The Lumen at Playhouse Square

Cleveland, Ohio

Independence Excavating, Inc. (IX) is excited to partner with the Gilbane Building Company on the construction of The Lumen at Playhouse Square. As the largest residential project in downtown Cleveland in over 40 years, IX is honored to be a team member on this history-making development in the heart of the largest theater district outside of Broadway. The building is being constructed on a one-acre site at the corner of Euclid Ave. and E. 17th Street, and will consist of a 34-story tower, housing luxury apartments, and a new parking garage.

Rising to almost 400 feet tall, The Lumen will tower high above all other buildings in the Playhouse Square District. The tower will host 318 luxury apartments and a garage with over 550 parking spaces. The Lumen will also contain 22,000 square feet of resident amenities, including a courtyard terrace with grill area and fireside lounge, electric car charging and car wash stations, a pet spa, bike storage
and repair station, concierge services, business and fitness centers, and a heated lap pool. The total project cost is estimated at $135 million. Enveloped in glass, Playhouse Square District officials state that the name of the tower was chosen to reflect the energy surrounding Playhouse Square, the important role light plays in theater, as well as pay tribute to the GE Chandelier, the world’s largest permanent outdoor chandelier, that graces the intersection of Euclid Ave. and E. 14th Street.

IX was awarded the excavation and utility bid package in late 2017, and immediately our engineering and project management teams sprung to action designing the temporary earth retention system that will allow for deep excavation of the building’s foundations, while protecting adjacent roadways and buildings on the one-acre site. IX’s scope of work for 2018 includes removal of existing buried building foundations, over 50,000 square feet of sheet pile installation, 150 tie-back anchors drilled under City of Cleveland roadways, 40,000 cubic yards of excavation up to 28 feet deep, temporary dewatering for building construction, and grading for the mat foundations. IX will return in spring of 2019, to backfill the structure and bring new sanitary and waterline utility services up to the building.

IX broke ground in March, and from the first bucket in the ground, IX discovered the first of many building foundations that had been abandoned intact under the existing asphalt parking lot. Although a challenging discovery, through the partnership of IX, Gilbane and the developer, Hines, a plan for removal of these foundations was developed. Our crews worked six days a week to clear the way for construction, in a way that mitigates excessive costs and limits impact to the project schedule.

Other site challenges, included the removal of shallow building foundations adjacent to the foundations of the historic Hanna Building. The Lumen, when complete, will sit within inches of the almost 100-year-old 16-story structure. Through a joint project team effort, IX was able to develop a plan to successfully remove these foundations, and maintain the schedule, allowing for the placement of the new garage foundations. 

Through many months of engineering and coordination with all neighboring stakeholders, IX was able to design a cost effective and constructible earth retention system that retains and protects all neighboring roadways and buildings while meeting the stringent City of Cleveland’s requirements. IX is currently working expeditiously, to complete initial excavation of the site in order for Gilbane’s caisson contractor to mobilize. Upon completion of these caissons, IX will return to complete the final excavation and grading in order for the mat foundations to begin.

Due to the efforts of the entire team, the project is presently on track to meet critical milestones. This is a credit to the commitment of all personnel involved, the superintendent, field engineer, surveyors, operators, laborers, pile drivers, mechanics, heavy/support shop staff, the office support and Co-ops. Upon completion in 2020, The Lumen is destined to illuminate and forever transform the Cleveland skyline. IX is proud to be a part of another historic downtown transformation.

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