Terrace Plaza Changes Hands

Last week, the Terrace Plaza in downtown Cincinnati officially changed hands. After nearly four long years of legal battles, Indiana real estate developer Tony Birkla received the deed to the building to redevelop the property.

Development Strategies Group worked with Birkla to acquire the 20-story, 600,000 square feet hotel, which has been vacant since 2008. The first order of business, Doug Moormann told the Cincinnati Business Courier, is to implement safety measures and prime the building for redevelopment. “It is in the hands of somebody who has demonstrated in the past that they can deliver. We now have the a responsible owner who is going to address the safety concerns,” Moormann says. Top of list for the $3 million “Make Safe” plan is to stabilize the building. 

The City of Cincinnati has been pursuing a nuisance case against the former property owner for a number of building code violations. Chunks of concrete, bricks, and windows have fallen off the building. The roof is failing and the mechanical super structure on the rooftop is a top concern to city building officials. Immediate steps are being taken to fence the sidewalks and eliminate the most immediate dangers to public safety.

Click here to read more about the Terrace Plaza’s history and Birkla’s plans to restore and redevelop the hotel.

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Charles “Chip” Gerhardt

President & CEO

Chip Gerhardt has made government affairs, economic development, and issue advocacy his life’s work. He’s worked for decades in the public and private sectors, and advocated at the local, state, and federal levels of government. In 2007, he used that experience to found Government Strategies Group, a full-service government relations firm. At GSG, he works directly with clients, helping them navigate the complicated intersection of politics, public policy, and business.

In his many years in public policy, Chip has been involved in significant policies including; creation of tax increment financing districts, the Clean Ohio program, Cincinnati City Center Development Corporation, and most importantly, the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. He has also been at the forefront of some of the biggest developments in Greater Cincinnati, including the Horseshoe (now Hard Rock) Casino, TQL Stadium for FC Cincinnati, parking garage structures at The Banks, and the redevelopment of the @580 building. Rarely is there a public policy endeavor in Cincinnati that does not involve GSG.

Chip received his B.B.A in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame and his Juris Doctor from the St. Louis University School of Law. He lives in Anderson Township with his wife Jane. Son Charlie is a local chef and children Hank and Anne have completed their education and started lives of their own.

Focus areas:

  • State and local government relations
  • Economic development
  • Issue advocacy

Driven by:

  • A lifelong interest in the political system has driven Chip to a career in public policy and politics. As a parent of three, one with Down syndrome, has compelled him to promote public policies designed to help others. Whether it is enabling financial independence for people with disabilities, advancing funding for housing families facing homelessness, or assisting with economic development projects, Chip involves himself in things that make a positive difference. 

In the community:

  • Hamilton County Board of Elections member
  • Current Board Member for Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, People Working Cooperatively, Corporation for Findlay Market, goVibrant, and the African American Chamber of Commerce
  • Former Chairman of the Board for the National Down Syndrome Society
  • Former board member of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce, and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati
  • Cincinnati Magazine’s 300 of the Region’s Most Powerful Business Leaders, 2021-2022
  • Cincy Magazine Power 100, 2011-2022