The city of Cleveland has been getting lots of press lately. The Cavalier’s recent upset over the Warriors, leading to their first NBA win in over 50 years certainly garnered headline news. Over a million people celebrated downtown for the good part of a week!
And now, in less than three weeks, Cleveland will be entertaining the world again with the Republican National Convention, where over 50,000 Trump supporters are expected to gather.
No doubt, Trump haters will be there too, and the city is gearing up for that. Downtown residents met with the U.S. Secret Service last week to discuss safety issues that will arise from the likely event that protestors have run-ins with die-hard Trump fans.
The city of Cleveland is now allowing these planned protests to happen near the site of the RNC, after a federal judge ruled that Cleveland’s original regulations for demonstrations during the convention infringed on the right of free expression.
What does all of this have to do with real estate?
Investors can make big bucks when they see opportunities before other people do. For real estate investors, those opportunities include finding areas that have suffered a bad reputation in the past and are now turning things around – but the word isn’t out quite yet.
Cleveland is the perfect example of this.
The city was once named the “Mistake on the Lake” when a fire erupted on the Cuyahoga River because it was so toxic, and Lake Erie was almost declared dead due to extreme contamination.
But that’s all changing now. The industrial jobs are gone, the waters have been cleaned up, and Cleveland’s economy is mostly based on health care…and now LeBron James.
The change is so significant that CNN recently named Cleveland as one of the Most Innovative Cities in America. Entrepreneur Magazine said that Cleveland “is well poised as an entrepreneurship hotspot.” And Time Magazine recognized this “Renaissance City” in the top 10 Best Food Cities in America.
These are just a few of the countless headlines popping up about Cleveland, and yes, we can thank Donald Trump in part for that. Thanks to the Republican National Convention, a whirlwind of long-overdue projects, including a $42 million airport renovation, got a kick in the pants to be completed before the RNC comes to Cleveland, July 18-21st.
The city spent $50 million on the Public Square Renovation providing a lot of green space downtown. There’s also a new luxury Hilton Hotel that has proportedly changed the Cleveland Skyline.
Nora Romanoff, senior project director for LAND studio and part of the Group Plan Commission charged with transforming the heart of Cleveland’s downtown said, “We didn’t just do it for the RNC…we did it for Cleveland.”
Before the RNC had even chosen Cleveland, the city had planned an estimated $19 billion in development since 2010.
As a result, downtown Cleveland is experiencing a remarkable demographic shift. In fact, last summer, 12,500 people moved downtown, mostly comprised of the coveted Millennial population (ages 18-34) with Bachelor’s degrees.
Occupancy rates are at an astonishing 98% and home sales are up 12% year over year.
To service rental demand, a new $117 million apartment tower is slated for Cleveland’s University Circle – the tallest residential building to rise in 40 years in the city of Cleveland. Jacobs Investment Group (very active in Cleveland) is opening 664 apartments, offices and a hotel on the river.
The riverfront is being completely redeveloped into a mixed use area. Starting Memorial Day weekend, people can take water taxis to connect people to the various restaurants, stores and apartments along the riverfront.
Despite the controversy around the Republican Party’s support – or lack thereof – for their candidate, this is a big opportunity for Cleveland. The media is going to be everywhere, making it easy for the city to show off its transformation.
This is Cleveland’s chance to prove it is not a “Mistake on the Lake”, but rather a “Comeback City” that is quickly becoming a mecca for artists, designers, architects, renowned chefs, broadway stars, and green technology enthusiasts.
All these eyeballs witnessing Cleveland’s transformation could have a big impact on real estate values there.
At RealWealth, we’ve known for years about the viability of this city. It’s still one of the best places to get cash flow, and soon it could be very good for equity growth as well.
It already has been for me. Rich and I bought several homes in Cleveland a few years ago after we studied the job growth and revitalization underway there. The price points at the time were $60K. The homes we bought and helped members at RealWealth buy are now worth $80-90K.
It’s not too late. We have a great team in Cleveland who can still find deals for investors who are looking for turnkey rentals that cash flow today and have a good chance of appreciation in the future. Click here to learn more about Cleveland’s real estate market in 2017.