Former Cleveland Chewing Gum Factory Undergoes $4.8 Million Renovation into 23 Apartment Units & Office Space

Cleveland, June 23, 2005 -- Mayor Jane L. Campbell joined Betty Kemper, President and CEO of The Kemper Company, Ward 19 Councilwoman Dona Brady, and Cudell neighborhood residents today to cut the ribbon and tour the newly renovated Chicle Building. The historic building is located at 10307 Detroit Avenue.

"The Chicle Building is a fine example of preserving an 1888 historic landmark by creating new residential units and commercial office space to meet the needs of the 21 st Century, said Mayor Campbell. The Kemper Company's move to Cleveland signals a healthy and vibrant future for Detroit Avenue and the City's Cudell neighborhood.

The City of Cleveland awarded the first phase of the development project $500,000 in Housing Trust Funds, residential tax abatement of 100 percent for 12 years, and $150,000 in Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds for the renovation of the 2,400 square foot commercial space.

The Chicle Building, the original home of White Chewing Gum Manufacturing, manufactured White's Yucatan Gum, Chiclets, and Beeman's from 1888 to 1920. Following the company's move to New York in 1920, the building has been occupied by a variety of manufacturing businesses through 1998.

Betty Kemper purchased The Chicle Building in 1998. Kemper was intent on moving her company from Brookpark, Ohio to the Detroit Avenue location. D-A-S Construction was awarded the $4.8 million contract to convert what is considered to be one of the first chewing gum factories in America into 23 apartment units. A new floor was created to house an additional floor of indoor parking, as well as The Kemper Company's headquarters. Sandvick Architects provided the design services.

"I have always wanted to help with the revitalization of this part of the Cudell area, which I love," said Kemper. "And I see the renovation and restoration of The Chicle Building as the beginning."

Tenants have their choice of one bedroom or two bedroom apartments. The kitchens and bathrooms have upgraded appliances and cabinets. For convenience, each apartment is equipped with an environmentally friendly European washer and dryer. Throughout the apartments are glimpses of the past and heavy timber columns, painted brick walls, and oversized industrial windows.

Additional notable features include outdoor video cameras and buzzer-entry system, custom designed interior lighting, wall-to-wall carpet throughout, exposed ductwork and sprinkler lines, indoor parking in a heated garage, and colorful fun interiors.

"I'm ecstatic that Betty Kemper had the foresight to preserve the historic Chicle Building," said Councilwoman Brady. Through adaptive re-use the exterior facade and interior of this turn of the century gum manufacturing complex -- the birthplace of Chiclets Gum -- have been painstakingly updated resulting in the addition of new residential housing and office space to Cleveland's Cudell neighborhood.

Phase two of the development project is slated to begin later this summer and will include the construction of approximately 40 for-sale townhouses and central greenspace including a swimming pool for townhouse residents. The City will provide residential tax abatement at 100 percent for 15 years for the townhouse units.

The Chicle Building development project was also financed through the assistance of Historic and Lost Right Easement Tax Credits, National City Bank, and Village Capital Corporation.

The Kemper Company is a senior management company. They manage Kemper House, a freestanding licensed Residential Care facility dedicated entirely to caring for persons living with memory impairments resulting from diagnoses such as Alzheimer's disease. Kemper House is designed to offer supportive assistance in a warm, home-like setting that fosters a family atmosphere. Kemper House is located in the cities of Strongsville, Olmsted Falls, and Mentor.

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