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September 19, 2022/Community Impact

Groundbreaking Kicks Off Construction of $26.9 Million Innovation Square Apartments in the Fairfax Neighborhood

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Angela Smith | 216.318.6632

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The Aura at Innovation Square

A celebratory groundbreaking ceremony was held today to mark phase 1 of The Aura at Innovation Square, a mixed market-rate apartment development designed to serve the local community and workforce.

The Aura, scheduled to open in late 2023, will include 82 one- and two-bedroom rental units. Financing is provided by PNC, Cleveland Clinic, the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, the Port Authority of Cleveland, and Urban Strategies, Inc.

The Aura at Innovation Square is part of a larger community revitalization effort spearheaded by FRDC in the Fairfax neighborhood, home to the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic and Karamu House Theatre.

For years, FRDC has acquired underutilized parcels of land to pursue their vision of Innovation Square. The Innovation Square plan includes mixed-use buildings with office and commercial space, in addition to for-rent and for-sale housing options, including single-family homes, and green spaces.

Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, M.D.

“The availability of quality, affordable housing for area employees at all income levels has been a central component of our revitalization plan from the beginning,” said Denise VanLeer, Executive Director of FRDC. “Demand for both market- rate and affordable housing remains extremely high in Fairfax and surrounding neighborhoods, and we have an obligation to protect the ability of workers to stay close to their place of employment, as well as providing housing options for existing residents.”

Cleveland Clinic has collaborated with FRDC to support several community development projects that work to improve the health and wellbeing of the Fairfax community and surrounding areas. During the COVID-19 pandemic when many projects were stalled, Cleveland Clinic provided funding to ensure design for the new mixed-income residential project could continue as planned. In addition to assisting with site acquisition, Cleveland Clinic has invested $10 million to support the overall project.

“Cleveland Clinic is committed to strengthening the neighborhood we call home and creating a heathier community,” said Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic. “This transformational project represents the impact a coalition of community-minded organizations can have on a neighborhood. When we all come together to identify and address community issues, we can make a difference.”

Vince Bennett, President and CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar, said, “It is complex, careful work to bring together the right mix of private, philanthropic, and government funding sources to enable rent offerings to meet local workforce needs.”


Michelle Fairfax, Mfairfax@4thqa.com, 216-571-1510

Angela Smith, Smitha19@ccf.org, 216-318-6632

About The Aura at Innovation Square

Inclusive of rent types, the units once built are interchangeable, with identical finishes, appliances, and access to building amenities. All units include central air conditioning, LVT flooring, intercom, washer/dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, electric range, garbage disposal, and window blinds. Community amenities include controlled access, on-site management, an outdoor patio, a rooftop sun deck, bike storage and repair, and a dog care area (pets are permitted). The building is served by elevators and residents have access to an activity room. The development will meet National Green Building standards.

A Meijer small-format grocery store is moving into a building being developed separately north of the apartment site along Opportunity Corridor, providing an essential neighborhood amenity in what is now considered an urban food desert. The new apartment building is also within walking distance of the East 105th-Quincy Station rail stop to the south.

Owned by Fairfax Innovation Square LP, the complex will be managed by McCormack Baron Management. The architect is City Architecture with Riverstone serving as engineer and John G. Johnson as general contractor. Phase II of the development will include an affordable housing project, plus townhomes.

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 72,500 employees worldwide are more than 5,050 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,800 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 22 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2021, there were 10.2 million total outpatient visits, 304,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 259,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.

About Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation

Incorporated in the spring of 1992, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation (FRDC) is a nonprofit community development corporation whose mission is to strengthen neighborhoods in Northeast Ohio through comprehensive community development.

FRDC carries out community revitalization activity through the development of affordable and market rate housing, promotes economic development activity through commercial, retail and institutional initiatives, and acts as a catalyst to spur community visioning through comprehensive master planning. In response to planning activities, FRDC develops programs and partnerships to address educational, health and wellness, safety, sustainability, technological and youth initiatives. FRDC is a certified Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) in the City of East Cleveland.

For more information about Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, please visit www.fairfaxrenaissance.org.

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