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Deal to transfer ownership of historic Shaker Square to two nonprofits nearing completion

Shaker Square
Posted at 4:30 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 16:30:40-04

CLEVELAND — Good news for those looking to save Shaker Square; an “agreement in principle” has been announced involving the two local non-profits looking to purchase the historic shopping center out of foreclosure.

“I am pleased to announce Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) and Burten Bell Carr (BBC) have made a big step forward in their efforts and have reached agreement with The Coral Company and Wilmington Trust,” said Terri Hamilton Brown, a consultant to CNP and BBC in a letter shared by the Shaker Square Alliance. “While we have reached an agreement in principle, final contracts and closing details need to be completed before ownership can be transferred.”

When Shaker Square went into foreclose last year, the Shaker Square Alliance feared that it might be sold at a sheriff’s sale.

"It would just get picked up by a developer, sat on and done nothing with. I mean, it's what we've seen with the residential properties,” said Shaker Square Alliance founder Charles Bromley.

That's what prompted the group to get involved putting the pressure on Cleveland city leaders. While they failed in their first attempt to come up with a rescue plan last year they were successful in April as council approved a $12 million dollar package of two loans, $6 million each, half of that forgivable for the nonprofits to acquire the square from the bank.

Bob Render, who fought for this only wishes it happened earlier so an estimated $4 million in repairs could have started sooner. "I think those figures are gonna go up once they get into the nitty gritty of what is it going to take,” Render said. “That's the sad part about this thing taking so long to get resolved."

But once repairs are done, the hope is it spreads beyond the square itself. "By saving Shaker Square it will have a domino effect and it will effect the apartments around the community,” said alliance member Meg Weingart.

On Shaker Square nearby resident David King welcomed the news Thursday, appreciating the convenience the Square has and will now continue to offer.

"It's great because I come up here for my prescriptions, I go shopping, sometimes I do my exercise walks around here and it's safe,” he said.

Besides the amenities though, he likes the other intangible the Square offers serving as what he calls “a bridging point.”

"Because you got some people that's in the suburbs further east that would never have no interaction with people from the inner city so that brings a lot of people together right here in Shaker,” he said.