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Tax incentives for development of housing, new library branch OK’d by Cleveland City Council panel

The Plain Dealer  Cleveland logo The Plain Dealer Cleveland 12/1/2020 Robert Higgs, cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A Cleveland City Council committee on Tuesday backed a plan to provide $4.5 million in tax incentives to help redevelop a library in University Circle and neighboring property that once housed Cleveland’s Third District police headquarters.

If approved by the full council and Mayor Frank Jackson, the tax-increment financing would allow the developer of the project, known as the Circle Square Development, to use money that would have been paid in property taxes to help finance construction and pay for some infrastructure upgrades.

The project -- bounded by Chester and Euclid avenues, East 105th Street and Stokes Boulevard -- is expected to cost more than $186 million to construct. It would provide a new home for Cleveland Public Library’s Martin Luther King Jr. Branch and include some commercial space and more than 500 residences.

The main components, planned by Cleveland-based Midwest Development Partners, are two buildings, according to Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration. The developer has labeled them as Main Block North and Main Block South.

Main Block North at 10600 Chester, former site of the Third District police headquarters, would involve investment of about $125 million. It will consist of a 24-floor building developed in conjunction with Chicago-based White Oak Realty Partners. It would have about 14,000 square feet of commercial space and nearly 300 residential units and parking.

Developers have said the glassy structure will stretch to nearly 250 feet tall, surpassing the nearby One University Circle in height and, by 20 or so units, size.

An adjacent garage will have more parking, and about 22,600 additional square feet of commercial space.

At the other end of the block, facing Euclid Avenue, the 11-story Main Block South building will include nearly 25,000 square feet of space to house the new MLK Jr. Library branch on its first two floors. More than 200 residences, to be known as Library Lofts, will be housed in the nine floors above. The cost of this part of the development is expected to exceed $61.5 million, according to the Jackson administration.

The new residences qualify for a 15-year abatement on property taxes created by the improvements.

The $4.5 million in tax incentives would kick in once the abatements expire.

Those incentives do not affect taxes to the Cleveland schools district, which eventually is expected to reap nearly $1.8 million a year in new revenue from the projects.

The administration expects the projects will create 14 permanent jobs. Those incomes, coupled with those of residents in the buildings, are expected to generate nearly $580,000 annually in new tax revenue for the city.

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Cleveland Health Department loses 4 of 7 staff epidemiologists as coronavirus cases surge

Cleveland City Council votes to create new health division that focuses on impacts of systemic racism

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