Demolition begins for new county offices - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Demolition begins for new county offices

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Downtown Cleveland Demolition Downtown Cleveland Demolition
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Demolition work is underway on the sight of the new Cuyahoga County Office Tower, it's part of the redevelopment of the Ameritrust complex on East 9th street between Euclid and Prospect.

It's also, according to County Executive Ed Fitzgerald, the start of turning a bad county deal, brokered by the former county commissioners, into a project that will eventually save the county money.

County commissioners bought the Ameritrust complex in 2005, but the plans for the complex never materialized and ultimately cost the county close to $20M.

Fitzgerald led a deal to sell the complex to Geis Construction, who will build the new offices, the county will then lease the office space. The deal works for the county, according to Fitzgerald, because it allows for consolidation of county properties.

"Instead of just dealing with this as one particular fiasco, we said lets look at the whole county property portfolio, and how do we put it together in a way that's more efficient and  that's what we did.  We found we had 66 separate buildings, a lot of them inefficient, and that's where the savings are going to come from," said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald believes the county will save $126M over 20 years, through property consolidation and centralizing county government.

The new office tower is just one part of a two hundred million dollar economic redevelopment project that centers around the Ameritrust tower that will be redeveloped into apartments, retail and office space.  

 "I think its crucial, anybody that has looked at downtown, has said this has kind of been a dead spot, we've got to figure out a way to bring it back to life, and this is going to do it," Fitzgerald said.

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