NDC Academy 2015 Creative Financing Small Business Entrepreneurship

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1 Category: Creative Financing Project: Small Business Entrepreneurship at the 5th Street Arcades Project Location: 530 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH Status: Complete except for one unfilled storefront Cost: $1,019,500 Description: Located in the heart of Downtown Cleveland along one of Euclid Avenue s most prominent stretches, the former Colonial and Euclid Arcades, built over 100 years ago during Cleveland s industrial power, were once a largely vacant and underutilized building in Recently, Cumberland Development LLC, the project developer, rebranded and redeveloped this historic building, taking abandoned space that was almost 60% vacant in 2012 to nearly 100% occupancy today. The Arcades are almost entirely occupied with tenants (one vacant storefront) with local retailers, merchants, cafés and sustainable start-up businesses. Over the past year, the 5th Street Arcades have become a retail incubator in Downtown Cleveland. The project has brought critical retail and life back into the core City. Cumberland Arcades, LLC was formed to manage and develop the old Colonial Euclid Arcades. Due to the high vacancy, the City of Cleveland, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, Charter One Bank and the developer came together to create a small business grant competition for small locally-owned entrepreneurs to apply for grant funding, free or low rent and forgivable loans. Five applicants were initially selected and received grants from $1,500 to $5,000. After the branding was approved, new improvements were made to the historic building including new lighting and signage. The initial entrepreneurs opened their businesses which included a chocolatier, a furniture maker that made all of their products from reclaimed wood; a sushi café, a retailer that makes hand-woven baby clothes from organic cotton; and a coffee shop featuring locally made bakery. The initial opening of the start-up businesses led to additional entrepreneurs filling the vacant storefront spaces. Today, the 5th Street Arcades are made up of a diverse group of businesses which includes minority-owned, female-owned, LGBT, and immigrant businesses. Except for one challenging storefront, the building is full. Community Needs Addressed: The retail began vacating Downtown Cleveland in the 1970s over the years as the department store anchors closed and moved to the growing suburban locations. Small business retail stores that had operated in Downtown Cleveland for years had also closed and / or relocated to the suburban malls. The suburban locations are generally within enclosed shopping malls with large amounts of free parking for automobiles. Over the past 10 years, there has been an emphasis on growing the downtown residential population by converting empty and vacant warehouses into urban lofts. The 100+ year old warehouses are filled with residents, technology-based offices, and restaurants. Over the past 3 years, office skyscrapers that were built in the 1960s and 1970s that were vacant for years, are being converted to residential use, but the retail returning has been at a snail s pace back into Downtown Cleveland. The population has grown from a few thousand in the 1990s to over 13,000 by December The residents love the walkability and the other great amenities of living downtown, but their biggest complaint is the lack of retail. The 5th Street Arcades began to change in 2013 and completely changed in 2014 when the storefronts facing the streets and inside the buildings became filled with vibrant locally-owned businesses that put their individual character in the windows to showcase their merchandise. Office

2 workers and residents not only had new retail to purchase clothing, jewelry, art, home-made pastries, coffee, furniture, and other apparel, but the 5th Street Arcades became a place that hosted creative events that drew thousands of people. Events included fashion shows, farmers markets, additional micro-shops temporarily set up for the holidays and events held in the space when Cleveland hosted the 2014 Gay Games. Benefits and Outcome: The project, which is almost fully leased and occupied except for one storefront, is a big success to bringing retail back to Downtown Cleveland. The project has created 115 new additional jobs in the heart of the City along Euclid Avenue. Many of the jobs are the entrepreneurs that own and operate their business. One of the female-owned businesses, Sand Buffie Design, relocated from Charleston South Carolina with her husband to take advantage of the opportunity to start her dream business. She also currently resides in Downtown with her husband and walks to work every day to operate her boutique. The entrepreneurs that opened the shops are a diverse group of individuals representing minority-owned businesses, female-owned business, LGBT-owned businesses and immigrant businesses that have come from all corners of the globe. The entrepreneurs support one another at the 5th Street Arcades by shopping for their goods and services. The culture, skills, and the backgrounds of the individuals are reflective in many of their business concepts. The goods that are locally-made and sold are one of a kind and cannot be purchase anywhere else. The economic benefits of the dollars that are earned by the entrepreneurs recycle back in the community vs if the stores were operated by only minimum wage employees of national chains. All of the businesses are locally-owned, no national chains. By repurposing and rebranding the building, new life has been brought to the space. The architectural design of the interior and exterior provides a new home for the retail incubator. Prior to this project, the building was was mostly used by office workers as a pass through during inclement weather to connect from one block to the next. Today, it is a retail destination that has provided employment opportunities for those starting a new business. Project Collaborators: There were 6 partners involved with the Small Business Entrepreneurship at the 5th Street Arcades project: Cumberland Development LLC (developer), the City of Cleveland, Charter One Bank, Downtown Cleveland Alliance (non-profit organization that assists with business and residential development in Downtown), Bad Girl Ventures (provided business plan expertise and technical assistance) and the entrepreneurs. The City of Cleveland provided loans and forgivable loans for early stage capital financing with the project. Charter One Bank and Downtown Cleveland Alliance provided grants to offset costs. Cumberland Development LLC had a master lease on the property and provided low or no rent to the small business entrepreneurs. They set up an office amongst the businesses so they were visibly there to assist and guide them on how to market their business and other supportive assistance they may need. Bad Girl Ventures, a not-forprofit with a mission to assist start-up women-owned businesses develop a business plan. In addition, they provide critical technical assistance so the businesses avoid making critical mistakes that lead to failure. The entrepreneurs brought their creative ideas, equity and passion that is reflective at the retail incubator at the 5th Street Arcades. The collaboration amongst the partners with bringing together ideas, forming a concept and bringing capital has been the beginning point for bringing critical retail back to Downtown Cleveland. All of the partners together as a team made this project a success in 2014 and today. What Makes Your Project Unique? : One word makes this project unique.. Entrepreneurship! The local public and private partnerships that came together to brainstorm an idea while taking an underutilized architectural asset in the City of Cleveland and to transform it back into a gem that is

3 home to over 25 locally-owned business and 115 new jobs is a success story. As Downtown Cleveland is being revitalized with new jobs and over 5 billion of investment, the 5th Street Arcades could have become storefronts filled with national or regional chains. This would have been easier to do as they had expressed interest with opening retail locations in the Central Business District. But the vision of the partners in the project was to Hit a Home Run with the Small Business Entrepreneurship at the 5th Street Arcades by supporting new and expanding start-up entrepreneurs. The partners in the project all know the merchants by name. If there are issues or small problems that have come up, the relationships are built so the business owners can pick up the phone and call or walk over to the office of the developer to share their issue before it becomes a problem out of hand. The financial assistance brought to the project (micro low-interest loans, forgivable loans, grants, low or no rent and technical assistance has been a successful formula to help grow and sustain the businesses at the retail incubator. The businesses are not bound by a time limit in their lease. There have been a few businesses that have outgrown their space at the 5th Street Arcades and have moved on to bigger storefronts in other parts of the City to accommodate their growth. The vacated spaces have opened up additional opportunities for other new start-up entrepreneurs at the 5th Street Arcades. Organization s Name: City of Cleveland - Dept. of Economic Development Website: Main Contact: Kevin Schmotzer Phone Number:

4 PROJECT SOURCES & USES OF FUNDS Use Amount Building Additions, façade, canopy, major tenant renovation Uses of Funds Sources of Funds Source Amount $ 421,000 Cumberland Development Loan $ 764,500 Public Area Furnishings $ 31,500 NRAP - Prospect & Euclid Loans $ 80,000 Tenant Improvements $ 392,000 Charter One Bank Small Business Grants $ 15,000 Tenant Equipment, Signage, Fixtures $ 175,000 Downtown Cleveland Alliance Grant $ 10,000 NRAP - Tenant Loans $ 50,000 Tenant Equity $ 100,000 Total Uses of Funds $ 1,019,500 Total Sources of Funds $ 1,019,500 Project Name: 5th Street Arcades Total Uses = Total Sources Project Contact: Kevin Schmotzer Submission Category: Creative Financing Version: October 2014

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