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Sycamore Township: Kenwood Collection

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^I asked my wife, who worked in retail in Chicago for almost 10 years, to rank Von Maur compared to other department stores.  She said it is roughly equal to Nordstrom, if not a little nicer.  She said that she likes it better than Saks, but Saks is significantly more upscale.

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By the way, the idea that Von Maur is as upscale as Saks.....really?????

  I SAID:  "Von Maur is much more upscale than Macy's/Dillard's, if not as upscale as SAKS."  MEANING:  Von Maur is much more upscale than Macy's/Dillard's  EVEN THOUGH not as upscale as SAKS.    GEEZ people!!!

 

You also need an education on upscale vs. luxury.  Liberty Center will be upscale.  Kenwood Collection will be luxury.  Kenwood Towne Centre is upscale.  See the difference?????  Yes, Liberty Center will be the premier mix use development in the entire Cincinnati Metro.    As far as speculation about Von Maur is concerned, I believe they will open two stores here (they have two in Indy).  One at Liberty Center (in phase 2).  The other at Florence Mall (to replace Sears).     

 

 

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One interesting tidbit from all the reporting today.  Sales at Kenwood Towne Center apparently are over $800.00/sq. ft.  This is inline stores only.  That's pretty impressive and puts it as one of the top malls in the country.  For comparison, Florence Mall's s/sf is $360.00.  At Eastgate Mall, $300.00. 

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^ I wonder what Kenwood's numbers would be if you took the Apple Store out of the equation.  They can easily pull in 10x the sales per square foot seen in the rest of the mall. 

 

Overall it's not surprising to see the highest end stuff concentrating in Kenwood as other malls decant.  No other nearby center could hope to get the critical mass of upscale/luxury stores, so the gravitate to one place near most of their clientele.  It's not unlike how the Hyde Park Kroger sucks a lot of the life out of other nearby stores, especially in some of the more questionable neighborhoods. 

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I suspect that site will eventually be redeveloped - it hasn't been able to fill several of its big box tenants in years. It's hard to imagine that that was the first enclosed mall in that area, anchored by a Shillito's. It was redeveloped around 1994 into what it is today.

 

Back then, Kenwood Plaza/Kenwood Towne Centre was a strip mall with anchors, the remains of which you can see behind the parking deck.

 

http://mall-hall-of-fame.blogspot.com/search?q=kenwood

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That would be where the Shillito's department store was, and those escalators are new. From what I gathered from the aerials at http://historicaerials.com, the footprint was the same for the department store - so they either carved out the interior to make it into one large atrium or demolished the department store and built anew. It also looks like they padded the corners of the mall to make it more rectangular.

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The original shopping center, Kenwood Plaza, was an open-air strip center. At one end, in a separate building was Pogues, now where Nordstrom is located. At the other end was McAlpins, which became Dillards. There was no Shillitos. The first Shillitos showed up across Montgomery Rd in what was originally called Kenwood Mall, then renamed Sycamore Plaza.

 

When the decision was made to expand Kenwood Plaza, double deck and enclose it to create Kenwood Towne Center, a wing was added off the north rear and a new anchor store created into which Shillito, now Macy moved. When the enclosed mall began to fall out of favor, many of the stores had their back walls broken out and entrances created off the parking lot. Kind of a real hodgepodge of parking and store entrances.

 

What is now Kenwood Collection sits on a parcel of ground along I-71 formerly occupied by an insurance company. I am not a fan since I feel they tried to cram too much on a small parcel of land. There is an obvious confusion since Kenwood Towne Center and Kenwood Collection have two different owners and management companies, thus the two names, though any logical person would consider one an extension of the other.

 

It will be interesting to see what does or does not happen to the Sycamore Plaza south across Montgomery Rd which has recently changed ownership. Just saw today that Barnes & Noble has announced they will be closing their store in Sycamore Plaza. They occupied part of the space of the original Shillito. Apparently they and the new owner could not agree on a lease renewal. For a number of years the lower level was a furniture store outlet of McAlpins. Have no idea what if anything is there now. Years ago we went to the location to shop every week since the building housed a Thriftway Market, our grocery shopping of choice. I liked the location since it had an entrance off both Montgomery and Kenwood Rds, was not huge, and you could find a parking space reasonably close to your destination. I will be curious as to what ends up there. But one thing is sure, with the announcement Saks will be relocating to the Kenwood Collection across the street their value as a retail destination has just increased. In fact, I believe the Montgomery Rd entrance shares a light with an entrance into the Nordstrom lot across the street. You can drive from one to the other.

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^kjbrill, I think that there is still a Macy's Furniture Store in the lower level of Sycamore Plaza (though I haven't been there recently enough to offer confirmation).  Obviously the upper levels, in addition to the Barnes and Noble, have a Dick's Sporting Goods, Men's Wearhouse, etc. 

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Yes, it's still Macy's Furniture Gallery - was just there last week. They are carrying stuff for their "urban collections," and the models for those mimic urban environments - exposed brick walls and such. Actually quite nice furniture for those spaces since not everyone wants oversized furniture and huge ornate wood chunks in their home.

 

I think the best use for that mall and that whole corner is to redevelop it into its next best use. We already know that there is a critical mass of shoppers in that area - and another shopping center is probably not needed. And those strip centers on Kenwood Road got delivered a huge blow when the center turn lane was removed in favor of a fixed barrier - and no u-turn movements at the traffic signals due to the small radii.

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^What do you think the best use for it is at this point, Sherman?  Maybe more office space or even residential? 

 

I would love for one of these obsolete shopping centers to be demolished and turned into a new urbanist mixed-use development.

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Being in a hole next to I-71, I don't see that panning out.  Office/retail sure, but I can't imagine anyone wanting to live there. 

 

Maybe in a fantasy world with...

 

I-71 LRT

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The Rookwood Exchange is just as close to I-71 and much smaller in terms of acreage, and they've managed to squeeze in a hotel, office, restaurants, and apartments right next to the highway. Admittedly, the Exchange is not the most pedestrian-friendly layout, but it seems like Sycamore Plaza (roughly 30 acres) could be re-purposed to support a mix of uses similar to the Exchange. The Fresh Market next door would make it convenient for residential. And for what it's worth, I'm pretty sure it would fall within the Indian Hill School District, which would ensure there'd be demand for residential units from parents with kids. Seems like there are probably a lot of restrictions around building apartments in the Indian Hill School District... but I'm not sure whose jurisdiction that zoning would fall under.  Does anybody know the process for getting approval to build new residential units in that area?

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what would be really nice is if they took it and did something mixed use like oakley station was going to be originally, dense, lots of apartments, retail or whatever, and tout it as transit oriented development since it would be right by the metro plus stop for the mall.  just think of all the amenities people living in apartments there would have, kenwood mall and collection, lots of restaurants within walking distance, a couple of grocery stores, salons, a movie theater, etc...a guy can dream right?

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^What do you think the best use for it is at this point, Sherman?  Maybe more office space or even residential? 

 

I would love for one of these obsolete shopping centers to be demolished and turned into a new urbanist mixed-use development.

 

Agreed. Especially if it could have good walkability to Kenwood, I think it would be one of the hottest and more sustainable places to live in the tri-state.

 

I know at the Greene in Dayton, the condos and apartments within the complex there are in high demand.

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Kenwood Towne Place developer Daniels takes the stand

Tom Demeropolis Reporter- Cincinnati Business Courier

 

 

Matt Daniels, the former developer of Kenwood Towne Place, took the witness stand Tuesday afternoon on the ninth day of his criminal trial.

 

During his more than three hours of testimony, Daniels chronicled his career, from picking up trash and getting lunch to becoming one of the four managing members of Kenwood Towne Place LLC. Daniels is facing 23 criminal counts of fraud related to the failed $175 million development in front of District Judge Michael Barrett. Contractors walked off the Kenwood Towne Place job in late 2008 because of unpaid bills. Daniels’ trial started Dec. 5.

 

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2013/12/17/kenwood-towne-place-developer-daniels.html

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Government: Daniels knew more about Kenwood project financing

Dec. 18, 2013 

Written by Bowdeya Tweh

 

Government attorneys worked Wednesday to show that real estate developer Matt Daniels knew more about dubious activities within the firms developing troubled Kenwood Towne Place than he told the jury.

 

Daniels, 49, spent more than six hours on the witness stand Tuesday and Wednesday, most of it spent answering questions from his attorney Ben Dusing.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20131218/BIZ/312180182/Government-Daniels-knew-more-about-Kenwood-project-financing?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

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Kenwood Towne Place developer Daniels takes the stand

Tom Demeropolis Reporter- Cincinnati Business Courier

 

 

Matt Daniels, the former developer of Kenwood Towne Place, took the witness stand Tuesday afternoon on the ninth day of his criminal trial.

 

During his more than three hours of testimony, Daniels chronicled his career, from picking up trash and getting lunch to becoming one of the four managing members of Kenwood Towne Place LLC. Daniels is facing 23 criminal counts of fraud related to the failed $175 million development in front of District Judge Michael Barrett. Contractors walked off the Kenwood Towne Place job in late 2008 because of unpaid bills. Daniels’ trial started Dec. 5.

 

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2013/12/17/kenwood-towne-place-developer-daniels.html

 

It is the type of criminal complaint this type of individual needs to be charged with and convicted of. Mainly because it affects so many peoples lives. This projet has affected how many people? It was stopped in midstream which affected how many people who were working on it? It affected many people in their everday lives since their income just plained stopped. I hope the courts find him responsiblle and basically fine him enough they take not only all of his assets but find it a ciminal offense which puts him away in the pen for a number of years.

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Wow, I can't believe this guy got off!  Good luck keeping your real estate business going though (as he mentions in the article), that is going to be a tough row to plow.  I wonder if he really was innocent or the prosecution botched the case?

 

 

Jury finds KTP developer Matt Daniels not guilty

Tom Demeropolis Reporter- Cincinnati Business

 

 

The jury has handed in its verdict in the criminal trial of former Kenwood Towne Place developer Matt Daniels.

 

The jury found Daniels not guilty not all charges.

 

Daniels was visibly emotional as the verdicts were read, wiping tears from his eyes. He mouthed "thank you," to the jury.

 

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2013/12/20/jury-finds-ktp-developer-matt-daniels.html

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If Matt Daniels is not guilty of bank fraud in the Kenwood Towne Center Development, then who is? Millions of dollars just kind of disappeared in that development. Somebody has to be guilty. Contractors got shafted and not paid. Innocent workers lost what they worked for. Seems like our government is incapable of assigning blame and demanding restitution.

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It didn't get  completed for a reason.

 

Would you care to identify that reason? I started a separate thread on this subject, because I believe an injustice has been done here.

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Everything was lined up for this project. If you didn't pay contractors to complete the building you had to pay someone and that money had to go somewhere.

 

Yes, and if it did not go to to the people entitled to it by their claims of work performed, that is where the fraud comes in. Many of the contractors filed suits over not being paid. As you said, the money had to go somewhere. That is where the claims of fraud come in. But our courts have ruled no fraud, so here we are.

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If the courts found no signs of fraud, I'm guessing that things must have gone well over budget, and there simply was no money left to pay contractors toward the end.

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While I agree with you, he was found innocent by a jury, not the government.

 

Juries simply vote on the evidence presented, and I believe are mostly objective. So the government simply did not put together enough of a convincing case. But someone should still be held responsible for the money which seemed to just disappear.

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If the courts found no signs of fraud, I'm guessing that things must have gone well over budget, and there simply was no money left to pay contractors toward the end.

 

That is just too simplistic an approach. If you are a developer, you are responsible for the contracts you enter into. If you are so inept at evaluating the costs, then you should be left holding the bill. Come on, something was rotten here from the get-go and still noone is being held to task for it.

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It is sad that people got hurt financially they way they did on that project and pretty much gotten next to nothing on the dollar if anything at all.  However, everyone that got involved in that project....was warned from the start.

 

It is no secret in this town that BCC had previous "issues" long before the start of that debacle of a project. Say as you wish, flame me if you want, but everyone in this town knows that is a true statement.

 

I remember driving on 71 south one afternoon with a colleague on our way to a meeting just after the parking garage was starting to come out of the ground...looking over and shaking my head...and I said "it will never finish". If only I had put a bet on that one.... 8-)

 

I read an article right after the trial started, where I believe it was John Kraft who mentioned something along the lines that most people felt that the project a huge local marquee, big project, big dollar, and....here is the big one...."was too big to fai"l. Well Mr. Kraft...that glassy eyed vision sure didn't come true now did it? Hmmm...where have we heard "too big to fail" before? Just sayin....

 

It is hard to squarely put the blame on one entity here but my synopsis is this:

 

30% of the blame goes to BOA:

 

From the documents made available to the public throughout this entire ordeal, and having been involved with developers myself from time  to time , it sure looks like they did a shitty shitty job of performing due diligence of the formed partnership, the project structure,  and the other entities involved. From the financial side, all the way through the load disbursement process anyone involved in the the construction / development industry within the last 25 years can see the glaring problems that were allowed to happen. I don't think we need to dive into each and every mistake we would be here until 2024, but you get my meaning. I actually found it hillarious that the govt. actually put the "construction loan administrator" on the stand. While I am sure her testimony was helpful in having people understand the draw process and the questions / concerns she did bring up to the BCC and others over some of the "errors" as she said, and she was able to corroborate the communication trail she had....the bank here looks like a bunch of morons on the fiscal responsibility side. You put a $175M construction loan disbursement, on an inexperienced load administrator that does not know a concrete block from a door knob. Really? Way to protect your fiduciary responsibility. I find it very odd that BOA, at least from info made availible to the public, did not seem to interested in monitoring the flow of cash to the project. But then again....look at who was in the middle of all this bad loan / foreclosure mess...BOA. EPIC FAIL BOA! I hope ya'll have had a house clearing because of this mess....

 

50% Bear Creek Capital & Entities / Kenwood Partnership:

 

I could spends week on this....but to sum it up. PISS POOR PLANNING. PISS POOR PROJECT MGMT....from both the partnership and the construction entity. PISS POOR COST CONTROL & MONITORING. The project over runs should have been seen early early on, there is simply no excuse for that. The statements made about the "continual zoning changes" were impacting cost are total hogwash. Really BCC? You expect us to believe the zoning officials kept changing requirements as you went along? Nahh....those were probably conditions of approval that you needed to abide by and just didn't see fit to put the in costs for hoping you would be able to cover them somehow because "we gotta get going on this project". We are to believe that the construction manager(s) were misleading you and your partners the whole time, when you yourself created the entity of Bear Creek Construction? You created it so you didn't have to pay attention to it? LOL....OMG Oh....and the whole no email thing....niiicccceee...you really expect people with any ounce of common sense to actually believe you did not perform transactions in writing because you were a bad speller? Ok....Fraud...Frawd...Phrawed....they all look different...but they say the same thing...just sayin.... :wink:

 

 

20% Subcontractors:

 

First off, like I said....many of them were warned up front of past issues. Heck some of them even had been on the receiving end of some of those issues once beforeWhat's up with that? You shot off your left foot the first time...so you shot the right this time because you didn't think it would hurt as bad?  :wtf: Second, contracts are contracts....terms are terms...the owner expects you to abide by yours...and the you should expect the owners to abide by theirs....meaning you get paid when you are due payment. Now we all know that payments tend to lag...there is always some unexpected delay just due to the complex nature of the process...but there is a difference between a "lag" and ZERO payment. And at what point if I am a small company....do I say STOP? A couple of the documented stories I remember seeing over this whole thing stated they had not been paid since...May? And it was August / September before they actually grew a pair? That is pathetic in itself and I won't even go there to discuss it.

 

 

The government lost this case because they went after too much. As it was stated in many many articles...they went after Mr Daniels as if he intended to defraud BOA of all this money. So he was telling the truth when he said he did not intend to defraud the bank....he just thought he could play a shell game long enough to move the other shells to get everything flowing like it needed to be. But the govt .didn't go down that road. He didn't intend to steal that money...and as much as I and others wanted to see him in the pokey with Mr Erpenbeck over all of this...it is not a logical belief. If they would have stuck to the laundering, fraud, false statements etc....slam dunk.

 

It should be very interesting with this verdict to see how the upcoming case against his former construction manager unfolds. This could be a monumental case for anyone involved in construction management.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sounds like the payment was contingent on certain other assets being sold, which they weren't.  But this is just another reason not to ever do business with this guy (as if you needed another reason)!  Since he somehow got off on the criminal trial, I hope they nail his ass with punitive damages in this trial.

 

 

Matt Daniels misses settlement payment to Kenwood contractors: EXCLUSIVE

Tom Demeropolis Reporter- Cincinnati Business Courier

 

Matt Daniels, the former developer of Kenwood Towne Place, did not pay a settlement agreement reached with a group of subcontractors who worked on the mixed-use project. Now, lawyers for the subcontractors say they are prepared to go to trial this July.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2014/02/12/matt-daniels-misses-settlement-payment.html

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