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    Tremont-Area Transformers

    Sustainable Community Associates (SCA), a trio of young 30-something developers are in the midst of their third transformative project: The Ohio Awning Building, a historic building in the Tremont neighborhood.  SCA aims to transform the three-story Ohio Awning building into 55 apartments, with 12,000 square feet of commercial space in the basement.

    Sustainable Community Associates believes “that with determination, flexibility and the willingness to challenge conventional wisdom, real estate development can have a transformative effect on neighborhoods and change the economics of communities.”[1]

    Naomi Sabel (one of  SCA)  says, the trio sees the Ohio Awning project as another transitional, and transformational, undertaking.  

    Sustainable Community Associates applied for state historic preservation tax credits to help with the renovation project, which could be a $12 million investment. With a $1.7 million state credit award, the developers hope to start construction in June and finish the project in mid-2016. "It was the missing piece that was going to push the project forward," Josh Rosen, one of the developers, said of the state credits, which will round out a financing plan that includes federal preservation tax credits and traditional loans.

    Previously, after receiving national recognition for their first project on a blighted block within the City of Oberlin, Sustainable Community Associates, a development company founded by Oberlin College graduates, Josh Rosen, Naomi Sabel and Ben Ezinga, aimed to redevelop the old, mostly vacant, 106,000 square foot Fairmont Creamery building located within the Tremont neighborhood about a half mile away from the West Side Market.

    Sustainable Community Associates created Fairmont Creamery, LLC, with the vision to redevelop the existing, five-story, brick structure located at  2306 West 17th Street  into a mix use building that  includes modern style apartments, a gym (now Tremont Athletic Club) and offices. Because of this vision, the developers were able to attract several types of funding sources including a Vacant Property Initiative loan for $180,000. Total project cost was approximately $14.5 million dollars.  The building opened in October 2014 with 100% occupancy transforming a dark mostly vacant building into a beautiful multifunctional space.

    Due to the City’s assistance, Sustainable Community Associates was able to bring this facility back to productive use, attract several new businesses to the City of Cleveland and create 20 new full time jobs.

    The young  developers “believe in development that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable, working to find the perfect balance between good business and progressive values.” [1]

    The trio hopes their effort and investment spurs additional investment in the area between Ohio City and Tremont.  The Fairmont Creamery was Sustainable Community Associates first project in Cleveland and this year they will be working on the restoration of the Wagner Awning Building, their second project.  They're also considering new construction - potentially 12 to 16 townhouses - on grassy lots east of Scranton, on both sides of Auburn.
    As Cleveland re-imagines itself, Sustainable Community Associates is repurposing and transforming some of Cleveland’s old, vacant and underutilized commercial properties.