City of Independence and Fairmount Properties Partner in Mixed-Use Developments

The City of Independence is pleased to announce the approval and broad public release of a series of area development plans and the subsequent selection of Cleveland, OH – based Fairmount Properties LLC as its development partner. To facilitate and guide the implementation of the vision articulated in the Area Plans, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been executed by the City and Fairmount Properties.  The development of the Area Plans and resulting agreement with the private development partner are the product of a collaborative, detailed and comprehensive public process shaped by considerable community input. As illustrated in the approved Area Plans, the development of city-owned property in both downtown Independence, including the former Independence Middle School, and the 33 acre site in the Northwest Quadrant of Rockside Road, are included in the MOU.

Behind a strong development team led by Fairmount Properties – successful developers of millions of square feet of mixed-use including the award winning $750+ million Flats East Bank district in Cleveland, OH and the College Town Kent (OH) district- the community’s vision as captured by the Area Plans is seen as an opportunity to inspire generational change in the City while providing much needed residential, commercial and public amenities within the community.

“Our entire team is so very appreciative of the opportunity to work with the City of Independence and its community members,” said Randy Ruttenberg, founding principal of Fairmount Properties. “We pledge to be good stewards of these important initiatives and honor the vision that has so thoughtfully emerged through this public process.”

The initial scope of the development planning will concentrate on adding new and exciting for-sale residential choices to the downtown Independence market, providing innovative housing options that do not currently exist in the area for young professionals, empty nesters and downsizers.  A complementary neighborhood retail component is also included in the initial planning.

The city-owned property in the Northwest Quadrant of Rockside Road represents one of the largest amounts of developable land in Independence.  In 2014, Independence purchased the 33 acres from Duke Realty.  As outlined in the Area Plans, the vision for this site is a mixed-use district with a corporate focus that also incorporates ancillary retail, restaurant, entertainment, and residential uses within a compact and walkable street pattern.  Through this partnership, the City and Fairmount Properties intend to create a distinctive corporate environment with amenities unique to Northeast Ohio, while meeting the emerging market desire for walkable, mixed-use employment centers.

The City of Independence is strategically located 12 minutes south of downtown Cleveland and is positioned at the freeway interchange of I-77 and I-480, a key crossroads of Northeast Ohio that combines for hundreds of thousands of vehicles passing every day.  Independence has a daytime employment base of nearly twenty-five thousand people, and with 4.5 million square feet of office space, it serves as a major regional sub market within greater Cleveland.

The City and Fairmount will immediately commence the pre-development process. “This is just the start of what promises to be an exciting time in Independence,” said Independence Mayor Gregory Kurtz. “The Area Plans introduce a new, more progressive era of development for two of the City’s most important business districts, Downtown and Rockside Road. I am confident this partnership with Fairmount Properties will result in transformative projects in these areas and usher in a new era of development in Independence.”

Anticipated completion for the initial phases of development is 2017.

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