k & d banking on downtown resurgence with 500-plus apartments coming online

Downtown Cleveland's apartment occupancy rate currently is 96.2 percent, and there are waiting lists at many buildings. The leading downtown developer is K&D Group, a Willoughby-based company that has made downtown a centerpiece of its investments.

K&D currently has 540 downtown apartment units either under construction or in the pipeline -- more than half of the 1,165 units underway in the area. Although the firm was not able to provide exact numbers regarding the scope of its investment, the total likely exceeds $100 million.

K&D's latest project is the Residences at Hanna, a former office building the firm purchased from PlayhouseSquare and is converting into 102 apartments on eight floors. The one- and two-bedroom units have new kitchens with stainless steel appliances, granite counters and tile floors, a washer/dryer in every suite, and large windows with great views. Square footage ranges from 525 to 1,400, and monthly rents from $750 to $1,750.

"I have leases in hand sight unseen -- 25-plus already," says Cheri Ashcraft, K&D Director of Corporate Outreach. "When a client calls me and says 'I need a one bedroom' -- I've answered three calls today alone -- I tell them 'If you can’t give me a reservation right now, I can’t guarantee it will be available this afternoon.'"

The Residences at Hanna, located at E. 14th and Prospect, will welcome its first residents in July. The building has an attached garage and will have a second-floor fitness center. Service-oriented retail is being planned for the first floor storefronts.

On a recent tour, Ashcraft showed off large windows, a spacious kitchen, walk-in closets and stackable washer-dryer. One corner two bedroom under construction has dramatic wrap-around windows that fill the suite with natural light. On the upper floors, Ashcraft says, you can see the Flats, downtown and Lake Erie.

Parking is available for $80 per month in the open lot across the street, and for $115 in the attached covered garage.

The building also has 11 suites reserved for short-term corporate housing, a unit type Ashcraft says is in demand right now. "Many of my clients are bringing back intern groups, trainees and transferees who are coming to the city. Cleveland is once again on an economic upswing. K&D wants to be able to respond to that."

K&D is also working on two other projects: the conversion of the Embassy Suites at Reserve Square into 200-plus apartments and the renovation of the East Ohio Gas building into luxury apartments. Reserve Square is under construction and set to come online this summer; the East Ohio Gas building will be done in 2014.

Source: Cheri Ashcraft
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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