Organizational History

In 1973 Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) is established by neighborhood leaders Raymond L. Pianka, Father Marino Frascati and Councilman Michael Zone, and Pianka is named DSCDO’s founding Executive Director.



Seeing beyond the deterioration that had begun to afflict the area, these leaders envisioned a renewed Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Together they united residents, businesses and institutions around a redevelopment plan, starting with the neighborhood’s anchor building, the Gordon Square Arcade. 



The parapet wall of the Gordon Square Arcade crashes onto West 65th Street, crushing the Capitol Theatre marquee. The City of Cleveland threatens the Arcade Building with demolition. DSCDO is able to acquire the building from its landlord. 



The young organization secures one of the country’s first Urban Development Action Grants to replace the roof of the Gordon Square Arcade and stabilize the building. 

DSCDO becomes an affordable housing developer. The second and third floor apartments of the Gordon Square Arcade, 64 in total, are completed in the late 1980s using Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Today, DSCDO owns and maintains over 300 units of affordable housing. 

Resident groups and block clubs begin to flourish, with support from DSCDO. 



The Bridge Brigade block club becomes one of the first neighborhood groups to self-organize around quality of life issues, including crime and vacant housing, working with DSCDO towards renewed investment on Bridge Avenue. 



DSCDO’s affordable housing development work continues, with Low Income Housing Tax Credits used in combination with Historic Tax Credits to preserve historic buildings. In addition, DSCDO revitalizes nearly 50,000 square feet of commercial retail space along Detroit Avenue. 



Cleveland EcoVillage is created, a national demonstration project and one of Cleveland’s first transit-oriented developments. In 2004, Greater Cleveland RTA invests $1.4 million in the West 61st Red Line Rapid Transit station at EcoVillage’s core, which is rebuilt according to green building standards. 



DSCDO provides site control services and logistical support for the emergence of community-maintained gardens, green spaces, and pocket parks, such as Simmons Park, the West Clinton Labyrinth, and the Ithaca Court Community Garden. 



DSCDO, Cleveland Public Theatre and Near West Theatre establish the Gordon Square Arts District, a $30 million capital campaign that will revitalize the Capitol Theatre, renovate Cleveland Public Theatre, build a new home for Near West Theatre, add streetscape improvements and improve parking.

The $30 million goal is reached in 2014 and the Gordon Square Arts District board opts to continue its work in the neighborhood, with a focus on public art, support for local artists, and district branding. 

DSCDO assists Gypsy Beans & Baking Co. with its build out, lease-up and opening in the DSCDO-owned Kennedy Building—the first coffee shop to open in the neighborhood in decades. 



DSCDO re-opens the Capitol Theatre as part of the Gordon Square Arts District capital campaign. A complex financing structure is used to renovate the Capitol, with $7.5 million coming from New Market Tax Credits, State and Federal Historic Tax Credits, a grant from the State of Ohio, a grant from Cuyahoga County, a loan from the City of Cleveland, and philanthropic funds. 



DSCDO becomes the parent organization of the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton, and Brooklyn Center Community Development Office, which serves the neighborhoods directly south of Detroit Shoreway. In 2016, the SCFBC office changes its name to Metro West. 



DSCDO joins Ohio City Incorporated and Tremont West Development Corporation in establishing the Near West Recreation League. 



The Cleveland Orchestra completes its first neighborhood residency in Gordon Square with DSCDO’s support. 



Detroit Shoreway is selected as the host neighborhood for “Cleveland Hustles,” a reality TV show created by LeBron James and Maverick Carter. DSCDO connects the show’s producers with commercial space, resulting in 4 new businesses and over $1M in new investment. 

The organization completes the Southwest Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood Plan, an area plan for streets south of Madison Avenue and west of West 65th Street. 



DSCDO staff achieve 100% participation in training with the Racial Equity Institute. 



DSCDO and Cudell Improvement Inc. enter into a strategic alignment to provide community development services in the Detroit Shoreway, Cudell and Edgewater neighborhoods. 



DSCDO completes its first new construction project, Aspen Place- a $10.7 million investment, located on the corner of West 61st Street and Lorain Avenue. Aspen Place incorporates the values of the Cleveland EcoVillage and provides 40 affordable apartments and a retail storefront adjacent to the West 65th-Lorain Rapid Station.


Learn about the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood history here.