Saks Fifth Avenue, located in downtown Cincinnati, will apparently not move to Kenwood. Developer Phillips Edison and Company said "due to the economics and conditions of the deal was no longer a viable opportunity for The Kenwood Collection," and it was no longer pursuing a lease with the store.
"There were a lot of conditions that in the end no longer made this a viable project for us,” said David Birdsall, president of Phillips Edison & Company’s Total Retail Solutions. “We have elected to discontinue pursuing Saks and move forward on developing an alternative plan that is more similar to an upscale lifestyle center featuring destination and national tenants that have long searched for a place in the Kenwood market."
Birdsall said today’s announcement will have no impact on the continued development of the office space and parking garage being built at the Kenwood Collection. Three tenants – Neace Lukens Insurance, Unlimited Systems and PLK Communities – have signed leases for the office portion of the project, which is scheduled to open in 2015.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said he welcomes Saks decision.
"We don't know what their long-term plans are," Cranley said. "We hope they stay downtown, but we don't want raise expectations. There have been rumors as to whether they're going to stay in the region or not."
Cranley said downtown Cincinnati is the right place for the department store to stay, but he does not have any information from Saks about its plans.
Phillips Edison bought the Kenwood Collection from Bank of America in July 2012. The Kenwood Collection, formerly Kenwood Towne Place, has sat largely vacant since 2008. The project fell into bankruptcy after former developer Bear Creek Capital was unable to pay contractors.