The Art of The Deal: Cleveland's Van Aken District

Date October 20, 2021
Location Zoom
Time 11 AM - NOON(CDT)
Questions or assistance with registration? Contact CREW Network at or (785) 832-1808.

Webinar Wednesday with your CREW

The Van Aken District—a $97 million USD mixed-use, transit-oriented development project in Cleveland’s historic Shaker Heights neighborhood—has revitalized the city’s downtown into a vibrant urban hub. Join our panelists as they discuss the development’s 20-year journey from vision to master plan design concept to the hugely successful and award-winning Phase 1 completion.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • The steps and players required to take a large-scale mixed-use development from vision to completion, including obstacles and successes
  • How development teams can overcome the challenges involved in transforming a historic area into a new urban downtown
  • The importance of public-private partnerships and transit-oriented development as a vehicle for neighborhood and economic revitalization
  • How encouraging a strong female presence and entrepreneurial spirit resulted in 15+ women-owned small businesses anchoring 80,000 square feet of retail
  • Plans for Phase II of the project, including a 200-unit high-rise apartment



Program Moderator
Teresa Metcalf Beasley
Member, Chair of Public Law Practice Group, McDonald Hopkins LLC


Teresa is a member and chair of the firm's Public Law Practice Group. She is experienced in bond transactions, economic development incentives, and real estate development and financing. She has served as bond, underwriter’s, borrower’s as well as placement agent counsel. She has represented private sector for profit and non-profit entities and local, county and state governmental agencies, including municipalities, port authorities, higher education, commercial financing real estate matters, construction, and government relations.



Mackenzie Makepeace
Development Director, The Max Collaborative


Mackenzie Makepeace is the development director at The Max Collaborative, a commercial real estate company owned and operated by members of the Max Ratner family. In her role Mackenzie is responsible for leading development projects and supporting the chief development officer in building internal capabilities.



Evan S. Hirsch
Principal, Singerman, Mills, Desberg, Kauntz Co., LPA


Evan Hirsch focuses his practice on representing individuals and companies engaged in real estate and business transactions. His clients include manufacturers and service providers in various industries, as well as tenants, landlords, developers, and lending institutions. Hirsch has experience in commercial real estate acquisitions, sales, development, financing, leasing and joint venture formation. He is also experienced in business acquisitions and sales, corporate organization/governance, and general contract drafting and review.



Laura Englehart
Director of Economic Development, City of Shaker Heights


Laura Englehart serves as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Shaker Heights where she manages commercial development and helps small businesses grow and thrive. Prior to joining Shaker, Laura practiced law at Kohrman Jackson and Krantz, regularly serving as project manager and negotiator of major deals to create and retain jobs in Northeast Ohio. Originally from Shaker Heights, Laura returned home after working in the U.S. Senate to advance business and community development in Ohio.



Pair the webinar with networking

Gather a group of CREW members in your market, bring a lunch and participate in the webinar and networking together for a flat fee.

$50 USD – individual member viewing
$150 USD – unlimited member/group viewing

Space is limited. Registration closes at midnight CST on Monday, Oct. 18. An email to access the webinar will be sent to all registrants prior to the presentation. All registrants will receive a link to the recording following the webinar.