When it comes to arts and culture in Euclid, all signs point to Shore Cultural Centre. Located in the heart of the city, the 141,000-square-foot building plays home to many art-based studios, faith-based organizations, and health and wellness businesses—along with the Euclid Symphony Orchestra, Euclid Hunger Center, and Euclid Culinary Bistro (operated by Euclid High School students).
Built in 1913, the complex has a long and storied history, landing the building on the National Register of Historic Places. For many decades, the building housed Shore High School (the northern counterpart to Central High School, Euclid’s other high school until Euclid High School was built in 1949 and both Shore and Central became middle schools). The Shore school ultimately shuttered in 1982, after which the building adopted its current use as a cultural hub.
Thirty-plus years later, Shore Cultural Centre is ripe for revitalization, as the city prepares to offer new investment opportunities to developers who can see its creative potential amid downtown Euclid’s robust development plans.
“The downtown area of Euclid is already an authentic, historic, and walkable place of high interest to developers,” says Dennis McAndrew, president of Silverlode Consulting, which consulted on Cleveland Heights' Top of the Hill project. “And the time is right for investment.”
To that end, Silverlode Consulting will be playing a key role in identifying the right developers to position Shore Cultural Centre for its second act. Silverlode was recently acquired by GBX Group, and together they've been enlisted by Euclid City Council to draft a request for proposals (RFP) reimagining Shore Cultural Centre.
As of Oct. 30, that RFP was slated to reach 200 active real estate developers, with a due date of Dec. 11, according to GBX Group project manager Jack Newton; the document will be made available for the public to read Oct. 31. Numerous community meetings were also held to inform and provide Euclidians with the opportunity for direct input in shaping the contents of the final RFP.
“The city wants to maintain total transparency in the RFP process,” says Marty Castelletti, manager of neighborhood development for the city of Euclid. “We’ve held public meetings to best understand the priorities of tenants and residents as we envision the reuse and revitalization of Shore.”
To date, the city has been subsidizing approximately $200,000 to $250,000 in annual operating costs for Shore, as approved by City Council. (In 2016, the expenditures were $249,000, according to the Ohio Auditor’s office.) “The Coral Company and the city have done a fantastic job of maintaining the building,” but the building’s larger capital needs must be addressed before Shore can realize its full potential, McAndrew says.
Part of that includes finding meaningful ways to maximize all 141,000 square feet of the building’s considerable footprint, which isn’t fully utilized in its current iteration. Also paramount will be addressing the aging building’s pressing improvement needs, which include window repair and replacement; air conditioning; and the addition of ramps and an elevator to increase building accessibility and year-round use. (Window improvements are already in motion, as bolstered by a recent $325,000 grant from the state of Ohio.)
However, consensus around the majestic auditorium was loud and clear at the community meetings, as residents want to keep this asset designated for public use. That input will be taken into account as the city evaluates proposals, and Euclid City Council makes its final selection in the first quarter of 2020.
Castelletti says the most successful proposal will reflect three major development goals: maintaining the existing auditorium; preserving the building's historic structure; and retaining its status as a cultural center. And he's excited to see how new energy and ideas can help take Shore to the next level while honoring its charm, current tenants, and history.
"Shore is a very special place," says Castelletti. "Seeking fresh ideas for its use will help us keep this community treasure sustainable for years to come."
Read the RFP and get announcements and updates here.
This article is part of our On the Ground - Euclid community reporting project in partnership with City of Euclid, Euclid City Schools, Tri-C, and Cuyahoga County Board of Health. Read the rest of our coverage here.