Most Clevelanders have driven past the former Quay 55 building thousands of times while zooming up and down the Shoreway. But what many locals may not know is that the building is now known as The Shoreline Apartments—designed to offer resort-style living right on the shores of Lake Erie, according to new owner John Carney.
"Landmark plans to [create] a resort right there on the lake," says Carney, vice president of Landmark Companies (the real estate developer that bought Quay 55 in July 2017). “It’s different when you drive past it, rather than when you walk in.”
Once on the property, residents and guests are treated to prime views of Lake Erie, an in-ground outdoor swimming pool, patio with grilling stations, and a dog park on premises. Carney is also in talks with a paddle board rental company for residents to use in the summer months.
Furthermore, Carney says many residents have their own kayaks and paddle boards on site, and the location is a quick trip to Forest City Yacht Club. Nearby, the Cleveland Metroparks offers dining, drinks, and beach volleyball courts at E. 55 on the Lake. “This is stuff our residents can walk to,” Carney says. “In the summer, residents are out all day with their iPads and laptops by the pool using the free Wi-fi.”
The Shoreline is built in the former Nicholson Cleveland Terminal—a 1929 structure that was originally used to unload and store cars coming off freighters from Detroit. “It was basically a four-story concrete bunker with ramps,” explains Carney.
Now in the process of updating and modernizing the building’s existing 138 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments throughout its 250,000 square feet, Landmark spent the summer completing 29 new units in what previously was a 28,152-square-foot second-floor garage.
“There were cars there that literally had the best views of Lake Erie,” Carney says, adding that many of the units were pre-leased by April and residents began to take occupancy in June. All 29 apartments were leased within five months of completion. “[Now, residents] can watch the sunrise to the east and then watch it set in the west."
Meanwhile, Landmark spent $400,000 on exterior building maintenance—including sealing the windows, tuck pointing, and other masonry work, as well as a new roof on the fifth-floor addition built in the 1990s. Now the team will spend $180,000 on mechanical system upgrades, such as the cooling tower and energy-efficient LED lighting in all the common areas.
“We’re modernizing the units as they turn over,” adds Carney, who adds that 40 percent of the tenants work within the healthcare industry in University Circle or in the Health-Tech Corridor. Furthermore, he says residents move to The Shoreline for a more mellow city experience.
“People may not realize that it’s only about three miles from Public Square,” he says. “We get a lot of downtown people who want to get away from the noise but aren’t ready to move to the suburbs.”
Carney says his team tries to cater to the residents’ lifestyles and needs, saying that many residents choose the Shoreline as the last stop before buying a house. So Landmark offers amenities such as discount tickets to the Cleveland Orchestra and other concerts; connections to a moving company that offers “moving starter kits” of boxes, tape, and paper; and a free concierge service.
“We’re trying to come up with as many partnerships as possible,” Carney says. “We want to understand every reason people choose to live here and make sure we’re engaged with the residents on a management level.”
Other features of The Shoreline Apartments include an 800-square-foot community room that holds up to 40 people; a state-of-the-art fitness room; and an eight-person meeting room. The apartments themselves—38 one-bedroom, 127 two-bedroom, and two three-bedroom—range from 600 square feet to 1,800 square feet; all come standard with washers and dryers, white appliances, quartz or granite counter tops, and glass tile backsplashes in the kitchen. Carpet is also standard, although residents can easily upgrade to stainless steel appliances and wood LVT floors.
“We’re pretty flexible,” says Carney. “If they want something, we’ll upgrade it for them.”