All Eyes on the LaSalle Arts and Media Center
We know everyone has been wondering how progress is going on the renovation of the historic LaSalle Theater on E. 185th, so we want to give you an update. After finding some unexpected extra construction costs, Northeast Shores Development Corporation had to regroup and seek additional funding to close the construction gap. We are happy to report that the LaSalle restoration is back on track and scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, so you should see a lot of workers and transformation happening on the site. Next year, NE Shores and members of the board are going to have to mount a capital campaign to add the finishing touches, but we are on track to get this important anchor restored so the facility can be used and enjoyed by the broad community.
The proposed central tenant of the project is still Taste of Excellence catering, who will be using the theater for weddings and other events when their clients need a large seated venue. With this is mind, the old movie house is being structurally changed inside, converted from a raked floor to a series of level platforms and the old narrow stage is being extended to accommodate a head table or presentation. When the building is complete, there will also be restored storefronts in the front of the building for small businesses to rent and remodeled 5, 1-2 bedroom, apartments upstairs. Stay tuned for a 2018 celebration.
In other news….
Northeast Shores is also getting back on track with scheduled community meetings at the Collinwood Rec Center. So mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 24th, 5:30 to 7:30. We are jumping to the 4th Tuesday instead of the 3rd Tuesday because Councilman Polensek has an event on that night and we want to make sure he’s available to update the community.
Under the leadership of new Executive Director Camille M. Maxwell and the Board of Directors of Northeast Shores Development Corporation (NESDC), we have determined that it is in the best interest of the organization and community we serve to temporarily move our base of operations. This move comes as we complete the LaSalle Arts & Media Center renovation while simultaneously planning the future of NESDC, which is now operating with reduced staff. Thanks to our strong ongoing partnership with Hospice of Western Reserve, we are proud to announce our move to smaller offices inside Hospice’s 300 E. 185th Street location. The move is planned for early November. This intentional transition also gives our very vital tenant, Twelve Literary and Performing Arts Inc. an opportunity to expand organically. Led by Executive Artistic Director, Daniel Gray-Kontar, this important and growing non-profit in our neighborhood will take over the entire first floor of our offices on E. 156th.
We are also working on securing a new and exciting tenant for the property on E. 185th and Hiller, where Northeast Shores originally planned on moving. This plan has obviously changed so the organization is working hard on filling the space with an enterprise that can bring jobs and new life to that historic corner.
The current board of Northeast Shores is working doubly hard to support the staff and continuing efforts in the community. We welcome any volunteers from the community who have time to attend committee meetings or help in any way during this transition. We will provide a list of volunteer opportunities at our quarterly meeting. See you all then.