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City Council approves $12 million in financial assistance to save historic Shaker Square

Posted at 9:12 AM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 09:12:30-04

CLEVELAND — Cleveland's historic Shaker Square Shopping Center, the East Side dining and shopping complex that has been mired in financial problems for years, is getting a lifeline after Cleveland City Council voted Monday night to provide up to $12 million to a public-private partnership to help acquire and develop the center.

Two nonprofits, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Burten, Bell, Carr Development, have partnered with New Village Corporation to acquire and breathe new life into the square.

RELATED: 2 nonprofits introduce proposal to purchase historic Shaker Square

The two loans approved by the city are $6 million each, with one carrying terms to be repaid in five years and the other a 10-year loan that is forgivable under certain conditions. The approved funds and nonprofit oversight prevent the square from going to a sheriff's sale.

A refinancing proposed by the owner for March 2020 fell through when the COVID-19 crisis hit. At the time, the square was appraised for $14 million. The previous owner of the square, the Coral Company, did not pay their loan for the property.

The center, currently in foreclosure, is managed by a court-appointed receiver. According to City Council, the square is suffering from accumulated deferred maintenance.

About $4 million is being raised from foundations and other organizations to pay for the accumulated deferred maintenance.

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Burten, Bell, Carr Development said they plan to recruit new tenants in the small vacancies at the square. Once the square is established, the nonprofits plan to put the property on the market to a local developer for purchase.

The square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is anchored by a grocery store, a drug store and movie theater. It also is the host of many annual events like the Garlic Festival and weekly farmer’s markets.

Previous reporting: Shaker Square renovation plan vote delayed, business owners show support

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