As senior vice president of Neighborhood Progress, Inc., Russell led transformative and highly complex housing, retail and land developments in partnership with community development corporations. These projects resulted in $90 million in direct investment into Cleveland’s neighborhoods. We hired Berusch Development Partners as a development advisor to conceive and lead the recapitalization and conversion of an Ohio City apartment building into condominiums, and to write a strategic business plan for a new joint venture. Both engagements had highly successful outcomes.”
President, Neighborhood Progress, Inc.
Cleveland’s Central neighborhood has long been the City’s poorest.
Neighborhood Progress, Inc. (NPI) and Russell Berusch, then the nonprofit’s vice president of real estate, set out with the local development corporation to build one of the first large-scale, for-sale residential subdivisions built in Cleveland since the 1950s.
In the process they aimed to demonstrate that both public-housing renters and potential homebuyers with suburban options would purchase homes in the Central neighborhood. The keys to making this happen: a quality product, a clear value proposition, security, and sense of community.
There were multiple challenges to the project including:
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Central Commons is a neo-traditionally designed development of single-family homes made affordable for first-time homeowners, most of whom were life-long public housing residents. The NPI team oversaw all phases of the work from start to finish.
Designed by the world-renowned Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, the award-winning Central Commons has demonstrated in the last 15 years not only that new well-designed, well-built for-sale residential communities of scale in poor neighborhoods can be successful, but also that they can in fact stimulate additional private investment in surrounding areas.