It all started back in the summer of 1960 when two men came up with a crazy idea: to create a few exciting new apartments for affluent young singles at the top of Mt. Adams. During a time when people were migrating to the suburbs, Neil Bortz and Marvin Rosenberg focused on rehabilitating an old world neighborhood of row houses on steep, crooked streets.
Their first building was converted into two apartments overlooking Cincinnati and rented almost immediately. When the next apartments rented just as quickly and Bortz and Rosenberg realized they had a great opportunity for a sustainable business. In June 1961, Towne Properties was established and the company dedicated it’s time to leading the rebirth of Mt. Adams.
It was a great place to start a business. Mt. Adams is blessed with great views of the Ohio Valley, the hills of Kentucky, and downtown Cincinnati and only steps away from the 400-acre Eden Park. Towne’s new apartments in Cincinnati were unlike anything else available. Each apartment featured loft dens, wood burning fireplaces, private gardens and rooftop decks, wall to wall carpet, all within refurbished traditional exteriors.
Buoyed by their initial successes, Bortz and Rosenberg took their strategy into the suburbs in the mid-1960s. Towne welcomed its third partner, Lambert Agin, who brought an extensive understanding of residential construction. With Agin’s help, Towne began developing a collection of award-winning garden apartment communities throughout Cincinnati, Dayton, and Lexington, Kentucky.
In the mid-1970s Towne began building and selling condominiums in the suburbs and started offering its management services to third-party owners. Towne also acquired, planned, zoned, and developed land for both its own use and for single-family developers.
By the mid-1980s Towne took on a number of projects with various strategic partners. Towne began developing retail centers, including strip malls and Cincinnati’s Kenwood Towne Center, as well as downtown office rehabs in Cincinnati and Dayton, suburban office parks, and recreational properties like Four Seasons Marina and The Club at Harper’s Point.
Towne assumed a leadership role in the renaissance of downtown Cincinnati in the early 1990s with new partner Arn Bortz, former Cincinnati mayor, in charge. Towne began developing renovated office space and mixed-use projects, including the Backstage Entertainment District and Fountain Place in the heart of downtown Cincinnati.
Today, Towne’s portfolio is in the capable hands of Robert Wahlke, John Recob, and Derek Wehman. With their 85 years combined experience Towne now manages and/or owns a portfolio of more than 15,000 apartments, 116,500 condominium and homeowner’s association units, and 815,000 square feet of retail space, plus a tennis club and a marina.
Towne continues to look to the future and will continue to create communities that are “Great Places to Live, Work, Shop, and Play®.”