Cleveland-based development groups buy ‘historic’ Shaker Square mall

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – Shaker Square Mall has been purchased by community development groups Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Burten Bell Carr Development, according to a news release.

They said this sale keeps the property under local and community ownership, and begins the process of resolving delayed maintenance issues that will stabilize the center in the short term and ensure its long-term success.

CNP, its property subsidiary New Village Corporation and the BBC said they have worked for more than a year with the City of Cleveland and councilors to ensure Shaker Square remains under local ownership.

The former owner of Shaker Square bought the property in 2004 but reportedly ran into financial trouble during the 2008 recession as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the release, the property has been seized and under the management of a court-appointed receiver, with stakeholders believing the sheriff’s sale would likely result in an out-of-state buyer with little concern for community interests.

This apparently continued the decay and evacuation of the property, also hurting nearby home values.

“There has been a real collaboration between city officials, residents of this community, tenants, philanthropic organizations and others to ensure that this historic anchor of the neighborhood does not fall into obsolescence,” said Tania Menesse, CEO and President of CNP. “We are very grateful for everyone’s partnership and help. The City of Cleveland loans were a game changer and this opportunity would not have been possible without this funding. »

According to the BBC, this spring Cleveland City Council approved $12 million in low-interest loans for the project, and Mayor Justin Bibb said the city’s help was essential to stabilize the center. business and help it recover from the negative economic impact of COVID.

“Shaker Square is a vital historic asset that supports over 150 jobs and is a catalyst for neighborhood development,” Mayor Bibb said. “Revitalizing this neighborhood is a priority for my administration and I’m confident this team is aligned with our vision to bring this gem to its full potential.”

The group said its first priority was to stabilize the square, including leaking roofs, flooding issues and much-needed repairs.

“We are pleased to have landlords invested in the future of Shaker Square and its tenants,” said Shaker Square tenant David Saltzman of Dave’s Supermarket.

BBC and NVC have had success with similar malls such as Arbor Park Place, Bridgeport Place and Lee Harvard Shopping Center.

The owners have hired the highly experienced property management team of CRESCO Playhouse Square Management to provide oversight of day-to-day operations, with a thorough cleaning of the property within the first 30 days of ownership.

“We are committed to working with area merchants, customers, residents and stakeholders to develop a community vision for a renovated Shaker Square and the green space at its center,” said Joy Johnson, Executive Director of the BBC. “The Shaker Square, Larchmere, Buckeye and Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods have a long and proud history of community involvement. We want to tap into that spirit of activism and passion.

Johnson added that in the long term, owners could consider partnering with a responsible private sector entity with “urban retail experience” and “a vested interest in Cleveland.”

“Shaker Square is more than just a shopping mall – it has long been the stuff of bragging rights for Cleveland’s East Side,” said Charles “Chip” Bromley, founder of the Shaker Square Alliance. “This plan is a creative solution to a complex problem that took years to develop, and we are grateful to everyone involved for saving this Cleveland treasure.”

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