Shaker Square nears foreclosure, leaves tenants with uncertain future
Edwins owner looking at putting together an ownership group to buy historic property
Shaker Square, one of the nation’s oldest shopping districts, has fallen into receivership, surprising tenants who see high occupancy and good business.
“The unknown becomes who will purchase the Square, how will they care for the Square,” said Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute CEO Brandon Chrostowski. “I think that’s where some of the concern goes, especially when you see large apartment buildings being purchased by out-of-state, out-of-country landlords and let them go downhill.”
Coral has owned Shaker Square, which includes a movie theater, restaurants, and shops, since 2004, but apparently had problems securing new financing given doubts caused by the pandemic.
Chrostowski says he was surprised.
“We understand it’s a business, the pandemic, who knows what a landlord is going through or who knows what lenders are going through,” he says.
Chrostowski owns two restaurants on the Square, opening Edwins Too in November during the pandemic and says it’s already in the black. He says he’s looking at putting a group together to buy Shaker Square.
“We’re a tight-knit group of tenants,” Chrostowski says. “If things go south, we have partners. We have checkbooks, too. So it’s not out of the question we get involved in this purchase.”
The Van Sweringen brothers developed Shaker Square in the late 1920s after building the Terminal Tower, running the Shaker Rapid from downtown through the Square.
The legacy and history of the area has tenants like Chrostowski optimistic.
“I think no matter what happens, the Square will continue to do what it’s always done, be a destination for dining and other amenities,” says Chrostowski “The right thing is going to happen in the Square. and we’re just going to open up another chapter as tenants into the legacy of this historic area.”
By Vic Gideon