About half of our team spent a July morning at Tower City Center with Jason Russell, Senior Director of Leasing and Operations and Deb Janik, Senior VP, Business Development. They shared the first steps for the re-imagining of the 32-acres which surround Terminal Tower, much of it owned by Bedrock Detroit.
What excites us most is knowing that Adjaye Associates is working on all of the details for the master plan which means world class design is headed our way. Many of us know Sir David Adjaye’s work designing the National Museum of African American History and Culture on The Mall in DC, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for this Cleveland landmark.
In 2021, Bedrock shared their Vision for the Valley.
Here’s what we learned from Jason and Deb:
- Bedrock is keenly aware that Tower City has been reimagined several times. This time around they are committed to a forward-thinking vision and plan to create a space that all of Greater Cleveland can benefit from for the next 100 years. Their goal is to return this beloved center of Public Square in downtown CLE to its proper prominence.
- Public access to the river behind Tower City is a vital part of the plan with the ultimate goal of creating a “Shore to Core to Shore” – connecting the Cuyahoga River to Public Square to Lake Erie and back.
- Deb shared that every time she walks through Terminal Tower’s doors, she feels the strong presence of Ruth Ratner Miller, the force behind the creation of Tower City, and is determined to make her proud of the end results.
- The project is incredibly complicated. Tower City is a transit hub, with RTA on the lower levels and trains running 20 hours a day. Ownership is shared with K&D (Terminal Tower Residences); Bedrock is responsible for the internal upkeep of the five road bridges that crisscross Tower City above including Prospect, Huron and W. 3rd.
- Tower City’s almost 400,000 SF of retail will mostly be repurposed as shopping habits have changed dramatically since the Terminal Tower opened in 1920, since it re-opened as Tower City in 1990, and then again pivoted after the global pandemic.
- Bedrock understands that today Downtown is a vibrant neighborhood with 20,000+ residents who need to be able to buy everyday basics from a nearby shop and so this plan is a balancing act.
- Knowing that Tower City‘s main concourse with skylights brings sunshine even on wintery days, Bedrock has created a gathering space with Skylight Park. The long defunct jumping fountains are now a greenspace filled with places to sit, read, talk, eat lunch and work on your laptop. Jason was thrilled to see Ritz-Carlton guests doing just this during its first week open, ‘build it and they will come’.
- Bedrock partnered with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park to fill planters that ring the main concourse with flowers and grasses indigenous to this region including purple coneflower and Black-eyed Susans. Listen closely to hear the piped in birdsongs which makes the setting come to life.
Looking to the Future
The naysayers are aplenty, quick to point out the temporary nature of Skylight Park. Bedrock shared that while Adjaye Associates create a master plan they don’t want to build permanence which may have to be torn down in a year or two.
With a portfolio of more than 100 properties totaling over 18 million square feet, Bedrock is the largest real estate partner in downtown Detroit injecting their city with entrepreneurial energy. Executive Arrangements is excited to see and hear what’s coming next and will support a vision that makes our city a better place to live for all.
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