Two organizations with development goals in very different neighborhoods are looking for ways to join efforts and share resources.
The Buckeye Area Development Corporation and the Shaker Heights Area Development Corporation have hired private consultant Randy McShephard to research how the two organizations can better complement each other.
Officials from both groups stressed that talks are preliminary and discussions of any merger are far from finished.
“We have only had discussions and talks about how we can be more cooperative. There has been no decision on any merger,’’ said Pamela George-Merrill, executive director of SHAD.
George-Merrill said the two organizations serve neighborhoods with common borders and common concerns.
John Hopkins, BADC’s executive director, said it is far too soon to talk about merging.
Buckeye Road, home to a predominately African-American community.
“We are definitely meeting and evaluating our options,’’ Hopkins said. “There could be some mutual benefits to working more closely together. But we don’t want to jump the gun and get people too high or too low about our decision.’’
BADC serves a mostly African-American community and has strong support from its residents with some 30 block and street clubs. They provide merchants with community policing tips as well as safety efforts like the lead paint campaign to prevent children from exposure.
SHAD promotes itself as “a cosmopolitan setting,’’ with rich diversity — racially,
economically and socially. Its neighborhoods of Shaker Square and Larchmere are more affluent and boast much historic architecture.
But BADC has some exciting developments in the works with the $70 million, 28-acre Legacy at Saint Luke’s Pointe planned on the grounds of the former Saint Luke’s Hospital. An estimated 85 single homes and townhouses will be clustered around a central park.
Both groups can benefit from sharing resources to protect the rich diversity and historical landmarks that inhabit their neighborhoods.
“We don’t know where this will go but there are benefits for both of us,’’ George-Merrill said.
By Maggi Martin
NV contributing writer