The Cleveland Stater is published online and in print by students enrolled in the School of Communication at Cleveland State University.
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CSU acquires Heritage Suites, Prospect apartment complex
BY VINCE FRATIANI
Cleveland State University expanded campus housing when it won a June bid on the mortgage for the Heritage Suites Apartments at Prospect Avenue and East 22nd Street, according to Jack Boyle, vice president for business affairs and finance.
“The YMCA defaulted on [its] mortgage with [The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] and it went to public auction,” Boyle said.
Since Ohio law prohibits the use of state money for student housing, not only does campus housing have to be self-supporting, but the university has to be creative to make such purchases.
The Euclid Avenue Housing Corporation (EAHC) is a nonprofit entity controlled by the university that handles many of the university’s building contracts.
EAHC was formed in 2005 for the Fenn Tower renovation project. It serves as an entity that builds on behalf of CSU, according to Boyle.
EAHC is able to access tax exempt bonds to fund building projects and operate without taking away from CSU’s budget. For example, the new Sough Garage on the site of the old Z Lot at Carnegie Avenue and East 22nd Street is financed by EAHC and the RTA.
The revenue that the corporation makes pays for 100 percent of the borrowing, according to Boyle, who also serves as the corporation’s president.
Revenue could include housing contracts at Heritage Suites or parking charges in the case of the South Garage example. Nobody working for EAHC is paid for their services to this nonprofit organization.
“[EAHC] borrowed the purchase price from the Cleveland State University Foundation (CSUF), [which] will treat the loan as an investment,” Boyle said, “CSUF will receive interest payments from the project.”
The YMCA hired American Campus Communities, which operates the Fenn Tower and Viking Hall residence facilities, to manage the building while EAHC negotiates to buy the building since it already controls the mortgage.
Current Heritage Suites residents who attend CSU have no need to worry, but non-CSU residents will soon be looking for new accommodations.
“Currently, about two-thirds of the residents are CSU students. As leases expire, the non-CSU students will have to move,” Boyle explained.
Ultimately, the building will operate as a dorm, but will most likely operate as living space for graduate and upper class students, Boyle said.
The university wants to regulate legally who lives in these apartments.
“We want the area developed as residential housing in support of CSU. Some of the uses there now are not compatible with that goal,” Boyle said.
The plan for university-related housing south of campus doesn’t stop with Heritage Suites.
“Our goal for the [YMCA] property is to hold it until a developer is able to gain control of the two adjoining properties and to ultimately create an additional rental area south of Prospect that would include Heritage Suites and Walker [&] Weeks (nearby apartments on Prospect Avenue),” said Boyle.
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