The Tri-County Mall is no more. The $1B Artisan Village redevelopment is underway
Springdale's mostly vacant Tri-County Mall will undergo a $1 billion redevelopment to transform 76 acres into multifamily units, retail areas and more.
Artisan Village will be completed over five phases within the next 10 years. The first phase will start later this year and include 450 multifamily apartments, 40,000-square feet of retail space and restaurants, and 110,000-square feet of recreational space. The first phase will cost roughly half a billion dollars on its own.
During a panel discussion on Tuesday, DGW Consultants Chairman and CEO David Wallace says this is a "Class A development." These properties tend to have above average rent, but he notes one of the residential buildings (Tower 6) will be "market rate."
"I think everyone has seen what has happened to apartment rents, obviously they've kind of gone through the roof, not just in Cincinnati, but across the United States," Wallace said. "So too has the cost of construction and components associated with that as well."
Five jurisdictions within Hamilton County completed a "Housing Action Plan" pilot program in 2021 which showed rising rent and a shortage of affordable units are a problem in the county's housing market.
Development is being handled by MarketSpace Capital, which is based in Houston, and Park Harbor Capital, which is based in Dallas. When asked why Texas-based developers were interested in Springdale, Wallace, who is formerly the mayor of Sugar Land, Texas, said it was a matter of no one else wanting to take a bid on the project.
"What makes it difficult is that it's not just a single negotiation, you have to negotiate with Macy's, you have to negotiate with Sears, the mall owner that's in Singapore, and it became a bit of a difficult challenge, but we were able to do that," Wallace said.
BSB Group International came up with the name, which is based on research into the city of Springdale and the people who built the village more than 200 years ago. BSB Group is based in Cincinnati.
Out of the 2.7 million-square feet of concrete and steel on the property, 2.4 million of it will be reused. BHDP Design Leader Tom Arends says he hopes this project creates a "playbook" for future redevelopment of surrounding malls.
"Maybe there is a recipe, a formula, to get you there that other people just haven't seen yet or didn't want to take the risk," Arends said. "Someone's got to kind of be out there, kind of leading the pack and showing the way and showing how it can work and hopefully this becomes a blueprint of hopefully how other groups can do it."
According to WCPO, developers must secure private financing for roughly $800 million in construction planned for the site and finalize a bond issue through The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority. The Springdale Planning Commission has yet to consider a final development plan. Springdale City Council approved an April 20 ordinance that allows the developer to use tax-increment financing, or TIF payments, for municipal bonds.
The project will also include educational facilities and 15 acres of green space. A dog-friendly restaurant will be joined with an accompanying five-acre dog park.
Incubator Kitchen Collective will partner with Artisan Village to create a "culinary and hospitality training center" aiming to develop local culinary talent and "accelerate innovation." A mid-sized grocery store and community pharmacy will also be developed.
A DORA district will also be coming to Artisan Village and will include a large outdoor entertainment venue for concerts and community events. Two hotels will also be part of the development with a total of 400 keys.
Tri-County Mall was built in 1960 with 1.3 million-square feet of retail space. The mall's last anchor store, Macy's, closed in April 2021. According to WCPO, of the mall’s four anchor buildings, only Sears will be demolished. The former Dillard’s store will house a Springdale recreation center and a 120,000-square foot STEAM School, where students from the Princeton City School District will learn robotics, computer programming and music production in half-day excursions.