CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Saks Fifth Avenue is relocating from downtown Cincinnati to open a store in Kenwood.
The retailer signed a letter of intent Wednesday morning to relocate to The Kenwood Collection, according to project developer and owner Phillips Edison & Co.
David Birdsall, a developer with Phillips Edison, says the move could even benefit downtown.
"It's an opportunity for downtown to get some great space back across the street from Dunn Humby," says Birdsall. "You can't look at it as Kenwood versus downtown. You have to look at it as 'hey Saks committed to stay in this region.'"
Saks plans to lease approximately 80,000 square feet of retail space over two levels of the building, which is located near Kenwood Towne Centre and overlooks Interstate 71.
The store is scheduled to open in spring of 2016.
With Saks as an anchor, Phillips Edison & Co. hope to create The Kenwood Collection as a premiere shopping experience.
Phillips Edison's Strategic Investment Fund purchased and renamed the project in July of 2012 from a bank lending group led by Bank of America.
Adjacent to Kenwood Towne Centre in Sycamore Township, the Kenwood Collection consists of 300,000-square-feet of upscale retail and approximately 200,000-square-feet of office space.
Many Kenwood area shoppers are excited about the move.
"I think it's great because the more people come here, the more money the more jobs the better for our community," says Kenwood area shopper, Liz Sudberry.
However, some downtown shoppers are a bit disappointed.
"I'm kind of disappointed," says shopper Stanley Willis. "I was hoping they would stay in the city."
The move will be a loss for downtown, but at least one city council member predicts downtown will survive.
"Of course the city would have rather kept Saks here, but I remain very bullish, very optimistic about downtown," says P.G. Sittenfeld. "I think the momentum here is going to continue to snowball."
A Saks Fifth Avenue spokesperson released this statement:
"Saks Fifth Avenue is excited to announce that we have signed a letter of intent to move into The Kenwood Collection, upon the project's completion. We have enjoyed almost thirty years in downtown Cincinnati and have forged strong relationships within the community, which will continue to be our priority. The new 80,000 square foot, two-level store will enable to us to better serve our customers with a beautiful new shopping environment and will move us closer to our existing customers. The new, larger store will position us for many years of future success in the Cincinnati market and we look forward to welcoming the community to the store. In the meantime, it will be business as usual at our existing store."
Saks Fifth Avenue first opened its downtown store in 1983.