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Historic Gateway Neighborhood
13.Apartments at the Pointe at Gateway
750 Prospect Ave.
The basics: With only 42 suites, this seems like the type of building where the neighbors all know one another. The atmosphere is homey, but the suites offer trendy exposed ductwork, large windows and imported ceramic tile. Some units are multilevel or have irregularly shaped rooms, encouraging residents to experiment with unconventional furniture arrangements. Amenities include a basement laundry room with four washing machines and four dryers, and a fitness room. Residents may park in the garage across the street for a discounted rate of $111 per month. There is a $400 nonrefundable deposit for pets.
What's unique: Located at the bustling intersection of Prospect Avenue, Huron Road and East Ninth Street, the area around the building is particularly well populated. At The Boneyard bar next door, "It's like ?Cheers.' Everyone knows your name," says resident Monica Ann Mason. The Winking Lizard Tavern and the new downtown location of Phil the Fire also attract pedestrians to the Pointe at Gateway complex. "It's truly a neighborhood," Mason says. "I feel completely safe."
A resident says: Mason, who has lived there for four years, enjoys the community feel of the smaller apartment house. "I've met some of my closest friends in the building," she says.
14. The Historic Buckeye Building
2082 E. Fourth St.
The basics: The Historic Buckeye Building's entryway may be on the drab side, but its 36 suites are pleasantly inviting, with large windows, wall-to-wall carpeting and newer appliances. Amenities include a dry-cleaning service and discounted memberships to the FitWorks inside the Colonial Marketplace on Euclid Avenue. There's also a laundry room on every floor. One heated, underground parking space is available to each suite for $100 per month. The price of rent includes high-speed Internet access, and cats are welcome for a $200 deposit.
What's unique: Ample lighting, natural wood ceiling beams and elevated bedrooms make many suites in this century-old building feel extra cozy.
A resident says: "At this stage in my life, downtown living suits me more," explains network security engineer Ashley Kennedy, 24, who moved downtown from North Olmsted in September. "Living in the suburbs, [I felt] that I was supposed to have 2.5 kids and a dog, and I don't," she adds. Kennedy now lives within walking distance of her favorite hangouts: Dive Bar, Shooters on the Water, Clevelander Bar and Grill and Pickwick & Frolic.
15. Commercial Building Apartments
2056 E. Fourth St.
The basics: How to describe the Commercial Building? "It's lofty, but it's not lofty," says resident Lina Penkauskas. The suites in this renovated office building do have elevated bedrooms, exposed ductwork, high ceilings and huge windows, but slightly less faddish than those in the Warehouse District. "This is different," Penkauskas observes. "It's homey to me. Cozy." It's smaller than most buildings, and the mint-green hallways are lined with framed art. The 35 suites are also warm, with light wood trim and cabinetry. Each offers an all-electric kitchen and either hardwood floors or carpeting. There's a laundry room on the fifth floor, and attached garage parking costs $120 per month. One cat is permitted for a $200 nonrefundable deposit.
What's unique: Although the Commercial Building is quaint, residents don't tiptoe around as if it's a convent. "It's pretty soundproof, so it's not too noisy, and you don't have to be afraid of being loud either," Penkauskas says.
A resident says: For Penkauskas, this building strikes the perfect balance between modern and laid-back. "It's new, it's fresh, clean. I like the hallways. I like the fact that it's small, in terms of the tenants." She also enjoys the view from her window at night, when the parking lot below disappears into the darkness and she gets an eyeful of the illuminated Terminal Tower.
16. Windsor Block Apartments
2000 E. Fourth St.
The basics: The building's exterior is nothing spectacular, but there's something almost Mediterranean about stepping into a suite in the Windsor Block. Maybe it's the exposed brick, the dark hardwood floors or the Roman-style archway of the unit we visited. Maybe it's how quickly we began fantasizing about hosting a dinner party in the comfy dining area. Whatever it is, when we peered out through the large windows, we half-expected to see waves crashing against the shore, instead of the ho-hum atrium below. But don't be fooled by the building's Old World charm; each of the 52 units contains modern electric appliances and carpeted bedrooms. Some suites are multilevel. The Windsor Block also houses a basement laundry room and security cameras in the lobby and parking garage. Assigned underground parking costs $130 per month and includes a personal garage-door opener. Residents may have one cat for a $200 nonrefundable deposit.
A resident says: "The thing that really surprised me when I first walked in here was how far back it goes. I wasn't expecting that," says Mary Jo Tipping, who has lived in the building for six years. Tipping checked out several other apartments before choosing the Windsor Block. "I liked the layout of this place," she says. "I felt like I was getting the most space for my money."
2063 E. Fourth St.
Expected to open: 2004
Frederick/McCrory/ Graves comprises three interconnected buildings for a total of 35 apartment units. All will have electric appliances, washer/dryer hookups and carpeting or hardwood floors. Some will be two-story suites. There will be a laundry room in the building.
18. WT Grant Lofts
222 Euclid Ave.
Expected to open: December 2003 or January 2004
Just a stone's throw from Public Square, WT Grant offers one- and two-bedroom flats, lofts, townhouses and penthouses. Each of the 73 units features large windows, high ceilings and a gas fireplace. Some also have granite countertops and walk-in closets. Among the amenities are a landscaped atrium, a fitness facility, a tanning bed and a sauna. There's also retail space on the ground floor, and parking is free.
1. Sincere Building Condominiums
Expected to open: February 2004
2077 E. Fourth St.
This renovated warehouse includes retail space on the ground floor and eight stories of two-bedroom, two-bathroom units. The 13 pristine suites range from 1,800 to nearly 4,000 square feet and will feature granite countertops, oak floors and ceramic baths. All units have two entrances, so they can be used as live/work spaces. Buyers may select their own lighting. Pricing ranges from $269,000 to $469,000; ask about financing packages. There's an additional $149-per-month maintenance fee, and parking is the buyer's responsibility.