Growth Potential- Kendal at Mendelsohn Park

Investing in New and Existing Partnerships

In pursuit of our values and mission, Kendal remains open to new opportunities for innovation, growth, partnerships, and creative solutions. A recent opportunity for growth has risen in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, involving The Kendal Corporation, Kendal at Oberlin and Kendal at Home. Working together, and with other partners, the hope is to develop another new Kendal community on a historic site that offers an extraordinary and attainable Kendal senior living model.  The three Kendal entities have named the project “Kendal at Mendelsohn Park”.

Medelsohn Dome

The property under consideration for development is special as it includes the historic Park Synagogue building, the first and one of four synagogues in the United States designed by the renowned modernist architect Eric Mendelsohn. It is acknowledged as one of the most significant post–World War II buildings in the United States and features a magnificent copper dome in a dramatic and beautiful setting. The building, slated for preservation as a part of this project, has been vacant for several years and sits on a parklike 28-acre piece of land in the heart of Cleveland Heights.

Sustainability and Adaptive Reuse

It first garnered the attention of  Sustainable Community Associates (SCA), which now manages the property. SCA is an impact development firm focused on using sustainable design principles to build housing and revive communities. The company was founded in 2002 by three Oberlin College alumni, Naomi Sabel, Ben Ezinga, and Josh Rosen, and focuses on preserving the historical significance of buildings. The group was looking for a partner who would help provide important housing options to the community while committing to the preservation and adaptive reuse of the Mendelsohn building, which is slated to become a World Heritage Site.

site map Kendal at Medelsohn Park

“The venture started with an inquiry from SCA,” shares Steve Bailey, Chief Strategy Officer. “Naomi, Ben and Josh have relationships with Oberlin College and Kendal and felt that interests would align for this opportunity. After some initial discovery, Kendal agreed that the prospect was worth further exploration.” Progress to date has included market studies, initial architectural planning and a declaration of intent signed by involved parties. Conversations with the Oberlin College of Arts Program are also underway.

Attainable for Those with Modest Incomes

The goal is for pricing to be attainable for older adults with modest incomes, integrating “At-Home” services in an intergenerational, sustainably built community that preserves the significance of the Park Synagogue building and the beautiful property. By forging together with shared reputations and resources, the Kendal Corporation, Kendal at Oberlin and Kendal at Home will work with others to explore what is possible.

Barbara Thomas, CEO of Kendal at Oberlin, shares, “Having grown up in Cleveland Heights, personally, I know this location offers both a gem of a site and a treasured building with a valued history. Kendal at Oberlin looks forward to collaborating with others to bring added senior housing options combined with onsite cultural enrichment at an affordable cost.”

Strategic Exploration

pretty nature with bridge Park Synagogue

The Kendal Corporation’s Innovation, Growth and Impact team receives many inquiries from new and existing communities hoping to be a part of Kendal.  The team reviews each inquiry, dedicating time to investigation and analysis before a project can move onto the drawing board.  While this new endeavor in Cleveland Heights is still in the exploratory phase, it illustrates how two existing Affiliates and KCorp can combine their history of successes and determination and work to create something new and unique.

Continued progress: Enso Verde, located in the Simi Valley region, began accepting initial priority deposits this year with an anticipated 2027 opening date. Another new Kendal community is also being explored in northern California.