The Edison to bring 306 new market-rate luxury apartments to Detroit Shoreway

Denizens of the Gordon Square Arts District within the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood have been watching on since last fall as demolition has transformed approximately ten acres between West 58th and 65th Streets north of Breakwater Avenue. Workers have been making way for more than 300 new class A luxury apartments. Initially dubbed Breakwater Bluffs, developer NRP Group is now calling the project The Edison.
"We're pretty much done with all demolition," says Aaron Pechota, vice president of NRP, noting that the site was previously home to approximately 300,000 square feet of vacant industrial buildings. "We're really commencing site work, dirt work," he adds, noting the current rough in includes a public road. Pechota estimates the business end of the build-out will begin in 30 to 60 days.
"You'll start to see real construction," he says of work scheduled for late winter/early spring. And as the summer months loom, "you'll start to see vertical construction on a number of the buildings." NRP is the general contractor on the project. The group will also own and manage The Edison. Dimit Architects did the design.
Future site of The Edison on Breakwater Ave 
The venture will consist of eight structures including four apartment buildings, three townhouse buildings and one carriage house garage. One-bedroom/one-bath apartments will range from 561 to 1,047 square feet. Two-bedroom/two-bath units will go from 1,027 to 1,248 square feet. Some will include a den/study.
Townhouses will have a ground floor garage with two floors of living space above. Two- and three-bedroom units with two and a half bathrooms will range from 1,530 to 1,764 square feet. The largest three-bedroom townhouses will be 1,946 square feet and will feature three and a half bathrooms.
Rents for all the units will be market rate. While details have not been finalized, Pechota says they will range from under $1,000 for the smaller one-bedroom units to upwards of $2,000 for the larger townhomes.
"They're going to be consistent with what you're seeing in the market at places like Mariner's Watch and The Shoreway, which are two projects in close proximity to us," he says.
Common amenities will include one acre of green space, a 1,880-square-foot swimming pool, parking, an entertainment/club space and a fully equipped fitness center. Pechota expects move in dates to commence in summer 2017 and for the entire project to be complete before we ring in 2018.
"The total build is 20 months, plus or minus," says Pechota. "That gets us right into before the end of the year."
The project is unique for many reasons, most notably its scale and that it is a new build amid a market where adaptive reuse of vintage and industrial properties has been all the rage.
"There's almost no true new construction," says Pechota of Cleveland's ongoing boom, adding that many among the millennial and empty nest generations desire the "product quality and class" The Edison will provide.
For those who might second guess the project, NRP's experience speaks for itself. Based in Garfield Hts., the development giant focuses keenly on new rental development across the country, with more than 30 market-rate projects in highly competitive markets such as Charlotte, NC; Orlando, FL and Austin, TX. The company also boasts approximately 300 other student, senior and affordable housing ventures.
While Pechota is quick to praise adaptive reuse projects, he touts the experience only new construction offers regarding unit functionality and amenities.
"The quality that you can present with new construction is a whole other level," he says. "There's very little of that in northeast Ohio."
The Edison's other assets include its close proximity to downtown and the Gordon Square Arts District as well as expanded access to the lake and Edgewater Beach courtesy of the new West 73rd Street underpass.
"We feel we have a true waterfront type development," says the lifelong northeast Ohioan, noting that Edgewater is well within walking distance and offers a nicely groomed beach that is clean and welcoming. Attractive views of the lake and downtown will also enhance the new apartments, says Pechota, particularly those that have balconies.
The financial package includes $40 million in taxable bonds, $5.4 million from NRP and a $12 million loan financed by foreign investors seeking federal visas. Cleveland International Fund administered the loan, which is structured around the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, under which, per the website, "entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they: Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States; and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers."
"It’s a pretty well known established program that's used all over the country for international investment," says Pechota.
As for the name, Pechota says it's a bit of an homage to Thomas Edison as well as the iconic Westinghouse Building and the area's previous incarnation as an industrial hotbed. The name also evokes creativity.
"That's a big part of what we're doing here," he says. "We're taking an existing neighborhood that’s got an amazing fabric and history and we're bringing in something new and different and stylish and contemporary."

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 for complete profile information.