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Sep 19, 2022

Nearly 80 community members and leaders participated groundbreaking ceremony for the new Aura at Innovation Square apartments in Fairfax. The apartments are scheduled to open in late 2023 and represent a $27 million investment in the community. 

The groundbreaking speakers included Fairfax Renaissance CDC Executive Director Denise VanLeer, Council President Griffin, Cleveland Clinic CEO & President Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, PNC Midwest Sr. Vice President Michael J. Taylor, and McCormack Baron Salazar Co-Founder & Chairman Richard Baron.

Fairfax Renaissance CDC Executive Director VanLeer thanked the many partners involved in the project but singled out Council President Griffin for his support and willingness to move the work forward. She jokingly referred to him as #themanwhogetsthingsdone.

Council President Griffin in his excitement thanked the "legacy" residents of Fairfax for their commitment and commended them for keeping their roots and families in Fairfax. He belives Fairfax will be the next hot neighborhood in the country when Aura's construction is complete. Fairfax will benefit from the presence of a world-class anchor like Cleveland Clinic, just as much as the Clinic benefits from the history and institutions of Fairfax. 

He concluded his remarks by thanking former Mayor Frank G. Jackson and Mayor Bibb for keeping this project moving forward. 

Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Tom Mihaljevic gave remarks and mentioned he and Council President Griffin frequently speak about basketball. Dr. Mihaljevic spoke about the bright future ahead for the Cavaliers - and likened it to the bright future he anticipates for the community with the Aura @ Innovation Square project. Dr. Mihaljevic recalled walking the neighborhood with Council President four years ago. From that walk, he tasked himself with working to make this neighborhood grow and thrive again. 

Richard Baron, co-founder and chairman of McCormack Baron Salazar concluded the prepared remarks by describing the Aura project as a labor of love. He expressed optimism about seeing the neighborhood grow and rebound in a powerful way with the completion of this project. 

For more information on Aura at Innovation Square and other projects in Fairfax, please visit