Company offers to buy abandoned Kenwood Towne Place

KENWOOD, Ohio - From the buyer to township officials to the shoppers themselves, everyone seems happy with the news.

Phillips Edison has offered to buy the rusting eyesore looming above the Kenwood Towne Place shopping center.

Bank of America had the winning bid when the foreclosed property was put to auction, but was willing to sell that bid to Phillips Edison, a Sycamore Township company specializing in upscale shopping malls.

"It's great to be able to work on something in your hometown," said David Birdsall, the Senior Vice President of Strategic Investment Funds for Phillips Edison. "You want to be a positive force....That's probably one of the greatest things I'm looking forward to."

The company's plans are not far off the original concept.

"We're going to finish off the office and finish up the retail," said Birdsall. "I like the original skeleton. There may be some changes in terms of who the tenants were--or targeted to be--obviously Kroger left, so we'll have to backfill that."

Township officials are ecstatic.

One, because the property may now realize its potential, and, "We're glad to be done with all the attorneys," said Sycamore Township Trustee Thomas Weidman. "We're glad to move forward on this thing and put all the negative stuff behind us."

Coming out of The Container Store, one of the few operating businesses in the complex, Kia Bakunawa was happy to hear her visits from Alexandria may no longer include looking at rusting girders.

"I'm excited to see what they're going to make it into and how it's going to blend well with everything around here," she said.

The deal still needs to be approved by a judge, Birdsall says.

Once that happens, construction could begin by the end of the year.

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