Damon Taseff’s job is scouring Northeast Ohio’s commercial real estate market to find the best deals for his clients. So it’s no surprise that as he began looking for a new headquarters for his own company, Allegro Realty Advisors, he knew exactly what he wanted.
He rattles off the list with ease: “A downtown building that is unique, close to highways, with parking, in a place you could get in and out of easily and within walking distance to other downtown areas.”
The desired criteria made for a short list. Literally. “We were looking for a unique work environment for our employees and to recruit talent. There were only a handful of options,” says Taseff, a principal at Allegro, the largest exclusive tenant representation company based in Ohio.
That’s when Taseff and his team discovered the former Morse Graphic Arts building at 1938 Euclid Avenue, which is located on the Euclid Corridor and in Cleveland State University‘s “collegetown” block (Euclid Ave. between E. 18th and the Innerbelt). The two-story, 15,000-square-foot building had what Allegro wanted: convenience in a vibrant, walkable, urban neighborhood.
In October, Allegro moved its headquarters from Independence to downtown Cleveland. Allegro’s offices are located in a modern, 5,000-square-foot space on the second floor of the building, while the first floor houses three new storefronts. In total, 28 new full-time employees now call the building “home.”
The structure had been vacant for several years and was “unusable” when Allegro purchased it, Taseff says. Allegro restored the terra cotta facade, replaced the windows, and developed a new western facade that includes a second-floor balcony. The firm also gutted the interior of the building, renovating it to modern standards.
The project, which was granted a Vacant Properties Initiative loan from the City of Cleveland, also benefited from Cleveland State University’s purchase of the building to the west. CSU tore the structure down and created a park that is an oasis of green space, complete with walkway that threads together the disparate, urban campus.
Taseff says Allegro moved their headquarters downtown because it’s more convenient for their employees and clients, and the firm wants to be part of the city’s redevelopment. “We work on many projects for downtown clients and occasionally also work for the city,” he says. “We felt that having our presence downtown would speak to our commitment to the city core and the things happening here.”