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.
“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