First Interstate exercises Oakwood option

First Interstate Properties Ltd announced that it has exercised its option to acquire the Cleveland Heights portion of the Oakwood Country Club. "We exercised this option on March 1, so we now control the entire parcel," said Mitchell C. Schneider, president of First Interstate, headquartered in Lyndhurst. "We do have some flexibility regarding the actual date to take title, but I expect that will happen within the next several months," he added.

A subsidiary of First Interstate acquired nearly 63 acres of the now-defunct club last December and has been working with South Euclid to create a 21-acre park and a 40-acre LEED-certified and sustainably-designed shopping center on the South Euclid portion of the property. The park will include nearly one mile of walking and biking trails and other amenities for local residents.

The proposed shopping center will be approximately 325,000 square feet. "We are thrilled to work with the city of South Euclid to support its Green Neighborhoods Initiative by creating permanent green space and a new commercial project incorporating green design concepts and serving as Northeast Ohio’s first showcase demonstration project for large-scale green development practices," said Schneider.

The shopping center portion of the project requires rezoning in South Euclid and is currently under consideration by the city’s planning commission.

The option First Interstate exercised on March 1 includes the balance of the former 150-acre country club. The Cleveland Heights property consists of more than 90 acres and includes the former clubhouse and related facilities. The land is currently zoned for residential development, allowing for more than 250 new homes without a change in the zoning.

First Interstate’s initial plan was announced last December. It included using about 20 acres in Cleveland Heights as an expansion of the Oakwood Commons retail shopping center, which is mostly encompassed by South Euclid; using another 25 acres surrounding the current club house and other club facilities for "senior-oriented housing," and nearly 50-acres of green space.

"We are actively looking at a wide variety of non-retail options for 75 acres in Cleveland Heights, so we haven’t submitted any plans yet to the city," said Schneider. "Our plan is to come up with a realistic, economically-feasible plan bringing a mix of housing, senior care facilities and high paying jobs to this parcel of land, while still preserving a green, campus-like environment that can be enjoyed by the entire community."

First Interstate Properties, Ltd. is a Lyndhurst-based full service real estate development and management company. Since its inception, First Interstate has built a reputation as a development firm concerned about and responsible for the impact of commercial growth on surrounding areas. Local retail projects include Legacy Village in Lyndhurst, Steelyard Commons in Cleveland, Avon Commons in Avon and Creekside Commons in Mentor. For more information, please visit the company's Facebook page,; the company's website,, or the Oakwood Commons website,

Susan Windle

Susan Windle is the marketing and special events coordinator at First Interstate Properties.

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 2:19 PM, 03.10.2011