SOS: Save Our Square
SOS: Save Our Square
The iconic and historic Shaker Square shopping district is in deep financial distress. The former owner, Peter Rubin, who is in debt to the bank holding company Wilmington Trust N.A. for $11 million, recently turned the property over to a court-ordered receiver. The receiver, John Rothschild Jr., is handling the day-to-day operations of the Square for the time being. However, if an individual or entity with the funds to purchase the Square makes a bid, it could be sold to them, regardless of their understanding of the property or commitment to the community.
Other cases from nearby communities demonstrate how the wrong buyer for such a central community asset can create lasting harm. In Cleveland Heights, Severance Town Center was in a similar position and was turned over to a buyer who knew nothing about Cleveland Heights. Within a short period of time, much of Severance’s value was destroyed through neglect and lack of investment. Simple interventions by the City of Cleveland Heights could have made a big difference for this important property.
The failure of Cleveland Heights to make a direct intervention must not be repeated with Shaker Square. This petition voices our concerns to the Honorable Judge Ashley Kilbane, who has the ultimate authority to award the property to an eligible buyer, and the current receiver, John A. Rothschild Jr., who has the ability to make recommendations. We call on these authorities to only award the sale to a buyer with the knowledge, experience, and commitment necessary to overcome the challenges facing Shaker Square and ensure a thriving future for this unique community asset. Knowledge of the past financial difficulties that have faced the Square and the demonstrated ability to restore this valuable Cleveland treasure must be essential qualifications.
Through this petition, we are reaching out to individuals and community groups served by Shaker Square. We need your signature now to let the authorities with the power to sell this property know that you and your neighbors care about the future of Shaker Square.
(Photo from Aerial Agents, 2018)