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Developer of downtown project cites his 30 years in real estate



Published: Sun, September 2, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



YOUNGSTOWN -- Nicholas Zarnas acknowledges that he hasn't sold any of the condos or finished renovating any of the apartment buildings he's working on in downtown Cleveland.

Zarnas, instead, is offering up his 30 years in the real estate business as evidence of his ability to make things happen.

Zarnas said he started by selling houses. He also has been an appraiser, has run a company that rehabilitated homes and worked in commercial real estate for a large firm, Grubb & amp; Ellis.

He bought about 1,000 apartments in Cleveland and Lorain about four years ago, selling them a few years later. He also was the developer of a new post office in Shaker Heights.

Zarnas became involved with Lou Frangos and USA Parking Systems, owner of the Realty building in downtown Youngstown, after working with Frangos' brother Gus -- a former Cleveland councilman -- in the apartment venture.

Besides parking lots, USA owns three office buildings on Prospect Avenue in Cleveland. Frangos has hired Zarnas to develop them into residential housing. They include:

UAn eight-story building near 4th Street, a block from Jacobs Field, that could be 14 condos or apartments.

UA five-story building near 11th Street and the Cleveland State Convocation Center that would be 25 apartments.

UA four-story building near 19th Street that would be 16 apartments.

The 4th Street project has bank financing and construction is ready to start, Zarnas said, but none of the projects is too far along.




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