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Jan 01, 2024

The historic Warner & Swasey Building, a fixture on Carnegie Road, will be redeveloped and reimagined into affordable senior and family housing.

Council approved legislation at its last meeting in 2023 to give a $1 million grant to MidTown Cleveland Inc. to partially finance redevelopment. The funding is coming through revenue recovery funds from the American Rescue Plan Act the city received. Council members dedicated much of the ARPA funding to housing and helping residents restore and stay in their homes, as well as projects that residents will actually benefit from.

Councilman Richard Starr, whose ward the building is in, advocated for the funding. MidTown Cleveland Inc. and the developer still needs to raise nearly $5 million to start the redevelopment. 

"This is a building everyone recognizes," said Ward 5 Councilman Starr. "We need more affordable and market rate apartments in the neighborhood. And the plan for this, with possibly retail on the ground floor, is fantastic."

Vacant since 1985, the five-story building was constructed over a six-year period from 1904 to 1910. It replaced the original Warner & Swasey building on the site built in the early 1880s. (While it's been closed, urban explorers have gone into the building.)

The building is named after Worcester R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey, who built it at the beginning of the 20th century.

Warner & Swasey built telescopes and machine lathes in the new, as well as the old, building on Carnegie Avenue. And during WWII, the company built parts for planes, ships, and tanks.  It also built armaments during WWI. In 2019, the building at 5701 Carnegie Avenue was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Ord. No. 1294-2023. Read more about the history of the building and the company here.