Cuyahoga County has reached a deal to sell its long dormant downtown Cleveland Ameritrust complex, which includes a 29 story tower and a historic rotunda. And the county will get a new headquarters as part of the deal. ideastream's Bill Rice reports.
Originally intended to house administration operations, the county's 2005 purchase of the complex has been a boondoggle by just about every account. The new county headquarters never materialized. A sale was agreed to, then aborted. Then, with some 40 million dollars invested, the real estate bubble burst and the complex's market value plummeted to less than 16 million.
So it comes as a surprise that the Geis Companies based in Streertsboro has agreed to pay 27 million dollars for the complex. It will use the tower for high end residential units and the rotunda for retail. And it will build a new eight story office building on the property, which the county will then lease as its headquarters.
County executive Ed FitzGerald says finally developing the property at ninth and Euclid will add further fuel to the momentum of development already underway downtown.
From the east bank of the flats to the casino to east 4th to Playhouse Square, all the way to Cleveland State and the Medical Mart and Convention Center - this crucial intersection was missing ITS potential.
The Ameritrust property is one of 13 buildings the county owns and is looking to sell off. The new space would consolidate operations, and the rent would be about half what the county pays on upkeep of those 13 buildings.
FitzGerald says assuming the county council approves the agreement in January, the move to the new headquarters would occur in July 2014.
Bill rice, 90.3