West 25th Street Lofts, long-discussed Ohio City apartments, finally starting construction

Published: 07/16/2015

A long-discussed and oft-delayed apartment project in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood got the green light last week, as money finally fell into place to transform a vacant cluster of buildings on West 25th Street.

Developers Rick Foran and Chris Smythe closed Wednesday on financing for a $27.4 million project that will turn the old Exhibit Builders property into 83 residences and commercial space. Construction, starting with interior preparations, is scheduled to start this week. The apartments could open in September 2016.

Located on the south side of Church Avenue, between West 25th and West 28th streets, the rambling complex includes the former Baehr Brewing Co. building, an old Odd Fellows Hall and four industrial buildings most recently used as offices. Smythe and Foran have been trying for years – through a recession, commercial-tenant departures, historic tax-credit challenges and other fits and starts – to make a redevelopment deal work.

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