Monday, September 25th, 2017

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Andrew Brickman’s passions helping to fuel region’s comeback

 

 

Andrew Brickman is founder of Brickhaus Partners, a firm dedicated to Cleveland, eco-friendly and energy-efficient materials, state-of-the-art technology and artistic architecture.

 

By BARRY GOODRICH

 

It’s not easy keeping up with Andrew Brickman. The energetic and forward-thinking Renaissance Man is a developer, film producer, mentor and philanthropist whose passion for all of those pursuits is integral to his success.

From Rocky River to Ohio City to Cleveland Heights, Brickman is building more than just homes. His true mission is providing intelligent, sustainable designs that reflect homeowners’ personalities while creating communities in which sidewalks and bike paths co-exist alongside landscaping that is native to each location.

As founder of Brickhaus Partners, Brickman is intent on bringing back the inner core of Cleveland with his firm’s eco-friendly and energy-efficient materials. He has traveled the world but remains anchored in his hometown, a city he feels has only scratched the surface of its potential.

“I want to bring people back to the inner ring communities,” said Brickman from his company’s headquarters in Orange Village. “The population of Northeast Ohio is shrinking…Cuyahoga County has been losing people on a regular basis since the 1970s.”

Brickman started out as a single-family residential developer but soon tired of what he saw as a move away from what made Cleveland great in its heyday. “I didn’t want to contribute to suburban sprawl,” he said. “When you get off a freeway exit, everything looks the same. I call it Generica.”

“I’m passionate about Cleveland but 90 percent of my generation is gone and their kids are leaving too,” he said. “I want to provide great housing alternatives, homes that are as nice as anything you could find in New York City, Washington D.C. or Miami.”

And by combining state-of-the-art technology and artistic architecture, Brickhaus Partners is doing just that. The firm is busier than ever, with a pair of new projects in Ohio City that will result in 500 new apartments in the West 20th St. neighborhood along with more new apartments at the site of the old Mount Zion Church. Brickhaus is also ready to break ground on Twenty Four Hundred, a new community in Beachwood.

“We want to promote easy access to parks, shopping centers and recreation centers,” said Brickman. “We (Brickhaus) need to be the best. We think that we’re more innovative and we use that to our advantage.”

Brickman was born in Warrensville Heights and graduated from Shaker Heights High School. He graduated from the University of Colorado and also took a course in urban studies at Harvard. Over a decade ago, he moved to Los Angeles with his girlfriend, who wanted to get into acting.

“I hated L.A.,” he said. “I didn’t like the people and didn’t like being in my car all day.” Ironically, he would become involved in films upon his return to Cleveland, becoming an associate producer of the films Boys of Summer, The Signal, Compliance and My Blind Brother with friend and Chagrin Falls High School graduate Tyler Davidson. Scenes from the Cleveland-based Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner movie Draft Day were shot at a luxury townhouse in Eleven River, a Brickhaus development in Rocky River.

Brickman’s interests are as diverse as his homes. He mentors students in Cleveland State University’s urban design school and is a guest lecturer at the Kent State University School of Architecture. Brickman also owns an art gallery in New York City and oversees orphanages in India and Uganda.

“If you do something you’re passionate about and do it well, everything else will come,” he said. “There has to be something bigger than the money.”

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