The 220,000-square-foot shopping center was outmoded with a poor layout and a mix of stores that didn’t adequately meet community needs. In addition the owner was on the verge of selling to an out-of-town buyer who would have further weakened the shopping center by recruiting businesses such as payday lenders to the site. Concerned about the community and this anchor center, Berusch, then senior vice president of real estate for Neighborhood Progress, Inc., worked with the local community development corporation to intervene with a two-fold aim: redevelop the center to be attractive and competitive with suburban shopping centers; and, develop a nonprofit ownership structure to better promote community standards
Berusch had to move quickly to find an alternative fate for the center because the owner had already identified a buyer.
|STATUS & RESULTS||
Berusch conceived of the redevelopment project, negotiated the purchase of the property, arranged for $5 million in equity financing, negotiated multiple tenant leases, and structured partnership deals with co-developer Forest City Enterprises, the local community development corporation, and three national institutional equity investors. The renovated center retained 600 jobs while 150 new jobs were created by both new and existing tenants. The tenants include Walgreens, a MetroHealth Medical clinic, Tops Supermarket, Charter One Bank, and National City Bank (now PNC Bank). The project won the 2001 Northern Ohio Live Award of Achievement for best project.