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Landmark Wood Building Set to Become Highlight of Cleveland Real Estate

Michelle McQuade | June 22, 2020

Cooperation is the key

Vibrant Ohio City will soon boast the distinction of being home to the country’s tallest wood building. An apartment complex named INTRO has been greenlit for development in the Cleveland neighborhood’s West Side Market locale.

When INTRO is completed, it will feature 298 apartment units along with an estimated 40,000 square feet of dedicated retail space, an event venue, and 340 parking spaces. There will also be a variety of common amenities for tenants, along with convenient access to local public transportation.

Estimated to cost $144 million, the ambitious project is currently looking at a two-year construction schedule. Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors LLC is the company behind the development.

A Modern Alternative that Takes Construction Back to the Basics

INTRO is noteworthy for its use of mass timber as the building’s primary construction material. Mass timber is a type of engineered wood that presents a more ecologically sound alternative to the more commonly used concrete and steel.

Mark Bell, CEO of Harbor Bay, found the inspiration for INTRO in Europe, where timber construction is an already widespread practice. He noted that while the cost for the project will be roughly the same as a development that used traditional construction materials, the end result is more aesthetically pleasing.

“We were really drawn to, first and foremost, the beauty of [timber buildings],” Bell said.

The construction process itself offers notable advantages. Because of lighter components, they can be built offsite before being assembled at their intended location. Assembly requires fewer construction workers, as well.

In INTRO’s case, basic components like beams and floors will be manufactured in Austria. These will eventually be brought to Cleveland by boat via Amsterdam and the St. Lawrence River.

In terms of durability, the thickness of the pressed wood makes mass timber essentially fire-resistant, eliminating what may be many people’s most expected safety concerns.

A Promising New Trend

While still rare in the United States, wood construction is already gaining ground. In Minnesota, a seven-story timber-based office building opened in 2016. In Wisconsin, plans are in the works for a wooden apartment building that may soon take the crown as the tallest wood building, topping INTRO’s potential record with an additional 10 stories.

Regardless of how long INTRO holds the record, Harbor Bay is aiming to make this high-profile project an example worth emulating.

“Launching our INTRO brand of timber-framed buildings here in the Ohio City neighborhood is certain to gain national attention for the City of Cleveland, especially at such a historic corner,” added Bell. “We hope this can be a great example of innovative, sustainable, transit-oriented development that developers should be striving to achieve nationally.”

The benefits will be significant, and not only for the construction and real estate industries. Proper wood construction means reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. The wooden materials in completed buildings will also serve a similar function that trees do in nature, absorbing carbon from the surrounding environment.

Keep up with the latest developments on INTRO with me, Michelle McQuade. As an experienced and trusted Cleveland real estate agent, I’m always happy to showcase the best real estate opportunities that Northeast Ohio’s wonderful communities have to offer. Give me a call at 440.823.2449or send an email to MichelleMcQuade(at)HowardHanna(dotted)com today.

41 North Main St. Chagrin Falls, OH 44022