University Circle inks property deal with developer

NEOtrans

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Brent Zimmerman, a real estate developer and co-founder of Saucy Brew Works, signed a ground lease today with University Circle Inc.Maison

Brent Zimmerman, a real estate developer and co-founder of Saucy Brew Works, signed a ground lease today with University Circle Inc. that opens the door to a planned multi-story, mixed-use development on Stokes Boulevard. This is an old rendering of the proposed development which Zimmerman pledged will be at least as dense as this.

On his second-to-last day as president of University Circle Inc. (UCI), Chris Ronayne signed a ground lease agreement with real estate developer Brent Zimmerman Development LLC for a proposed mixed-use development. The lease includes a triangular piece of land measuring about 2.2 acres and bounded by Stokes Boulevard, Cedar Avenue and East 107th Street. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

With tomorrow being his last day at UCI so he can focus on his campaign for Cuyahoga County executive, Ronayne wanted to set into motion the development or repurposing of nine underutilized UCI-owned sites. Those locations were considered by the community development corporation to be strategic to its service area.

“We proudly crossed the finish line of our ninth of nine strategic investment sites today,” Ronayne said. “And with it there’s a sense of satisfaction in building a place out of a parking lot in the Circle.”
“UCI has been a phenomenal partner,” Zimmerman said. “Covid got in the middle of it so we’ve been chipping away it. But it’s great that we were able to get it done the day before Chris (Ronayne) moved on.”

The site whose development was set into motion today is called the Stokes West property. Except for a vacant, century-old, six-unit brick townhouse structure, the site is used primarily as a parking lot for employees of the Cleveland Clinic to the west and for staff and students at Case Western Reserve University to the east. The townhouse structure will be razed.

In an extended interview, Zimmerman said he has been working on concepts for the Stokes West development for a year.

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