Tenants of new Cleveland Police HQ building upset with moving timeline

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 9:05 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Current tenants of the Artcraft building that is going to house the new Cleveland Police headquarters are not happy with the timeline they were given to vacate the property.

The Artcraft building on Superior holds a lot of meaning for artist Wally Kaplan.

She shares her studio with two other artists.

Kaplan was shocked to find out that they would have to move out in about 10 days.

The reason - is to make room for the new Cleveland police headquarters.

“We got the notice I think it gave us about 6 weeks to move out we were not happy,” Kaplan said.

However, not everyone in the building was blindsided.

Brent Ferguson is the co-owner of Guitar Riot.

He says he was ready for the news.

“When we were notified 2 and a half years ago, we definitely started to look for a place there was plenty of time,” Ferguson said.

To be fair, 19 News reached out to the landlord, Turn Dev, for a statement.

They sent us this statement:

“Shortly after we purchased the ArtCraft Building, in September 2022, we notified all tenants of the need to vacate. We made the difficult decision to vacate the building after our due diligence process determined that the life safety systems and the elevators in the building were very antiquated. As our notice to every tenant clearly stated, effective October 1, 2022, all tenants were given free rent and utilities through their respective vacation dates. We also waived all prior past due balances and committed to return all security deposits regardless of the condition of tenant spaces. We also provided dumpsters and offered relocation assistance. We also granted extensions to every tenant that requested additional time to find new space or move out - all rent and utility free, through March 2023. Overall, we project that we will forgive in excess of $150,000 of rent and utilities during this process. We also spent over $50,000 making immediate repairs to the building systems for the safety and comfort of our tenants during this process. We are also maintaining full staffing levels in the building until the last tenant vacates.

Over 95% of the tenant leases were month-to-month leases and most of the tenants we talked to were aware that the building has been for sale for several years and is in need of considerable repairs. We regret having to vacate the building but we made this difficult decision after consulting our insurance carriers and safety consultants. At the time we made this decision, we were unaware that the Cleveland Division of Police Headquarters was even an option - it had nothing to do with it whatsoever. We genuinely tried to be sensitive to the needs of our tenants and the artist community. We encourage any tenant in need of further time to vacate to call us.”

But Kaplan says it’s not that simple.

Her new space is more expensive and smaller.

Despite that, she’s trying to remain positive.

“But it’s a new beginning so I’m looking forward,” she said.