City considers future options of Tower Place Mall - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

City considers future options of Tower Place Mall

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

The City of Cincinnati recently paid $8.5 million for downtown's Tower Place Mall.

While it may seem like a high price for an almost vacant property, the location was the main selling point. It's right in the middle of the downtown area of a major city. In addition, the city bought it while it was in foreclosure.

FOX19 spoke with realtors, who claim it as a steal.

"For us to have control over what's going to happen in that key location in the city is very important as we go forward with development in the city," says Meg Olberding, spokeswoman for the City of Cincinnati.

Questions we asked: What are the options for the building? What is the city considering doing with it? What is needed downtown?

"One thing that we know is that there is an increasing demand across the country for living downtown," added Olberding. "In downtowns, that is where you're starting to see populations come back too."

However, she also conveyed the city has not made any kind of decision about what it will ultimately be.

Could it be like The Banks, with restaurants and bars? Ms. Olberding says possibly, but it's pretty obvious what it won't be is another mall. "If you stop and look back at what's happening in downtown malls, downtown malls are failing across the country, and what you see is people want the suburban experience for malls."

Some, of course, are not happy to see these stores close down.

"I'm very sad," said Gina Nieporte. "I've worked downtown for over ten years, and I used to do all my Christmas shopping here on my lunch break. So, I never had to go out on the weekends. It's sad. It's really sad to see it go."

"I'm worried about business," added Doug Kennedy, who own's 'Appointments,' a store that specializes in gifts at the mall. "There's a lot of people that don't know the fact that there's three buildings here."

Only one of them, Tower Place Mall, is shutting down.

"There's a lot of confusion about who's leaving and who's being evicted. My store and about twelve others are actually in the Carew Tower building," Kennedy explained. "This building's been here since 1931, and it's going nowhere. We are not being evicted. There are twelve stores operating here. Places like Appointments, Hunt Club, Marx Jeweler's, and Hathaway's which is an original tenant of this building."

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