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Plumbing Leak Shuts Down Tower City Mall For The Day

Water at Tower City, near the front entrance, led to a closure of the building Monday. [Kevin Anderson / ideastream]
photo of tower city puddle

A plumbing leak that led to the morning closure of Tower City in Downtown Cleveland was contained by Monday afternoon, according to a spokesperson for the company that owns the building’s mall and underground parking.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for Detroit-based Bedrock said the leak appears to have started outside the property and spread to a underground section of the building, one floor below street level.

“At this time, a small number of tenants have been affected and, out of an abundance of caution, the mall will remain closed,” a Cleveland-based spokesperson for Bedrock said Monday afternoon.

Around 3 p.m., Bedrock updated ideastream that "water is no longer spreading to other parts of Tower City Center."

It’s unclear how a leak at another property led to a cascade of water from a sprinkler valve on one of Tower City’s upper levels, as shown on photos posted on Twitter Monday morning.

Bedrock did not respond to follow up questions.

As of Monday afternoon, Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit Authority trains continued to use Tower City’s below-ground station. The building’s front entrance was closed due to flooding and riders were using the Prospect Avenue entrance.

The 52-story Terminal Tower building was completed in 1930 and was the tallest building in North America until 1964, originally serving as a terminal for most trains coming into Cleveland before the three floors of the station were converted into a shopping mall and food court in 1990. Dan Gilbert’s Detroit-based real estate company, Bedrock, purchased the shopping center, known as The Avenue Shops at Tower City, in 2016.

Gilbert also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers and developed what is now the Jack Cleveland Casino next door.

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.