Rock Ohio Caesars LLC (ROC), the developer of Ohio’s first casino, today announced that it has acquired the Higbee Building from Forest City Enterprises, Inc. The 815,000 sq. ft., 13-story neoclassical style building is home to Horseshoe Casino Cleveland as well as several commercial tenants. The building originally opened in 1931 as Higbee’s Department Store on Downtown Cleveland’s Public Square and operated as the city’s premiere shopping destination through the 1980’s.
Ownership of the building provides ROC the flexibility to expand Horseshoe Casino’s gaming and hospitality amenities. Expansion options are in the development phase and remain subject to Ohio Casino Control Commission review. The Silver Grille, a landmark social and business event space, located on the 10th floor of the Higbee Building, will continue to be managed and catered by The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland. Scheduled events at the Silver Grille will not be affected by the acquisition.
Today, ROC also announced that it will commence construction this month on a casino walkway connecting the second floor of Horseshoe Cleveland to its dedicated parking structure, Collection Auto Group Centre. The 170 ft., glass-enclosed casino walkway will cross over the intersection of Ontario Street and Prospect Avenue. Construction is expected to continue through the fall with the walkway opening this winter.
ROC invested $350 million to transform four floors of the Higbee Building into a full-service gaming destination. During the casino renovation and reconstruction, ROC also developed the Collection Auto Group Centre, a 1,300 space casino valet and self-parking parking structure. More than five million guests have visited Horseshoe Cleveland since it opened in May 2012, and the casino is credited with promoting additional investment in the area while positively impacting the city and region through the creation of 1,600 new jobs, increased downtown hotel occupancy, and injecting more than $25 million into local governments and schools.