Cleveland: Abandoned offices become desired apartments

CLEVELAND -- If you're planning to rent an apartment in the downtown Cleveland area, be prepared to wait.

About 95 percent of apartments are full, putting potential residents on long waiting lists.

Chris Zlatoper is moving in with his parents while he waits for his apartment to open.

Chris spent two months searching.

"It's a lot harder than I thought it would be because there is such a high demand right now, it's hard to find one available and you like," said Chris.

Eventually, Chris found an apartment at Perry Payne.

Others aren't so lucky,

Some have been on a waiting for six months.

According to the Downtown Cleveland Market Update, there are 12,500 people renting downtown.

"We see the millennial generation and retiring empty nesters, both craving walkable, urban environments that have a lot of things to do," said Michael Deemer, with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance.

It's such a growing trend, the Wall Street Journal featured Cleveland's growth.

In the next two years, 1,100 apartments will be transformed from abandoned offices, including the former East Ohio Gas Company building at East 9th Street and Superior Avenue.

In July, it will open as The Residences at 1717. Back in the 1940's, it housed many offices and a movie theatre. It's that historic charm that's attracting tenants.

"Empty nesters will say my office was on this floor or my aunt's office was on that floor, or they knew people who worked in this particular building," said Cheri Ashcraft, with K&D Management.

Chris has advice for anyone looking for an apartment.

"I was calling a few every day because, if you catch them on the right day and there's an opening, you kinda get lucky," said Chris.

The Residences at 1717 is about 30 percent leased.

If you're interested, you can call their office at 866-301-5232.

For other listings, go to Downtown Cleveland Alliance Downtown Digs.


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