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Higbee building sold to Rock Caesar LLC for $79 million

News Desk | 8/1/2013, 1:25 p.m.

Higbee building sold to Rock Ohio Caesar, LLC for $79 million

By Ray Robinson

Staff Writer

The Higbee Company will forever be remembered as the store with the most fascinating Christmas displays in all of downtown Cleveland. It was also home of the Silver Grille, a delightfully, wonderful place to have a sumptuous meal. It was located on the 5th floor and offered diners an exceptional dining experience at a reasonable price. Recently, the restaurant had been restored to its original splendor and updated with some of the art- deco pieces from 1931.

Now, Higbee’s has become yet another casualty of the new downtown boom. The building and all of its glory has recently been sold to Rock Ohio Caesars LLC. They are the group that now controls and operates the Horseshoe Casino that now occupies the former Higbee’s space. They also are in control of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel that is attached to Higbee’s via Tower City Center.

The deal was cut after much controversy and the move was made in order to construct a walkway that would take one from the parking garage into the casino itself.

The proposed walkway would be enclosed by glass and would encompass the area from Ontario and Prospect over to the casino. The controversy over the move stems from the fact that the integrity and historic value of the Terminal Tower will have to be disrupted in order to complete the project.

Forest City Enterprises, Inc. was the owner of the building and after taking care of tax-credit payments to investor’s netted a cool $39 million out of the $79 million deal.

Work on the walkway will begin sometime this year.