Port approves $87.2 million in bonds for three projects

Cleveland – June 13, 2024

The board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority today approved $55.2 million in bonds for three projects in Cleveland and Mayfield Heights, the majority of them dealing with new and renovated housing. A smaller project involves construction by a facilities provider at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

The projects include:

$32 million in tax-exempt, multifamily housing revenue bonds for an extensive renovation of the 191 unit Gates Mills Villa Apartment Building in Mayfield Heights. The $48 million project includes modernization of all units, significant upgrades to common spaces, mechanical repairs and replacements, new free WIFI, new windows, new roofs, landscaping and other site improvements. The property serves older tenants, age 62 and above; 167 of the 191 units are under Section 8 contracts. 

  • $15 million in lease revenue bonds for 46 two- and three-bedroom affordable housing apartments and 8 two-bedroom market rate units to be known as the Gordon Crossing Project in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood. The new $17.1 million project is expected to begin construction in Q2 2024.
  • $8.2 million of taxable bonds for construction of a cargo and aircraft storage hangar, cargo terminal, pass-through passenger terminal and vehicle parking spaces for Jets FBO at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The total project is planned to cost $12.6 million. Jets FBO and its subsidiary provide Ohio airports with fixed base operator aircraft services, including aircraft storage, fuel sales and de-icing.

“The items the board approved today represent a wide range of tools in the Port’s development finance toolkit which are being used to move these projects forward,’’ said Rhonda Winslow, Vice President of Development Finance. “Two of those projects will help with affordable housing which is something that is in demand. The renovations planned at Gates Mills Villa will bring significant upgrades to the senior citizens who live there, and the Gordon Crossing Project includes affordable housing for the City of Cleveland. And the Jets FBO project will help a great business expand its services.”

The Gates Mills Villa rehabilitation involves renovating an existing L-shaped eight-story building on about 4.28 acres at 6755 Mayfield Road in Mayfield Heights. Work is expected to start in Q3 2024 and be completed about a year later. Related Companies, L.P., is the developer and is one of the largest owners of affordable multifamily apartment complexes in the country. 

Woda Cooper Development Inc. and Frontline Development Group LLC are co-owners and co-developers of the Gordon Crossing project. Woda Cooper operates more than 350 properties with 16,000 housing units in 16 states, ranks among the top affordable housing developers and owners in the country, and has a development portfolio of $1.5 billion. Frontline Development Group, LLC is a female and minority-owned real estate development company based in Cleveland. Frontline develops real estate projects that are committed to innovative economic development and partners at each step of the development to grow the balance sheets of economically and socially underutilized businesses.,
“Woda and Frontline are excited to team up with the Port to access their development finance tools in order to help bring this project to the Cleveland and Hough neighborhood,” said Sheila Wright, President of Frontline. “This collaboration is unique as Frontline is not just a local partner but a co-owner, actively making decisions and contributing significantly to the project’s success. We hope our success with this project encourages stakeholders to continue to trust and invest in emerging companies to take on more ownership roles as real estate developers in the region”

Jets FBO provides storage for aircraft in the hangar and on ramp, fuel sales (both management of client fuel and direct fuel sales), deicing, and related aircraft services typical of a fixed base operator. Michael L. Hillman and Douglas N. McConnell have over 70 combined years in the aviation industry and are the sole owners of Marichaels LTD.

“The project concept gathered traction with the support of Manufacturing Works and the Aerozone Alliance,” said Hillman. “Bringing the funding to fruition required the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. Working with the Port has been win for us on a complicated project.  With the FAA, municipalities and land leases involved, it takes unique lender expertise that Rhonda Winslow and her team poses.”

Port authorities in Ohio can offer an array of benefits in the real estate and economic development space. Since 1993, the Port of Cleveland has provided more than $5 billion to more than 160 projects in Cuyahoga County and beyond. Projects have ranged extensively in size and have included the Eaton World Headquarters in Beachwood, Sherwin-Williams new headquarters in Cleveland, Dave’s Supermarket in Cleveland, Saint Ignatius High School renovations & new construction in Cleveland, Crocker Park in Westlake and a Hotel at Canton’s Hall of Fame Village.

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