Apartment building to replace Piñatas



The new apartment building replacing Piñatas will have apartments for about $1,000 per month.

The closure of Mexican restaurant and popular campus hangout Piñatas at the beginning of March came as a surprise to many, though plans to demolish and redevelop the property have been in the works for almost six months.

The property’s current owner, East 116th and Euclid LLC, acquired it in August 2014, shortly before Mi Pueblo, the tenant since 1998, was replaced by Piñatas. The former restaurant site at 11611 Euclid Ave. will soon be redeveloped as apartments under the working name of Euclid 116.

Piñatas has moved to Cleveland Heights’ Shaker Square under the new name Señor Tequila, according to former Piñatas General Manager Carlos Corona.

The Euclid 116 project is spearheaded by President Russell Berusch and Alexis Boothe of the Cleveland-based group Berusch Development Partners LLC. Berusch is the former vice president for commercial development at Case Western Reserve University. During his time at CWRU, Berusch helped develop what is now the Uptown area. More recently, in 2013, Berusch Development Partners notably converted the assisted living apartments across from the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) into the trendy Euclid 115, which functions primarily as housing for upperclass students at CIA.

Designed by New Jersey architecture firm Feinberg & Associates P.C., the four-story building will take up almost the entire lot. Much like neighbor Euclid 115, which is now home to Coquette Patisserie and Piccadilly Artisan Creamery, the ground floor of Euclid 116 is slated to include a retail space. According to Berusch it will probably be a restaurant space. The apartment building’s exterior will have red brick and yellow siding. Inside, the building will house 31 furnished one-bedroom, two-bedroom and four-bedroom apartments for a total of 89 single bedrooms.

There will be no parking built into the structure, but developers say that the area has good options for walking and public transportation and that the building will cater more to students, who often have university parking permits or do not have cars on campus.

In the 2016-2017 school year, on-campus housing options in the Upper-Class Experience will cost between $5,028 and $6,195 per four-month semester. Berusch estimates that the Euclid 116 apartments will be less expensive, priced at approximately $1,000 to 1,100 per month. That will include amenities such as air conditioning, cable, wifi, furniture and in-suite washers and dryers as well as utilities.

Despite similarities, Berusch emphasizes that the Euclid 116 apartments are not “meant to compete with on-campus housing, but will offer a different experience.”

Berusch hopes that the off-campus location and competitive pricing will draw upperclassmen and graduate students seeking independence and convenience. Renters can sign either 10 or 12 month leases, depending on their summer plans.

For many students, cheaper off-campus housing options are welcome.

“I like living in the village; it’s just very expensive,” said fourth-year Callan Ganim, adding that many of her fellow residents stay on campus in order to keep grants.

Fourth-year Galilea Sanchez said that although she currently enjoys living in the Apartments at 1576, easy off-campus housing would be beneficial because graduate students cannot live in the North Residential Village.

As for the loss of the Mexican restaurant, Ganim said that “it’s sad to see a campus staple close” and that the restaurant “will be missed by many students.”

“The one time I went there for college night I got puked on within 10 minutes,” said third-year student Joey Mayer. “It will, however, be missed for the cheap Mexican food.”

The new apartment building will break ground in June or July 2016, when the now-shuttered Piñatas will have been demolished. The development will be ready for residents by July 2017.