Product & Industry Education Resources

Convert a 92-year-old Cleveland Landmark Building into Luxury Apartments

Challenge: Convert a 92-year-old Cleveland Landmark office building into luxury apartments, while maintaining the structural integrity of the unique flooring design and honoring the historic nature of the building.

When asked about the demanding nature of the job, Lee Tucker, Project Manager for Marous Brothers stated, “All parties and suppliers were very accommodating given our unique conditions and worked diligently to provide appropriate products and processes for our unique challenges”.

Cleveland’s Standard Building, a one-time bank and office building one block north of Public Square, will soon re-open its doors as a 281-unit luxury apartment building with retail space on the first floor. The U-shaped 21-story building was the 2nd tallest building in the city of Cleveland when it opened in 1925. In 1979, the building was designated a Cleveland Landmark.

Marous Brothers Construction was the right contractor to transform this aged structure into high-end apartment units. Founded in 1980, this General Contractor offers integrated services for complete construction solutions, and has a long portfolio of notable historic restoration projects.

The Standard Building was built to house the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Cooperative National Bank of Cleveland, the first labor bank in the United States. Since closing as a bank in 1931, the building has served many purposes. In 1935, Elliot Ness had an office there when the FBI’s Cleveland office opened, in the 1940s the building was home to Western Reserve University’s Cleveland College and from WWII through the 1960s the bank lobby was an indoctrination center for military draftees.

The building’s flat arched floors covered in cut back adhesive created several issues. In order to run the mechanicals through the building, seven 18” diameter holes had to be cored through each of the 20 floors. Steel sleeves with studs, grouted in place with ChemMasters Kemset precision grout were placed in each hole to maintain the structural integrity of the floors. The floors were leveled before the holes were cored and the floor leveler was exposed to a tremendous amount of water while cutting the openings. Because floor underlayments can soften when exposed to water, the Sikalevel 125 was used due to its ability to stay hard and maintain its strength while being continuously flooded with water. SikaQuick 1000 was used in deep repairs for its rapid turnaround time. The Sika Level-02 EZ Primer ensured that the underlayment bonded to the cutback adhesive, and Sika Level 01 Primer was used on the porous surfaces. The ability to prime directly over cutback without removing it saved both time and money.

The Graco ToughTek P30 water metered mixer and pump’s ability to pump 300 bags of material an hour met the demands of leveling 240,000 square feet of floor under tight time constraints.

Be sure to check out the application video highlighting the products being used in the project!


Cleveland Standard Building Cross section of existing floor prior to Sika Level 125 installation
Testing of Sika primers on existing substrates (left to right: mastic, concrete, marble)
Sika Level-125 being installed at 1/8" thickness
Finished floor ready for floor covering