According to a report by cleveland.com on July 1, the Tower City shopping mall had been struggling financially, and was thought to be receiving an overhaul as a Cleveland-based blockchain center at some point.
Tower City Center, which was purported to become a blockchain hub in Ohio, is now slated to become an entrepreneurial center.
However, Blockchain Cleveland member Bernie Moreno says that plans have changed. Moreno commented on the new business plan for Tower City today, saying:
“I started with a mindset that this could be a blockchain hub, and as we got more and more people engaged in the community and heard feedback, we adapted the mission to be much more focused on, what does the community really want?…. It was loud and clear that what they really wanted was a center for entrepreneurship that’s much broader than just tech and a lot broader than just blockchain tech.”
The concept of blockchain will reportedly retain a nominal role in the development of the new entrepreneurial center, the so-dubbed “City Block”, mostly as an eye-catcher to bring in more people to conferences. Moreno remarked on this modest role of blockchain, saying:
“It’s not what we’re going to be leading with, it’s going to be just something we use to attract people to Cleveland for conferences and things like that.”
Blockchain technology has been touted as a way to revitalize the Cleveland area. An area trade group has formed in order to develop the blockchain industry in the area, calling itself The Blockland Initiative.
In December of last year, nonprofit JumpStart CEO Ray Leach announced that a total of seven funds were primed to invest $100 million in Ohio-based blockchain startups.