Tuesday, May 21, 2013

City sells Tower Place for $1; Parking and retail coming

On May 1, Cincinnati City Council unanimously approved a property sale and development agreement for Downtown's Tower Place Mall, which will convert the property at Fourth and Race streets into parking and street-level retail.

Under terms of the agreement, the City will sell the property to the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation for $1. Following the removal of tax liens, easements, and other title encumbrances on the mall, the adjacent Pogue's Garage, and the skywalk and car ramp, the land bank will sell the property to JDL Warm Construction affiliate Brook Lane Holdings LLC for $1.

The sale will allow JDL Warm Construction to take on a $5 million redevelopment of the structure, adding between 525 and 700 parking spaces and at least 7,000 square feet of street-front retail.

No City funding is being used for the project.

The Pogue's Garage, its vehicular ramp, and skywalk will eventually be demolished.

To replace it, the City continues to negotiate to bring a 30-story, 300-unit apartment tower with a 15,000-square-foot high-end grocery store.

The City's $12 million contribution, to the project was supposed to come from the City's parking lease plan, a 30-year deal that would have provided a $92 million up-front payment to help fund several economic development projects. The deal was stopped in court and will be subject to a public vote on the November ballot.

The City's contribution would leverage an additional $82 million for the tower.

Opened in 1992, Tower Place Mall went into receivership in 2010. The City acquired the mall and garage in February for $8.5 million.

Previous reading on BC:
Dohoney: Parking Modernization Plan opens revenue stream, keeps City control (2/21/13)
City 'FAQs' address parking proposal misconceptions, concerns (12/21/12)
City plans offer for Tower Place in 9 days (11/20/12)
Elimination of Downtown, OTR parking minimums being studied (6/27/12)