A US$ 11.6M Karam Housing and Library Project is set for development on the site of the 55-year-old Walz Library Branch, located at Detroit Avenue and West 79th Street. This is after Cleveland City Council, the legislative branch of government for the City of Cleveland, Ohio, gave a green light for the implementation of the project.
The demolition of the existing 2-story, 10,300-square-foot Walz Library Branch will be carried out between April and June to give way for the construction of a new 5-story building comprising a new library branch and a 51-unit senior living quarter. Dubbed Karam Senior Living, the senior living quarter will be attached behind and above the library’s section of the building, the construction of which is expected to be completed by summer or fall of 2022.
The senior living apartment will accommodate senior citizens from 55 years and above, earning 60% or less of the area median income, which equates to US$ 31,920 or less for a single person.
Karam Housing and Library project to be the 2nd location of Cleveland Public Library, to include apartments
Developed through a partnership between the Cleveland Public Library and the nonprofit Northwest Neighborhoods CDC, and supported by a US$ 1M tax credit from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency in 2021, the Karam Housing and Library project marks the second location of the Cleveland Public Library, to include apartments in its redevelopment.
The first location is a new Martin Luther King Jr. branch at University Circle, which is intended to become part of the 11-story Library Lofts apartment building.
Majority of the Commission members commended the new Karam Housing and Library project, but some of them still had a few reservations about the selected designs. They were mostly concerned about the 55,000 square-foot apartment portion, which has no balconies, and the lack of green space at the top of the library’s roof.
The project still requires approval for landscaping and signage from the commission. According to Anya Kulcsar, the real estate chief of North West Neighborhoods, the design choices were made as a result of the rising costs of building materials.