The Ascent at Top of the Hill elevates Cleveland Heights

By Alyssa Schmitt

The Ascent at Top of the Hill at Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights.
Photo / Flaherty & Collins Properties

The Ascent at Top of the Hill makes it a point to provide a stylish and revitalized living and community space in Cleveland Heights’ Cedar Fairmount District. 

Whether walking into one of its studios that spreads out into a balcony or a three-bedroom penthouse with panoramic views of the city, it’s easy to get the feeling of an elevated lifestyle to which the new building wants its residents to aspire. 

Top of the Hill, an $83 million mixed-use development, is the biggest mixed-use residential project in Cleveland Heights. It consists of a 10-story building – reminiscent in height to the former Doctors’ Hospital located there and torn down in 1969 – and a second building housing apartments and retail space. The Ascent finished construction this spring.

Nestled on a four-acre parcel at the junction of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, the location serves as a gateway to the city. It has a lot of responsibility to live up to in that role, some of which it took on in its exterior design.

To be authentic to the area’s rich heritage, the buildings stitch together Cleveland Heights’ historic brick facade look throughout, mixed with a modern aesthetic viewable by those coming up the hill. 

That modern look continues throughout the interior with sleek cabinets, quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances in each of its luxury apartments. 

Spread throughout the two buildings are 261 luxury market-rate apartments. Units range from studios, one- and two-bedroom apartment homes to three-bedroom penthouses, says Deron Kintner, principal and special adviser at Flaherty & Collins Properties. Rents range from $1,000 to $8,000 monthly. 

As of early June, it had available studios listed as 480 square feet with prices starting at $1,535, and penthouses listed at 2,476 square feet with a rent of $6,499. Residents started moving into the development in June 2022, and as of this May, the building sits at 75% leased.


What makes this mixed-used development stand out from the rest is its amenities, Kintner says. 

“We take it to a whole other level. You can look at other properties and most of them don’t have a pool on top of a 10-story building that overlooks Cleveland and Lake Erie,” he says. 

Connected to the pool area is a rooftop lounge, lined with mirror tiles on the wall. It includes two grills, a fire pit, TVs and provides a sleek space for residents to host small gatherings or large watch parties. The development also includes two co-working spaces – one an indoor co-working lounge, and the other an outdoor patio space. The Ascent has a fitness room lined with rows of workout machines, free weights and patches of turf, along with a private fitness room for residents to host private group workout classes. 

Inside the fitness center at The Ascent.
Photo / Flaherty & Collins Properties

Additionally, the building features a bark park and dog spa, a bike storage area with a bike wash and repair station, and an additional courtyard space with a grill and outdoor kitchen. A quarter-acre green space is designed as a small public park, with opportunities for public art, outdoor recreation and leisure. The park also provides pedestrian access to the 550-space public garage.

“We don’t always have pools 100 feet in the air, but we strive to have some of the best amenities in all our projects so that’s not unique (for Flaherty & Collins),” Kintner adds. “We don’t always have as great of a location as this is, but the quality and amenities-wise, what we’ve done here, we’ve done in all our properties.”

The project also offers 11,000 square feet of commercial retail space, which has received several letters of intent to occupy, he says.

“We’re currently talking to various tenants but none have signed leases yet, so it can go a lot of different directions,” Kintner says.

An Ascent apartment’s kitchen and living room.
Photo / Flaherty & Collins Properties


Liveliness is not hard to discover in the Cedar Fairmount District. The area is known for its dense, walkable neighborhoods with restaurants, businesses and stores splattered throughout. There are various places to go for entertainment with the soon-to-be-reopened Nighttown as a mainstay. 

However, there was always a hindrance looming with an underutilized piece of property in the form of a parking lot. The space was earmarked for development by the city, but numerous unsuccessful attempts to redevelop it were made in 1972, 1982, 1990 and 2008, due to economic downturns or lack of redevelopment consensus, according to reports from the Cleveland Jewish News. The inability to approve a project in this spot led to criticisms of the city over the past several decades, arguing it was a hard place to get things approved. 

“That has been sort of a dead space in an otherwise active, vibrant neighborhood and district for 50 to 60 years,” says Brian Anderson, city of Cleveland Heights business development manager. “Now it’s going to be a more active place with 300 to 400 new residents as well as the new businesses that will come in.”

Though the project seemed to offer something that complements the space while adding newness to the district, there was still pushback from some residents. Many expressed concern it wouldn’t fit into Cleveland Heights’ landscape, explains Eric Zamft, planning and development director for the city. 

“There were a lot of meetings about the design of this project, and I think even initially a lot of concern and criticism even of the design that was ultimately approved,” he says. “We didn’t want just a building that you could plop anywhere in America, but something that really helps to define that gateway in the district and the city.”

A bedroom in an apartment at The Ascent.
Photo / Flaherty & Collins Properties

The city wants to continue to pay homage to its neighborhoods – some of which are upwards of 100 years old – but also wants to strive to re-imagine and reinvest in itself, Zamft says.

“These mixed-use projects aren’t trying to create a district or a neighborhood from scratch,” Anderson explains. “They’re through infill opportunities in what are already successful districts and neighborhoods so it’s building on existing strength.”

The project was funded by a public-private partnership with the city of Cleveland Heights as well as a $52.5 million construction loan from Goldman Sachs Private Bank. 

Not only does Top of the Hill sit at the gateway of the city physically, but it provides the city with a gateway to continue projects like this, Zamft and Anderson explain. 

“It’s symbolic as well as really practical in its redevelopment because it shows the world – or shows at least Cleveland – that we’re serious in changing with the times and upgrading our city,” Zamft tells Jstyle. “We do think that this project has been the gateway for other developments to start to sprout up in the city.”

As proof this project minimized the hurdle for further mixed-used development, one only needs to look to Flaherty & Collins Properties’ newest project in Cleveland Heights. The Marquee at Cedar Lee, which broke ground in May, will be a $60 million mixed-use luxury apartment development, expected to be completed by spring 2025. It is planned to have 204 residences and more than 8,500 square feet of commercial retail space when completed. 

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