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Garfield Tower in CBD Goes Up for Sale

11 Feb 2014, 2:26 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

A Cincinnati apartment tower located in the heart of the city’s Central Business District is now for sale. CBRE has listed the property but did not disclose a sales price.

Cincinnati’s Garfield Tower is located on a 0.37-acre site at 111 Garfield Place, within walking distance of Great American Ballpark, Paul Brown Stadium and the headquarters of some important companies, including Procter & Gamble and The Kroger Co. It was constructed in 1969 and consists of a 16-story high-rise residential tower and an attached two-story commercial building, the home of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Co. The commercial building is included in the sale.

Garfield Tower has about 102,600 square feet of residential space and about 25,000 square feet of commercial space. It offers 160 studio and one-bedroom apartments and includes such amenities as a fitness center, indoor heated rooftop pool and laundry facilities. The units have an average size of 651 square feet. They were converted to individual electric heating and cooling Island Aire systems between 2011 and 2013. According to the Garfield Tower website, rents in the building range between $780 and $920 per month.

Propertyshark.com lists the owner of Garfield Tower as Garfield Associates LLC. The property was last sold on June 19, 2003, for $5.7 million, according to the site. It sets the current market value of the tower at $3.7 million.

Marcus & Millichap said in its 2014 annual report for the Cincinnati area that urban development is reviving the local economy, boosting employment and creating new apartment demand. The commercial real estate brokerage firm expects the pool of buyers targeting apartment assets in the area to expand this year, as capital remains plentiful. It also said that larger properties of 150-plus units will remain most sought after, generating multiple bids from well-capitalized buyers.

Photo credits: CBRE
Charts courtesy of Marcus & Millichap


$500M Middletown Energy Center to Be Top Gas Power Plant

4 Feb 2014, 6:36 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The city of Middletown, in Butler County, will be home to one of the most efficient natural gas-fired power plants in the United States. St. Augustine, Fla.-based NTE Energy announced last week its plans to develop, own and operate the power plant, which is expected to provide numerous benefits to the city, county and state economies. The massive project represents an investment of more than 500 million.

The plant will be called the Middletown Energy Center. It will use a Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas (MPSA) M501JAC advanced combustion turbine in combined cycle configuration and will generate approximately 500 MW of low-cost electric power, enough to supply 400,000 homes. According to NTE Solutions, the plant will be fueled by clean-burning natural gas, allowing for greater operating efficiencies and as much as 60 percent less emissions than conventional fuel.

NTE Solutions has begun permit applications and hopes to start work on the project in 2015. The Middletown Energy Center is expected to become fully operational in 2018. During the three-year construction period, the project will create 300 to 400 construction jobs, most of them to be filled by the members of skilled trade unions.  Once finished, the Middletown Energy Center will employ  25 to 30 full-time workers. Most of them are expected to come from the local workforce.

“As the energy landscape continues to change, the need for affordable, cleaner base load generation is upon us,” said Seth Shortlidge, president of NTE Energy, in a statement for the press. “NTE Energy looks forward to working with the Middletown community in developing one of the cleanest, most efficient and most reliable sources to fulfill this growing demand.”

Photo credits: www.middletownenergycenter.com



Port Authority Receives $400,000 Grant from Duke Energy to Revitalize Cincinnati Neighborhoods

28 Jan 2014, 5:11 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States, recently awarded a $400,000 grant to the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority to help redevelop the Bond Hill, Roselawn and Queensgate areas. The money will be used to create development-ready sites that will ultimately bring new investment from industrial and logistics companies, breathing new life into the Cincinnati neighborhoods.

On Jan. 14, Laura Brunner, president & CEO of the Port Authority, received the check from Jim Henning, president of Duke Energy Ohio & Kentucky. The ceremony was located in Cincinnati’s Roselawn neighborhood, at TechSolve II, a Port Authority site currently undergoing redevelopment.

The Port Authority purchased the 13-acre site last year, after receiving funding from the city. It started the redevelopment by demolishing most of the vacant and blighted structures located on the different parcels that make up the site. Recently, the Port Authority received approval to expand TechSolve Business Park to the site, creating TechSolve II.

“Returning sites to productive use is essential to revitalizing Greater Cincinnati’s communities and building a stronger regional economy,” Jim Henning said in a statement for the press. Mayor John Cranley also thinks improving neighborhoods is an important strategy to attract new businesses and residents to the area. He said the city of Cincinnati ”is committed” to the TechSolve project, adding that ”we will be successful here.”

Another, larger site is also undergoing redevelopment near the TechSolve II park. The Port Authority recently finished the demolition of a 350,000-square-foot shopping center there. The entire project is expected to cost around $80 million and calls for a high-impact, urban-style commercial development of the 25-acre site.

In Queensgate, the Port Authority plans to develop a large industrial park through the modernization of real estate and transportation assets. Once an important manufacturing center, the area fell onto hard times in the 20th century. Now, it is plagued by contaminated sites, aged buildings and inefficient transportation. The Port Authority said the area’s re-industrialization will require multiple stages of evaluation and execution.

“We are pleased that Duke Energy recognizes the redevelopment potential in Bond Hill, Roselawn and Queensgate. This investment will go a long way to unlocking that potential, creating jobs and bringing new energy to our neighborhoods,” said Jeff McElravy, interim director for the city of Cincinnati’s Department of Trade and Development. “Now, with the help of Duke Energy and other community partners, we will begin to see a future of new productivity and value,” Brunner added.



Demand for Greater Cincinnati Industrial Space Strongest Since 2005

21 Jan 2014, 3:53 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

2013 was an excellent year for the Cincinnati industrial market. As companies snatched up more and more space, rents increased and vacancies dropped, reaching pre-recession levels.

In the third quarter, the overall industrial vacancy rate in the Greater Cincinnati area dropped below 7 percent for the first time since 2007. And the market continued to perform very well in the final quarter of the year, as well. Cassidy Turley reports that more than 615,000 square feet of space was absorbed in the fourth quarter, making it the 10th consecutive quarter of positive net absorption.

“Demand for industrial space across Greater Cincinnati was impressive throughout 2013,” said Jarrett Hicks, senior research analyst for Cassidy Turley’s Cincinnati office, in a statement for the press. “Overall net absorption totaled nearly 5.2 million square feet for 2013, signifying the highest level of demand since 2005.”

The overall vacancy rate in the region finished the year at 6.35 percent, compared to 6.55 percent in the third quarter, due primarily to Class B bulk warehouse and freestanding leases in the Northwest submarket. Overall bulk vacancy dropped to 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter, from 7.7 percent in the third quarter. Northern Kentucky continues to have a historically low bulk vacancy rate, currently standing below 2 percent. Freestanding space is also in short supply, with a 5.4 percent vacancy at the end of the year. The office/warehouse market experienced negative absorption in the fourth quarter, but three of Greater Cincinnati’s four submarkets showed slight positive absorption. The overall average asking rent stands at $3.63 per square foot.

According to Cassidy Turley, only three projects totaling 215,000 square feet were delivered in Greater Cincinnati in the fourth quarter, with almost 2.2 million square feet of space still under construction. The high demand for space will lead to a further decline in vacancy, which could then result in an increase in industrial construction in the region in 2014.

Charts courtesy of Cassidy Turley.



Cincinnati Seeks Brownfield Fund Grant for Brewery X Redevelopment Project

13 Jan 2014, 2:58 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Cincinnati Beer Week is less than a month away. It’s scheduled to start on Feb. 6, but real beer fans will be able to get into the spirit of the event even sooner. On Jan. 27, a public meeting will be held at The Brew House to discuss the city of Cincinnati’s application for a grant from the  Brownfield Fund for the Brewery X Redevelopment Project. The project’s goal is to turn a dilapidated historic building close to downtown Cincinnati into a brewery with a tap room and an outdoor beer garden. The application is available for review at the Walnut Hills Branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

The historic building is located at 1430 Martin Drive, in the 180-acre Eden Park, one of the most popular parks in Cincinnati. It was constructed between 1889 and 1894 and served as a pump station, moving water from the East Reservoir to downtown’s growing suburbs. It was renovated and in 1939 reopened as the new home for the city’s Central Fire Alarm System and the Cincinnati Police. The Pump Station continued to operate as the Central Dispatch for the Cincinnati Police and Fire Departments until 1988 and as a backup for 911 until late 2004. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on March 3, 1980.

The city of Cincinnati has owned the building since it was constructed and will continue to own it during the the implementation of the Clean Ohio grant. Brewery X L.L.C. has signed a long-term lease for the property. The company will invest approximately $4 million in the project and plans to buy the building in the future.

Although dilapidated, the building is still structurally sound. The redevelopment calls for the  complete gutting of the interior and replacement of the roof and windows, as well as the removal of asbestos and lead paint. The developers requested $736,520 from the Clean Ohio Assistance Fund to perform asbestos abatement and $490,380 from the Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund to perform the lead paint abatement. Work is expected to start as soon as the funding is approved.

Brewery X is expected to open in mid-2015. It will create at least 13 full-time jobs. The average hourly wage will be $12.94 within the first three years of operation.

Photo credits: The City of Cincinnati



Christ Hospital Opens P1 Garage as Part of $265M Campus Expansion Project

6 Jan 2014, 5:26 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Christ Hospital opened its new visitor garage on Dec. 24. The new P1 garage is part of a larger, $265 million campus expansion project. It will be the primary parking location for patients and visitors to the hospital.

The P1 garage is located along Auburn Avenue. It is connected to both the Medical Office Building and the main hospital entrance through a skywalk over Mason Street, and can be accessed from Mason Street and Huntington Place. The facility has eight levels with 847 parking spaces for patients, families and visitors. There are separate entrances for visitors and physicians.

P1 was designed to fit with the historic character of Mount Auburn and the other buildings on The Christ Hospital campus. The facility is clad in brick, precast concrete and glass. One million pounds of Rebar and over 363,000 feet of post-tensioning steel were used to reinforce the concrete. In a news release, Christ Hospital said the basin in which P1 sits is big enough to hold three of Coney Island’s Sunlite Pools. At 200 feet wide and 401 feet long, holding more than three million gallons of water, Coney Island’s Sunlite Pool is the largest flat-surfaced, recirculating pool in the world.

Christ Hospital started work on the garage in May 2012 as part of its campus expansion, a huge project that includes the construction of The Christ Hospital Joint and Spine Center, a facility described by the hospital as “regionally unique,” dedicated solely to orthopaedic and spine care. In October,  Christ Hospital held a topping off ceremony to celebrate the completion of the building’s structural steelwork. The new facility is expected to open in summer 2015. It will feature  60 private inpatient rooms, 12 operating rooms, physical and occupational therapy, pain management, imaging services, conference and educational facilities, and physician offices.

Photo credits: Christ Hospital



Investor Duo Buys Former SuperValu Warehouse in Xenia

30 Dec 2013, 6:29 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Developers Stuart Lichter of Industrial Real Estate Group and Chris Semarjian of Industrial Commerce Ltd. have teamed up to acquire, develop and manage commercial and industrial real estate throughout the United States. The pair are well known for their ability to purchase large-scale facilities and repurpose them for new tenants. This month, they have acquired the former SuperValu Warehouse in Xenia.

The 522,000-square-foot facility is located on 74.4 acres of land at 1003 Bellbrook Ave. It includes 300,000 square feet of dry storage space, 100,000 square feet of refrigerated space and 80,000 square feet of freezer space.  The acquisition was made by Xenia Bellbrook L.L.C. According to Greene County Property Records, the warehouse was sold on Dec. 3 for $4.3 million.

Semarijan and Lichter believe they can breathe new life into the property, attract tenants, and bring new jobs and economic growth to the area. “We are very pleased with the acquisition of this building and the offerings that come along with it,” Semarjian said in a statement for the press.  “We have already begun the marketing efforts that show much promise for several tenants to naturally occupy this facility.”

“We are excited about the chance to once again work in southwestern Ohio and continuing to execute our core business plan of repurposing corporate amenities,” Lichter added.  “We will continue to work with community leaders in the city of Xenia as we find qualified tenants who, in turn, will provide jobs and further economic promise.”

The duo has more than 40 million square feet of industrial and commercial real estate in the state of Ohio, including several high-profile projects in the Miami Valley totaling well over 7 million square feet. Among them are the acquisition and redevelopment of the General Motors Moraine Assembly Plant, Ford Motor Batavia Car Plant, Emery Air Freight/UPS Center at the Dayton International Airport, Cooper Tire and Delphi Automotive Campus.

Photo credits: Google Maps.



Cincinnati’s Garfield Suites Hotel Changes Hands

23 Dec 2013, 4:15 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

CBRE Hotels announced the sale of Cincinnati’s Garfield Suites Hotel. Cincinnati Lodging Associates–a joint venture of Sun Development, Hotel Capital and Silver Rock–is the property’s new owner. It plans to convert the all-suite hotel into a DoubleTree Suites.

The Garfield Suites Hotel is located at 2 Garfield Place, in the heart of Downtown Cincinnati, near some of the best restaurants and nightlife. The 16-story hotel offers 153 suites, as well as 20,000 square feet of leasable space, including a 7,053-square-foot restaurant on the ground level and a two-floor fitness center. Amenities include full kitchens, living rooms with 42-inch plasma TVs and Wi-Fi, free shuttle service and attached covered parking.

The Garfield Suites Hotel is the closest hotel to one of Cincinnati’s newest attractions, the $400 million Horseshoe Casino, which opened this March. Other nearby attractions include the Cincinnati Reds, U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati Children’s Museum, Aronoff Theater and Duke Energy Convention Center.

Garfield House L.P. was the upscale hotel’s previous owner. It retained CBRE Hotels as the exclusive advisor and was represented by Eric Belfrage, first vice president of CBRE Hotels in Columbus, and Peter Greene, first vice president of CBRE Hotels in Chicago. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Downtown Cincinnati is a dynamic live-work-play environment, and the Garfield Suites Hotel was a fabulous opportunity,” Bharat Patel, CEO of Sun Cos., said in a statement for the press. ”We recognized the mixed-use opportunity of an all-suite hotel with penthouse suites, office and ground-floor retail space. The location is also tremendously dynamic between Kroger and Macy’s headquarters. The gentrification of the ‘Over the Rhine’ neighborhood and the new casino add to the unique environment.”

Photo credits: CBRE Hotels



INX International Breaks Ground on 62,000 SF Plant in Lebanon

16 Dec 2013, 9:24 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

INX International Ink Co., a division of Japanese company Sakata INX, announced at the end of November its plans to build a 62,000-square-foot facility in Lebanon, Ohio. The company broke ground on the project on Dec. 5, with both company officials and local dignitaries attending the ceremony.

The new building will be located in the 752-acre Lebanon Commerce Center business park, about 30 miles northeast of Cincinnati. INX International Ink spent two years analyzing potential locations for the new facility and ultimately chose the site in Lebanon because it offers easy access to Interstate 71 and provides the company with an opportunity for future expansion.

“INX is currently producing 37 million pounds of solvent ink for packaging, and we project production to be at 42 million pounds in the next couple of years. Our capacity for this product line will increase to 77 million pounds. We will transfer our current workforce in Blue Ash and add jobs in Lebanon, so we will have 33 employees when the new building opens. We anticipate adding more employees in stages over the next five years, and if demand continues to rise, we have the capability to expand our plant up to 90,000 square feet in the future,” John Hrdlick, COO of INX International Ink Co., said in a statement for the press.

The new facility will be constructed on 11 acres of land. It will serve as a manufacturing center primarily for solvent ink packaging products. INX will also produce three-piece metal decorating, as well as UV/EB and some water-based flexographic ink products at the site. Besides the greater manufacturing space, the new building will include a full-service lab for color management and development, Quality Control and testing purposes, and accommodations for employee training and customer meetings.

Owner and developer The Schueler Group of Cos. expects to complete the new facility in the fourth quarter of 2014. Corporate partner Bunnell Hill Construction Co. will be the project’s general contractor. The Dayton Daily News reported that the project is expected to cost $18 million.

Photo credits: INX International Ink Co.



Radisson Opens the Radisson Cincinnati North CoCo Key Water Resort

10 Dec 2013, 9:49 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Radisson Cincinnati North CoCo Key Water Resort opened last month. The full-service hotel boasts a  50,000 square foot indoor water park and is scheduled to undergo a comprehensive renovation project in the second quarter of 2014. It will remain open during the renovation.

Radisson is one of the world’s best-recognized hotel brands. It announced the signing of the Radisson Cincinnati North CoCo Key Water Resort in mid-October. The new addition is part of Radisson’s plans to expand in key suburban markets and is expected to help develop and strengthen the Radisson brand.

The Radisson Cincinnati North CoCo Key Water Resort is located just minutes from downtown Cincinnati, close to important attractions such as the Sharonville Convention Center, EnterTRAINment Junction, Cincinnati Museum Center, Kings Island, Cincinnati Zoo, Paul Brown Stadium and the Great American Ball Park. It offers 257 rooms, from family-friendly suites to Business Class Rooms. Amenities include high-speed wireless internet access, an indoor and outdoor seasonal pool, a 24-hour fitness center and a 24-hour business center.

The hotel also offers 15,000 square feet fof event and meeting space, including two ballrooms complete with audiovisual equipment and Wi-Fi. It can accommodate meetings for up to 300 people. The hotel’s featured restaurant is the Tradewinds Restaurant and Lounge.

The CoCo Key Water Resort is Cincinnati’s only indoor water park and it is connected to the hotel. It features 40-foot body and raft water slides, an interactive play island and zero-entry area with slides for younger children, an adventure river tube ride, giant whirlpools, an activity pool, private party rooms, family-friendly restaurants, and a video arcade.

“We look forward to welcoming both leisure and business guests to the hotel,” said Albert Bashir, general manager of the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati North CoCo Key Resort, in a statement for the press. “We are committed to providing our guests with an exceptional guest experience.”

Photo credits: Radisson







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