Richmond Heights Council Committee Approves Plans for Final Two Belle Oaks Phase One Buildings

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio — The City Council’s Planning and Zoning Committee gave approval Tuesday, Oct. 4, to plans for two buildings that are part of the first phase of the Belle Oaks Marketplace mixed-use development project in the former shopping center Richmond Town Square place.

The committee’s unanimous approval means the plans will then go for final approval before the full council next Tuesday (October 11).

If the plans get the expected full council approval, all seven buildings planned for phase one will have been given the green light.

The first phase includes work at the north end of the mall site, starting from the old Sears building to the north, in what has been a large parking lot. The construction phase of the project will only begin with the start of the demolition of the old shopping center, built in 1966. The date of demolition has not yet been set.

Rendering of Belle Oaks building six. (Bialosky Cleveland)

Architects Brian Meng and Paul Rossetti of Bialosky Cleveland made their presentations to the committee on Tuesday on what are being called Belle Oaks Buildings Six and Seven. Both are apartment buildings that will be built at the back of the development (farthest from Richmond Road).

The two buildings would also adjoin, with a buffer zone, the backyards of the houses on Edgewood Road.

The plans for buildings six and seven had previously received unanimous approval from the city’s Planning Commission and Architectural Review Board. The plans for the first five buildings in the first phase were approved two years ago.

Building six, in the shape of the capital letter “C”, will include 87 luxury apartments. Building seven, in the shape of the letter L, will house 67 apartments.

“Both buildings will have what we call ‘hidden under’ parking,” Meng said, “hidden parking garages under the building. Then we’ll have stand-alone parking garages (outside each building), then you will have covered parking.

The outdoor parking garage will be located on the opposite side of the garage and will include awnings which will ensure that parked cars are not exposed to the rain.

Rendering of building seven of Belle Oaks.

Rendering of building seven of Belle Oaks. (Bialosky Cleveland)

“There will be one and a half parking spaces per unit,” Meng said. “It’s a minimum of one covered space per unit, and one and a half per unit.”

Each of the buildings in the first phase – all of which will include apartments and one that will include apartments above the first floor retail – will be of a different shape and feature exteriors comprised of multiple materials, including masonry, cladding clapboard, phenolic panels and more. The units will have balconies and the exteriors of the buildings will be glazed with lighting.

In order to further vary the appearance of the buildings, different heights will be used. Part of building seven will have four floors. The rest, like building six, will be three stories high.

Building Seven will be located at the end of the road leading to the more than $260 million development from Richmond Road. Belle Oaks will also include an entrance/exit at Wilson Mills Road. The road from Wilson Mills Road — part of the Phase Two construction — will connect to the main Phase One road from Richmond Road.

In total, buildings one through seven that make up phase one will total 487 apartments. When phase two is complete, Belle Oaks will include 800 units.

Despite the approvals of the first seven buildings, the full approval process is still not complete.

“They will still need wayfinding sign approval (inside Belle Oaks), and a landscaping plan needs to be approved,” Building Commissioner Jim Urankar said. “So there are still a few approvals to get for this to be completed.”

“We still have a long way to go, but we’re getting there,” said Ward 4 councilor Mark Alexander, who chairs the council’s planning and zoning committee.

The City Council has final approval for all plans.

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