I abhor malls, but they serve a purpose. When we moved to Cincinnati 8 years ago, I went to the now-defunct Tower Place Mall to get some boring work clothes, new underwear, etc. This kind of shopping is not really worth talking about, but its absence is.
It was really convenient to be able to take care of stuff like this right in the neighborhood, instead of venturing out to the ‘burbs. Kenwood Towne Centre? I’d rather die than spend an afternoon there.
Anyway, this mall seemed to be dying a slow death for a long time. For example, Nine West moved out and the De-Bugg Bedbug Elimination System moved in. Retail spaces were being used as meeting or office spaces, or sat empty, their windows decorated with the work of local artists. The place started emptying out more rapidly, and I only ever stopped in here to use the restroom.
One day earlier this year, the restroom was finally closed and, as I looked around, I noticed that everything was finally gone. Feeling as though I was the only person who’d survived the zombie apocalypse, I took these photos.
I went back the next day but the place was completely closed to the public. Luckily I’ve got these bizarre photos, including a panorama [click the photo to enlarge]:
In early May, I stopped by TJ Maxx on the edge of Tower Place Mall and found that it, too, was leaving downtown. Woe is me, where shall I buy socks and cheap sunglasses now?
Tower Place Mall is going to be turned into a parking garage, with a bit of street-facing retail or restaurant space on the first floor, while the parking garage across the street will be razed and replaced with a high-end apartment building/parking garage. The new name is Mabley Place, recalling the Mabley & Carew department store, once located next door in Carew Tower:
I’m no expert on these matters, but it seems to me that there’s a ton of parking in downtown Cincinnati, and almost every residential project focuses on high-end apartments. Meanwhile, despite a rising population in the Basin, running mundane errands right in the neighborhood isn’t getting easier and, in some cases, options are disappearing. High-end boutiques and destination restaurants are great and all but don’t solve day-to-day problems for residents.
Whenever I post anything about the Basin, I tag it “urban life,” which is counter-intuitive because Cincinnati’s version of urbanity doesn’t entirely dovetail with my understanding of the term. Maybe I want this place to be more urban than it actually is.