are star-shaped silver choke off that area for dust protection, outlandish delays experienced during wings that cantilever far from the build- and work elsewhere for a week or so.” the pandemic. Outside, every glass cur- ing. Built of a sandwiched steel top, The layered ceiling for the command tain wall is slanted out 22.5 degrees, bottom and steel studs in the center, the center, with the colored LED indirect requiring them to be prefabricated and wings projected so far that they wanted lighting, had to go in after all the elecpreordered as well. to deflect. Walters relates that they spent trical, mechanical and fire protection “Making sure the anchor points significant time framing and shooting was installed. That was also a challenge matched the steel was a major conas everything had to be suspended cern,” recalls Walters. “We had the “From the simplicity of where from overhead trusses. Once that was surveyor pretty much on speed dial to they could start building we started 25 years ago, to the completed, come out and re-establish benchmarks.” up the tiered levels below for the Custom work platforms then needed advancements in technology and workstations facing the screens. to be fabricated so the workers could reach the top of the glass, which was where we are today, this new Global But the results are fantastic splayed further out than the granite The exterior façade is a combinaOperations Center is truly a marvel, and tion of glass curtain walls, granite and window sills. “Some of those curtain walls are 20 it defines a new future in aviation.” metal panels. At night, the buildfeet high, so we had to get not only the ing glows, with views into the large Kenn Ricci glass windows. A large red and white glazers up there, but also the mechanical Flexjet Flexjet logo announces the entryway guys with their diffusers and the acoustical ceiling guys,” says Walters. “Then along the curved entry drive. You they had to be moved and rotated around elevations. A TPO roofing then covered won’t see it unless you arrive by plane or the building multiple times so that each everything but the steel wings. helicopter, but an identical illuminated trade could get up and do their work.” The steel for the LED wall had to be logo is on the roof. Considering that jet airplanes were perfectly level and plumb, not within a Taking a tour around the first floor, starting right outside the building, it is quarter of an inch like typically stan- visitors will probably enter through amazingly quiet inside. Various thick- dard. “We laser-cut templates that were the northwest door from the parknesses of Viracon glass were used, with put on the floor,” says Walters, “and ing lot. Proceeding counter-clockwise one-inch tinted solar glazing on the then we used those to laser everything around the central operations center runway side of the building. from the structural steel all the way are Owners Services desks in a series of Up on the roof, things didn’t get any through to the monitors.” hexagonal cubicles. easier. There are as many roofing levels as The vestibules leading to the tarmac “Once the work began to install the tiers in the command center. Projecting monitors,” says Shantery, “we had to face south and east, and here, visi30

Properties | November 2023

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INVITING ATTENTION The exterior façade is a combination of glass curtain walls, granite and metal panels. At night, the building glows, with views inside through the large glass windows.

tors who arrive by plane get their first glimpse of the immense control center with all its LED screens. Also in the southeast portion are a series of conference rooms, the largest of which is the Gulfstream Room. According to Collins, the conference room table is built from the fuselage of the first Gulfstream G4 to come off the assembly line. The aircraft, serial number 1, was the plane

that Kenn Ricci personally flew. It’s now been rear-lit and covered with a glass top. Full glass walls in the conference rooms provide visitors and passersby an expansive view of the LED screens. In the northeast is the corridor connection to their old control center in an adjacent hanger. Along this corridor is an employee lounge looking out onto the airfield.

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An aviation “museum” has already begun taking shape along the walls of this connector, with memorabilia of some of Flexjet’s early flights. Completing the circle, you’ll find more hexagonal workstations that look north before returning to the northwest corner reception area. Upstairs on the executive level are offices for the chairman and both coCEOs. Each occurs under one of the star wings protruding out over the tarmac. With floor-to-ceiling angular glass walls and tubular strut supports for the wings above, each office bespeaks aviation.

He wanted ‘wow’!

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Both the interior and the exterior deliver the “wow” factor Ricci was looking for. But, hidden from most is the technology that aggregates the data from 30 locations across the globe through their own cloud network, and displays it in real-time, enabling Flexjet to provide world-class service to their subscribers. “From the simplicity of where we started 25 years ago, to the advancements in technology and where we are today, this new Global Operations Center is truly a marvel, and it defines a new future in aviation,” says Ricci. “None of this would be possible without the dedication of our employees. This new operations center is a demonstration of our relentless progress and vision.” P Properties | November 2023



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35 Years + Still Pushing Forward

People, technology continue driving H&M Landscaping, Snow Pros’ brand ahead Story & Photos By Scott Esterly


ark Mazzurco, president and owner of H&M Landscaping and H&M Snow Pros, was cutting lawns in his own neighborhood in the late 1980s. When he started, he wasn’t even old enough to drive as he went from yard to yard. “Once I was able to drive, it expanded from there,” says Mazzurco. “I was supposed to attend John Carroll University on a bunch of grants, but I ended up choosing to run the business because I enjoyed it so much.” Now, with more than 200 employees at the peak of summertime, H&M Landscaping is entering its 35th year. Currently, H&M maintains two physical locations – one on Kinsman Road in Newbury Township and the other on Acorn Drive in Oakwood Village. The company grew at a steady pace but in the early 1990s business really began to take off. “It was around 1992 that I brought both of my brothers into the company as partners,” Mazzurco says. “We were growing leaps and bounds at that time. You know, you always kind of gravitate back

is residential. The common thread amongst both commercial and residential is that H&M Landscaping’s work is primarily high-end detail and design work. The combined service territory of H&M Landscaping and H&M Snow Pros covers a large swath of Northeast Ohio. “We go all the way out to Elyria on the west side. We go out to Conneaut on the east side, and we’ll Mark Mazzurco go down the Medina for snow and ice,” says Mazzurco. H&M Landscaping and H&M Snow Pros H&M has also done some landscaping work for customers in West out: I’m investing in people. We don’t just Virginia, Kentucky and Chautauqua, New York. sell a service, we sell relationships.” H&M Landscaping prides itself on being a design, build and maintain serAdding snow to the mix vice provider for its customers. About Mazzurco added snow removal to his 90% of its customer base on the land- list of service offerings around 2000. scaping side is commercial and 10% Originally, safeguarding his employees towards family. At that point, we probably only had 20 or 25 employees and just one location. That’s when I finally figured

“We capture a lot of information because I’m of the opinion that if you can’t track it, you can’t control it. If you can’t cost it, you can’t make money.”


Properties | November 2023

POWER IN NUMBERS H&M President/ Owner Mark Mazzurco (top) attributes the continued success and growth of his companies to the people that surround him. “As you hire good people, they take on more responsibility,” he says. “They allow you to grow.”

was the catalyst. He wanted to ensure that his summertime employees had work in the landscaping off-season. “I started the snow removal and ice management business to take care of my guys. I was just trying to make sure that they had money coming in and could feed their families,” he says. “And then I found out that it was one of the most profitable parts in our company.” H&M Snow Pros services approximately 600 commercial sites every winter. It does this with approximately 130 regular full-time employees. “We’re really dialed into the larger properties like hospitals and multitenant buildings where there’s a lot of people that are coming and going,” says Mazzurco. In addition to the full-time employees, H&M Snow Pros employs around 150 subcontractors. “We call them partners,” he says. “They’re the seasonal employees that we pay a premium to because, if you think about it, they get up in the middle of the night and they’re working four or five hours helping to service our clientele.” To make the logistics work during wintertime, H&M Snow Pros activates about a dozen satellite stations every winter. These are strategically placed, often at or near customer sites, to store material, loaders and trucks. Generally, the number of satellite stations is linked to the number of managers that oversee snow removal operations to cut down on the distances that workers need to travel to their zone in inclement weather. Mazzurco’s philosophy on snow removal is keeping his employees happy and well taken care of, because it’s a competitive industry. “Everyone’s got the same snowplow service,” says Mazzurco. “Snow and ice management is a culture and lifestyle. My staff will literally put their lives on hold in the winter. If it’s Thanksgiving and it’s snowing, they’re out working. If

it’s Christmas and it’s snowing, they’re out working. It snowed on Christmas last year. I was out and about delivering coffee, hot chocolate and donuts and supporting the team.”


Mazzurco attributes the continued success and growth of his companies to the people that surround him. He points directly to a decision he made during the Great Recession as a major turning point. “I really invested heavily in the company in 2008,” says Mazzurco. “We went through that recession and my thought

process was, there are a lot of good people that are out of work and you could probably get them right now. So I went out and started hiring. My brothers thought I was crazy. In 2008, we were doing about $7 million a year. Now, we’re at nearly $22 million. The only difference is the people. As you hire good people, they take on more responsibility. They allow you to grow.”

Data + technology

“I have always been an analytical, historical data kind of guy,” he says. “We capture a lot of information because I’m of the opinion that if you can’t track it, 35

LOADING UP Around the year 2000, H&M Snow Pros invested in pusher boxes, which meant the company’s snow removal team could tackle large parking lots, like malls and shopping centers and multi-tenant commercial properties.

you can’t control it. If you can’t cost it, you can’t make money.” That philosophy has driven Mazzurco and his businesses from the very beginning. He knew from the data he had collected that investing in growth during an economic downturn would yield positive results. The same can be said with his embracing of technology, particularly on the snow side of the business. “It was around the year 2000, when I really got into technology and that’s when we invested in pusher boxes,” he says. “A standard plow goes on the front of a truck and you roll snow. Pusher boxes allow you to grab more snow and push it to the end of a parking lot. When those first came on the market, we were on the forefront.” Investing in pusher boxes meant H&M Snow Pros could tackle large parking lots, like malls and shopping centers and multi-tenant commercial properties. That has been a major income driver and allows the company to continue investing in people, equipment and trucks. Being willing to utilize and experiment with technology has also showed Mazzurco what works and what doesn’t.

“We try to drive efficiencies with technology, not only with GPS, but all the latest and greatest ways to apply de-icing products,” says Mazzurco. “We found that some of the stuff on the market just doesn’t work for us.” Technology has also allowed Mazzurco more flexibility when it comes to running the business while

parking lot from this time to that time. It not only helps you with collections, but also helps you with building trust and a relationship with your customer.”

Optimistic for the future

Mazzurco has experienced years of tremendous growth, where his companies have grown 30% year to year. He’s also seen that growth drop off right away. To combat such big swings, Mazzurco manages a realistic controlled growth target of anywhere from 5% to 10% every year. Rather than focusing on tremendous growth numbers, he now emphasizes keeping his customers happy and prioritizes renewals. “I really track our renewal rates Mark Mazzurco hard, and we try to stay at about H&M Landscaping and H&M Snow Pros 92%,” he continues. “In other words, if I have a million dollars simultaneously being a major value- of maintenance or snow contracts, add for customers. I want to renew $920,000 of that “All the technologies, like our because that tells me I’m providing a operating system, are real-time,” says good quality service.” Mazzurco. “I can run the snow business “I’m a glass half full guy,” says Mazzurco. from anywhere in the world because I “I definitely think we’ve recovered after can pull it up and I know exactly where the pandemic. Our last three years have our trucks are. I can send a customer been really strong. I’ve got a great team a GPS report saying we were in your and we’ve got great relationships.” P

“All the technologies, like our operating system, are real-time. I can run the snow business from anywhere in the world because I can pull it up and I know exactly where our trucks are.”


Properties | November 2023



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BILLBOARD News about people, products, places & plans

Mercy Health Breaks Ground on Rehab Hospital in Youngstown

Rendering courtesy of The Sanders Trust


he Sanders Trust, an Alabamabased medical property developer, recently hosted a groundbreaking for Mercy Health Youngstown Rehabilitation Hospital, located at 3180 Belmont Ave. in Youngstown. The 66,000-square-foot hospital will focus on acute rehabilitation for patients who suffer from stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, complex neurological disorders, orthopedic conditions, Mercy Health Youngstown Rehabilitation Hospital multiple trauma, amputation and other injuries or disorders. Project partners include a pair of out-of-state firms: Earl Swensson Architects, of Nashville, with Pittsburgh-based Massaro Corporation as general contractor.

Hahn Loeser & Parks Welcomes Associate Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP recently announced that Rachel L. Hazelet has joined its Cleveland office as an associate in its Labor and Employment Practice Area. Hazelet focuses on a wide array of employment litigation-related matters,

including pre-filing investigation and negotiation, discovery, motion practice, trial preparation and appeals. She provides guidance to clients dealing with complex workplace disputes, offering support from hiring to termination. Hazelet, an attorney practicing in Northeast Ohio since 2018, is admitted to practice

Ed Schmidt, Owner Cell: 440-321-1500


law in Ohio, the U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District. In 2018, she earned her J.D. with cum laude honors from Case Western University School of Law, where she earned three CALI Awards for Excellence. She received a B.A. in politi-

Rachel Hazelet

cal science from Indiana University in 2015.

NCWDC Launches to Assist Lakefront Redevelopment The City of Cleveland recently announced the launch of the new North Coast Waterfront Development Corporation (NCWDC), a not-for-profit entity aimed at assisting the city with equitable development of the North Coast Lakefront. The legislation to create the development corporation, passed

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Properties | November 2023

BILLBOARD News about people, products, places & plans by Cleveland City Council earlier this year, establishes a hybrid public-private structure. NCWDC’s foundation consists of 10 inaugural board members, with the potential to expand its membership in the future. Board leadership includes Chair David Gilbert (CEO, Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission); Vice Chair Ayonna Blue Donald (vice president, Ohio market for Enterprise Community Partners); and Treasurer Michael Taylor (PNC Community Development Banking, Ret.). Other members of the board include Cleveland Mayor Justin M. Bibb; Blaine A. Griffin (president, Cleveland City

Council); Pat Rios (executive director of Buildings and Design, Cleveland Clinic); Greg Harris (CEO, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum); Kirsten Ellenbogen (CEO, Great Lakes Science Center), Will Friedman (CEO, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority) and David Jenkins (CEO, Haslam Sports Group). NCWDC has now commenced its search for an executive director to lead implementation of the city’s vision for the lakefront.

Sikora Named Part of Ohio NAIOP Leadership Team

The NAIOP of Ohio Board of Directors recently announced the election of the 2024-2026 leadership team

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that will assume their responsibilities in January 2024. During their annual organizational meeting in Columbus, the board selected members representing the four regional chapters in Ohio and will represent the executive committee in the planning and

execution of engagement and policy initiatives. Representing the Northern Ohio Chapter is PresidentElect Mike Sikora, managing partner of Sikora Law. He most recently served as both the board’s vice president and chair of the Legislative Committee. He is a past president of the Ohio Land Title Association and the Northern Ohio Chapter of NAIOP. He is also an active member of the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) and is the former Chair OSBA’s Real Property Section Council.

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BILLBOARD News about people, products, places & plans Impact Partners recently announced the formation of a new program available to minority entrepreneurs trying to develop real estate in Cleveland. The Cleveland Equitable Development Initiative (CLE-EDI) aims to provide more than a dozen individuals with training, technical assistance, mentorship, networking and pathways to financing. The program pairs experienced developers with emerging entrepreneurs to help launch their projects. Current program participants include April Bebee (Phoenix Development Group LLC), Jermaine Brooks (WRJ Developers LLC), Andre Bryan (BridgePort Group, LLC), Akil Hameed (FASS Real

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Estate Services), Jimmie Hicks III (Start Right Community Development Corporation), Khalid Hawthorne (Famicos Foundation); Tiffany Hollinger (Hollinger Financial, LLC), Ariane Kirkpatrick (Jabali Development Group),

Hosanna Mahaley (The Legacy RED Group Inc.), Jimi Oluwabiyi (LAEL, LLC.), Dominic Ozanne II (Ozanne Construction Company, Inc.), Evin Peavy (Dc Kelly Investments LLC), Christopher Roberts (LDM

Development Corporation), Dontez Sanders (Ds Group LLC) and Khrystalynn Shefton (BBC). Mentors include executives with a range of area companies, including Berusch Development, Bristol, First Interstate Properties, M Panzica Development, Marous Brothers Construction, Metro Consulting, Nix Development Company, Northern Real Estate Urban Ventures, NRP Group, RHM Real Estate Group, Sustainable Community Associates and Welty Development. WHAT’S NEW? For complimentary coverage in Billboard, send company news & project information to

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Properties | November 2023

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Making the Grade

Exterior, HVAC upgrades elevate learning environment at Lutheran High School East By Dan Holland | Photos by Scott Esterly


or decades, Lutheran High School East has provided a well-rounded curriculum and high performing extracurricular programs, but a couple years back, it was decided that the aging school building was due for a significant refresh, says Chris Steinmann, superintendent/CEO of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association. “Our goal was to modernize the exterior of the building so that it would look as good as the education that we are providing inside the building,” says Steinmann of the school building at 3565 Mayfield Rd. in Cleveland Heights, which originally opened in 1959 and serves grades 9-12. “And we wanted to bring in air conditioning throughout the entire building, so we would finally have a modern, comfortable building for our 370 or so students.” To meet its goals, the school hired Meraki Architects of Middleburg Heights as the design team along with Carey Construction Group of LaGrange in September 2022. A team of subcontractors was assembled in early 2023, with much of the work being performed during summer 2023. Substantial completion was achieved in time to reopen for the 2023-24 school year. 42

Financing for the $3.9 million update came from a combination of grant money, a construction loan from the Lutheran Church Extension Fund and a capital fundraising campaign, according to Steinmann.

“Our goal was to modernize the exterior of the building so that it would look as good as the education that we are providing inside the building.” Chris Steinmann Cleveland Lutheran High School Association “To date, we’re somewhere around $2.8 million dollars raised, which leaves a gap of $1.1 million dollars,” Steinmann explains. “Our goal was always to get it down to a million dol-

lars or less and have a mortgage for the remainder.”

Design solutions

Meraki Architects was tasked with reconfiguring and replacing the original single-pane curtain wall system and adding a new metal panel system to the exterior. The new window system consists of double-pane, insulated glass with low-E glazing designed to reduce solar heat gain in the classrooms, according to Rick Jozity, principal at Meraki Architects. “With the original curtain wall system being single pane, temperatures inside the classrooms, especially on the south side of the building, would sometimes reach over 100 degrees, making it a difficult learning environment,” says Jozity. In addition to adding comfort and energy efficiency, the new system transProperties | November 2023



proud to serve as the general contractor for the lutheran east high school renovations



ADDED COMFORT + COLOR Work included installation of new HVAC throughout the previously non-air conditioned school, making classrooms much more comfortable (top), while original glass block windows in the gym were replaced with varying shades of blue and white glass block (middle, bottom).

formed the dated exterior appearance of the school. “As far as the exterior look, I was trying to get away from the verticality of all the existing window mullions,” Jozity explains. “We still had some challenges, as every 10 feet or so there’s an existing column that we had to design around. But other than that, the windows in between are somewhat playful shapes and give the exterior a brand-new modern look.” Original drawings for Lutheran High School East and Rocky River’s Lutheran High School West – built at the same time to be mirror images of one another

“The building was built in the late ‘50s, and it reminded me a bit of a prison in appearance.... I wanted to design the new exterior to be less rigid and more playful to reflect the creativity of what the kids are doing on the inside.” Rick Jozity Meraki Architects – were utilized in mapping out a plan. Similar exterior updates were completed at Lutheran High School West in 2010.


A replacement of the roof – all 13 sections, completed between 2014 and 2018 – was a first step in updating the exterior of the two-story, 68,300-squarefoot building that sits on a 20-acre site. “There had been not much investment in the physical building until about 10 years ago,” says Steinmann. “Over the last 10 years, we’ve been chipping away, replacing roofs and doing a lot of the deferred maintenance that needed to be done. But the exterior of our building – the envelope – was still very dated. It looked pretty bad, and we didn’t have air conditioning.” 44

Properties | November 2023

SYSTEM UPGRADE As a key part of the project, the building’s original single-pane curtain wall system (bottom) was replaced with a new metal panel system that consists of double-pane, insulated glass with low-E glazing (top).

School leaders gave some general design guidance in what they wanted to achieve but left the details up to the team of Meraki Architects. “They brought me in for the design to give the building a fresh new look,” says Jozity. “The building was built in the late 1950s, and it reminded me a bit of a prison in appearance with the strong vertical elements of the curtain wall every three feet. I wanted to design the new exterior to be less rigid and more playful to reflect the creativity of what the kids are doing on the inside.” A tinted Tubelite T14000 Storefront Series replaced the original classroom windows along with a Pac Clad Flush Panel System. Replacement of exterior framing was also necessary to install the new products. “We changed from the original curtain wall system with one-inch-thick asbestos panel infill to a storefront window system with metal framing attached to the existing CMU walls to reach a required R-value to better insulate the building envelope,” explains Jozity. “We also wanted to add some color to the glass,” he continues. “You can’t really tell from the outside, but when you’re in the classrooms with the way the sun hits it, you can see different shades of blues and grays. And the metal paneling gives a much more modern look to the building.” Metal louver sun shades were added at the top of the new windows along the south side of the building to minimize

direct sunlight in the classrooms and further reduce solar heat gain. An existing section of the exterior consisted of concrete panels and featured four decorative carvings, representing the core values of the school. Badly deteriorated, this area was updated with a metal panel system featuring the blue and white school colors. New tree plantings and extensive landscaping, along with removal of overgrown shrubs, offers a more simplistic approach in accentuating the building. Increasing power capacity for the school was necessary to install and operate eight rooftop air conditioning units

and 27 mini-split ductless systems in classrooms. All-new LED lighting was installed throughout the building.


Performing the bulk of the work during the summer shutdown posed challenges, along with material lead times and labor constraints, according to Bill Carey, president of Carey Construction Group. The school agreed to extend their summer break period to allow for additional work time, he notes. “We had a 14-week window with no kids in there, which made it very challenging to get the windows out and

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‘Before’ photos at top courtesy of Meraki Architects

BACK INTO VIEW A deteriorated section of exterior wall consisted of concrete panels (top left) with carvings that represent the school’s core values (top right). Today, that wall features a new metal panel system (left) that frames each sculpture with colored panels (bottom right).

replaced – especially with today’s market on materials and labor,” Carey says. “Fortunately, we were able to jump in there, and the school was able to move some kids around in classes and allow us to start in some public areas during the spring months.” Early ordering of materials and planning were key factors in staying on schedule. “Since they started the project the year before in September, we were able to secure trades in our team mostly in January and get shop drawings started and approved,” Carey says. “We ordered the windows with a hold

dimension rather than having to field measure the openings after they were prepared. It added some challenges, but having to order everything in the field to size and then opening up the walls and finding surprises behind them can be costly timewise.” Replacement of the original glass block windows in the gym with varying shades of blue and white glass block posed challenges. “There were some issues structurally when they started taking the glass block down,” Jozity explains. “We had to unexpectedly repair the deteriorating steel lintels above the glass block and do

some rebuilding of brick work, but it all came together nicely in the end.” “The gymnasium was a huge challenge that we overcame in rebuilding the lintels without adding shoring and any major structural replacements,” Carey says. “It was crazy that we asked Bill and Rick to rip off the entire exterior of the building and put it all back together in two-and-a-half months,” Steinmann says. “But now that they did, I’m really thrilled and happy about it.”


Careful planning was utilized, with the project being done in phases, according

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Properties | November 2023

Web: http:\\ to Carey. “We tried not to remove any curtain walls if we didn’t have to, obviously exposing the finished interiors until we had the product to go in – the new windows and systems,” he explains. “So, we did it in phases in sections and wings of the school.” “At the same time, we were working on the HVAC rooftop units, and we had to replace several ceilings,” he adds. “The lighting was an ongoing task, with lighting replacement going on from April all the way up to September.”

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SOLAR CONTROL Metal louver sun shades were added at the top of the new windows along the south side of the building to minimize direct sunlight in the classrooms and further reduce solar heat gain.

for those trees to be removed, we had to replant new trees at approximately the same locations as the old ones. We brought in an arborist and had him figure out which ones were healthy and which ones were not, and we had to submit all of that to the city in order to get the tree removal approved.”

Eye-catching outcome

“Our relationship with Bill Carey goes back a while, and so we are really comfortable with him and his work,” Steinmann says. “This was the first project that I worked on with Rick Jozity, and I can’t tell you how happy we are with it. I think the designs were nothing short of amazing. “The big thing for me is that the school now is very pretty,” he continues. “It’s very eye-catching. Taking trees down along Mayfield Road and replanting trees elsewhere really opened the property up. I’ve had a number of people tell me they didn’t realize how far back from the street our school is because they never actually saw the building before. Opening that space up and brightening the building has been pretty transformational. Just having your building look good changes the pride of your school. You can see that in the way our kids talk and the way they act around our building now.” P Properties | November 2023

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Supporting the professional service providers behind successful construction projects Cast Spotlighting

Cautious Optimism + Credible Concerns

Marcum’s 16th Annual Construction Survey reveals industry leaders’ views on year ahead Provided by Marcum LLP


arcum LLP recently released findings from its 16th Annual Northeast Ohio Construction Survey, which collects feedback from key industry figures on a range of issues. By comparing these insights at the regional level with data from its recent fourth national construction survey (accessible at, Marcum can gauge how Northeast Ohio compares with national trends. Marcum notes its 2023 annual survey comes at a time when everyone in the construction industry has considerable concerns about the effects of ongoing inflation and the rising interest rates deployed by the Fed to counter those rising prices. While those macroeconomic worries certainly played on the minds of area poll respondents, just as they did nationally, a good dose of optimism came through in the responses. The Marcum team attributes the eased optimism to some underlying strength driven by marquee projects such as the new Sherwin-Williams headquarters, new build and renovation projects for residential structures, an array of healthcare buildings and even a broad slate of non-profit and museum jobs. Add in federal and other infrastructure 50

projects, and the region should keep construction companies busy for the

funded projects juxtaposed with credible reasons to worry – or at least be cautious. These include the tough rate environment and its strong potential to affect the viability of jobs and a couple of all-too-familiar woes. Once again, respondents cited finding skilled labor as the biggest priority (and the inability to find it as the biggest threat) and said material issues – both cost and availability – were hampering their ability to complete jobs. Higher costs across the board are still hitting companies, with two-thirds of respondents saying their G&A (general and administrative) costs went up in the last year, roughly matching last year’s total, when that number really leapt. Respondents in Northeast Ohio mostly tracked quite closely to national

While macroeconomic worries [like ongoing inflation and rising interest rates] certainly played on the minds of area poll respondents, just as they did nationally, a good dose of optimism came through in the [construction survey] responses. next few years. Backlogs are still healthy, though there was a slight uptick in respondents expecting lower backlogs in the coming year. The result is a yin and yang, with credible reasons for feeling good in the form of solid pipelines of approved and

Properties | November 2023

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Supporting the professional service providers behind successful construction projects Cast Spotlighting respondents, but there were a few exceptions. For example, the total number of bidders on jobs was notably lower in Northeast Ohio and the 44% of respondents expecting to do more work outside the region in the next three years was 11% higher than the national survey. That 44% total was down considerably from the 58% in 2022, perhaps reflecting some effect from the many projects planned and already happening in Northeast Ohio. Further highlights from the Northeast Ohio Survey include:


matching the prior year. Additionally, 10% cited the tightening credit market as their biggest threat in the coming year, doubling from last year.

Strength in numbers

Amid all the threats from inflation, interest rates, costs and labor shortages, the fundamentals of construction

Amid all the threats from inflation, interest rates, costs and labor shortages, the fundamentals of construction in Northeast Ohio remain strong. Most notably, backlogs are still solid, though they have shown some softening year-over-year.

Banking, rates and securing financing went from being afterthoughts in the low-rate environment of the past 10 years or so to very much on the minds of respondents this year. While in 2022 just 5% of respondents said their ability to obtain financing decreased over the past year, that number leapt to 26% this year. Those who found financing more readily available declined from 24% in 2022 to just 3% this year. That said, the ability to obtain financing remains healthy for most construction companies, with 71% of respondents saying it was unchanged –

in Northeast Ohio remain strong. Most notably, backlogs are still solid, though they have shown some softening year-over-year. A combined 32% of respondents expect lower backlogs this year, up from 24% in 2022. And 20% expect a reduction of more than 15% this year, which is up from 14% expecting such a significant reduction last year. And while job sizes have declined slightly, which is likely attribut-

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able to tightening credit affecting some large construction projects, just 12% of respondents said their jobs were smaller, ticking up just 1% from prior year. While persistent, problems with materials also seem to be abating, with managing material vendors declining as a top priority from 42% in 2022 to 30% this year. Material costs also declined as a “biggest threat” to respondents’ businesses from 25% in 2022 to 10% this year.

Skilled labor woes persist

Most of the jump in expenses for construction companies is likely attributable to the high cost of skilled labor, but the years-long labor issue goes deeper than just pay. It is costing companies projects and work. In fact, a combined 74% of respondents noted that either labor shortages or a combination of labor and material shortages led to job delays or cancellations in the past year. Pay continues to climb to help address the issue, with 91% of respondents saying they have boosted pay in the past year, and 75% saying they are focusing on compensation to close the skilled labor gap. 46% of respondents said securing skilled labor was their biggest threat, up 13% from last year.

The importance of planning

Given the macroeconomic volatility, the increasing pace of change and the general unpredictability of the construction industry, more respondents are devoting time and energy into planning and strategy. In fact, organizational planning was a top priority for 60% of respondents this year, a record high. Another 54% said strategic planning was a top priority, while a further 62% cited planning to cope with a potential recession. Coupled with a sizable proportion of respondents increasing their focus on managing capital and cash flow, strategy is clearly becoming more of a focus for those running a construction enterprise. P To download the complete results of the 2023 Marcum Northeast Ohio Construction Survey, visit Properties | November 2023

Tightening Loan Standards?

What a more conservative lending environment means for real estate projects in 2024 By Molly Z. Brown Brouse McDowell


everal times a year, the Federal Reserve conducts a survey of up to 80 domestic banks and 24 U.S. branches and agencies of foreign banks to gauge opinions on bank lending practices. Its July Senior Loan Officer (SLO) Opinion Survey confirmed market data about the tightening of loan standards and more conservative underwriting standards. The survey confirmed that rising rates have caused banks to place more emphasis on balance sheets, cash flow and income statements.

What does this mean for 2024? Currently, borrowers with strong credit are typically receiving term sheets for commercial real estate lending transactions from banks with typical loan-to-value (LTV) requirements of 70%. This compares to prior year’s LTV of 75-80% for similar transactions. The July 2023 Survey gave insight into expectations for the remainder of 2023, with banks reporting expectations for further tightening of credit standards for all loan categories. Heading into and during 2024, we can expect banks’ justifications for tightening underwriting standards to continue to hold based upon the uncertain “economic outlook and expected deterioration in collateral values and the credit quality of loans as reasons for expecting to tighten lending standards further over the remainder of 2023.” SLOs reported supervisory changes and the desire for stronger liquidity due to economic headwinds – factors that lead to a decrease in value or growth of the economy – which may occur. This makes sense. The Federal Reserve imposed individual capital standards for large banks with $100 billion or more in total consolidated assets, effective October 1, 2023. The Federal Reserve also proposed 1) implementing the final components of the Basel III (Basel III is an internationally agreed set of measures, developed in response to the financial crisis of 2007-09, which aim to strengthen the regulation, supervision and risk management of banks) and 2) further revising capital standards for large banks. This

would increase the cost of capital for banks, particularly large banks. Since the 2008 financial crisis, we have seen the availability of credit from financial institutions being impacted, from time to time, by specific bank concentrations. Because commercial real estate (CRE) lending is a top segment for U.S. commercial banks, concentrations in CRE are monitored heavily by regulators and banks themselves.

Adjusting to banking environment changes

To be sure, banks and private lenders are still lending money. Capital for real estate transactions remains available. Underwriting standards at some institutions have gotten tighter,

while others – mainly community and regional banks – have stayed relatively the same. Brouse McDowell’s recommendations to clients when seeking borrowing capacity include: 1. Be organized – Have your financial statements, tax and organizational documents ready 2. Enlarge your investigation of available funding 3. Have your elevator pitch ready about what sources of funds are needed and uses of the funds 4. Be strategic in making development decisions that maximize increases in value 53

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Maintaining deal volume in 2024

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Properties | November 2023

Commercial Deed Restrictions, To Be or Not to Be Understanding deed restrictions & their impact on deals Sonya Rarey Birchway Title Agency, LLC


here is nothing like asking someone in the title industry to write something about the business that would be “interesting to readers.” We title folks think it is all interesting, we always say with a smile. I did not want to guess what would be informative, timely and interesting to readers, so I went out and asked a few. tion as a whole. A knowledgeable title examiner can also make decisions as to what items found are still applicable and relevant.

We asked and you answered. The responses were varied but shared a common theme related to deed restrictions, including questions on how they impact perception of value, use, focused growth and how they have impacted prior deals we have closed.

Tales from the trenches

The art of title research

One responder also asked “How do you do it? The research, that is?” Simple, when you graduate from title school the instructor gives you a magic wand! Title personnel receive training on what to ask and where to direct the wand and then, like magic, the answers appear on the page. Okay, don’t grow impatient with this whimsical answer because we like to have a little fun, but we also like to leave a bit of mystery.

On a serious note, it takes careful application of both experience and intuition by a title examiner to follow the chain of title back the required number of years as well as attention to detail when reading legal descriptions and other records to accurately gather enough facts to discover restrictions that could impact title and the transac-

We have all heard the stories of how an encumbered title has caused a ripple effect of grand proportions. For example, the nowowner that must obtain approvals for current exterior modifications from a previous owner years back in the title chain, there might be a prohibition found as to a specific use or the requirement of a particular use, or, more commonly, a set-back or minimum frontage requirements that just don’t align with “today’s standards,” and the list goes on. If you have been in commercial real estate for long, you are probably familiar with these

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Supporting the professional service providers behind successful construction projects Cast Spotlighting issues and have your own list of examples that fall into one of these types of restrictions: use, architectural and design, maintenance and appearance, environmental and conservation, parking and vehicle. The good news is, you don’t have to discover and navigate the deed restrictions alone.

There are resources to help, including a commercial title company.

What is a deed restriction

A deed restriction is a legal provision that is placed on a property in the deed to limit or regulate certain aspects of its use and development. It is created by

either the original property owner or a governing authority. In many cases, deed restrictions are put in place to protect the value of the property or to safeguard the interests of other businesses in the area. Once the restriction is within the deed, it remains part of the property and can be very difficult to remove. Common restrictions include the following: • Prohibiting competing businesses from moving onto the property

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• Prohibiting businesses that may attract certain clientele • Limiting the size or design of what is built on the property • Prohibiting certain types of commercial buildings, such as res-

In many cases, deed restrictions are put in place to protect the value of [a] property or to safeguard the interests of other businesses in the area. Once the restriction is within the deed, it remains part of the property and can be very difficult to remove. taurants or residential units, on a particular property

Navigating the deed minefield

It can be helpful to review a deed for language on a possible variance, the sunset clause, non-conforming use, easements and/or waivers. • A variance is a legal exception or permission to deviate from specific deed restrictions due to unique circumstances or hardship.

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• The sunset clause is a provision in a deed restriction that sets an expiration date or condition upon which the restriction will no longer be enforceable. • Non-conforming use language refers to a use or structure that existed before the implementation of the deed restriction


Properties | November 2023

and is allowed to continue despite not conforming to the current restrictions. • An easement is a provision which grants to a person or entity the ability to use a portion of another person’s property for a specific purpose, often specified in the deed restrictions. • Waiver language is a voluntary relinquishment or suspension of a deed restriction by the party who is entitled to enforce it, typically granted under certain circumstances or conditions.

The power used wisely

financial loss due to problems with the title, ownership and usage of the land. Title insurance can protect your investment from costly claims.

The role of commercial title insurance

We also recommend seeking guidance from a real estate attorney or other real estate experts who can provide valuable insights and ensure compliance with deed restrictions, ultimately safeguarding property rights and enhancing the overall quality of the community in which the property is located. The first step in navigating deed restrictions and their potential impact on a real estate transaction is a thorough discovery process. Once the discovery is complete, it becomes pivotal to be supported by experts that can help provide quick and sound solutions. Although these solutions vary by transaction, the right support can be invaluable. P

Even the most thorough search will be limited to what is of record. There are items that can affect title called “undis-

The journey of deed discovery

[Deed restrictions] are designed to help maintain property values, create cohesive neighborhoods and protect the interests of property owners. However... they can also cause controversy, inconsistency and cost time and resources to navigate, adhere to and, in some cases, amend.

Deed restrictions play a vital role in shaping the use, development and overall character of real property. They are designed to help maintain property values, create cohesive neighborhoods and protect the interests of property owners. However, over time and as a result of changes to the surrounding land, they can also cause controversy, inconsistency and cost time and resources to navigate, adhere to and, in some cases, amend. Property owners and those thinking of purchasing new real estate can make informed decisions and navigate the ever-changing landscape by understanding the types and implications of deed restrictions and by finding the right title company to help.

Allies in the field

the search. The best title companies provide solutions on how to clear title exceptions and ultimately can recommend the best title insurance coverage for your investment.

The right title company will perform a title search to identify the status of ownership and find liens and other matters affecting title by collecting documents statutorily required to be recorded in the public records. Once the search is complete, the title company will compile its findings in a document called the title commitment and can then determine the “insurability” of the title. The title commitment will also list exceptions from coverage and requirements to insure. Working with a sophisticated, knowledgeable title company that is well versed in commercial real estate will make a difference in what can and will be discovered during

covered risks,” which include, but are not limited to, matters and title issues resulting from filing errors, forgeries and undisclosed heirs. The commercial title insurance policy is a type of indemnity insurance that protects your commercial investment from

Sonya Rarey is the president of Birchway Title Agency, LLC, a Cleveland based title agency specializing in commercial real estate transactions. For more information, email

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Am I Paying Too Much?

How to determine if your property is being over-assessed By Kristopher Nicoloff Siegel Jennings Co., L.P.A.


rguably, the most common question posed by clients to property tax advocates is, “Am I paying too much in property taxes?” The answer: look at how your taxes are calculated. The tax rate is only controllable through the ballot box or a moving truck. However, the assessment is controllable through challenge. So, the real question is: am I being over-assessed? Although the question of being overassessed is particular to each property, there are a few things that taxpayers need to think about. First is understanding what you paid just a few years ago may not be an indication of your value today. Some properties may have gone up in value while others have gone down. For a moment, let’s assume that everything regarding the property has remained stable. Rent as well as expenses have not changed. The next step is to look at the market conditions for the applicable tax year. The upcoming assessment and tax bills will be as of January 1, 2023, here in Ohio. First, U.S. 10-year Treasury Notes had a yield as low as 0.556% in early 2020. January 2023 saw rates climb to 3.88%, and October 2023 saw the highest yield at over 5%. Based on interest rates alone, real estate purchased in 2020 may have lost 30% by January of 2023. County auditors who assess use the last three years of sales to establish the new assessments. As a result, they may over-assess your property. But let’s also look at the root cause of the increase in rates: inflation. Inflation exacerbates the picture. According to published rates, inflation stood at 1.4% in 2020, with a seven-year average of 1.83%. 2021 inflation exploded to 7%, a 400% increase from 2020, and the average from 2021-2023 (to date) is 5.73%. More staggering – these numbers are year over year. They do not originate from a baseline but instead compound, meaning inflation has risen 17.2% over the last

United States Annual Inflation Rates (2013 to 2023) 8


4 2







2015 2014



2017 2016



2019 2018

three years. Did market rents increase as fast? Commercial rent trends contribute to the analysis. According to CoStar market research, national rent growth



2021 2020

3.7 2023


of 2.3%. These increases are generally property-type specific, potentially helping some sectors like multi-family and industrial, but not office. Work from home isn’t helping the office market either. Statistics and reporting vary, but the U.S. Census Bureau found the number of people primarily working from home tripled from 2019 to 2021. Forbes reports that, as of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work a hybrid model. That’s over 40% of the U.S. workforce spending markedly less time in the office. As office leases come to term and work-from-home flourishes, rents will constrict. Expenses, both hard and soft, will likely also continue to rise. In the world of assessments, the past is not necessarily prelude. However,

According to CoStar market research, national rent growth continues to rise, but at a slower clip than 2021/2022. However, the Cleveland market still hovers at record levels, with annual gains at 6.5%, just shy of three-times the previous 10-year average of 2.3%.


continues to rise, but at a slower clip than 2021/2022. However, the Cleveland market still hovers at record levels, with annual gains at 6.5%, just shy of three-times the previous 10-year average

Properties | November 2023


WE KNOW HOW TO GET RESULTS BECAUSE WE KNOW PROPERTY TAX LAW. We are the property tax law firm. It’s all we do, with 50 years of experience and billions in assessment reductions nationwide. Contact Kieran Jennings and the team at Siegel Jennings for a no-fee, no-risk review of your portfolio.

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assessment practices and laws enforce a look-back versus forward-facing approach. The upswing in valuations across Ohio is likely not going to dissipate. Taxpayers can expect to see increases in assessments. Lawmakers have not been turning a blind eye to this problem and are looking to pass a bill that will soften some of the impact. However, the underlying problem with mass appraisal is that it is difficult to deal with in a rapidly changing market. As the taxpayer, you have the responsibility to ensure your properties are fairly assessed, not based on mass appraisal historical values but on the property’s

As the taxpayer, you have the responsibility to ensure your properties are fairly assessed, not based on mass appraisal historical values but on the property’s particular circumstances. particular circumstances. Furthermore, if we are heading into tougher times, ensuring that assessments are fair is crucial to weathering the storm. Many factors must be considered before filing a complaint against your assessment, and some of those rules have changed. For instance, although school boards can no longer file to raise taxes without a triggering event, they can file based on recent sales. In addition, they can and will likely participate in the assessment process by filing counter-complaints, so filing should be well thought out to avoid a potential increase rather than a decrease in taxes. It is always encouraged that a taxpayer reaches out to an area property tax advocate with any questions. The call is free, and often an initial analysis is as well. P Kristopher Nicoloff is an attorney with Siegel Jennings Co., L.P.A. (23432 Commerce Park, Suite 103, Cleveland, OH 44122). For more information, call 216.763.1004 or email Properties | November 2023

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Surrender, Surrender, But Don’t Give Yourself Away

Understanding a landlord’s damages for temporary repair costs at the end of a lease term By Christopher R. Mykytiak and David J. Haba Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP


eal property leases generally obligate tenants to surrender a leased premises vacant, broom clean and in good order, condition and repair – ordinary wear and tear and damage by casualty or condemnation excepted. What happens, however, when tenant has vacated the premises at the end of the lease term and the landlord insists that the tenant has not sufficiently surrendered the premises in accordance with the terms of the lease? First, let’s examine the “reasonable” standard under Ohio law that a landlord must abide by in order to sufficiently prove damages for repairs after the lease term. Then, given the potential ambiguity associated with the foregoing standard, we will also discuss how effective lease drafting can preemptively mitigate the risk for contention between landlords and tenants.

Which repair costs sought by landlords are ‘reasonable’?

Christopher Mykytiak

The essential inquiry under Ohio law as to the amount of damages a landlord is entitled to obtain from a tenant for temporary injury to real property is whether the damages sought by a landlord following the expiration or earlier termination of a real property lease are “reasonable” to compensate the landlord for property damage caused by the tenant. Martin v. Design Constr. Servs., Inc., 121 Ohio

David Haba

St.3d 66, 2009-Ohio-1, 902 N.E.2d 10, ¶ 19. The Ohio Supreme Court has stated that, to the extent a tenant has agreed to repair the premises, the proper measure of temporary damages to non-commercial real property is the reasonable cost of repairs, unless the cost of repairs exceeds the diminution in market value after the injury, in which case the diminution in value is the proper measure (Martin at ¶ 24.) Various lower courts have extended

the Martin holding to apply to commercial properties as well, and, in such context, either party may introduce evidence to support or refute claims of reasonableness, including evidence of the change in market value attributable to the temporary injury, provided that proof of diminution in value is not a required element of the injured party’s case (B & B Contrs. & Devs., Inc. v. Olsavsky Jaminet Architects, Inc., 2012-Ohio-5981, 984 N.E.2d 419, ¶ 78; citing the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth District Court of Appeals’ holdings finding the Martin case applicable to commercial cases such that a plaintiff’s failure to present evidence on diminution in value does not destroy its entire case).

End of term & surrender conditions under the lease

Given the potential for issues arising out of the ambiguous “reasonable” standard, both landlords and tenants should be careful to negotiate clear principles with respect to the tenant’s surrender of the premises.

Best practices when representing a landlord

Importantly, the obligations of a tenant to surrender the premises in good working order, condition and repair should be stated to survive the expiration or earlier termination of the lease. In addition, the landlord should set clear expectations that: (a) the tenant must remove various items, including, 62

Properties | November 2023

without limitation, personal property, tenant’s signage and trade equipment or cabling installed by tenant or on tenant’s behalf; and (b) tenant must, as applicable, place in good working order, condition and repair all exit signs, emergency lighting, windows, doors (e.g. man doors and overhead doors), and all HVAC and other building systems for which tenant is responsible under the terms of the lease. The landlord should also have the right to, upon written notice to tenant, obligate the tenant to remove their property in the event the landlord discovers the same after the tenant surrenders the premises. Finally, to the extent permitted by law, the lease should permit the landlord to retain any security deposit until the tenant has fulfilled its surrender obligations in accordance with the lease.

Best practices when representing a tenant

For the tenant to mitigate the risk for potential conflict, tenants should be cautious and negotiate: (a) to specifically identify various items that the tenant will not be responsible for removing from the premises (e.g. initial improvement work, permitted alterations made without being required to obtain landlord’s consent, etc.); (b) for the ability to enter the premises after the end of the lease term, without being considered a holdover tenant, and remove the tenant’s property (provided, landlord may require a per diem holdover rent); and (c) for the landlord to provide the tenant with notice and an opportunity to cure before the landlord exercises self-help rights regarding the tenant’s surrender. Although lease surrender obligation clauses are often overlooked, both landlords and tenants should give careful consideration to the concept when negotiating leases. As outlined above, the potential exposure could very easily exceed thousands of dollars. P Christopher R. Mykytiak and David J. Haba are attorneys with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. For more information, visit

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Office Conversions Gaining Momentum

Can a new ‘affordable housing conversion tax credit’ help languishing office buildings? By Craig Miller Duffy+Duffy Cost Segregation


ith the pandemic-induced shift to remote work and the slow return of office workers, the number of employees commuting to central business districts may never return to pre-COVID levels. Office towers are struggling, and new office leases are dramatically down again in 2023. Nationally, over 20% of the available office space is vacant.

they have more people living in and around them. The economics of office to residential conversions are not favorable in many cities, although many cities have grown the urban city populations with public support and subsidies in recent years. Proponents of a new tax incentive believe that a right-sized adaptation of offices to

adopted, proposes a 30% tax credit for low-income census tracts. The bill authorizes and caps the tax credits at $10 billion through 2027. Office buildings at least 20 years old would be eligible for the 20% or 30% tax credit for the construction costs required

to change the use to housing. The new tax credit can be coupled with the other existing tax credit and tax deduction incentives like HTC and EPAct 179D. There is widespread support from a coalition of real estate partners, including NAIOP, the Real Estate Roundtable, the National MultiFamily Housing Council, the National Association of Home Builders and many others. Proponents agree that increasing the supply of new urban housing can create greater housing stability and affordability for renters at a variety of income levels for decades to come. REITs will be able to take advantage of the proposed ability to monetize the new tax credit (owner can sell/transfer the tax credits). Requirements include a set-aside for affordable market rate units. Mixeduse is allowed. Buildings must be 20 years old, and the tax credit allocations are to be made by state based on population and pursuant to a conver-




Estimates are that 70% of the office stock in the U.S. is either obsolete or heading toward obsolescence. Concerns for plummeting commercial real estate rents and property values are real, and many are expecting lower property tax collections for state and local government over the next few years. Developers with troubled office towers have few options. Buyers are scarce, and capital markets have been frozen.

housing will strengthen demand for the remaining office inventory, therefore creating a stronger downtown that anchors a stronger city and region For languishing office properties, a new “temporary” 20% Housing Conversion Tax Credit Bill is gaining momentum in Congress. The bill, if

Nationally, Cleveland has the highest percentage of its office stock – A new $10B temporary tax credit bill 11% of total inventory – planned for adaptive re-use or underway for a conversion [to Several studies suggest that downtowns do better as job centers when residential or mixed-use].


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sion credit allocation plan of a housing credit agency.

Office conversion momentum

Low occupancy rates for downtown offices in various cities have led mayors and municipal governments to incentivize adaptive reuse by encouraging the conversion of often-older office buildings into residential properties. Older buildings that lack the new development amenities or prime locations are not investable in many markets. Many properties were already not increasing in value before the pandemic. Many of these struggling properties could see new life as mixed-use or residential housing. According to new research by CBRE, markets already experiencing higherthan-average conversion percentages typically have more older office buildings with higher vacancy rates. Nationally, Cleveland has the highest percentage of its office stock – 11% of total inventory – planned or underway for a conversion.

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Zoning, permitting & contingencies

Not every office building is in a desirable location for a business or a residential tenant. Urban office spaces have become less appealing without parking and with criminal activity, homelessness and nearby retail closures. This adaptive re-use of office buildings may face zoning and other factors like affordability and floor plate compatibility. Zoning, design and plan approvals can require one to two years. Asbestos and other existing building conditions could result in redevelopment contingencies that can exceed 20% of the conversion budget. Careful planning, a realistic timeline and enlisting the help of architects, engineers and construction contractors with experience in office conversions is crucial, and developers and investors need to gauge the risk of losing money against the potential for profits based on a multitude of factors. P Craig Miller, CPA, is the president and managing partner at Duffy+Duffy Cost Segregation, and serves on the Ohio Chapter Board of NAIOP and the NAIOP Tax and Finance Subcommittee in Washington, D.C.






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FINANCIAL STRATEGIES Smart use of fiscal planning & action

Owning Up


any years ago, I was meeting with a person that made an off-the-cuff remark of an ownership position in several high-profile properties and made several references to “he and his partners.” This caught me off guard a bit, as this person was relatively young and the portfolio of properties was substantial in value. As the years have passed, I have a better understanding of the many different ways to actually have an ownership position. ALEC J. PACELLA

This month, we are going to discuss the most popular forms of ownership, because being an “owner” is not always what it may first appear.

Sole Proprietorship

This is ownership consisting of a single person. There are no costs to form this type of ownership; rather it legally exists the moment an individual does business with themselves. In addition to the simple and low/no cost to form, there are some other advantages. Income, expenses, gains and losses can

be reported directly on the individual’s tax return. But this is offset by several significant disadvantages. The most problematic is unlimited liability; if I own a shopping center as a sole proprietorship and someone slips on the ice, they can come after any of my personal assets to satisfy a judgement.

General Partnership

A general partnership is the default form of ownership that consists of more than one person. Each member is considered a general partner and has equal

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rights, unless otherwise memorialized. Similar to sole proprietorship, there are no formalities or costs to form. It is the default the moment two or more people carry on as co-owners of a business for profit. Unlike a sole proprietorship, a general partnership is a pass-through entity – any tax liability is passed through the general partnership onto the underlying partner’s respective personal tax returns. One of the biggest disadvantages is again unlimited liability, even if another partner created the claim. A general partnership also has a finite life and, unless otherwise memorialized, will terminate upon the death or withdrawal from any of the partners.

are common for professional organizations, such as accounting, attorney or architectural firms. They are formed and governed by a partnership agreement. Partners in an LLP generally have limited liability, expected related to negligence, and one partner’s actions will not impact the other partners. Each investor has management rights,

which precludes them from being a passive investor.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

In 1988, the IRS approved the LLC structure, and it has become the preferred method of ownership for most real estate investors. The number of members of an LLC is unlimited and

Limited Partnership (LP)

An LP is an entity made up of at least one general partner and one or more limited partners. The operation

[A key disadvantage of Sole Proprietorship] is unlimited liability; if I own a shopping center as a sole proprietorship and someone slips on the ice, they can come after any of my personal assets to satisfy a judgement. of the LP is governed by a partnership agreement, which results in cost and complexity. The general partner(s) are responsible for all business management of the partnership and have unlimited financial and legal liability. Limited partners take no role in day-to-day management and are afforded liability limited to their interest in the partnership. An LP is a pass-through entity and each partner will own an interest in the partnership and not the real estate itself. But an LP can have a finite life if the partnership contains a date on which the partnership will end.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)


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An LLP is an entity made of up any number of limited partners. These 67

Supporting the professional service providers behind successful construction projects Cast Spotlighting an operating agreement is required, as is the filing of articles of incorporation in its home state. There are two types – member managed and manager managed – but both types include limited liability for all partners. Members managed LLCs operate similar to an LLP as all members have equal say in business operations and decisions. All members can sign checks, enter contracts and otherwise legally bind the LLC. Manager managed LLCs are similar to a corporation, with a member(s) and/or an outside party appointed to run the business on behalf of all of the partners. LLCs are considered pass-through entities and can include different classes of investor, which can facilitate preferential allocation of benefits among the members. The title to real estate is held by the LLC and each member owns an interest in the LLC but not the property itself.

C Corporation

This is a legal and tax entity owned by one or more shareholders and managed by directors. A C-corp is organized within a particular state and subject to the governing laws of that state. In addition to articles of incorporation, it also needs bylaws, which

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second time upon distribution, typically in the form of a dividend, to the shareholders. Another disadvantage is the inability of shareholders to take advantage of operating losses.

S Corporation

This is a type of corporation that elects to be taxed as an S-corp. It can be owned by individuals, estates or trusts. There are several requirements associated with establishing an S-corp, including not having more than 100 shareholders; all shareholders must be individuals, estate, trusts and no more than one class of stock; among others. Unlike a C-corp, an S-corp is considered a pass-through entity and offers limited liability to the shareholders.

Real Estate Investment Trusts [REITs] usually buy real estate and can be publicly or privately traded. The primary advantage is Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) avoidance of double-taxation. This is a corporation otherwise taxsive. A C-corp offers limited liability for the shareholders and shares can be much more liquid, especially if the C-corp is publicly traded. The life of a C-corp is not tied to any specific shareholder, director or officer. A major disadvantage is a concept known as double taxation; profits are taxed once at the corporate level and then a

able as a C-corp that makes an election to be taxed as a REIT. They usually buy real estate and can be publicly or privately traded. The primary advantage is avoidance of double-taxation. Unlike a C-corp, there is no federal tax paid on profits at the corporate level. Only distributions to the shareholders are taxed. There are several criteria that must be met to establish and maintain REIT status, including that at least 90% of the taxable income is distributed to shareholders; at least 75% of the assets are in real estate, cash or government securities; and at least 75% of income comes from real estate investments, among others. In a conversation several years later, I discovered that the young owner that had a position in that substantial real estate portfolio actually owned shares of a REIT and his “partners” were the other shareholders, most of whom he didn’t even actually know. Time to own up, indeed! P Alec Pacella, CCIM, president at NAI Pleasant Valley, can be reached by phone at 216-4550925 or by email at You can connect with him at alecpacellaccim or subscribe to his youtube channel; What I C at PVC. Properties | November 2023

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LEGAL PERSPECTIVES Navigating property laws & regulations

Are You Prepared for New Prevailing Wage Rules?


ontractors and specialty subcontractors that regularly perform public works projects are no strangers to prevailing wages. In fact, depending on a contractor’s geographical service area, it may need to be adept at the varying regulations and rules related to prevailing wage compliance in multiple state and local jurisdictions, as well as those applicable to federal government work.




But a recent revamp of the rules governing federally funded work may be cause for contractors to re-evaluate and upgrade their practices, policies and controls related to ensuring such compliance. On August 8, 2023, the Department of Labor (DoL) finalized a Davis-Bacon Act rule, which amounts to the largest overhaul to prevailing wage determination methods in decades. The new rule changes how prevailing wages for federally funded construction projects are calculated, and it is widely expected to increase those wage standards. Under the new rule, the “prevailing wage” is defined as:

1. The wage rate paid to the majority (more than 50%) of workers in a particular classification in a particular geographic area; 2. If the same wage rate is not paid to a majority of the applicable workers, then the “30% rule” applies. That means the prevailing wage is the wage rate paid to the greatest number of workers in a particular classification and area, so long as at least 30% of the applicable workers are paid that rate; 3. If no wage rate is paid to 30% or more of the applicable work-

Properties | November 2023

ers, then the “weighted average” applies. That means the prevailing wage is the average of the wages paid to the applicable workers, weighted by the total number of workers in the classification.

• Clarifying or imposing new liability for prime contractors and upper-tier subcontractors based upon violations by lower-tier subcontractors, including payment of back wages and potential debarment.

This new rule returns to a prevailing wage definition not used since 1983. During the last four decades, if a majority of applicable workers were not paid the same wage rate, then the prevailing wage rate was determined by the “weighted average.” In other words, the 30% rule did not factor into the analysis. In addition to modifying how the prevailing wage is determined, the new Davis-Bacon Act rule includes a variety of other changes. Some of the notable changes include:

The impact of this new rule undoubtedly will be substantial, particularly

wage standards for more than one million construction workers across roughly $200 billion in construction projects every year. Moreover, the new rule could have the effect of driving up wages in construction firms that do not contract with the government, as they must compete for the same workers. Although legal challenges are expected, the new rule went into effect on October 23, 2023. Contractors would be well-advised to review the new rules in detail and work with their legal counsel to put adequate documentation controls and company practices in place to safeguard against potential liability for non-compliance. P

A recent revamp of the rules governing federally funded work may be cause for contractors to re-evaluate and upgrade their practices, policies and controls related to ensuring [prevailing wage] compliance.

• Clarifying which projects are subject to the Davis-Bacon Act. For example, the definition of “building or work” now explicitly references energy and infrastructure items like solar panels, wind turbines, broadband installation and installation of electric car chargers;

given the amount of government investment in infrastructure projects through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act alone. The White House claims that the change will increase prevailing

Andrew Cleves ( and Ian Frank ( are partners in the Labor & Employment and Construction Practice Groups, respectively, at Frantz Ward LLP ( in Cleveland.


• Requiring more frequent wage determination updates after a contract is awarded. Those include instances where the contract is modified to add work outside the original scope, work continues beyond the original contract period, and the contract does not have a scheduled completion date; • Allowing for use of a broader range of data when setting prevailing wages in various circumstances; • Including a new anti-retaliation provision, which protects construction workers who raise concerns about payment practices; • Adding additional recordkeeping obligations, including the requirement to maintain worker telephone numbers and email addresses for at least three years after completion of work; and


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NAIOP NEWS Commercial real estate happenings

It’s Time for Permitting Reform in Ohio


he permitting process in Ohio has long been mired with uncertainty and often costly delays for Ohio’s real estate developers and the business community, particularly in Ohio’s major cities. The pandemic only exacerbated the problem, and applicants now must often wait more than a year to get a simple building permit.


Recent state-level legislative efforts in competitor states like Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Texas have sought to address similar issues. The goal of these reforms is to increase predictability, transparency and consistency in the review and inspection processes at the local level by instituting specific timelines that localities must follow, reducing permitting fees when those timelines aren’t met, and, most notably, allowing applicants to utilize qualified third parties when the locality cannot or fails to process an application within specified time periods. Ohio needs to follow suit if we want to maintain an advantage over competitor

states. Currently, the permitting process is unpredictable and often lacks any modicum of transparency. Some local governments provide timely reviews, and others do not; some impose reasonable fees, while others treat the permitting process as a source of income; some adhere to clear review standards, while others use the approval process to exact often costly changes and concessions. Solving these issues at the local level is virtually impossible. Accordingly, NAIOP of Ohio is advancing a proposal to reform Ohio’s permitting process at the state level by revising R.C. Sections 3781.031 and 3791.04. These revisions seek to provide a

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common-sense framework for local governments, requiring reasonable timelines to review permit applications and conduct inspections, and giving applicants the ability to engage third parties when the local government cannot adhere to those parameters. The key features of NAIOP of Ohio’s proposal include: • Requiring local authorities to notify applicants within five business days after receipt of an application whether such application is “complete.” • Following notification that the application for a permit is complete, the local authorities must render a decision on the application within 30 days; if the local authority cannot process the application within the 30-day timeline, it must provide notice to the applicant.

(with exceptions when threats to public safety exist) to resolve violations within two business days. If the violations are not resolved, the owner is entitled to an expedited appeal. Commercial real estate development is a powerful driver of Ohio’s local and state economies. In 2022, the real estate industry contributed $64.4 billion to the state GDP, generated $23.9 billion in wages and salaries, and cre-

Unfortunately, inconsistent regulatory schemes, staffing problems, unreasonably long review periods and inconsistent inspection criteria present very real roadblocks to new investments and threaten the momentum the industry has cultivated over the last several years. These issues aren’t limited to the real estate industry. Any entrepreneur needs local permits before starting a brick-and-mortar business – whether that business is a restaurant, a barbershop or manufacturing facility. Unreliable bureaucracies, bureaucratic delays, unnecessarily complex regulatory schemes and lack of transparency not only increase start-up costs, but are often barriers to entering the marketplace. Policy reform is necessary if Ohio wants to maintain its competitive advantage over similarly situated states. Simply put, there is a better way to manage the permitting process. P

Inconsistent regulatory schemes, staffing problems, unreasonably long review periods and inconsistent inspection criteria present very real roadblocks to new [CRE] investments and threaten the momentum the industry has cultivated over the last several years.

• If local authorities notify an applicant that it cannot process the permit application within 30 days, the applicant has the option to use a third-party architect or engineer (at the applicant’s expense) to review the permit application.

ated 423,844 jobs, which place Ohio as the third highest ranking state in the nation for overall economic impact of real estate (See “Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate,” 2023 Edition at

Justin J. Eddy is an attorney with Tucker Ellis LLP ( For more information, email him at

• If the local authority cannot process the permit application within 30 days, and the applicant opts to use a third-party architect or engineer, the applicable fees are reduced by 50%. • In addition to permitting, many developers and business owners find scheduling inspections to be problematic. NAIOP’s proposal provides that inspections must be performed within two business days of the request made by the developer. As with permitting, the applicant can opt to use a third-party service provider to provide the inspection if the locality cannot perform its inspection within two business days. • Applicants can utilize the expedited appeal procedures set forth in SB 41. • Local authorities must meet with owners when issuing stop work orders

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CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS REPORT Updated info on important projects in the region, provided courtesy of ConstructionWire ( Project: #3388476 PURITAS SENIOR APARTMENTS PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Multifamily (48 units), Athletic Facilities (< 10,000 sq-ft), Social (< 10,000 sq-ft) CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New ESTIMATED VALUE: $9.3 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: 14410 Puritas Ave. Cleveland, OH 44135 DETAILS: Plans call for the construction of a fourstory, affordable senior multifamily development with 48 units. The units will be for seniors age 55 and older, who have income between 30% and 70% AMI. There will be 28 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom units. Amenities include fitness center with senior specific equipment, a community room with kitchenette, laundry facilities, and enhanced site and building security. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/16/2023) STAGE: Starts in 1-3 months CONSTRUCTION START: 12/2023 CONSTRUCTION END: Q3/2024 BID DUE DATE: N/A DEVELOPER, GC: The Commonwealth Companies Contact: Greg Baron, VP of Development 24 S. Brooke St. P.O. Box 1658 Fond du Lac, WI 54935 P: 920-922-8170 DEVELOPER: Engel & Völkers Contact: Greg Baron, Managing Director of Development- Midwest 14701 Detroit Ave., Ste. 460 Lakewood, OH 44107 P: 216-409-4801 ARCHITECT: RDL Architects, Inc. Contact: Joanne Horton, Residential Studio Director 21111 Chagrin Blvd., Ste. 110 Beachwood, OH 44122 P: 216-218-2948 Project: #3255780 THE ELEVEN, A HILTON TAPESTRY HOTEL PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Hotels (180 rooms), Social (7,100 sq-ft), Retail/Restaurants (< 10,000 sq-ft), Athletic Facilities (< 10,000 sq-ft) CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New ESTIMATED VALUE: $12 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: 2121 George Halas Dr. NW Canton, OH 44708 DETAILS: Plans call for the construction of the seven-story, 154,000-square-foot, 180-room Eleven, a Hilton Tapestry Hotel as a part of the second phase of the Hall of Fame Village. The property will include a 5,000-square-foot ballroom, 2,100 square feet of meeting space, an indoor pool, fitness center and a 106-seat restaurant. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/19/2023) STAGE: Starts in 1-3 months CONSTRUCTION START: 11/2023 CONSTRUCTION END: 10/2024 BID DUE DATE: N/A DEVELOPER: Hall of Fame Resort and Entertainment Company Contact: Michael Crawford, Principal 2014 Champions Gateway Canton, OH 44708 P: 330-458-9176 DEVELOPER, GC: Welty Building Company Contact: Chris Gibson, Project Executive 1400 W. 10th St., Ste. 200 Cleveland, OH 44113

P: 330-867-2400 F: 330-864-4566 Project: #3142298 ERIEVIEW TOWER PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Hotels (210 rooms), Multifamily (227 units), Cultural (15,000 sq-ft), Retail/Restaurants (10,000-24,999 sq-ft), Athletic Facilities (130,000 sq-ft), Office (300,000 sq-ft) CONSTRUCTION TYPE: Renovation ESTIMATED VALUE: $136.2 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: Cleveland, OH 44114 1301 E. Ninth St. DETAILS: Plans call for renovations and the conversion of the Tower at Erieview. Work will include a 210-room W Hotel, 227 high-end apartments, more than 300,000 square feet of office space, and a 15,000-square-foot ballroom with an event center and conference space. The 38th floor will be converted into a fine-dining restaurant, and renovations to the adjacent 130,000-square-foot Galleria will turn it into a “lifestyle center,” complete with a spa and gym. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/6/2023) STAGE: Starts in 4-12 months CONSTRUCTION START: 2/2024 CONSTRUCTION END: Q2/2026 BID DUE DATE: N/A FUNDING CONTACT: Brown Gibbons Lang & Company 980 North Michigan Ave., Ste. 1880 Chicago, IL 60611 P: 312-658-1600 ARCHITECT: Berardi + Partners Contact: Joe Berardi, Principal 668 Euclid Ave., Ste. 9 Cleveland, OH 44115 P: 614-832-7141 Project: #3403304 UNIVERSITY SCHOOL ADDITION PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Schools (K-12)/Libraries (40,000 sq-ft) CONSTRUCTION TYPE: Addition/Expansion ESTIMATED VALUE: $5-$25 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: 20701 Brantley Rd. Shaker Heights, OH 44122 DETAILS: Plans call for the construction of a threestory, 40,000-square-foot addition to the middle school and library. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/5/2023) STAGE: Planning


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CONSTRUCTION END: N/A BID DUE DATE: N/A ARCHITECT: Annum Architects Contact: Robert Carroll, Senior Associate 40 Broad St., Ste. 102 Boston, MA 02109 P: 617-338-3000 OWNER: University School 20701 Brantley Rd. Shaker Heights, OH 44122 P: 216-321-8260 Project: #3409945 THE VIBE PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Multifamily (220 units), Parking Structures CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New ESTIMATED VALUE: $25-$100 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: 2828 Clinton Ave. Cleveland, OH 44113 DETAILS: Plans call for the construction of two apartment complexes with approximately 220-unit apartment housing. There will be 223 parking spaces in 78,754 square feet of garage areas in the basement and first floor. The building at the southwest corner of Church Avenue and West 28th Street is proposed to be six stories tall and called Hanover House; while the other one located at the northeast corner of Clinton and West 29th Street, is proposed to be shorter at five stories and to be called as Clinton House. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/4/2023) STAGE: Planning CONSTRUCTION END: N/A BID DUE DATE: N/A GC: Cleveland Construction, Inc. 8620 Tyler Blvd. Mentor, OH 44060 P: 440-255-8000 F: 440-205-1138

DEVELOPER: TurnDev Development 3900 Park East Dr., Ste. 200 Beachwood, OH 44122 ARCHITECT: Vocon 3142 Prospect Ave E Cleveland, OH 44115 Cleveland Office P: 216-588-0800 F: 216-588-0801 Project: #3408710 THE TOWER PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Multifamily (50-100 units), Retail/Restaurants (< 10,000 sq-ft), Retail (< 10,000 sq-ft) CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New ESTIMATED VALUE: $14 million SECTOR: Public LOCATION: 30 S. Park Pl. Painesville, OH 44077 DETAILS: Plans call for the construction of a multifamily building which would house 172 students. The project also includes retail and restaurant space. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/3/2023) STAGE: Planning CONSTRUCTION END: N/A BID DUE DATE: N/A OWNER: City of Painesville (OH) Contact: Susan Crotty, Economic Development Director 7 Richmond St. Painesville, OH 44077 P: 440-392-5806 Project: #3290610 SIGNATURE HEALTH PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Office (45,000 sq-ft), Medical CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New ESTIMATED VALUE: $11 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: SW of Mentor Ave. and Arcadia Cir.

Willoughby, OH 44094 DETAILS: Plans call for the construction of a two-story, 45,000-square-foot medical office building. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/10/2023) STAGE: Construction CONSTRUCTION START: 6/2023 CONSTRUCTION END: Q2/2024 BID DUE DATE: N/A TENANT: Signature Health Inc. 38882 Mentor Ave. Willoughby, OH 44094 P: 440-953-9999 ARCHITECT: Joseph L. Myers, Architect, Inc. Contact: Joe Myers, Owner 38030 Second St. Willoughby, OH 44094 P: 440-975-1800 GC: M.E. Osborne Building Company 7670 Tyler Blvd. Mentor, OH 44060 P: 440-951-2977 ENGINEER: Polaris Engineering & Surveying Contact: Chuck Szucs, Principal 34600 Chardon Rd., Ste. D Willoughby Hills, OH 44094 P: 440-944-4433 F: 440-944-3722 DEVELOPER, OWNER: Lerebourn, LLC Contact: Bill Brooks, Principal 15504 Dale Rd. Chagrin Falls, OH 44022 Project: #3290788 HILLIARD BOULEVARD LUXURY APARTMENTS PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Multifamily (72 units), Parking Structures CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New ESTIMATED VALUE: $45 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: Rocky River, OH 44116 18615 Hilliard Blvd.

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DETAILS: Plans call for the construction of a sixstory, 128,000-square-foot luxury multifamily apartment structure with 72 units and a two-level underground restricted parking garage for residents. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/12/2023) STAGE: Starts in 1-3 months CONSTRUCTION START: 12/2023 CONSTRUCTION END: Q4/2024 BID DUE DATE: N/A ARCHITECT: Mann Parsons Gray Architects (MPG) Contact: Andy Gray, Project Manager 3660 Embassy Pkwy. Akron, OH 44333 P: 330-666-5770 DEVELOPER: Terra Real Estate Capital, LLC. Contact: Ryan Terrano, Principal 900 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, OH 44114 P: 216-505-8732 GC: Pride One Construction 2211 Medina Rd., 100 Medina, OH 44256 Project: #3385170 CENTER RIDGE HEALTH CENTER PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Office (7,750 sq-ft), Medical CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New ESTIMATED VALUE: $8 million SECTOR: Public LOCATION: 35557 Center Ridge Rd. North Ridgeville, OH 44039 DETAILS: Plans call for the construction of a onestory, 7,750-square-foot community health center. The center will provide primary care, dentistry, behavioral health services, pediatrics, family medicine, OB/ women’s health, podiatry, optometry, treatment for substance use disorders and a reduced-cost pharmacy. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/10/2023)

STAGE: Construction CONSTRUCTION START: 7/2023 CONSTRUCTION END: Q2/2024 BID DUE DATE: N/A OWNER: Lorain County Health & Dentistry 1205 Broadway Lorain, OH 44052 P: 440-240-1655 GC: The Krill Co. Contact: David Fischback, Owner/ President 1275 Main Ave. Cleveland, OH 44113 P: 216-357-4777 F: 216-357-3463 ARCHITECT: Kaczmar Architects Inc. Contact: Christine Raymond, Principal 1468 W. 9th St., Ste. 400 Cleveland, OH 44113 P: 216-687-1555 Project: #3190800 NORTH PARK PLACE PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Multifamily (38 units), Parking Structures CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New, Renovation ESTIMATED VALUE: $5-$25 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: Cleveland, OH 44104 11203 Stokes Blvd. DETAILS: Plans call for the conversion of a 50,752-square-foot medical office building into 23 apartments with indoor parking. A three-level, 43,560-squarefoot parking deck will be demolished and 15 townhomes will be built. Estimated Schedule (as of 7/20/2023) STAGE: Construction CONSTRUCTION START: 11/2020 CONSTRUCTION END: Q1/2024 BID DUE DATE: N/A

ARCHITECT: Kaczmar Architects Inc. 1468 W. 9th St., Ste. 400 Cleveland, OH 44113 P: 216-687-1555 DEVELOPER: Premier Development Partners Contact: Brian Lenahan, Senior VP of Development 5301 Grant Ave. Cleveland, OH 44125 P: 216-341-1200 GC: The Krill Co. 1275 Main Ave. Cleveland, OH 44113 P: 216-357-4777 F: 216-357-3463 Project: #3347010 UNIVERSITY OF AKRON POLSKY BUILDING RENOVATION PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Universities/Colleges (400,000 sq-ft) CONSTRUCTION TYPE: Renovation ESTIMATED VALUE: $45 million SECTOR: Public LOCATION: 302 E. Buchtel Ave. Akron, OH 44304 DETAILS: Plans call for renovation of an existing 400,000-square-foot university building. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/24/2023) STAGE: Starts in 12+ months CONSTRUCTION START: 1/2025 CONSTRUCTION END: Q1/2026 BID DUE DATE: N/A OWNER: University of Akron Contact: Gary L. Miller, President 100 Lincoln St., Room 209 Akron, OH 44325-0405 Capital Planning and Facilities Management P: 330-972-7869 ARCHITECT: Hasenstab Architects

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Barberton, OH Properties | November 2023

190 N. Union St. Akron, OH 44304 P: 330-434-4464 ARCHITECT: Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates, Inc. 625 N Michigan Ave. 800 Chicago, IL 60611 P: 312-896-1100 CM: Regency Construction Services 5475 Engle Rd. Brook Park, OH 44142 P: 216-529-1188 Project: #3410367 TECH PARK 90 PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Mfg./Industrial/Warehouse (434,000 sq-ft) CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New ESTIMATED VALUE: $47 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: 21800 Tungsten Rd. Euclid, OH 44117 DETAILS: Plans call for building a 434,000-squarefoot manufacturing facility. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/9/2023) STAGE: Planning CONSTRUCTION END: N/A BID DUE DATE: N/A DEVELOPER, OWNER: Weston Inc. 4760 Richmond Rd., Ste. 200 Cleveland, OH 44128 P: 440-349-9000 Project: #3410868 GATEWAY EAST GARAGE REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Multifamily (101-150 units), Retail/Restaurants (10,000-24,999 sq-ft), Office (25,000-49,999 sq-ft), Retail (25,000-49,999 sq-ft), Hotels (50,00099,999 sq-ft),Parking Structures CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New ESTIMATED VALUE: $15 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: 650 Huron Rd. E. Cleveland, OH 44115 DETAILS: Plans call for the full or partial demolition of the Gateway East Parking Garage and the construction of a ballpark village, which may include shops, restaurants, offices, residences, a hotel, and a new parking garage. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/9/2023) STAGE: Planning CONSTRUCTION END: N/A BID DUE DATE: N/A OWNER: Cleveland Guardians 2401 Ontario St. Cleveland, OH 44115 P: 216-420-4487 Project: #3410876 GATEWAY EAST GARAGE REDEVELOPMENT HOTEL PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Hotels (50-100 rooms) CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New

ESTIMATED VALUE: $12 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: 650 Huron Rd. E. Cleveland, OH 44115 DETAILS: Plans call for construction of a hotel as part of the redevelopment of the Gateway East Parking Garage. Estimated Schedule (as of 10/16/2023) STAGE: Planning CONSTRUCTION END: N/A BID DUE DATE: N/A OWNER: Cleveland Guardians 2401 Ontario St. Cleveland, OH 44115 P: 216-420-4487 Project: #3387100 FIRSTENERGY STADIUM RENOVATIONS PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Conventions/Arenas (50,00099,999 sq-ft) CONSTRUCTION TYPE: Renovation ESTIMATED VALUE: $5-$25 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: 100 Alfred Lerner Way Cleveland, OH 44114 DETAILS: Plans call for the renovation of the existing FirstEnergy stadium. Estimated Schedule (as of 9/29/2023) STAGE: Planning CONSTRUCTION END: N/A BID DUE DATE: N/A ARCHITECT, CONSULTANT: HKS Architects 350 N. Saint Paul St., Ste 100 Dallas, TX 75201 P: 214-969-5599 DEVELOPER: Haslam Sports Group Contact: Peter John-Baptiste, Senior VP of Communications 100 Alfred Lerner Way Cleveland, OH 44114 P: 440-891-5001 Project: #3236603 WOODHILL HOMES PHASE II PROJECT TYPE/SIZE: Multifamily (77 units) CONSTRUCTION TYPE: New ESTIMATED VALUE: $18.9 million SECTOR: Private LOCATION: 11305 Woodland Ave. Cleveland, OH 44104 DETAILS: Construction of a 77-unit affordable apartment development that will be the second phase of Woodhill Homes. Estimated Schedule (as of 7/12/2023) STAGE: Construction CONSTRUCTION START: 10/2022 CONSTRUCTION END: Q4/2023 DEVELOPER, PROPERTY MANAGER: The Community Builders Inc. Contact: Jeffrey Beam, Regional V.P. for Real Estate 135 South LaSalle St., Ste. 3350 Chicago, IL 60603 Midwest Region P: 312-577-5555

F: 312-263-0337 ARCHITECT: City Architecture Inc. Contact: Phillip Migas, Project Manager 12205 Larchmere Blvd. Cleveland, OH 44120 P: 216-881-2444 GC: Marous Brothers Construction Contact: Marjorie Sutton, Project Coordinator 36933 Vine St. Willoughby, OH 44094 P: 440-951-3904 OWNER: Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority 8120 Kinsman Rd. Cleveland, OH 44104 Purchasing Department P: 216-348-5000 Construction project reports are provided with permission through ConstructionWire, courtesy of BuildCentral ( BuildCentral specializes in planned construction project leads and location analytics for CRE, hotel, multi-family/ single-family, medical, mining & energy, and retail construction spaces. Properties Magazine makes no warranty of any kind for this information, express or implied, and is not responsible for any omissions or inaccuracies. To notify Properties of any reporting errors, we encourage you to email

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ADVERTISER INDEX Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.............. 8

Infinity Paving Company.........................................25

ACP Architectural........................................................72

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Jamieson Ricca Fenestration.................................69

AIA Cleveland................................................................49

JL Taylor, Co. Inc............................................................39

Air Control Products, Inc............................................ 4

JV Janitorial Services, Inc.........................................16

All Floor Removal........................................................66

Keene Engineering.....................................................49

Alpha Construction ...................................................20

Lanza Design, LLC.......................................................15

American International Construction...............68

Lisco Heating & Cooling, Inc..................................39

APX/Apex Pinnacle Services..................................63

Mammoth Prefab/Panel Tech Group.................. 7

Birchway Title Agency..............................................55

Marcum LLP....................................................................51

BOMA Greater Cleveland........................................33

Masonry Restoration Maintenance....................65

Brennan Heating & Associates.............................67

McMahon Masonry Restoration..........................14

Brouse McDowell LPA...............................................54

Meraki Architects LLC................................................43

Carey Construction Group......................................43

Messina Floor Covering, Inc...................................48

Carey Demolition........................................................71

Mid State Restoration, Inc.......................................77

Carey Roofing................................................................54

NAI Pleasant Valley of Northern Ohio................. 3

CESCO Imaging.............................................................. 7

Norman Electric Inc....................................................19

Charles Schulz Building Company......................62

North Coast Paving....................................................79

Charles Svec Inc............................................................41

OCP Contractors..........................................................52

Cleveland Demolition...............................................38

Panzica Construction, Co. .....................................23

Cleveland Public Power............................................48

Performance Painting...............................................26

Columbia Building Products.................................69

Pete & Pete Container Service..............................75

Comfort Environmental Co....................................46

Precision Environmental Co...................................69

Cunningham Paving Inc..........................................48

Premise Solutions, LLC.............................................31

Dalton Building Enclosures....................................47

RAM Construction Services

DCA Roofing..................................................................80

of Cleveland...............................................................28

Diamond Roofing Systems...................................... 2

RDL Architects...............................................................41

Diversified Piping & Mechanical Inc..................29

Reserve Millwork.........................................................31

Duffy & Duffy Cost Segregation Services.......65

RoviSys Building Technologies.............................70

EA Group..........................................................................19

Ruff Neon Sign..............................................................25

Fiber Seal Fabric Care System...............................33

Ruff Neon Sign..............................................................45

Five Star Mechanical.................................................. 11

S.A. Comunale Company........................................76

Forest City Erectors....................................................32

SE Blueprint, Inc...........................................................73

Fortney & Weygandt Construction....................10

Siegel Jennings ............................................................59

Frantz Ward LLP...........................................................51

Sims-Lohman Inc.........................................................16

Geauga Mechanical, Co...........................................25

Snavely Building Company....................................12

GPD Group......................................................................16

Space Comfort Co.......................................................57

Graves Lumber.............................................................20

Sunray Window Films LLC......................................64

H&M Landscaping & Snow Pros, Inc.................37

Suntrol Co........................................................................74

Hahn Loeser & Parks, LLP........................................56

Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, LLP...............................63

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Harlan & Assocs............................................................14

The Thomas Brick Co.................................................60

Hicks Roofing................................................................61

United Glass & Panel Systems Inc.......................23

High Tech Pools Inc....................................................16

US Communications & Electric Co......................47

Icon Construction........................................................49

VMI Group, The.............................................................28

Infinity Construction..................................................40

Yerman & Young Painting, Inc..............................65 Properties | November 2023

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