Hamilton Brown, Niro to lead St. Clair-Superior CDC

The St. Clair-Superior neighborhood of Cleveland is located near the Lake Erie shore east of downtown to the Glenville neighborhood. This view looks west on St. Clair Avenue from East 60s toward downtown (SCSDC). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM.

CDC faces challenges, opportunities

A well-known name in Cleveland development circles this week has lost the “interim” prefix to her job title as executive director of the St. Clair Superior Development Corporation (SCSDC) in Cleveland. Not only did Terri Hamilton Brown become the Cleveland neighborhood’s new permanent director, Michael Niro was named chair of the development corporation’s board by unanimous board votes, announced today.

The statement by the board said the two leaders are paving the way for change and improvement in Cleveland’s St. Clair Superior neighborhood, along and south of the lakefront, from just east of downtown to Glenville.

“Together, Terri and Michael are prepared to launch St. Clair-Superior into a new chapter, one that aligns with SCSDC’s strategic goals for the neighborhood,” the announcement read. “With Terri and Michael as our guides, St. Clair Superior will become a stronger neighborhood where its residents and businesses thrive together.”

Hamilton Brown replaced former director Jeremy Taylor who left without explanation in December. Taylor was unsupportive of a redevelopment vision for the neighborhood called the “Re-Discover St. Clair-Superior Plan” commissioned by Cleveland City Council and conducted by the Famicos Foundation, another east-side community development corporation which works primarily in Hough and Glenville. Taylor suggested Famicos was intruding on SCSDC’s turf.

SCSDC’s service area includes Cleveland’s Asiatown, plus a growing arts-light industrial district along and north of St. Clair Avenue. The neighborhood also has the CHEERS lakefront recreation project and the former Lake Shore Power Plant site that has a new owner but no announced plan for reusing the 60-acre property. There is redevelopment potential in the neighborhood.

St. Clair-Superior Development Corp. has made permanent the interim hiring of Terri Hamilton Brown as executive director and named Michael Niro as its board chair (SCSDC).

Most recently, in June 2023, Hamilton Brown was appointed by Mayor Justin Bibb as the city’s interim economic development director after Tessa Jackson was reportedly fired. A permanent replacement for Jackson was found in former Ohio City Inc.’s Tom McNair who was hired as economic development director two months later.

“Terri Hamilton Brown describes herself and her career as that of a community builder,” today’s SCSDC’s announcement said. “For more than 30 years she has served in professional and volunteer roles in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Chicago, IL, leading transformational initiatives that have resulted in great impact on neighborhoods and people.”

She has held executive roles at the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, University Circle Inc. and National City Bank. She worked as vice president of development for the Midwest Region at The Community Builders, a national nonprofit developer of mixed-income and mixed-use development.

Hamilton Brown’s civic and volunteer experience includes serving on committees and boards at Cleveland Foundation, United Way, Urban League, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Cleveland Metropolitan School District, to name a few.

Recently, she was engaged as a project consultant to Cleveland Neighborhood Progress to advance the acquisition and stabilization of the historic Shaker Square commercial shopping center and she currently serves as an active member of the city of Cleveland’s Board of Zoning Appeals.

The 62-acre former Lake Shore Power Plant property, now owned by a site clean-up firm, offers a significant lakefront development opportunity what with the $300 million Port of Cleveland-led and Cleveland Metroparks’ recreation area planned across Interstate 90, just east of downtown Cleveland. Both sites are in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood (Google).

“Michael Niro is an experienced financial leader with over 20 years of experience working with a multitude of leaders to improve an organization’s performance,” the today’s announcement said.

He is the treasurer and senior director of finance at blender maker Vitamix, headquartered in Olmsted Township. Prior to joining Vitamix, he served as vice president and chief financial officer at Greater Cleveland Foodbank. Before that he spent 18 years at Nestle in Solon, eventually becoming their foodservice sales controller, group manager and head of sales finance.

Additionally, Niro has instructed courses at Lakeland Community College, Kent State University and Cleveland State University in the areas of finance and real estate. He is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University, later earning a doctorate of business administration in finance from Cleveland State.

Lastly, SCSDC noted that it is seeking to hire people for two available positions. One is an administrative assistant and the other job is an assistant director of housing and economic development. For more information on those positions, see SCSDC’s careers page at its Web site.


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