CSU spearheaded Cleveland's downtown revitalization efforts by modernizing the university's student housing. Learn how ACC redeveloped a 1927 George Post high-rise into modern student housing and developed 600 new beds and university mixed-use space.

Cleveland State University

In the late 1990s many business and political leaders in Cleveland created a number of programs and initiatives designed to improve the downtown district and attract business to Cleveland. As part of this citywide initiative, Cleveland State University (CSU) adopted a long-term master planning goal to transform the university from a commuter to residential campus. 

City leaders hoped this new direction for CSU would contribute to a revitalized downtown Cleveland. Additionally, the shift to a residential campus would enable CSU to expand academic programs, establish a strong residence program and create a more dynamic institution.

In January 2004, CSU awarded American Campus the renovation and future management of the historic Fenn Tower high-rise in Cleveland, Ohio. Fenn Tower was designed by George Post and built in 1929 as The National Town and Country Club. The building later became home to Fenn College, which later became Cleveland State University in 1965. The tower was used as an administrative building through the 1990s until it was finally closed down and in need of repair.

ACC created a renovation design that preserved the historical value of Fenn Tower while accommodating the needs of modern students. ACC identified spaces that could be renovated to restore their original usefulness or fully converted to provide modern amenities. As a result, the building’s ballrooms were restored to serve as community spaces. Fenn Tower opened on time in August 2006 after an 18-month construction schedule. 

Construction cost of the project was $27.7 million which was financed using tax-exempt bonds under a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 ownership structure in conjunction with the university-affiliated nonprofit organization Euclid Avenue Housing Corporation.

ACC and CSU then embarked on development of a new student housing project – the 601-bed, apartment-style Euclid Commons community. Euclid Commons created a graduated product-cycle in which students who started out in Fenn Tower’s suite-style units in their first and second year could then go to live in Euclid Commons’ apartment-style units during their third and fourth years. The development also featured a mixed-use component that includes academic and university administrative spaces, as well as a 300-space parking garage.

Today ACC manages CSU’s entire student housing portfolio that includes Euclid Commons, which opened on schedule in two phases in August 2010 and 2011, Fenn Tower, and the 156-bed Heritage Suites owned by the University. ACC managed CSU’s Viking Hall from 2004 until its closure in May 2010.
 
Project Details

Name Beds Development cost Completed
Fenn Tower redevelopment 438 $27.7 million 2006
Euclid Commons development 601 $49.5 million 2010–2011 (two phases)

Fenn Tower

Fenn Tower

Fenn Tower

Fenn Tower

CLE State Common File
Euclid Commons

Euclid Commons