Merger of DSCDO and Cudell Improvement results in new entity, Northwest Neighborhoods CDC
To the editor:
(Plain Press, August 2021) The board of directors and staff of Northwest Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation are happy to formally announce our new, unified organization serving Cleveland’s Cudell, Detroit Shoreway, and Edgewater neighborhoods, following the merger of Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) and Cudell Improvement, Inc. The members of both DSCDO and Cudell Improvement voted to approve a merger effective July 1, 2021, with an overwhelming 91% of all votes cast in favor of unifying. A naming committee of both organizations selected our new, inclusive name: Northwest Neighborhoods CDC.
“We are energized by this change,” said Adam Stalder, Executive Director of Northwest Neighborhoods. “Our organizations have worked as partners for years before this transition, so the services you receive from us will continue uninterrupted.”
“Working as one organization will allow us to be more effective and equitable in our service,” said Patty Jurca, President of DSCDO. “Thank you to our members who participated in the surveys and outreach leading to this merger and to our funders for supporting us along the way.”
“We are excited to reintroduce ourselves to you, and we look forward to continuing to serve Cudell, Detroit Shoreway, and Edgewater for improved quality of life,” said Charles Slone, President of Cudell Improvement.
The organizational merger does not affect the names of the three neighborhoods we serve: Cudell, Detroit Shoreway, and Edgewater. We will continue to promote these neighborhoods and their identities. A separate Northwest Neighborhoods organizational brand is forthcoming.
Northwest Neighborhoods provides comprehensive community development services to more than 27,000 residents in our service area, which is bounded by Lake Erie on the north, West 45th Street on the east, Interstate 90 on the south, and West 117th Street on the west. In the future, we look forward to embarking on organizational strategic planning to set the vision and goals of the new organization.
Our Neighborhoods Office staff provides community involvement, safety, housing, economic development, marketing, and events services to our three neighborhoods. We also provide management and marketing services to the Gordon Square Arts District through its Special Improvement District organization.
Our Real Estate department develops affordable housing and mixed-use projects within a five-county service area, with current projects in the works in the Detroit Shoreway, Clark-Fulton, and Stockyards neighborhoods of Cleveland. Our Property Management Department provides stewardship and maintenance for the 16 local buildings owned by Northwest Neighborhoods, including the 100-year-old Capitol Theatre. More than 300 units in our buildings provide housing to low-to-moderate income households. Our Administrative Services staff provides accounting, human resources, and other core services.
DSCDO and Cudell Improvement found success in maintaining high levels of staff expertise and performance after executing shared service agreements beginning in 2018. The boards of each organization created a joint committee to explore forming a unified entity, dedicating large amounts of time to investigating issues, performing analysis, and gathering feedback. During this process, a survey of DSCDO and Cudell Improvement members showed that a large majority (70%) were open to unifying. The joint committee recommended a merger and negotiated a formal proposal, which the boards of each organization reviewed, edited, and ultimately voted to recommend to the full membership to adopt.