Top of the Hill
Top of the Hill Develoment Project Closing Sets Stage for Start of Construction
Highly Anticipated Development to be Gateway to Cleveland Heights
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH, 05/5/2020 - The City of Cleveland Heights has taken the final step in preparation for the construction of the Top of the Hill project, a catalytic development at the gateway to Cleveland Heights. On Tuesday, City officials, and the City’s Development Partner, Flaherty & Collins, finalized the closing on the project site, essentially turning the project over for construction of this highly anticipated $83 million mixed-use redevelopment.
"While the City remains focused on the challenges the COVID-19 crisis has created for our entire community in the weeks and months ahead, we are excited to be able to move forward with this project," City Manager Tanisha Briley said. "It represents a major new investment and positions the City for additional growth and development in the future."
The Top of the Hill is expected to include 261 market-rate luxury apartments, over 11,000 square feet of first floor commercial/retail/restaurant space, close to 25,000 square feet of green space, and a structured parking garage resulting in approximately 550 parking spaces. The construction schedule projects completion of the development in the first half of 2022.
The City anticipates significant economic benefits from the Top of the Hill development. As a result of the development of this project, the City anticipates receiving a projected $14,300,000 in net new revenue over a 32-year timeframe. In addition, it is projected that the project will generate over $12,300,000 in new taxes and compensation for the CH-UH school district, over a 30-year period.
Read the full announcement.
Most Recent Site Plans and Renderings - 9/30/2019
Upcoming Meeting Dates
The are no upcoming meetings at this time.
February 18, 2020 City Council meeting
February 18, 2020 Council Committee of the Whole meeting
January 27, 2020 Planning and Development Committee of Council
October 10, 2019 Architectural Board of Review
Per Cleveland Heights Building Code Chapter 1313, the Architectural Board of Review will review the following project at a public hearing on Thursday, October 10, 2019, at 7:00 PM in the Community Center, 1 Monticello Boulevard, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118. For questions, contact Planning Director Richard Wong at 216-291-4868 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABR 2018-514: Flaherty & Collins Properties, northeast corner of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, request to build interconnected apartment buildings from 10 to 4 stories high, including first floor commercial uses, multi-level parking deck, green spaces, and site improvements. On July 9, 2019, ABR approved the overall concept but needed design development drawings to review details.
July 9, 2019 Architectural Board of Review Meeting
June 25, 2019 Public Meeting
On June 25, the City of Cleveland Heights and development partner Flaherty & Collins Properties held a public meeting presentation to update the community on the status of the project and proposed design. Please see the links below for resources related to this meeting.
- Public Meeting Presentation - June 25, 2019
- Public Meeting Video - June 25, 2019
- Responses to Questions and Comments
The final design for Top of the Hill is expected to be presented to the ABR in July. As we near the end of the design stage, the developers are doing a final cost check to make sure there are no changes or any unexpected costs before the final design is submitted for approval. Much work continues behind the scenes, and the City will confirm the date for the next ABR meeting shortly. As always, we invite all interested parties to join us.
February 6, 2019 Architectural Board of Review Meeting
December 27, 2018 Architectural Board of Review Meeting
December 3, 2018 City Council Meeting
- Ordinance 121-2018 - Establishment of a Planned Development Overlay District (Passed 5-0)
- Ordinance 135-2018 - Authorization of an amendment to the Development Agreement with Flaherty & Collins (Passed 5-0)
November 27, 2018 Special Planning Commission Meeting
November 20, 2018 Neighborhood Parking & Traffic Meeting
October 23, 2018 Neighborhood Parking Meeting
October 22, 2018 Special City Council Meeting
- City Council Top of the Hill Presentation
- Ordinance 121-2018 First Reading
- Special City Council Meeting Video - October 22, 2018
October 17, 2018 Special Planning Commission Meeting
October 10, 2018 Public Meeting
On October 10, the City of Cleveland Heights and development partner Flaherty & Collins Properties held a public meeting presentation to update the community on the status of the project and proposed design. Please see the links below for resources related to this meeting.
- Top of the Hill Renderings - September 24, 2018
- Top of the Hill Site Plans - September 24, 2018
- Public Meeting #3 Presentation - October 10, 2018
- Public Meeting #3 Video - October 10, 2018
The Top of the Hill project, located atop Cedar Hill (intersection of Euclid Heights Blvd. & Cedar Road) is one of the City’s most important development initiatives. Community engagement is a key element and a vital ingredient for a successful development. Those interested in this important project are encouraged and welcome to attend this meeting. Questions may be directed to Tim Boland, Economic Development Director at 216-291-4857 or email@example.com.
Design Focus Group Meeting
August 30, 2018
6:00 - 9:00 PM
12383 Cedar Rd.
Cleveland Heights, OH
A group of local citizens will participate in a focus group to provide feedback on and further guidance for the Top of the Hill project. The Design Focus Group is a diverse group of people with experience and expertise in the real estate development process including but not limited to:
- real estate development,
- architecture, planning and urban design,
- civil engineering,
- construction management
The group is expected to provide information relevant to this important project.
Members of the Design Focus Group included:
From the City of Cleveland Heights:
- Michael Ungar, Councilman
- Tanisha Briley, City Manager
- Tim Boland, Economic Development Director
- Richard Wong, Planning Director
- Kara O’Donnell, City Planner II
From Flaherty & Collins:
- Deron Kintner, General Counsel
- Brandon Bogan, Vice President, Design & PreConstruction Services
From Eppstein Uhen Architects:
- Chris Gallagher, AIARA, LEED AP, BD+C, Design Principal
- Shane Grandbois, Project Specialist
From Liberty Development Company:
- Dru Siley, Vice President of Development
- Deanna Bremer Fisher, FutureHeights
- Lillian Kuri, Cleveland Foundation
- Wayne Mortensen, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
- Alex Pesta, City Architecture
- Paul Volpe, City Architecture (retired)
- Jim Cull, retired
- Brendan Ring, Nighttown
- Bruce Hennes, Crisis Communications
- Bob Brown, City of Cleveland Planning Director (retired)
- Terry Schwarz, Kent State University
- Walter Jones, MetroHealth
- Melissa Fleigel, Van Auken Akins Architects, LLC (City of Cleveland Heights Architecture Board of Review)
- John Williams, Process Creative Studios
- Calvin Singleton, Architect
The City of Cleveland Heights and development partner Flaherty & Collins Properties held the second public meeting to update the community on the status of the project and to receive input and answer questions on this development on June 19 at the Cleveland Heights Community Center. The meeting featured an “open house” format that allowed attendees to interact with representatives from the City, Flaherty & Collins, Epstein Uhen Architects and the project’s parking and traffic consultants.
- Top of the Hill Conceptual Plans – June 18, 2018
- Public Meeting #2 Presentation - June 19, 2018
- Public Meeting #2 Video - June 19, 2018
Top of the Hill Project Development Agreement between the City and Flaherty & Collins executed in April 2018.
Top of the Hill project Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Legislation and School Compensation Agreement executed in April 2018.
The following press release was issued on March 20, 2018:
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS TOP OF THE HILL PROJECT RECEIVES TAX APPROVALS AND ADVANCES TO DESIGN STAGE
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH, 3/20/2018 - The Cleveland Heights development project, known as the Top of the Hill, has taken another important step forward with approvals related to Tax Increment Financing by both the City and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District.
On Monday, March 19, Cleveland Heights City Council approved a Tax Increment Financing ordinance by a 6-0 vote (one member was absent). The TIF ordinance will support critical financing for the project’s debt service payments, as well as providing the school district with an estimated $421,000 a year in compensation and tax revenue versus the $21,000 the undeveloped site generates at this time.
The City’s approval follows the unanimous approval of the TIF and the school compensation agreement last week by the Board of Education.
“This action moves the project to the next phase of development, which includes due diligence and detailed design of the project,” City Manager Tanisha Briley said. “The City greatly appreciates the approval actions taken by the Board of Education last week and is eager to move forward with this transformative project.”
The Top of the Hill Project refers to the approximately four acres of City-owned property at the corner of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard at the top of Cedar Hill. As a highly visible property at the gateway between the Heights and University Circle, developing this property has been a long-time goal of the City.
The projected $75 million project is proposed to consist of 200 market-rate luxury apartments, 15,000 square feet of first floor restaurant, retail and commercial space, a parking garage containing 525 parking spaces, a nationally branded or boutique hotel, possibly as many as 20 for-sale townhomes, all necessary sidewalks, driveways, access ways and utility connections, public gathering and green spaces and the potential opportunity to include a Class A office component.
“Flaherty & Collins is excited that the City and School District have approved the Tax Increment Financing necessary to support this dynamic project,” Deron Kintner, General Counsel for Flaherty & Collins Properties said. “We are looking forward to working with the City and the community as we enter into the design phase of the project.”
Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins Properties, who was selected as the development partner for this project after an extensive RFQ/RFP process, has completed more than $2 billion in development projects since their founding in 1993, including mixed-use projects similar in scope to what is being envisioned for the Top of the Hill.
The following press release was issued on February 23, 2018:
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS TOP OF THE HILL DEVELOPMENT REACHES NEXT MILESTONE
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH, 2/23/2018 - Cleveland Heights City Council has approved legislation to authorize the City Manager to enter into a development agreement with Flaherty & Collins Properties for the City’s Top of the Hill Project. This important step allows this transformative project to advance into the design and construction planning stage.
The Top of the Hill Project refers to the approximately four acres of City-owned property at the corner of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard at the top of Cedar Hill. As a highly visible property at the gateway between the Heights and University Circle, developing this property has been a long-time goal of the City, offering many benefits to Cleveland Heights, the community and surrounding neighborhoods.
"The Top of the Hill project is a priority for Cleveland Heights," City Manager Tanisha Briley said. "A lot of work has gone into advancing this project to this milestone by both the City and our partners, and we’re excited for this project to move forward into the next stage of the development process."
The projected $75 million project is proposed to consist of market-rate luxury apartments, retail and restaurant space, a nationally branded or boutique hotel, structured parking, and the potential opportunity to include for sale townhomes and Class A office components. The development is to be designed to enhance the current Cedar Fairmount district rather than to compete with it. Many local business owners have expressed their support during this process.
"Flaherty & Collins is excited that the City Council has approved the development agreement and we can continue working with the City and community on what will be a premier development in all of Northeast Ohio", according to Deron Kintner, General Counsel for Flaherty & Collins.
Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins, who was selected as the development partner for this project after an extensive RFQ/RFP process, has completed more than $2 billion in development projects since their founding in 1993, including mixed-use projects similar in scope to what is being envisioned for the Top of the Hill.
Additional information on the project is provided in the “Top of the Hill” project Question and Answer attachment:
On January 23, City officials and Development Partner Flaherty & Collins made the following presentation to the CHUH Board of Education regarding Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for the Top of the Hill project.
At the request of the City, Flaherty & Collins Properties has submitted examples of development projects they have completed which are comparable with the proposed Top of the Hill Development project. Please refer to the attached file below which provides examples of the exterior architectural views of these projects, as well as the interior views and amenities that can be found at these projects.
A public meeting to update the community on this project was held on September 19, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Cleveland Heights Community Center. Approximately 140 people attended this meeting. City staff and members of the Flaherty & Collins Development Team answered questions and received input, comments and suggestions from those in the audience. Below, you will find a copy of the most recent Conceptual Plan for the project, which was unveiled at this meeting and a copy of the presentation made by City staff. A similar meeting was held earlier in the day at Nighttown between City Staff, the Flaherty & Collins Development Team, and approximately 30-35 merchants and professionals located in the Cedar-Fairmount Business District.
On September 13, 2017, a fully executed Access Agreement was finalized between our development partner Flaherty & Collins and the City. This agreement enables the Developer to conduct inspections of the project site. The Developer will be granted full access to the land comprising the project site for the purpose of conducting such physical and environmental inspections, test, and surveys as the Developer deems necessary, to gain further insight into the feasibility of the project.
- Top of the Hill Access Agreement - September 13, 2017
- Conceptual Site Plan - September 19, 2017
- Public Meeting Presentation - September 19, 2017
- Public Meeting Video - September 19, 2017
The City and Flaherty & Collins have agreed to terms on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was fully executed on July 18. The project now advances to the negotiation of a formal development agreement between the parties. A development agreement is much more detailed than an MoU and establishes the specific elements of the project as well as the process the development will follow towards final approval.
At the Monday, May 15, 2017, City Council meeting, Council passed legislation to authorize the City to negotiate a non-binding letter of intent with Flaherty & Collins.
Now that a development team has been selected, a Letter of Intent will be signed and the process to create and refine the project will begin.
At the Monday, October 17, 2016, City Council meeting, Council passed legislation to authorize the City to negotiate a non-binding letter of intent with Fairmount Properties.
At the Monday, September 12, 2016, City Council Committee of the Whole meeting, the review committee presented its findings to City Council. The following documents were shared:
- Top of the Hill Staff Report update - September 12, 2016
- Top of the Hill Project Update & Due Diligence Report to Council September 12, 2016
- Top of the Hill Finalist Comparison - revised September 16, 2016
Since July 11, the review committee has conducted significant due diligence on both teams, including:
- Site visits of recent developments by each team in the Cleveland and Indianapolis areas.
- Interviewing, via telephone, six to seven public, or former public officials from communities in which each team has recently worked on a similarly sized development project.
- Engaging both teams in in-depth discussions of the expectations of each team regarding financial assistance from the City.
- Reviewing and evaluating the financial feasibility models prepared by each team.
- Estimating the potential positive fiscal benefit to the City
- Meeting with a representative of a hotel chain that has an interest in having a location in the development.
- Maintaining consistent dialogue with the teams regarding changes to their initial concepts and their efforts since their presentation in July.
On Monday, July 11, 2016, at its Committee of the Whole meeting, City Council heard presentations and conducted interviews with Fairmount Properties and Flaherty & Collins Properties. At this time, the City is conducting additional due diligence.
- Fairmount Properties RFQ/RFP Response - May 23, 2016
- Fairmount Properties Interview Presentation - June 22, 2016
- Fairmount Properties Presentation - July 11, 2016
- Flaherty & Collins RFQ/RFP Response - May 23, 2016
- Flaherty & Collins Interview Presentation - June 22, 2016
- Flaherty & Collins Presentation - July 11, 2016
The City of Cleveland Heights issued a Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposals on April 19, 2016. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is being used to help us choose a team that has a demonstrated history of success with complex sites. This process is different from a standard Request for Proposal (RFP) method which is typically focused on selecting a project/proposal. The RFQ is focused on the selection of a partner before a project is considered.
On the May 23, 2016, deadline date, the City received six responses from the following teams: Cedar Fairmount Development Partners (The Orlean Company), Fairmount Properties, Flaherty & Collins Properties, The Finch Group, Liberty Development Company, and The NRP Group, LLC. The City was impressed with the high quality of the development teams and their vision for this important site. Those who submitted proposals represent some of the top professionals in Northeast Ohio and beyond.
The qualifications packages submitted in response to the RFQ went through an initial evaluation for teams’ qualifications, development concept, development approach, economic and fiscal impact, and development schedule. Five of the six respondents were invited for interviews with the City’s evaluation committee. Though the NRP Group does great work locally and across the country, they were not asked to continue in the evaluation process as their proposed concept included a single use majority which was not in keeping with the City’s goal of a mix of uses on the site that match and leverage the character of the existing mixed used district.
The five selected teams were interviewed by an evaluation committee consisting of City staff and the City’s consultants, Silverlode Consulting. We were impressed with the time, effort and energy that these top tier teams put into their vision for the site. After hearing from each of the development teams, the evaluation committee recommended Fairmount Properties and Flaherty & Collins Properties be invited back to present their qualifications and concepts to City Council. At its July 5th meeting, City Council reviewed and discussed the recommendation, and agreed to interview the two recommended development teams.
- Staff Report - From City Manager to City Council - July 1, 2016
- Staff Report - Development Guidelines - March 2008
A critical element for the success of this development will be citizen involvement. The City plans to rely heavily on community partners and groups to assist us to generate vital citizen input into the development process. Questions regarding the project are encouraged and should be directed to the City’s Economic Development Director Tim Boland at 216-291-4857 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates to the development process will be posted on this website.