Conceptual rendering of the BW-DiGeronimo Front St. project

New mixed use development will add modern BW student housing options and boost commercial development in the heart of Berea.

Baldwin Wallace and DiGeronimo Companies announce innovative mixed-use development

May 22, 2017

Conceptual rendering of the BW-DiGeronimo Front St. project

Baldwin Wallace University and the DiGeronimo Companies announced today that a new mixed-use development is on its way to adding new, modern student housing options to the BW campus and a shot in the arm to commercial development in the heart of Berea.

Scheduled for a fall 2018 opening, the 64,000-square-foot development evokes a Main Street Revisited look, while maintaining the historic charm of Berea. The new building will be located on Front Street in BW’s south campus, adjacent to the BW Conservatory of Music’s Kulas Musical Arts Building along Berea’s main downtown corridor. The residence hall floors, owned by the University, will house 131 students in 81 units above 16,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space which will be owned and leased by DiGeronimo Companies.

BW housing, bookstore and Starbucks

The student housing on the second-fourth floors will include a mix of studio and doubles as well as six accessible units. BW also will relocate the campus bookstore from the lower level of the Strosacker Hall student union to the ground floor of the new development and will include a Starbucks Coffee in the space. DiGeronimo Companies will announce additional commercial tenants at a later date.

"BW is excited to be part of a creative development that is good for the University and good for the City of Berea," said BW President Robert C. Helmer. "This novel collaboration will expand the attractive, contemporary housing options available to BW students and, at the same time, provide vibrant economic development for downtown Berea."

Supporting Berea's Master Plan

An artist's rendering of the Front Street project in Berea, Ohio"This innovative project supports the city’s long-standing economic development goal to create more residential and commercial synergy in our downtown core," said Berea Mayor Cyril Kleem. "Our Master Plan calls for BW to be a bigger part of downtown Berea to encourage more students and families to patronize our businesses."

Kevin DiGeronimo, Principal at the DiGeronimo Companies, said that he has been working on this vision for bringing an active mix of student housing and retail uses to the BW campus and City of Berea for more than three years. "I am excited about breaking ground on this development and committed to delivering a project that the Berea community will be proud of," DiGeronimo said. "At every step of this process, Baldwin Wallace and the City of Berea have been extraordinarily helpful, challenging us when needed while working to create a collaborative win for all."

Timeline for project start

The project, designed by the GPD Group, received approval from Berea’s Heritage Architectural Review Board, Planning Commission and City Council over the past year. In the next couple of months, the DiGeronimo Companies will be finalizing architectural plans, with input from BW and the City, and working with existing businesses at the Front St. site, including Papa Johns, China House and U.S. Bank, to help in their relocation.

Demolition of current structures at the site is expected to begin this summer.

About the DiGeronimo Companies

From conception, through design, demolition, site work, construction, funding, development and operation, the DiGeronimo Companies bring a "one-stop shop" philosophy to real estate development. Encompassing nine different companies, the DiGeronimo Companies have been operating for over 61 years in the construction business. Winners of over 30 major industry awards, the DiGeronimo Companies take great pride in their environmental stewardship and community relationships. For more information, visit www.DiGeronimoCompanies.com.