Shaker Square’s rescuers ready to pivot from urgent repairs to pursuing new vision for a Cleveland landmark

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Shaker Square’s rescuers ready to pivot from urgent repairs to pursuing new vision for a Cleveland landmark.

By Steven Litt, cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Merchants at the nearly century-old Shaker Square shopping center on Cleveland’s East Side can be a tough audience.

They’re impatient for change more than three years after the historic property fell into foreclosure in late 2020, jeopardizing a regional landmark and a retail anchor as important to the city as the West Side Market.

It took nearly another two years before Cleveland City Council voted in 2022 to spend $12 million to enable a pair of local nonprofit community development agencies to buy the troubled property from creditors and carry out a 21st century reboot.

Since then, the nonprofits Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) and Burten Bell Carr Development, Inc., (BBC) have raised and nearly spent $5.25 million on urgently needed repairs.

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Multi-million dollar Shaker Square makeover

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Multi-million dollar Shaker Square makeover

Channel 19’s Katie Tercek came to Shaker Square to speak with tenants, visitors, and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress’ Tania Menesse about the work underway to improve this historic destination.

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Burten Bell Carr Inc. took over ownership of Shaker Square in August 2022. “To bring Buckeye, Shaker Square, and Larchmere together to support this community is what we’re working to do,” Mensesse told Channel 19.

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Shaker Square owners host summer party Saturday

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Shaker Square owners host summer party Saturday

In the midst of restoring buildings, grounds and streets around historic Shaker Square, the nonprofit ownership on Saturday (Aug. 19) will celebrate the one-year anniversary of acquiring the landmark commercial and transportation hub.

Running from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., this year’s third and final monthly installment of “Summer on the Square” features an “Art, Community and Anniversary” theme, along with a young foodie attraction that is certain to be a big draw as well.

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Shaker Square owners consolidate property management services

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Shaker Square owners consolidate property management services

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Burten, Bell, Carr Development Inc., the owners of Shaker Square, have consolidated property management and leasing services with FASS Real Estate Services (FASS). Effective August 4, 2023, this move will ensure that Shaker Square tenants, store patrons, and visitors continue to benefit from quality services and activities.

This marks a smooth transition of property management service from CRESCO Real Estate to FASS, a boutique real estate brokerage firm specializing in property management, real estate sales and leasing, real estate consulting, and commercial real estate and development. FASS’ corporate offices are located at 3705 Lee Rd, Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120.

FASS has provided leasing services for the Square since August 2022. FASS is a minority certified and led firm. The team is led by Akil Hameed, Broker/Owner of FASS Real Estate Services. The FASS team is committed to working with each of Shaker Square’s tenants to make this historic destination the place to be in Cleveland.

Over a year-long partnership with CRESCO leading up to this transition, critical work around the Square got underway regarding maintenance, repair, and addressing safety requests from tenants and customers. During this time, a capital needs assessment was completed that outlines the Square’s infrastructure priorities, including roofing, carpentry, windows, landscaping, HVAC, electrical, and other needs. With this capital needs assessment in hand, CNP, BBC, and FASS are moving forward with a strategic plan for investing in and improving Shaker Square for tenants, customers, and residents.

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Nonprofit Shaker Square owners propose first comprehensive, ‘cohesive’ plan in decades

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Nonprofit Shaker Square owners propose first comprehensive, ‘cohesive’ plan in decades

With boots on the ground in Shaker Square to address a long list of deferred maintenance issues, the new nonprofit owners also expect to have a 10-month “community vision plan” in the works by the end of the year.

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) and Burten Bell Carr Development Corp. (BBC) set a Friday (July 14) deadline on a request for proposals (RFP) from consultants. Eight firms already have expressed interest as of last week — four of those local.

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15+ Things to Do in Cleveland This Weekend – Summer on the Square

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15+ Things to Do in Cleveland This Weekend

Shaker Square hosts a monthly series of community events to be held throughout the summer in the historic retail destination’s public space. The free-to-attend and family-friendly events will feature local businesses, organizations, artists, authors, and creators.

The Summer on the Square series will take place on the third Saturday of each summer month, with programming beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing throughout the afternoon.

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Family Friendly 'Summer on the Square' premieres Saturday at Shaker Square

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Family-friendly ‘Summer on the Square’ premieres Saturday at Shaker Square

Shaker Square will kick off its new “Summer on the Square” monthly series of free-to-attend, family-friendly events this Saturday (June 17).

Taking place on the third Saturday of each month through August and featuring local businesses, organizations, artists, authors and creators, the first installment will focus on health and wellness, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The Summer on the Square series is an exciting opportunity to bring the community together and showcase the great amenities that Shaker Square has to offer,” said Joy D. Johnson, executive director of Burten, Bell, Carr, Inc., one of the new nonprofit owners.

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Cleveland Neighborhood Progress Announces Shaker Square Retail District RFP

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Cleveland Neighborhood Progress Announces Shaker Square Retail District RFP

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, in partnership with Burten Bell Carr, is ready to move forward with a new vision for the area.

“Our goal is to build on the progress made in 2019 and hear from the community about their vision for the Square. To do so we are seeking experienced urban design and retail professionals to work collaboratively with us and the community in developing a long-term plan.” 

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Can Shaker Square’s rescuers come up with compelling new vision for a struggling Cleveland landmark?

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Can Shaker Square’s rescuers come up with compelling new vision for a struggling Cleveland landmark? - Cleveland.com

Shaker Square was the latest word in upscale urban innovation when it opened in 1929 as one of America’s first automobile- and transit-oriented shopping centers.

Built by the Van Sweringen brothers, the tycoons who went bust in the Depression, the square featured Georgian Revival-style buildings wrapped in an octagon around a five-acre central landscape. The “square” is bisected by a rapid transit line connecting the suburb of Shaker Heights to the east, and Terminal Tower downtown, to the west, both of which the brothers also built.

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Six months in, Shaker Square’s new owners make plan to spend millions fixing up property - The Land

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Six months in, Shaker Square’s new owners make plan to spend millions fixing up property - The Land

The new nonprofit owners of Shaker Square have completed a capital needs assessment of the property, and it calls for investing more than $7 million into the complex, which faced foreclosure last year. Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Burten Bell Carr Inc. bought the property from The Coral Company in August for $11 million with help from the city of Cleveland. Since then, they have been meeting with merchants, doing repairs, and completing an assessment of improvements to the property.

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