Thanks to a partnership between Richmond Heights and a Los Angeles-based real estate/property management firm, two large-scale construction projects are launching the city’s redevelopment and beautification plan.
DealPoint Merrill, an owner and operator of value-added real estate opportunities and sponsor of real estate investment offerings, has acquired the 162,190 square-foot former Macy's department store in the Richmond Town Square Mall, 691 Richmond Road, within the regional business district.
Macy’s, which has been vacant since 2015, is currently being developed into a CubeSmart self storage facility totaling 1,100-plus units for the cost of $8 million. DealPoint spent $2 million to purchase the building.
In addition, 30,000 square feet of supplementary retail space, with plans for two national restaurant brands, have also been proposed for the property.
The city continues its redevelopment plans further with the DealPoint’s recent acquisition of another anchor, the former 248,000 square-foot Sears department store, vacant since March 2017.
The 23 additional acres will be developed into a $70 million, four-story, 375-unit Class-A, luxury apartment complex, complete with a 662-car parking lot under the building, and mixed-use retail consisting of a 98-key hotel and an outparcel 8,000 square-foot-restaurant.
The new apartments will also feature ground-floor retail space, a public park, plaza and an annex area for additional recreational amenities to serve tenants.
According to DealPoint Merrill, the planned mix-use redevelopment of both Sears and Macy’s will further support Richmond Heights’ long-term growth investment. Recently, City Council unanimously passed an amendment allowing a mix of residential and commercial uses at the site.
DealPoint Merrill CEO David Frank negotiated the transaction and the firm’s president, Sterling McGregor, handled the due diligence for the purchase. Jason Limbert of DealPoint Merrill completed the acquisition.
“The Macy's building is a notable addition to our climate-controlled self storage portfolio and an excellent fit for our co-investment and redevelopment projects throughout the United States,” Frank said.
Richmond Heights’ Planning and Zoning Committee approved a use variance last November after months of public meetings. Frank and McGregor both appeared before the commission with DealPoint Merrill’s legal counsel who handled the project’s zoning matters.
The Richmond Heights redevelopment is one of many projects taking place in the region, said Danielle Watson, the firm’s director of communications, transition manager.
Recently, DealPoint broke ground on Lorain Avenue in Cleveland for its newest redevelopment of the vacant Giant Eagle grocery, also into a CubeSmart Self Storage with restaurant pad site in the front planned as well.
“We are very excited about this opportunity to bring in new businesses and retail to these areas,” Watson said.
Brian Gleisser, director of economic and community development for Richmond Heights, is also excited about the projects, adding the development will be of no cost to taxpayers.
“No city, county or state tax affects residents with these plans,” he said. “We’ve been pleasantly surprised regarding no questions for any tax incentives. It allows us to do more and reduces bureaucracy typically associated with projects of this magnitude. Hopefully, it’s the beginning of a new trend."
“This will be a great addition to the city. Amazon has played a large role in demolishing shopping centers which is ironic with their building of fulfillment centers in Northeast Ohio. There are a bunch of obsolete malls all over the country similar (to Richmond Town Square), so the question becomes, ‘What do you do with these?’
"We’ve been fortunate enough to have great, positive feedback in community conversation forums for a variety of repurposing ideas and we’re looking forward to seeing this vision come to life.”