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The job of selling Kenwood Collection

Developers of the newly named Kenwood Collection are in Las Vegas this week for the International Council of Shopping Center's Global Retail Real Estate Convention. There, David Birdsall, senior vice president of Strategic Investment Funds for Phillips Edison, hopes to find retailers for this new development.

Birdsall gave a preview of his pitch at the Business Courier's commercial Real Estate Developers Power Breakfast last month. The paper reports Birdsall explained, "it has the potential to house a collection of retailers not currently in the Greater Cincinnati market." Some people are wondering about the name change. He said, "We felt we needed something that was going to reflect a new direction."

Renderings of Kenwood Collection show seven floors of office space including a health club, spa and restaurants. Three of the levels will house retail. There will also be a rooftop garden and free parking.

The former Kenwood Towne Center has been sitting largely vacant since 2008. The project fell into bankruptcy after former developer Bear Creek Capital was unable to pay contractors. Bank of America originally acquired the property in July 2012 for $25.5 million. It soon sold the development to Phillips Edison.

Shortly after the sale to Bank of America customers outside Kenwood Towne Place talked to WVXU. Irene Frieman was outside Mitchell's Salon. From the parking she glanced at the unfinished development."You know, look how awful, I don't know, I'm not a builder and I don't know if it can be saved. It's so rusty."
She was there when stores dealt with power outages and emergency alarms.

Jeremy Riddle was working out at LA Fitness. "It's very disappointing. I work right around the block and used to come over here when Kroger was here. It was very convenient. It's been kind of detrimental to this area, such a beautiful area and (to) see this sit here year after year."

Birdsall, in the Business Courier speech, said the structural steel was in good shape. He estimates the 5 million people within 90 minutes of Kenwood Collection, have $15.5 billion in spending power.


Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.