The Larchmere neighborhood in Cleveland is getting a new housing option.

The project, led by principal Mitchell Schneider of First Interstate Properties in Lyndhurst, is called 121 Larchmere. Ground was broken June 23 for the project that will be at Larchmere Boulevard and East 121st Street.

With a projected completion of June 2021, 121 Larchmere’s four stories will feature 88 apartments: 19 studios or junior one-bedrooms, 52 one-bedroom apartments, 15 two-bedroom apartments and two special units that feature a bedroom and a den. Along Larchmere Boulevard, plans also call for a 6,500-square-foot office space, which is slated to be the home of a “professional services office,” Schneider told the Cleveland Jewish News.

In choosing this location for the apartment development, Schneider said a few factors went into the decision.

“(Larchmere) is a great little walkable neighborhood with a good vibe, restaurants, coffee shops and stores that will continue to grow in variety,” he said. “We had actually been looking around the eastern Cleveland neighborhoods to do something that would contribute to the neighborhoods in the area. We looked at several sites. But the walkable nature of this neighborhood paired with the number of restaurants, shops and general cohesiveness of the community, all of those things gave us the confidence this would be a great project.”

As construction begins, Schneider said the goal is to give the surrounding community a modern, but affordable housing option.

“There are a lot of rental properties surrounding the Larchmere neighborhood, but there is nothing new,” he said. “The idea is to give people the option to live in a newer building with modern amenities in a fully modern style, including a fitness room, a lounge area on the fourth floor with great views of downtown Cleveland, first-floor conference rooms and a coffee bar. Some of the things these newer buildings have provided in other areas haven’t been seen before in affordable ways.”

Another benefit of the new development will be its proximity to Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood, which is home to artistic institutions, health care facilities and a robust business community.

“We like the demographic of the working population and the fact University Circle is really just down the hill,” Schneider said. “In terms of jobs and demographics, it’s a great location.”

When the project was first presented, Schneider said the general reaction of the community was “relief” due to other alternative scenarios which included plans for a potential Dollar General store.

“There was relief when we bought the land and a lot of encouragement and excitement about what we were doing,” he said. “It really is a cohesive community and they want to see Larchmere continue to evolve and grow, and bring people in to be part of the merchant community. So, we’ve had several community meetings and I can’t say to a single person, because there are always people who find an issue, but the overwhelming response was highly supportive. When our plans came out with what we were doing, the quality of the building we were building, and the architecture and amenities, there was a tremendous amount of appreciation and support.”

Schneider said there aren’t other plans for the area.

“There is not a lot of land along Larchmere, so this is probably our single project in the area because we’re constrained by the size of the parcel,” he said. “But, we are continually looking around Cleveland to see what is next, though we currently don’t have anything lined up yet. We’re really trying to focus on building up the city’s neighborhoods, particularly the east side.”

First Interstate Properties’ other developments include Avon 611 and Avon Commons, both in Avon; Hawthorn Valley in Oakwood Village; Legacy Village in Lyndhurst; Oakwood Commons in South Euclid; Shoreway Commerce Park, Steelyard Commons and One University Circle, all in Cleveland; Mentor Commons in Mentor; and Willoughby Commons in Willoughby.

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