Northeast Shores Development Corporation Board of Trustees Report to the Community: “Moving Forward and Making Progress”

Dear Community Member,

I come to you in writing due to my inability to attend community and block club meetings during the current COVID-19 Pandemic.  I want to thank Councilman, Michael Polensek for allowing me the opportunity to share this update in person to you via his monthly mailings and his Assistant, Mary Louise Daley for pulling it all together for us. 

I am sharing with you a brief update of the work and progress that has taken place in the last year.  A little bit of history: The former Executive Director, resigned in  2017 and was followed by Ms. Camille Maxwell taking over as Executive Director. During this time, NSDC Offices were moved from the 317 East 156th street to Hospice of the Western Reserve. She subsequently left the organization as well.  The Board of Directors led by Scott Mills as President resigned on October 31, 2018 leaving the organization in a very vulnerable position. To cover the gap, three new individuals were elected to the Board and took office as of November 1, 2018. I was elected to serve as President of the Board at that time, a position I still hold today.  Based on legal precedence and advice, NSDC needs to continue to exist on paper to manage its ongoing obligations for approximately two more years at which time the organization will dissolve.  During this transition, Greater Collinwood Development Corporation is providing a wide array of programs throughout Collinwood and other service areas they have identified. To find out what NSDC apartments are available for rent, please contact Greater Collinwood Development Corporation at their Main Office- 216-383-9772.

After many meetings and discussions with legal advisors, we have been able to narrow the responsibilities of NSDC down into three (3) major areas as we move toward dissolution:

1) Finances                           

2) Property                                        

3) The LaSalle Theater

The Board works very closely with Councilman Polensek and the City of Cleveland to guide the process to keep our neighborhood stable.  The Board has also entered into formal agreements with Greater Collinwood Development Corporation, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP), New Village Corporation (NVC), to help guide us through the dissolution process.  To this end, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress is guiding us in our financial operations under the direction of Colleen Gilson, Vice President of CDC Advancement, and New Village Corporation under the direction of Linda Warren, President, who is helping us with real estate.

Brief updates and summaries are listed below:

REAL ESTATE: Working with New Village Corporation with special help and support from the Community Development Department of the City, the NSDC Board has been managing the orderly disposition of 26 properties owned by NSDC.  To date, 25 of them have transferred, which includes the office building at 317 East 156th Street, or are about to transfer to new owners as follows:

  • 13 vacant lots to the City of Cleveland’s Landbank
  • 6 properties to the 1st mortgage holders  
  • 3 vacant houses to the County Landbank to be demolished (post determinations that the properties were beyond repair)
  • 3 properties being sold to a buyer/former tenant

FINANCES:  Regarding finances and working with Neighborhood Progress, NSDC has engaged an accounting firm to manage the organizational and asset/property management financial matters of the organization. Due to pressure from creditors, the organization is proactively pursuing a debt reduction strategy to eradicate its significant financial liabilities. 

LaSalle Theatre:  The LaSalle Theatre is still owned by Northeast Shores Development Corporation and NSDC is managing it via a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with New Village Corporation. Updates on the ongoing programs and operations of the LaSalle Theatre will be published in the Collinwood Observer on a regular basis.  In 2019 Greater Collinwood Development Corporation entered into a property management agreement with New Village Corporation for  the LaSalle Theatre, collecting rents, facilitating building maintenance and providing a neighborhood-based presence for the residential and commercial tenants of the facility.  Additionally, as Northeast Shores Development Corporation finalizes the disposition of their properties Greater Collinwood Development collects rents and assist with communications between tenants and the board of Northeast Shores.  There are five (5) residential units at the LaSalle.  At the writing of this report, one (1)1 unit is available for rent at $500/month for a qualifying income-based tenant.

Please look for more information on how residents who purchased bricks will be honored in another way and feedback from the community for upcoming and continuous improvement and programming of this community asset.

As I close, I want to also thank Hospice of the Western Reserve for their support for office space up to our move out last spring.  The Board could not have completed this work without the guidance, legal support and planning of the organization mentioned in this report along with Elva Brodnick, Secretary, former Treasurer, Rhonda McLean and former Property Expert, Crystal Williams and Janus Small and Associates.                         

With warm regards-Caroline J. Peak

Caroline Peak

Caroline J. Peak, known as “Ms. Peak” to many, is a resident of the Collinwood Community for 30 plus years serving as a committed community leader, engager, and volunteer. Ms. Peak is very passionate about improving the quality of life for citizens by giving back to her community. Ms. Peak serves as the Public Service Manager of the Collinwood Branch of Cleveland Public Library and is a Certified Librarian having earned a Master’s Degree from Kent State University. Ms. Peak also served as a True2U Mentor for 8th graders at Memorial School among her activities and engagement in neighborhood block associations, advisory committees, and civic engagement. She has participated in leadership programs, Neighborhood Leadership Institute and Neighborhood Leader Institute and Management Certification at Cleveland Public Library to support her service as an Executive Committee member of CHN Housing Partners, organizations that are devoted to the mission of improving the quality of life in neighborhoods. She was recently selected to serve on the Greater Cleveland Safety Counciil.  She currently serve as President of NSDC;  on  Bond Accountability Commission as Secretary of the Cleveland Municipal School District and a member of the Health Impact Committee for United Way and a steering member of HIP--Cuyahoga --Health Improvement Partnership to help build healthy communities, member of National Congress of Black Women-Greater Cleveland Chapter and Executive Board; and 2nd Vice President of Metro-Cleveland Alliance of Black School Educators She is the 2018 recipient of Resident of the Year for Ward 8-District 5 for the City of Cleveland.

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Volume 12, Issue 9, Posted 4:17 PM, 09.03.2020