KeyBank is doing its part to bring jobs to downtown Cleveland, providing $10 million worth of financing to help boost the renovation efforts at 800 Superior, a key office building in the city.
That building was, in the not-so-distant past, nearly vacant. KeyBank, of course, was one of the key tenants before it moved out. The building has since been purchased by AmTrust Financial Services and will be the home of 1,000 employees, employees who will be working, and providing a jolt of both activity and revenue, to the NineTwelve District of downtown Cleveland.
The $25 million renovation of the building will also create 160 construction jobs.
“This project is really a big step in the right direction as far as bringing jobs back to downtown Cleveland,” said James Poznik, senior vice president with KeyBank, in a telephone interview. “The basic story was that you had about a 20-story building that had been emptied out from its existing tenants, KeyBank being one of those tenants. With AmTrust buying the building and now filling it with their employees, we are able to bring that building back online as a fully occupied space in our downtown. Bringing 1,000 jobs to downtown Cleveland? That’s a big deal.”
KeyBank, which has long been a Cleveland presence, has not only allocated $10 million of its New Markets Tax Credit dollars to the renovation, it has also made an equity investment of more than $4.2 million to the project. KeyBank also partnered with Cleveland Development Advisors to provide an additional $10 million of federal New Market Tax Credit dollars to the building.
The success at 800 Superior isn’t the only good news to hit downtown Cleveland. A new casino opened in May downtown, and that, too, has brought both jobs and foot traffic back to the city’s downtown. In July, the Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center also opened in downtown. This long-awaited opening has also brought both jobs and traffic to downtown.
As Poznik says, the more people who are working downtown, the more money that is being spent in its businesses.
“With this building, you now have 1,000 more people who could potentially go to a baseball game downtown, eat at a restaurant or shop downtown. You might have more people who will live downtown.”
The federal New Markets Tax Credit program has played an important role in boosting Cleveland’s downtown. This program was designed to help bring new development to distressed areas across the country.