new campus district dining shows appetite for downtown development

Just a few short years ago, Cleveland State University students who wanted a meal before a grueling, four-hour evening class had limited options, meaning if Rascal House pizza wasn’t your thing, you were limited to starving.

That was before CSU’s master plan, a $300 million initiative to transform its urban campus into a friendlier, more vibrant environment with new student housing, classrooms and retail.

Recently, Jimmy John’s opened a sandwich shop at 1938 Euclid Avenue in the “collegetown” block of campus (Euclid between E. 18th and the Innerbelt). And Moe’s Southwest Grill is banging out a new franchise in the storefront next door.

“Due to the building’s location in the heart of CSU’s campus, with a growing student body, tenants expressed a lot of interest in leasing storefronts despite the slow economy,” said Damon Taseff, a principal at Allegro Realty Advisors, the firm that purchased and renovated the property. “They viewed it as a no-brainer because of CSU’s investment in the area.”

He adds that CSU, like other urban universities, is wisely using its clout to redevelop the area. CSU’s investment is one of the reasons why Allegro Realty Advisors decided last year to move their headquarters to the second floor of 1938 Euclid, Taseff says. 

“Five years ago, we probably would not have bought the building,” Taseff says. “The investment along the Euclid Corridor by the City, RTA and Cleveland State University has fundamentally changed the area.”

1/27/11

www.freshwatercleveland.com/devnews

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