The real estate market may still be flat, but one development in the city is rising to the occasion.
According to developer Andrew Brickman, head of Abode Living, six of 11 townhomes that will make up the Eleven River development, 19000 Lake Road, have been sold, including two in a building that has not yet been started. The popularity of the homes has led the developer to raise the base price by $50,000 from the original $689,000.
“I think the architects (Scott and Analia Dimit) created a project that is absolutely beautiful and fits in with the setting and maximizes the vista,” said Brickman during a recent tour of site, which hugs the cliff along the Rocky River basin, providing unobstructed views of the river and the Emerald Necklace Marina.
“This is a unique product that we are offering, and provides great quality to people who are willing to pay for it,” he stated.
City economic development director Kory Koran, who was a driving force behind the project, said earlier, that these homebuyers were the type of individuals who could boost the economy. “Due to the price of these townhomes, the people buying them will be decision makers. The president of a company may see office space available in the (adjacent) Bridge Building and decide to open an office there,” he illustrated. “High tide raises all boats,” he added.
Koran said that the townhomes were originally supposed to be four stories, but an extra one was added “because the site lent itself to that.” Koran added that while there is little land in the immediate area that could be developed, there is some north of the Detroit Road bridge that is being considered.
Brickman pointed out the unique features of the homes during his tour, which include three decks and rooms which cantilever over the river, giving the impression of floating. Although the five-story design could mean a lot of stair climbing, each unit has an elevator, which could be glass enclosed to provide a view even when traveling between floors.
The homes, which are customized by the owners, use unique materials, according to Brickman, including a composite on the deck floors that looks like wood, but requires no maintenance. He said that they also use “green technology” through geothermal heating, which requires no gas or oil as fuel. This system uses pumps to transfer heat out of a home, or to draw it in.
In 30 to 60 days, Brickman said ground will be broken for the north building. When completed, the project will consist of two buildings housing 11 residences. The south building, which is under construction and nearly sold out, will be ready for occupancy in July.
Both Koran and Brickman credited the uniqueness of the project for its success in difficult economic times. “Where else can you own a five-story townhome, your own boat slip and be adjacent to the Rocky River?” asked Koran.
This is Brickman’s first venture in the city, and he says he is looking for other opportunities in Rocky River, as well as Lakewood and Bay Village. He has also developed the 27 Coltman project in Little Italy.