Gus Chan /The PlainDealer
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Not much going on atthe Galleria these days.
A bumper crop of empty offices in downtown Cleveland: BrentLarkin
Published: Saturday, March 19, 2011, 8:15 PM Updated: Monday, March 21, 2011, 3:48 PM
When Werner Minshall bought the Galleria and adjacent Tower at Erieview justeight years ago, the $30 million price tag was widely viewed as a steal.After all, as recently as 1991 the 40-story tower was on the tax rolls as a $93million property. And when it opened in 1986, with a cast of first-rate retailersand restaurants, the glassy, glitzy Galleria next door had cost Dick Jacobs $43million -- not including the value of the land.Sure, by 2003 the Galleria and the Tower were struggling, but so low was the$30 million sale price that conventional wisdom agreed with a Plain Dealerassessment that Minshall got himself a "bargain."Some bargain.The Galleria has become, at times, a ghost town. When it rains, the roof sometimes leaks. The food court is hurting. And at noontime one day recently, Iwalked past Glitz, a female fashion store with a large sign that screamed,"Going out of Business Sale." Inside, the store was empty.In the adjacent office tower, it's a struggle to keep the occupancy rate near 60 percent -- which is belowwhat's usually needed to break even."It's Armageddon," said Minshall, describing the status of commercial and retail property along the EastNinth Street corridor. "There's almost no hope. My equity in this investment is wiped out. It's disastrous. Ilove Cleveland, but there's sort of a poisonous, weird attitude there. People spend all this time muddling onthings that never get done."Indeed, the entire East Ninth Street corridor, once the heart of downtown's business district, is indesperate shape. As a
story by Plain Dealer reporter Michelle Jarboe detailed
in November, the corridor -- an area encompassing East Ninth and East 12th streets, from Euclid Avenue to Lake Erie -- contains about2 million square feet of empty office space.
3/21/2011A bumper crop of empty offices in dow…blog.cleveland.com/…/print.html?entry…1/3