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Large development project planned for University Circle

Residents of the University Circle area may notice more big changes coming to the Circle early next year. University Circle, Inc. has chosen two developers, Coral Co. and Panzica Construction Co., to build a $100 million-plus project on a 2.2-acre plot located on Mayfield Rd., near Circle Dr. The project has been named Intesa, an Italian word meaning link, union, or agreement, a nod to the project’s location at the entrance to Little Italy.

Currently slated to break ground in 2013, Intesa is a multi-level, mixed-use development, combining technology, office space, apartments, restaurants, green space, and structured parking.

This project will be the awaited answer to University Circle’s need for more buildings that can house many tenants and for more space for residents and visitors to park as University Circle continues to grow.

Intesa is planned to have three major layers in the complex, in addition to a parking structure. The first layer will contain four separate areas for retail, lobbies, restaurants, or other services. The second layer is a 20,000 square-foot area that has been dubbed a “tech ribbon,” connecting the whole complex, serving as a literal middle ground where technological minds can work and mingle.

The top layer consists of Intesa’s three towers. These towers include a 130,000 square-foot office building, a 100-suite apartment building, and an 80-unit residential community, with covered access to the parking structure.

Intesa is also a transit-oriented development, meaning that the building will also provide direct access to a new RTA Red Line Station, serving the University Circle and Little Italy communities.

“Intesa embraces the concept of transit-oriented development. It will make University Circle a more walkable destination for the thousands of visitors, students, and workers who come here on a daily basis,” said Chris Ronayne, President of University Circle, Inc., in a recent press release.

Intesa’s technological setup has recently been bolstered by a partnership between Intesa and OneCommunity, a non-profit organization that provides high-speed broadband internet to much of Northeast Ohio. OneCommunity has agreed to provide 100 gigabit broadband internet access to the Intesa building, meaning that upon its completion, Intesa will become the first private commercial building in the United States to offer speeds that high to its residents and businesses.

“Access to ultra high-speed broadband networks is an invaluable asset to our county. It will help us better serve our citizens and communities,” said Ed FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County Executive, in a recent press release.

Improved broadband infrastructures, such as the high-speed broadband that Intesa will provide, are key in helping businesses move faster and are needed to fully take advantage of powerful tools, such as geographic informational system mapping, telemedicine, and videoconferencing in real-time. Advances in medicine, distance learning, civic engagement, public safety, and smart energy grids can be made much easier with the increased bandwidth that Intesa will provide to the local community.

The exceptionally high-speed network, thousands of times faster than the average Internet connection in Northeast Ohio, is a unique aspect of Intesa. Whereas past strategies of outfitting buildings with internet connections often were to only fulfill the current demand, Intesa’s 100 gigabit network signals a significant leap forward in the realm of technology. As the various applications of technology continue to accelerate at a very rapid rate, Intesa will no longer need to worry about being behind the curve in its technological infrastructure.

“It’s a perfect example of how we intend to bring people together from the public and private sector to drive innovation and create economic opportunity,” said Tony Panzica, President of Panzica Construction Co., in a recent press release.

Intesa, in no small part due to its technological focus, will be an important part of Cleveland’s recovery and a launching point to bring new jobs to the Cleveland area. This project will attract significant corporate investment and will greatly benefit the local community.

Brett Lindsey, Chief Operating Officer at OneCommunity, has high expectations for what Intesa will bring to the community.

Lindsey said, “Cleveland will become a unique environment for the design, development, and testing of advanced university, telemedicine, and biotech applications.”

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