By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor
Though months from opening, the Uptown Project in Cleveland’s University Circle is fast running out of retail room. Already, 95 percent of the ground-floor space in two apartment buildings has been filled by local and national restaurants and stores.
Constantino’s Market will open a 12,500-square-foot store plus a mezzanine on East 115th Street. It will be joined by a Barnes & Noble college bookstore and a wireless store on Euclid. New restaurants and quick-service chains catering to college students will open across the street.
However, no apartment has been leased yet. Rental rates have not been disclosed.
The Uptown project is a multi-phase retail, entertainment, restaurant and cultural project developed by Cleveland’s MRN Ltd. and sponsored by Case Western Reserve University and University Circle Inc. Work on the first phase of the $300 million project started in August 2010. It includes two buildings consisting of 102 apartments and more than 56,000 square feet of retail space. The first phase will cost $44.5 million.
The apartments will replace a dusty parking lot and a gloomy shopping strip at East 115th Street, across from the expanding Cleveland Institute of Art. Additional anchors include a $50 million expansion of the Cleveland Institute of Art and a $32 million new home for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Later phases will include a hotel, more apartments, condos, more retail and a new Euclid – East 120th RTA Rapid Transit station.
Uptown is located in the heart of the 550-acre University Circle, a thriving urban center in a neighborhood containing more than 50 cultural, medical and educational institutions, providing over 40,000 jobs, attracting 13,000 students and drawing more than 2.5 million visitors a year. At Uptown, MRN plans to build apartments for nurses, doctors, graduate students and professors. Phase I of the project will be finished in 2012.