Changes coming to Tower Place?

By Sara Gouedy - bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Big changes could soon be coming to Tower Place Mall in the form of major renovations.

Developers who own the property have already started opening up new businesses, and promise there is more to come.

The changes won't be so major that it alters the downtown skyline, but developers want to upgrade the mall, bringing in some features downtown hasn't had in years.

Vacant storefronts and shuttered businesses have long plagued the mall, so a new plan for the property submitted by it's owner, Northeastern Security Development, has it's share of critics.

"I just don't think it's necessary for this downtown area, the people aren't here yet," said Chris Moser, who works downtown."

Inside this downtown landmark, developers want to place a movie theater, grocery store, several specialty shops, mid-priced restaurants, a performing arts center and possibly more.

Huff Realty's Steven Frankel says the mall's owners are actively looking for tenants to fill out the space and bring people back to the mall.

Frankel says that includes the opening of stores like Everheart, a gift boutique that opened this week.

"I think there's some good potential. There's a lot of business to be tapped into down here, there's a large work force," said Andrew Harris, the owner of Everheart.

For the most part, ideas for the property have been supported by city leaders.

"Having that kind of retail energy makes living downtown easier, it makes working downtown better," said Cincinnati council member Chris Bortz.

But council members have concerns about Northeastern Security's desire to separate the mall property from the garage above it.

"It really creates challenges. You could end up with different owners, you could end up with a mall that goes dark," said Bortz. "Keeping that property tied to the mall is really critical, but the city has offered to put pretty much anything else on the table to help these guys make it work."

Bortz says the city's economic development committee hopes to hear more form the Northwestern Security Development on their plans for Tower Place Mall in the next few weeks.