Construction is under way on the first of six proposed Chicago-style townhome buildings in  The Bluestone Community.

The building, along with another slated for groundbreaking June 20, is expected to be completed and move-in ready by the end of summer, said Bluestone Director Eric Lee. Both buildings will house three townhomes, four of which have already been purchased.

The Chicago-style build is a departure from the original design of the new construction at The Bluestone Community, which already has a loft condominium building and two-story cluster homes on four acres off Mayfield Road opposite . Lee said he had originally planned for three additional loft condominium buildings, but decided to alter the development to what he believed better suited the current market.

“It’s a better product for the market,” he said. “Banks are reluctant to do condominium mortgages these days, so just in an effort to help our buyers we’ve built a product that they’re going to like.”

The three-story townhomes will have two beds, two and a half baths and attached garages, ranging in sizes from 1,310 to 1,860 square feet. Other amenities include pre-finished wood floors in the kitchen, hallways and living areas, 10-foot high ceilings on the main floor and an optional rooftop deck.

Lee said the townhomes are ideal for the Cleveland area.

“The signature loft building is an idea we got from Chicago, but Clevelanders – we’re a little different,” Lee said. “We like our own yards, we like our own houses, we like to pull in our own garage space. I guess we’re spoiled in the fact that we have a lot of land. So this product is kind of the best of both worlds.”

The other four buildings — which when built will comprise a total of 16 townhomes — won’t be constructed until there are buyers, Lee said. That strategy is another result of the current market.

“We’re a self-financed company, so we don’t have any loans out,” he said. “Before the world changed and before the real estate market crashed, there was a lot of financing available to us, so we could have built all 16 of these houses and then held on to them until they sold. Now, you’re being a little more frugal with your money.”

He said he doesn’t expect to have any trouble getting contracts for the other townhomes. In addition to the allure of a seven-year, 100 percent property tax abatement, Lee said the homes are well suited to the demographic Bluestone has been attracting — a single person or a couple, earning a combined $100,000 a year and most likely working at University Circle.

“We’ve been a destination for a medical professional at University Hospitals, or Case, or a professor at the Cleveland Clinic, (who) wants to live close to work but doesn’t want to live in the city of Cleveland per se, or wants a little more walkable neighborhood where they live,” he said.

For more information on buying one of the new townhomes, visit the Bluestone website.

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