the langston leases first batch of 370 apartments on csu campus

With the opening of The Langston, a market-rate apartment development on Chester Avenue between E. 21st and 24th streets, Cleveland State University has taken another step towards becoming a vibrant, mixed-use residential community.

The apartments are part of a $45-million real estate project being developed by Polaris Real Estate Equities of Gates Mills in partnership with CSU. It is the largest downtown apartment development to be built in several decades.

The Langston features over 370 apartments in nine buildings. A parking garage, outdoor pool, clubhouse and shops also are part of the project. Approximately one-third of the units are completed; the rest will be done by June 2013.

"We're doing very well and are over 90 percent leased already," says Guy Totino, President of Polaris. The first units opened this past September. "The product has been received well. Students today are used to the same luxuries and amenities they have at home. That's the model that's occurring across the country as universities are having housing developed on or near their campus."

The apartments are evidence of a rising development trend -- that is, leveraging campus assets to spur urban development -- which has grown in popularity across the country. The developer says the suites are drawing both students and non-students alike who are interested in the excitement and convenience of downtown living.

"The strength of the corridor is tremendous," says Totino. "To the east, you have the Clinic and University Hospitals. A few blocks to the west, you have the Central Business District. Cleveland State is one of Cleveland's best kept secrets. It's a great economic driver that hasn't been tapped that well. We're excited about making this kind of investment and we think that we'll be very successful."

The suites have open layouts, contemporary decor, built-in study areas, high-speed Internet and in-suite laundry. The clubhouse has a kitchen and media room. The project also has private conference rooms and a fitness center.

Once it is fully built out next summer, the project will include an amenity center featuring a small movie theatre, business services area and a party room with billiard tables. The outdoor area will feature grills, a fire pit and picnic tables.

Studio apartments start at $800, one-bedrooms at $998, and two-bedrooms at $1,450. Tenants have the option of renting a unit within a large, four-bedroom apartment home. By doing so, they do not have joint liability for their roommates.

By the end of 2013, 10,000 square feet of restaurant space will also open. Totino has signed 4 to 5 Letters of Intent, but can't reveal the names until they sign leases.

If the project goes well, there is opportunity for expansion in the future. CSU owns about 20 acres of land adjacent to the site that could be repurposed for housing.

Source: Guy Totino
Writer: Lee Chilcote