Zerumba Inc

An architect’s rendering of Zaremba Inc.’s planned 56-unit Avenue Townhomes in downtown Cleveland. 

When Rabbi Yossi Freedman, co-director of Chabad of Downtown Cleveland, bought one of the first 20 Avenue Townhomes in downtown Cleveland in 2013, he was excited to be moving into a vibrant, walkable neighborhood.

“In general, I love city life, and when we were looking to start a Chabad, the fact that downtown Cleveland was up-and-coming really struck a positive chord, and we went all into it,” said Freedman, who lives with his wife and Chabad co-director, Chaya, and two small children. “(Chabad of Downtown Cleveland) services a vast majority of participants who moved into downtown after we did, so that was a great move.”

The townhomes were constructed by Zaremba Inc., a family business founded by Alex Zaremba in 1920 as Zaremba Homes. Led by brothers Nathan Zaremba, who is president, and Matthew Zaremba, who is vice president, the company plans to expand the Avenue Townhomes project to 56 homes that can be purchased in addition to the 60 rentable homes in the Avenue district.

Hoping to sell two additional homes in February, the company expects to break ground in March on the first 12 townhomes in a 10-month period and eventually add 24 more. The company has pre-sold four of its 12 planned townhomes on East 13th Street, East 14th Street and Superior Avenue.

Freedman, who wanted a home where his family could build a sukkah on the rooftop, found his Avenue Townhomes community, built in 2006 between East 14thStreet and Lindazzo Avenue, to offer flexibility with his family’s needs.

“We had our own expectations of what we wanted to see in downtown, and the Avenue Townhomes were excelling as a sell with built-to-finish option, so we pretty much finished it with our needs in mind and the needs of the Jewish community, because most of our Shabbat dinners, holiday gatherings, especially on weekends, take place in our house,” Freedman said.

Each townhome contains a two-car attached garage, two or three bedrooms and rooftop decks. The 12 townhomes are walking distance from Heinen’s Grocery Store, Masthead Brewing Co. and Playhouse Square. Sizes range from 1,567 to 2,195 square feet with prices between $363,900 and $477,900.

“It’s a great community,” Freedman said. “Comparing to other established communities in the East Side, it’s growing very nicely and has a very good sense of people meeting each other. There are a lot of new people coming from outside of Cleveland as well, so they’re getting to know the community, so it’s a very exciting and rewarding experience, being that it’s very different from the style of the community in the eastern suburbs where people are more established, everyone knows each other. We’re really happy to be a facilitator for new people to meet and to move into downtown. To be able to constantly celebrate Jewish life in downtown is a blessing.

Nathan Zaremba said, “This is the exciting completion of a bigger vision for the development in downtown Cleveland, so we’re certainly excited to be able to bring 36 luxury townhomes to the market that will service the downtown professional (area) very well.

“There’s a chance that some of the first units could be closed at the end of 2018, but probably the first quarter of 2019.”

The company also has built the communities of Barnsley Way in Broadview Heights, Southlake in Brunswick and Woodhaven in Cleveland’s Fairfax Renaissance neighborhood. Over the last 20 years, the company has constructed more than 600 homes in the city of Cleveland. 

Jacob Cramer is the Yoda Newton Editorial Intern at the Cleveland Jewish News.

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