Springdale, Ohio — MarketSpace Capital and Park Harbor Capital, two private real estate investment and development firms based in Texas, have officially closed on their purchase of Tri-County Mall, an enclosed, 1.3 million-square-foot regional shopping center in the Cincinnati suburb of Springdale. The co-developers plan to transform the mostly vacant mall into a $1 billion redevelopment project housing residences, offices, restaurants, shops, a school, entertainment venues and green space.
The redevelopment received unanimous approval from the Springdale City Council about 10 weeks ago. MarketSpace and Park Harbor are set to begin construction later this year on Phase I, which will include 450 apartments, 40,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants and 110,000 square feet of recreational space, including a 38,000-square-foot fitness center. Several health and wellness amenities will also feature in the initial phase, including walking and cycling trails and a park.
Several local companies are involved in this project, including THP as the structural engineer and The Kleingers Group as the civil and traffic engineer. BHDP, whose founders designed the original mall in the late 1950s, will serve as the prime architect, with Human Nature serving as the landscape architect. BSB Group International will lead branding and marketing for the new development, and Preview Group will oversee code compliance.
The redevelopment will also include a school serving Princeton School District that focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics). The overall project will be completed over five phases, with the full buildout of the entire 76-acre site completed in approximately 10 years.
“It’s the biggest project in the history of our city and one of the most ambitious undertakings our entire region has ever seen,” says Springdale Mayor Doyle Webster. “It will bring jobs, inspire community, cultivate learning and ignite growth. I could not be more excited that we are now officially on our way.”
Coresight Research estimates 25 percent of America’s roughly 1,000 malls will close over the next three to five years. Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, the real estate value for malls has plunged an average of 60 percent with more than 700 anchor stores vacant as of July 2021.
Local media outlets report that Tri-County Mall was built in 1960 and expanded in 1992 to include a second level and to add a fourth anchor tenant. Original anchor Macy’s closed its doors at the mall last year, leaving Tri-County Mall without an anchor tenant for the first time since its debut. The other three anchors, J.C. Penney, Dillards and Sears, shuttered their department stores from 2015 to 2020.
“America’s malls have been struggling for many years, and the outlook for them isn’t getting any better,” says Michael VanHuss, managing partner of Park Harbor Capital. “The city of Springdale and the Greater Cincinnati area have felt that impact firsthand with the demise of Tri-County Mall. That’s why we are so excited to partner with the community and an incredible group of experts to create an iconic destination that families will be able to visit and enjoy for a very long time.”
MarketSpace Capital is a Houston-based private equity real estate development firm focused on ground-up developments and value-add investments throughout the United States.
Park Harbor Capital is a full-service commercial real estate firm based in Dallas. The principals of the company have been involved in acquisition, value-add, adaptive reuse, design, development, construction and continued operations in almost every asset class.
Park Harbor Capital’s VanHuss has a history of hands-on leadership with redevelopments, including the restoration of The Statler historic hotel in downtown Dallas and the $1.5 billion redevelopment of Collin Creek Mall in Plano, Texas.
— John Nelson