The Coral Company

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Shaker Square Case Study

Project: Shaker Square

Location: Cleveland, OH

Category: Mixed-Use, Office and Retail

Size: 160,000 SF

Coral Role: Owner / Manager / Steward of Historic Asset

Important Traits: Strategic Positioning / Listening to Community

In early 2003, after a bank took ownership of historic Shaker Square, The Coral Company received calls
from tenants, capital providers, and community members urging Coral to consider buying the Square. Coral’s executive team developed a strategy to revitalize the property under a “Night and Day” theme. Shaker Square would have two personalities.

Its daytime personality would be a neighborhood shopping center, with a grocery store, dry cleaner, salon, coffee shop, drug store, and other retailers that would be supported by the surrounding neighborhood. Its nighttime personality would be an entertainment destination, with an array of local restaurants, bars, and a movie theater.

Strategy in place, Coral’s finance team began work on financing the acquisition. The Company’s strength and experience building public-private partnerships enabled them to obtain a complex financing package with the City of Cleveland, Neighborhood Progress, Inc., the Greater Cleveland Partnership, and local banks using New Markets Tax Credits.

In Fall 2004, with the acquisition complete, Coral’s leasing team kicked into high gear, signing critical anchor tenants such as Dave’s grocery store, Sergio’s Sarava restaurant and CVS Pharmacy. At the same time, the leasing team rejected tenants that did not fit into the Night and Day theme. Over the past four years, Coral has added over 15 tenants to the Square, which now boasts nine independent restaurants, one of the largest concentrated groups of local chefs in the area. The results: Shaker Square is now 86% leased, up from 40% when we took ownership.

Coral’s approach to Shaker Square also included extensive community outreach – from tenants in the Moreland Courts apartment building to residents in the Buckeye neighborhood. Coral’s management team met with these community groups, and listened to their suggestions. As a result, Coral initiated several programs to improve the property: installation of security cameras to improve public safety; opening of a gate blocking a nearby street; a center-wide recycling program; a summer concert series; and most recently, new wayfinding signs. Next on tap is a reinvention of the Square’s public spaces, which have not been changed since the center opened in 1929.