First Interstate finalizes purchase of Oakwood parcel in Cleveland Heights

Plans Senior-Living Campus with Country Club Amenities

First Interstate Properties Ltd. today announced it has finalized the purchase of more than 90 acres of the former Oakwood Country Club in Cleveland Heights. The parcel, located west of Warrensville Center Road and south of Oakwood Drive, includes the former clubhouse and related country club facilities.

Following is from the press release submitted by First Interstate:

“We now own the entire parcel and have some very exciting concepts for a mixed-use development that will greatly benefit the community,” said Mitchell C. Schneider, president of First Interstate, headquartered in Lyndhurst. “This enables us to move forward with our ideas for developing the entire property into an integrated project with a mix of uses, while preserving one-third of the property as undeveloped green space. We look forward to discussing our concept with the City of Cleveland Heights and its residents.”

The preliminary concept for the Cleveland Heights parcel calls for a campus setting with a variety of living options for older adults, along with therapy and wellness facilities, retail, restaurants and civic use. The proposal also calls for additional land to be set aside in Cleveland Heights, bringing the total amount of undeveloped green space to about one-third of the former Oakwood property.

The proposed development will include two living environments for older adults on the Cleveland Heights parcel: apartments for active, healthy adults over the age of 55 and a continuing care retirement community, with options including independent living, assisted living, memory support care and skilled-nursing care.

“We hope to preserve the 1905-vintage clubhouse and other amenities of the former country club and incorporate them for use by the residents, allowing them to enjoy an active lifestyle and age in place successfully on a campus environment,” Schneider said.

Schneider stressed that these concepts are preliminary, contingent upon approvals from the City of Cleveland Heights. “We have not yet had an opportunity to sit down with the city to talk about our ideas,” he said. “Now that we actually own the property, we will begin those discussions and look forward to hearing their comments and suggestions. Our goal is to come up with a realistic, economically feasible plan that brings a mix of housing, senior care facilities and high-paying jobs, while still preserving a green, campus-like environment that can be enjoyed by the community. We are confident this mixed-use development will bring significant benefits to both South Euclid and Cleveland Heights.”

He added that the proposal “would require minimal city services from Cleveland Heights while generating substantial revenue for the city and the school system. What’s more, we will not seek one dollar of city subsidy for any portion of this proposal.”

First Interstate will work with Cleveland Heights residents and officials to update zoning provisions so that a mixed-use development can proceed.

“We believe this project further supports our commitment to the long-term vitality of our region,” Schneider said. “Our company has already invested more than $150 million in the City of Cleveland, and we are continuing our contribution to the region’s future by bringing quality development to the inner-ring suburbs. This project will contribute to the growth in the core of our region by bringing an exciting, innovative set of mixed uses. These types of high-quality commercial, civic, recreation and residential options will help entice residents back to our inner-ring neighborhoods.”

Barbara Paynter

Barbara Paynter is a principal of Hennes Paynter Communications, which represents First Interstate.

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Volume 4, Issue 11, Posted 3:09 PM, 10.18.2011