Honoree Arn Bortz

Arn Bortz is a thoughtful business and civic leader whose life’s work testifies to his vision and quiet courage.

The Cincinnati native graduated from Walnut Hills High School, Harvard University, the London School of Economics, and the Georgetown Law Center. Returning home, he practiced law and was elected to Cincinnati City Council in 1979. Bortz, who was endorsed by the Charter Committee, served as Mayor in 1983-1984.

After leaving City Council in 1988, Bortz established a development company and completed several important projects. Next, he joined his brother Neil Bortz at Towne Properties to focus on mixed-used urban projects. His first project with Towne was the Ingleside Condominiums, at that time a relatively untested owenership concept for Cincinnati. It was the first of a new generation of river-view residential developments that continue today on both sides of the Ohio River.

In the 1990s, Arn led the Towne initiative for residential, mixed-use projects that sparked the downtown living movement in Cincinnati. Beginning in the Garfield Park neighborhood, Towne constructed the nationally acclaimed Gramercy on Garfield (1992) and Greenwich on the Park (1996), and continued with the adaptive reuse of Groton Lofts (1997) and the Lofts at Shillto Place (1999).

Arn’s dedicated to urban living is evident in his more recent residential projects, which include Adams Landing, which stretches north of the Ohio River toward the east, and Roebling Row in the riverside historic district of Covington, Kentucky. His efforts for preservation of historic buildings and city neighborhoods have sustained and enhanced urban life in Greater Cincinnati.