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Thirty-two luxury apartments coming to University Circle


WXZ Development Inc. will expand their significant footprint in the University Circle neighborhood with their fourth residential project, 118 Flats – Oval, which will complement sister projects 118 Flats – Circle and 118 Flats – Square. Construction for the new project is expected to begin in a few weeks.
 
"These three are tied together by virtue of being on East 118th Street," says James Wymer, president and CEO of WXZ Development Inc., adding that the company's Hazel 8 project, which is in its fourth year of occupancy, is also in close proximity to the 118 Flats buildings.
 
When WXZ completes the $6 million Oval project, which will house 32 single bedroom units ranging from 630 to 900 square feet with rents from $1,350 to $1,800 in five buildings, it will have a total of 18 buildings housing 130 units on approximately 3.5 acres in the University Circle neighborhood.
 
"Density has certainly been our friend," says Wymer. "We've been masters at planning into very compact spaces and still making it feel comfortable." The Oval units are scheduled to be available for occupancy in May 2016. RDL Architects is the design lead on the project. WXZ Construction is the contractor.
 
Like the apartments in the previous 118 Flats and Hazel 8 projects, Oval's units will each have access to an individual garage, outdoor space (either a balcony or courtyard patio) and will feature a private entrance.
 
"There are no public corridors," notes Wymer, adding that he feels the most valuable amenity associated with all of his company's University Circle units is their location, which is within walking distance to area museums, dining venues, Case Western Reserve University and area employers.
 
While the units are almost always full, Wymer notes that WXZ's University Circle properties are always in a leasing mode due to the nature of the tenants.
 
"Predominately, they are graduate students oriented or associated with one of the hospitals in a medical/resident-type capacity, so they are somewhat transient," says Wymer. "They're in our market for one to three years, typically. Many of them are from out of town and we do have about a 25 to 30 percent international tenancy."
 
Wymer sees the company's University Circle development having two impacts. Firstly, it has contributed to the significant transformation of East 118th Street from a less than ideal pedestrian experience to a central walking corridor.
 
"The other impact that I think we've made is to raise the level of luxury rental options for that niche market," he adds.
 
David Swindell, president of WXZ Construction, notes that the firm has been obliged to balance fitting into the hallowed neighborhood while simultaneously delineating itself.
 
"We have been very respectful of the neighborhood and the Circle and all the other institutions and the architecture," he says, "at the same time we've tried to create our own unique distinctive addition. We've been very conscious of that in our planning: to make sure that when we're going into any pocket, we're going to blend in and yet create our own identity."

Read more articles by Erin O'Brien.

Erin O'Brien's eclectic features and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and others. The sixth generation northeast Ohioan is also author of The Irish Hungarian Guide to the Domestic Arts. Visit erinobrien.us for complete profile information.
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