Residences at 55 Public Square

Cleveland, Ohio

Industry > Multifamily Construction

Adaptive Reuse High-Rise Office to Multifamily Building Conversion

Cleveland Construction, Inc. served as the Construction Manager for the historic renovation and adaptive reuse of 55 Public Square Building, a 24-story, 500,291 square-foot historic building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Formerly known as the Illuminating Building and used as office space for a northeast Ohio electric company, the structure was converted from office space to mixed-use with residential, office, and a high-end 2-story restaurant.

Adaptive Reuse Construction Scope:
The project involved converting floors 2 through 15 into 202 luxury apartment units, offering 18 distinct layouts to suit a variety of lifestyles. Notably, the 14th and 15th floors feature larger 2- and 3-bedroom units that showcase breathtaking views of Lake Erie and the Cleveland skyline. The first floor now houses new leasing offices for K&D Group. Additionally, the second floor offers modern amenities, including a resident lounge and fitness room, providing residents with an exceptional living experience. The office tenants were relocated to the top floors, while floors 23 and 24 house the mechanical systems for the entire building.

Construction Strategy for Phased-Occupancy:
This historic adaptive reuse project was executed with a phased-occupancy plan that allowed completed apartment units to be turned over floor by floor, starting from floor 2 and progressing upward through the building. In September 2022, the first turnover of apartment units commenced following the completion of essential building aspects, including life safety, elevators, and lobby work. This strategic approach enabled K&D to begin leasing apartment units and welcoming residential tenants while the renovation work was ongoing. Cleveland Construction effectively managed the turnover process, delivering a new floor of apartments to K&D every 3-4 weeks, streamlining the occupancy schedule, and allowing the building to begin generating operating revenue during construction.

How was the historical integrity of the building preserved during the renovation?
Preserving the architectural integrity and historical features of the building was a top priority as the project received Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits. The existing curtainwall facade underwent cleaning and resealing to restore its original charm. The plaza's entrance was completely renovated, creating an inviting space allowing residences and guests access to the building.

Infrastructure Upgrades:
Cleveland Construction, Inc. also refurbished the cooling tower and installed a new air conditioning system, gas services, and fire lines to serve the residential units, restaurant, and commercial office spaces on the top floors. This comprehensive approach to modernizing the building's infrastructure ensures a comfortable and safe living environment for residents.

Design-Build of Fahrenheit Cleveland at Residences at 55 Public Square:
Under a separate contract, Cleveland Construction served as the Design-Builder for the build-out of the ground-level restaurant space, now Chef Rocco Whalen's newest flagship restaurant, Fahrenheit Cleveland. This space was previously occupied by John Q Steakhouse until 2013. In collaboration with Vocon, the selected Architect and Design Firm, Cleveland Construction spearheaded the design for the 15,000 square-foot restaurant, completely transforming it into a modern and upscale dining and event space on Cleveland's Public Square.

The restaurant features high-end amenities, including three bars, a spacious dining room, a chef's table, and a commercial kitchen that overlooks the dining area. Additionally, the restaurant boasts a second-floor bar with a rooftop lounge, providing Clevelanders with a delightful rooftop experience overlooking Public Square.

Phased Occupancy Construction Strategy and Construction Schedule:
The project was executed in multiple phases to facilitate a phased turnover schedule, starting with building life safety upgrades and elevators before building out each floor, working from bottom to top. This approach enabled entire floors to be turned over to the owner and occupied as soon as they were completed, typically every 2-3 weeks. Cleveland Construction completed the redevelopment of Residences at 55 Public Square within an aggressive 19-month renovation schedule.


News Articles:

Cleveland Construction Completes Historic Adaptive Reuse of 55 Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland Construction Begins Historic Renovation of 55 Public Square in Downtown Cleveland

Residences at 55 Public Square Earns ABC’s Project of the Year Award



  • Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
  • Owner
    K&D Group
  • Architect
    Berardi + Partners
  • Completion Date
    June 2023


Services Provided

  • Preconstruction Services
  • Construction Management
  • Demolition & Abatement
  • Historic Tax Credit Renovation
  • Construction Scheduling
  • Multi-Family Construction Services
  • Adaptive Reuse Construction
  • GMP Development
  • Multi-Phased Occupancy Construction

Hire Cleveland Construction to manage your next project

We are passionate about historic renovation and adaptive reuse projects and are disrupting the traditional and ordinary by guiding our clients through the construction process while minimizing project risk. We operate as a family committed to constructing buildings measured on quality and value.

We understand and believe in the value of preserving the beauty of the past and can walk you through the process and take care of every aspect of your buildings' restoration. We are proud to provide personalized client service while we will help renovate your building.