Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO)

DSCDO's vision is to act as a catalyst for community building resulting in a diverse, sustainable and desirable neighborhood in which to live, work, play and shop. Its mission and vision drive the organization daily in the projects and programs it develops and operates. DSCDO seeks to make this neighborhood the premier lakefront community in Northeast Ohio while also assisting low- to moderate-income individuals and families, creating a socially and economically diverse neighborhood.

Founded as a grassroots organization, DSCDO has an extensive and successful neighborhood development track record. DSCDO provides many services to neighborhood residents including community organizing; collaboration with the Federal WEED and SEED program; the Home Weatherization Program for low income families; home repair loans and technical assistance; graffiti removal, exterior painting, and vacant lot beautification; coordination of block clubs around issues of housing code enforcement and safety; coordination of education and cultural diversity programs; and economic development and storefront renovation programs aimed at revitalizing the neighborhood's commercial districts.

From July 1, 2008 through the present, DSCDO's services and efforts have accomplished the following outcomes:
  • 80 housing units served by the Paint Program
  • 92 housing units served by the Home Weatherization Program, with an additional 20 units planned or in progress for May and June
  • 700 code enforcement visual inspections completed
  • 39 vacant housing units demolished
  • 9 entities under contract through the Storefront Renovation Program and 3 storefronts under development
  • 5,000 square feet of retail space under redevelopment
  • 211 apartments continually managed through the property management department
  • 33 new businesses recruited to the Detroit Shoreway community

In addition to these services, DSCDO is currently involved in various infrastructure, economic development, and housing activities throughout the neighborhood, including:

  • Strategic Investment Initiative - DSCDO was competitively chosen by Neighborhood Progress Inc., as one of the six target neighborhoods to participate in the Strategic Investment Initiative based on its track record for success, internal staff capacity, and existence of an anchor development project (Battery Park).
  • Cleveland Lakefront Plan - a $70 million project designed to better connect the City to the lake while converting the West Shoreway to a boulevard and improving access to Edgewater Park.
  • Gordon Square Arts District Master Plan - created to recruit new retail and guide the direction of the district.
  • Detroit Avenue Streetscape - the City of Cleveland and NOACA have committed $3 million in funding for the project, which will include public art, landscaping, improved parking, and widened sidewalks and pedestrian walkways.
  • Business Improvement District - DSCDO is in the process of creating a business improvement district to improve retail retention, expansion, and attraction while also serving as the post-streetscape supporting agent.
  • Battery Park - DSCDO partnered with Vintage Development Group to create the 328 unit, $100 million Battery Park development.


Located in the historic Gordon Square Arcade at Detroit Avenue and W.65th Street, the organization was founded in 1973 as a grassroots organization to work with residents and businesses with a goal of revitalizing the neighborhood.

The turning point for DSCDO was in 1979 when the Arcade’s cornice fell to the sidewalk and onto Detroit Avenue. The building was literally crumbling and DSCDO stepped in to not only facilitate the repairs and save the historic structure but become a real estate developer and property manager too. The organization was the first to receive an Urban Action Development Grant in the country in an effort to purchase the Gordon Square Arcade and save it from demolition.

In 1987, DSCDO became one of the first organizations to receive low income and historic tax credits in an effort to complete the arcade’s $4.2 million rehabilitation. Upon completion, the organization created 64 subsidized apartments, a 10,000 square foot office atrium, and 12,000 square feet of retail space. This enabled DSCDO to begin an aggressive real estate agenda in an effort to revitalize the neighborhood through, among other things, improved housing.

From 1990 to 2004, DSCDO and other non-profit partners collaborated to build and/or rehabilitate 500 housing units in order to lay the foundation for future growth. Because the non-profit sector entered the market to bridge the investment gap that private companies were not filling, developers and government officials saw the level of commitment coming from these organizations as an asset and a foundation upon which future development could be leveraged.

The accomplishments from the previous fifteen years have stimulated private investors to enter the neighborhood and aid in Detroit Shoreway’s revitalization. In 2007, the neighborhood led the city in new housing starts with the majority by private companies, something that was unheard of in the ‘90s. DSCDO is now redoubling our efforts to create affordable housing while preserving the character of the neighborhood and maintaining mixed-income demographics. 

A neighborhood with a view, a community with a vision.

The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization | 6516 Detroit Avenue | Cleveland, Ohio 44102 | 216.961.4242 thunder::tech :: a marketing agency

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