CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cuyahoga County Council on Tuesday approved a $5 million loan to help redevelop the vacant former Huntington Building at Euclid Avenue and East 9th Street in downtown Cleveland.
The 20-year loan, which carries a 2.5% interest rate, will go to an arm of Cleveland-based Millenia Companies as part of plans to convert the sprawling structure — once known as the Union Trust building — into 868 apartments, plus office, retail, dining and event space, according to council records.
Known as The Centennial Project, the undertaking is anticipated to cost about $463 million. Construction on the apartments is expected to begin later this year, with units going up for rent in 2022 at rates described as “below market.”
The county’s loan, along with already-approved aid from the city of Cleveland and a mortgage from Deutsche Bank, would be used to pay off the developer’s current debt for the building, council records state. Millenia Housing Development bought the building in 2018 for $40 million.
Such an arrangement will allow the developer to finish financing the project over the next six or so months and avoid possible delays associated with foreclosure, which would potentially cost the project millions of dollars in state historic tax credits, records state.
As currently imagined, redevelopment plans for the bank complex — built in 1924, with more than 1.3 million square feet of space — include:
*868 apartments, including one- and two-bedroom units ranging from $712 to $1,368 per month. The state considers such units “below-market” in cost. Apartments will only be available to tenants earning between 50% and 80% of the area’s median income level, the records state.
*90,000 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of retail/restaurant space
*10,000 square feet of dining space
*25,000 square feet of space for public gatherings and events
The building was previously owned by Optima, a Miami-based company with ties to Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky. Optima sold it in 2015 to Hudson Holdings for $22 million, and the latter company sold it to Millenia in 2018.
The FBI is investigating Kolomoisky, his affiliates and Optima. Agents in August 2020 raided the offices of an affiliated company at One Cleveland Center, as well as an office in Miami.