CLEVELAND, Ohio — The owner of Tower City Center said Thursday it plans to retool the ailing downtown Cleveland mall into a “retail marketplace,” complete with new tenants and options for shoppers.
The Detroit-based Bedrock, a real estate company owned by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, plans to rehab the 366,000 square-foot space and make it “a hub for shopping, pop-up retail experiences, dining, and entertainment, while also bringing an influx of local small- and minority-owned,” according to a news release.
The announcement comes as mall owners in the Cleveland area and across the country continue to grapple with the fallout from decreased foot traffic in stores in 2020 on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tower City Center, part of Cleveland Union Terminal built in the 1920s, has operated under the name “The Avenue Shops” since 1990. Bedrock bought the mall and parking lot below it from Forest City Enterprises in 2016 for $56.5 million.
It has not been spared from the pandemic’s economic fallout and has seen its share of recent tenant closings, including the high-end Brooks Brothers store and Cleveland Cinemas’ movie theater.
Thursday’s news release makes no mention of “City Block,” a hub for startups and established businesses that a group then led by car dealer and Republican Senate candidate Bernie Moreno pushed a few years ago as the grand plan for Tower City Center and Prospect Avenue.
It does, however, mention that Bedrock is working with Cleveland-based economic development group Chain Reaction to mentor entrepreneurs and, for the winners of a combined, lease space at Tower City Center.
Bedrock said it is now leasing space and will soon have announcements on new tenants that are scheduled to open in fall.
Check back for updates.