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$33.5M Water Street Project Expected to Start Construction in December

2 Dec 2013, 4:19 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Water Street,  one of the largest development projects in downtown Dayton in years, is getting ready to break ground. Last week, the Dayton City Commission approved an agreement with the project’s developer, Water Street Redevelopment L.L.C., a joint venture of Dublin-based Crawford Hoying Development and Dayton-based Woodard Real Estate Resources.

Water Street is a residential, commercial and retail mixed-use project located in Dayton’s Water Street District. At a cost of $33.5 million, the project will be constructed on nine acres of city-owned land along the Great Miami River downtown, between Patterson Boulevard and Webster Street. It will feature at least 150 luxury rental apartment units with views of the river, city and stadium; 50,000 square feet of Class A office and commercial space; a three-level parking garage with as many as 480 spaces; and public infrastructure improvements.

The office building and residential complex will cost $26 million, and will be developed with private equity and financing obtained by the developer. The garage will cost $5 million. It will be owned by the city of Dayton for the first 17 years, after which the developer has the option to buy it. Another $2.5 million will be invested in public infrastructure improvements such as utilities, roadway improvements, lighting and landscaping.

“We’re very excited to move this mixed-use project forward,” Shelley Dickstein, Assistant City Manager for Strategic Development, said in a statement for the press. “Water Street features the type of upscale housing and office choices that people are looking for. It will further strengthen the vitality of the area, which is within easy reach of many other downtown amenities, like the river, Fifth Third Field, Five Rivers MetroParks and Tech Town.” Jason Woodard, principal at Woodard Real Estate Resources, added that “we believe the riverfront location, coupled with the high demand for downtown housing, will make Water Street a popular destination for today’s professionals looking for that live, work and play experience downtown.”

The Water Street project is expected to help revitalize downtown Dayton. The developers hope to start construction of the office building in December. Construction on the garage and residential complex is scheduled to start in April 2014.

Photo credits: Crawford Hoying Development 

Downtown Cincinnati’s dunnhumby Centre Reaches Key Milestone in Construction

26 Nov 2013, 2:32 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

On Jan. 31, dunnhumbyUSA and the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) broke ground on the dunnhumby Centre project in downtown Cincinnati. After almost 10 months of work, the project reached an important milestone in its construction, as it received its first concrete pour at street level on Nov. 14. Also, at the start of the month, the Cincinnati Urban Design Review Board approved the design for the new building.

The development is located at the corner of Fifth and Race streets. When finished, in February 2015, the project will deliver 280,000 square feet of office space, 30,000 square feet of street-level retail space and an above- and below-ground parking garage with 1,000 spaces. The garage will open to the public before dunnhumbyUSA moves into the new office.

According to the 3CDC website, the dunnhumby Centre is expected to cost about $129 million. It will be financed with the help of New Market Tax Credits, tax increment financing, 3CDC-managed corporate loan funds, a JobsOhio loan, conventional debt and equity through PNC Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First Financial Bank, the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority and private capital.

In a press release, the 3CDC said that 100,000 cubic yards of dirt have been excavated from the site to prepare for the below-grade parking decks. Concrete work started in June and is now 40 percent complete. From here on, construction will be done from the ground up and will be visible to passersby.

The project will turn a long-vacant lot in the heart of the city’s downtown into dunhumbyUSA’s new headquarters. The company employs 650 people in Cincinnati and plans to grow to 1,100  by 2018. It will own the new building. The 3CDC will operate the parking facility and will own, lease and manage the retail space. The Turner Construction Co. is the project’s construction manager, with Chicago-based Gensler Architects as the project designer.

Not only will the project spur further development and lead to the revitalization of downtown Cincinnati, it will also bring 280,000 square feet of office space to a market where vacancy is dropping. Marcus & Millichap expects office vacancy in the Cincinnati metro area to decline to 18.2 percent by the end of the year. Developers will complete 120,000 square feet of office space during 2013, five times less than in 2012.

Photo credits: 3CDC
Charts courtesy of Marcus & Millichap

Cincinnati-Area College Developments Receive Funding, Expected to Boost Local Economy

18 Nov 2013, 10:00 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

This July, Xavier University, together with Messer Construction Co. and Ackermann Group, broke ground on a long-delayed apartment and retail development at Montgomery Road and Cleneay Avenue, adjacent to the university’s campus. With a $53 million first phase, the University Square project recently received some help from the Finance Fund. It was awarded $8 million in federal New Markets Tax Credits.

The project was initially announced in 2007, and at the time was named Xavier Square. It was shelved in 2008 due to the financial crisis, but Xavier revived it this year, with a new development team and a new name. University Station will be located on a 20-acre site in Cincinnati and Norwood.

Phase I calls for the construction of 176 housing units for students, 39,000 square feet of retail, 46,000 square feet of office and more than 1,000 parking spaces on a 15-acre site. Some of the housing units will be affordable units for qualifying neighborhood residents. Phase I is expected to be completed by August 2014. It will create 350 full-time jobs and 200 construction jobs in an area that, according to the Finance Fund, has a poverty rate of 32.8 percent and an unemployment rate approaching 10 percent.

“We are pleased to provide $8 million in New Markets Tax Credit financing for such an impactful project,” said Finance Fund President & CEO James Klein in a statement for the press. “University Station is a cornerstone of economic development for this area and will support further expansion and job creation by attracting additional private investment.”

To the south, in nearby Covington, another college is also working on a development project expected to boost the local economy, and it has also received financial aid in recent weeks. The Gateway Community and Technical College has received a $100,000 grant from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts for its Urban/Metro Campus project.

Gateway has now raised more than $2.6 million of the $5 million initial amount set by the Gateway Foundation to support the Urban/Metro Campus development and scholarships. The college has also invested $350,000 in the campus master plan and $10 million for the development of Phase I.

At a cost of more than $81 million, the project calls for the renovation of seven buildings and the construction of a new facility over the next three to six years. When finished, it will help make college education more accessible to Northern Kentucky residents. Phase I has already started, with the renovation of the former Marx Furniture store into the Gateway Design and Technology Center.

“This campus is crucial to the economic development of the region by creating a ready workforce, helping families out of poverty through higher-wage jobs and boosting the economy with new business development around the campus area,” said Heidi Jark, managing director of the Foundation Office at Fifth Third Bank, in a statement for the press.

Photo credits: Finance Fund

$13M Project to Deliver 129 Apartments to Cincinnati’s Northside in 2015

12 Nov 2013, 6:53 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

A new development will bring 129 apartments and 8,000 square feet of commercial space to Cincinnati’s historic Northside neighborhood in summer 2015. The project was announced a few months ago, and now it finally has a name: the Gantry. According to Milhaus Development’s website, the Gantry is the first new construction project of its magnitude in the diverse Northside community.

Cincinnati City Council members joined the developer, Indianapolis-based Milhaus Development, the Northside Community Council and the Northside Business Association on Oct. 30 in Cincinnati’s Northside to reveal updated plans for the apartment project. The city of Cincinnati announced the name of the project on its Twitter page, live from the event.

Milhaus Development is the owner, developer, construction contractor and property manager. In July, the company announced it will start development on a LEED Silver-certified, mixed-use project located at the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Blue Rock Street, on the former Myron G. Johnson & Son Lumber Co. property. At that time, plans called for the construction of only 100 apartments and 8,000 square feet of commercial space.  The Cincinnati City Council approved the project in August.

Milhaus will invest $13 million in the project. Three new buildings will be constructed and will house the 8,000 square feet of retail space and the 129 studio, one- and two-bedroom units. The apartments will feature granite countertops, designer lighting, wood-style flooring and more. Milhaus designed the Gantry in collaboration with Northside residents, so that it respects the neighborhood’s historic guidelines. Construction is expected to start in spring 2014.

The Gantry will revitalize the former lumberyard and railroad depot near Downtown Cincinnati and will also answer the growing need for apartments. Marcus & Millichap reports that apartment operations are tightening across Cincinnati. Demand for apartments is supported by healthy job and income growth, as well as the swelling millennial population. According to Marcus & Millichap’s fourth-quarter 2013 report on the Greater Cincinnati apartment market, vacancy is expected to decline to 4.5 percent this year, the lowest since year-end 2000.

With vacancies dropping, rents are expected to grow. In the third quarter of 2013, effective rents in Central Cincinnati, the most expensive submarket in the metro for rental units, reached $1,250 per month. According to the Cincinnati Business Courier, rents at the Gantry will range between $600 and $1,500 per month.

Photo credits: Milhaus Development
Charts courtesy of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.

Antioch College Continues Campus Revitalization

5 Nov 2013, 6:14 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Antioch College continues with its plans to renovate and improve its campus in Yellow Springs. The college plans to build a central geothermal plant that will significantly reduce power usage on campus.

The geothermal plant will cost Antioch $8.8 million. It will be constructed in phases, with Phase I at a cost of $4.7 million. The plant will use the constant temperature of the earth just below the surface to provide the energy for heating and cooling. It circulates water through a closed loop system of piping located in a well field. During the summer, the water is circulated to the buildings, where it absorbs heat. The heated water is then circulated to the well field and loses the heath to the  earth. Finally, the chilled water is circulated back to large chillers in the central plant building and then to the buildings on the campus, cooling them down. The process is reversed in winter, with the chillers acting as heat pumps.

Antioch started work on Nov. 1 on 150 geothermal wells. When the project is complete, it will turn the college into the only school in the United States to be heated and cooled exclusively by geothermal and photovoltaic power. The drilling portion of this phase is expected to last  two months.

“Antioch is committed to conserving and protecting natural resources and reducing its carbon footprint to the greatest degree possible,” Thomas Brookey, Antioch College’s COO, said in a statement for the press. “We estimate that the central geothermal plant and a large solar array will cut campus energy costs by approximately $400,000 annually once the campus is fully developed.”

North Hall, one of Antioch College’s three original buildings, also includes such a geothermal system. The dormitory was constructed in 1853 and underwent a $5.7 million, state-of-the-art renovation project last year. North Hall is now the second-oldest building in the world to achieve LEED certification at any level in the new construction and major renovations category, and the second oldest to achieve LEED Gold certification in that category.

Antioch College also announced it will demolish two buildings on campus, the Student Union building and Mills Hall. The college’s board of trustees has approved the demolition after recommendations from the college’s architectural firm, MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni Inc. Antioch has been working with the architectural firm on a campus master plan for over a year.

Mills Hall was built in 1959. The residential building deteriorated over the years and is now riddled with asbestos. Its demolition will start in early November, after the asbestos is removed. The student union was constructed in 1957. Antioch College determined that the cost to renovate it would be too high. No date has yet been set for its demolition.

Photo credits: Antioch College

University of Dayton’s $53M GE Aviation EPISCENTER Is the Best Economic Development Project in Ohio

25 Oct 2013, 4:45 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The $53 million, newly constructed GE Aviation EPISCENTER (Electrical Power Integrated System Center) on the University of Dayton’s campus is slated to open on Dec. 13. But the facility, finished in August, is already making an impression. On Oct. 24, the Ohio Economic Development Association recognized it as the best economic development project in the state Ohio this year.

Work started on the project on April 14, 2011. Constructed on about eight acres of land on River Park Drive, the facility includes a four-story, 50,000-square-foot office building connected to an 88,000-square-foot world-class electrical power laboratory. The EPISCENTER will be the University of Dayton’s first LEED-certified building.

GE announced its plans to build the center in November 2010. It chose the site because of its close proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the University of Dayton Research Institute. The state of Ohio awarded $7.6 million in Ohio Third Frontier Funds to the University of Dayton Research Institute to support the development.

The center has already had a significant economic impact. Fourty-nine contractors worked on the project, providing 665 construction jobs on a total estimated payroll of $15.1 million. In December, 50 GE Aviation employees will start working at the facility. Within five years and depending on future contracts, GE Aviation expects to have between 150 and 200 researchers at the site.

It’s unusual for a top Fortune 500 corporation to locate a multimillion-dollar research facility on a college campus. The University of Dayton worked together with Dayton Public Schools, CityWide Development Corp., a coalition of state and local governments, and legal and financial professionals to attract the company. GE Aviation is the world’s largest jet engine supplier. It operates six facilities in Ohio and employs more than 9,000 people, helping to rank the state third in aircraft-related jobs in the U.S. In the past two years, the company has increased its employment in Ohio by 7 percent.

Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell, the city commission, the Fairgrounds Neighborhood Association, Rubicon Park Business Association and Rubicon Mill Neighborhood Association all endorsed the university’s award application. In their letter of support, Mayor Leitzell and the commissioners called the project a “signature development for the city, if not the entire state.”

“This project serves as a cornerstone in the revitalization of this part of the city and is the foundation of the university’s vision to transform a former urban brownfield into a thriving academic and research development,” said Daniel Curran, University of Dayton president, in a statement for the press.

Photo credits: University of Dayton

Dayton Children’s Hospital Announces $140M Expansion Project

22 Oct 2013, 3:35 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Great news for all the children in Dayton. Dayton Children’s Hospital plans to invest $140 million to expand its Valley Street campus, near the city’s downtown. The hospital’s board of trustees approved the plan recently. The move follows a nearly nine-month planning process that included input from the hospital’s staff as well as patient families.

Almost 70 percent of the hospital’s current facilities are 35 years old or older, and, according to Dayton Children’s, have approached the end of their useful life for the delivery of clinical care. New spaces are necessary. Under the long-range plan, the hospital will build a new 260,000-square-foot, eight-story patient tower in the center of its Valley Street campus. It will provide the space needed to deliver care to children battling cancer and critically ill newborns.

“Our strategic roadmap, Destination 2020, calls for us to advance our role as a leader in children’s health. A thorough assessment of how we will achieve this vision has revealed that new spaces are needed to provide critical services well into the future,” said President & CEO Deborah Feldman in a statement for the press. “This is a great milestone on our path to a vibrant, world-class pediatric care facility that will help us achieve our goals of improving the health of all children and remaining an independent children’s hospital well into the future,” she added.

The hospital hired FKP Architects, a nationally recognized pediatric hospital architectural firm, to lead the development of the long-range plan. The Danis Building Construction Co. was selected as the construction manager for the massive project. Now that the plan has been approved by the board, work will start on the design and planning phase. Construction is expected to start early next year, with the entire project slated for completion sometime in 2017. The hospital hopes philanthropy will play an important role in funding the $140 million project.

Photo credits: www.facebook.com/DaytonChildrens

Cincinnati Children’s Receives Largest Donation in Hospital’s History

14 Oct 2013, 12:29 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center announced on Oct. 4 it will receive the single largest donation to the hospital since it was established in 1883. Convalescent Hospital for Children will donate $20 million over eight years. The money will be used to expand mental health facilities at the Cincinnati Children’s campus in College Hill and long-term and respite care services at the hospital’s Liberty Township campus in Butler County.

About $11 million of the $20 million gift will be used to expand facilities at the College Hill Campus, where Cincinnati Children’s provides mental health and behavioral services to more than 2,100 children each year. Cincinnati Children’s opened the campus in December 2002, after Convalescent Hospital for Children provided the funding to purchase the property at 5642 Hamilton Ave. The existing facility will be renovated and all rooms will be made private (for single patients).

A new, three-story building will be constructed behind the existing hospital to accommodate all residential patients. Although the two buildings will be attached, acute-care inpatients and residential-care patients will be separated due to their different healthcare needs. The project is scheduled to begin by the end of the year.

The remaining $9 million will be spent to provide long-term care and respite services on the Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Township Campus. The hospital said it will announce details regarding this project at a later date.

Michael Fisher, president & CEO of the hospital, said in a statement for the press that it is ”extremely grateful” for the support provided by Convalescent Hospital for Children. “This extraordinary gift will make it possible for us to better meet the growing need for mental health and long-term care for kids and teens in our area,” Fisher added.

The $20 million gift will help fund a substantial portion of the estimated total cost of both projects. Cincinnati Children’s will seek additional philanthropic support to cover the remainder of the project costs.

Photo credits: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


UC Releases New Renderings for Nippert Stadium Renovation Project

8 Oct 2013, 7:44 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Bearcat fans rejoiced on Oct. 3 as the University of Cincinnati released new renderings and floor plans for the Nippert Stadium Renovation & Expansion project. At a cost of $86 million, the privately funded project is scheduled to start construction in mid-December and is expected to be completed in August 2015.

Last year, USA Today called Nippert Stadium “the best stadium in the Big East Conference.” It’s the conference’s smallest stadium but also one of the oldest. Its construction started in 1915 and ended in 1924. At that time, the stadium had a capacity of only 12,000. It was renovated several times over the years and expanded to its current 35,000 seats.

The latest renovation will increase its capacity to about 40,000. It calls for the construction of a new press box on the west side, including new suites, scholarship club seats and loge boxes/patio suites. The west concourse will also be renovated. On the east side of the stadium, the university will expand concessions and restrooms and build skywalks to connect the upper deck with the game-day plaza on O’Varsity Way.

Heery International is the architect of record for the project, working in conjunction with the University of Cincinnati Office of Planning, Design and Construction. The Turner Construction Co. will be the construction manager, while Architecture Research Office will serve as the design architect. As design for the project is ongoing, final renderings will be released as they become available.

“As we promised back in June, we wanted to share with the Bearcat Family the exciting progress being made in the stadium design,” UC Athletics Director Whit Babcock said in a statement for the press. “As these renderings demonstrate, Nippert Stadium will add another signature facility in the heart of our beautiful campus. There will be some more tweaks and changes regarding design in the coming months. These renderings are close to final but still conceptual at this point.”

The Cincinnati Bearcats will play the 2014 season at Paul Brown Stadium. They will return to Nippert for the 2015 season, in time to celebrate 100 years since construction first started on the stadium.

Renderings courtesy of University of Cincinnati.

City of Sharonville to Build Convention Center Hotel

30 Sep 2013, 3:47 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The city of Sharonville recently announced plans to build a hotel adjacent to the newly expanded Sharonville Convention Center. The project is part of Sharonville’s revitalization plan, which also includes the expansion of the Northern Lights entertainment district and the $140 million Princeton School District complex.

The Hotel & Leisure Advisors completed a market feasibility study for the city in August and recommended a select-service, chain-affiliated hotel that connects to the 65,000-square-foot convention center. The project will be at least LEED Silver certified in order to complement the convention center’s designation.

The hotel will be constructed on a city-owned parcel. With easy access to both I-75 and I-275, it will help meet the demands of conventions, meetings and events at the adjacent convention center. According to Jim Downtown, executive director of the Sharonville Convention Center, the state-of-the-art center has performed better than expected during its first year of operation, but there is still room for significant growth within the sports, regional corporate, state association, convention and tradeshow event markets. “These events expect not only a first-class convention facility but a branded, anchor hotel that has direct access and is in alignment with the high quality of our center. Through our partnership with the Greater Cincinnati CVB, we have worked hard to identify a targeted list of an additional 1,300 events that currently meet within our competitive set and produce significant hotel room nights,” he said in a statement for the press.

Chris Xeil Lyons, economic development director for the city of Sharonville, explained that the Princeton School District will house the sixth-largest public school facility in Ohio and that the hotel is  ”critical to satisfying the current and future demand for both the school district and convention center.”

The city of Sharonville is now looking to hire qualified developers to design, finance, construct and manage the hotel. Development partners can inspect the property proposed for the hotel on Oct. 4. Bids for the project are due on Oct. 31.

Photo credits: The City of Sharonville

Two Dayton-Area Warehouses Sell for Over $5M

23 Sep 2013, 3:44 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Two large industrial properties in the Dayton area changed hands this month. The properties total more than 300,000 square feet of space and have sold for a little over $5.5 million.

The 172,000-square-foot manufacturing and research facility at 8821 Washington Church Road in Miamisburg was auctioned off last week. It was sold to the highest bidder for $1.3 million. The property sits on 62 acres of land near the new Austin Road Interchange, just minutes from the Dayton Mall, restaurants, banking and service centers. The MEAD Corp. constructed the fully air-conditioned facility in 1988.

The sale included all of the equipment in the building. According to the Dayton Business Journal, the auction was managed by Barry Baker Auctioneers. Chuck McCosh, president of Our Corporate Real Estate Department, was a broker in the sale and told the business journal that the sale will close in 30 days or less, although he did not disclose the name of the buyer.

The second industrial property was sold at the start of September. Canton-based Peoples Services Inc., a logistics and supply chain company, announced it acquired Michigan-based Central Warehouse Operations Inc. from Central Warehouse Co. The transaction closed for $15 million, according to The Canton Repository.

The transaction included the warehouse, at 1280 Industrial Park Drive in Vandalia, along with two other Michigan properties, in Saginaw and Midland. According to Montgomery County property records, the 166,068-square-foot Vandalia property went for $4.25 million. It was constructed in 2000.

Photo credits: Google Maps.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Plans to Invest $162M in Two Liberty Township projects

10 Sep 2013, 3:30 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center announced last week it will soon start work on two major expansion projects at its Liberty Campus in Butler County. The total cost of the two projects is expected to be $162 million.

Before the end of the year, the hospital will start construction on a proton therapy facility to research and treat cancer. The estimated cost of the project is $118 million. The more than 80,000-square-foot facility will house two proton treatment rooms for clinical use, with the possibility of adding a third room in the future. Cincinnati Children’s, which will own the pediatric-focused facility, expects the project to be completed in three years. Only 11 such treatment centers are operational at this time in the United States, although the National Proton Therapy Association says there are at least 15 more in development.

According to the Cincinnati Business Courier, Messer Construction of Cincinnati will build the facility, together with the Linbeck Group of Houston. TK&A Architects of Cambridge, Mass., will be the project’s architect.

The hospital will also start work in the winter of 2014 on a $44 million expansion that will add a fourth floor to an existing structure at the Liberty Campus, accommodating 28 pediatric in-patient beds. Cincinnati Children’s officials said the expansion will help the hospital better serve the area’s growing population.

While Messer Construction will also build the addition, GBBN Architects of Cincinnati will design it. The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2015.

The Liberty Campus is located at the intersection of Interstate 75 and State Route 129. It opened in 2008 and will continue to serve patients during the construction of the two projects.

Photo credits: Google Maps.

U Square @ the Loop Finally Open

3 Sep 2013, 4:23 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

U Square @ the Loop, the largest local project besides The Banks to break ground since the recession, is finally finished. The $78 million development opened on Aug. 22. UC President Santa Ono, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, CHCURC Director Matt Bourgeois, Uptown Consortium CEO Beth Robinson, Al Neyer Executive Vice President Jim Neyer and many others were present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The LEED certified project is a joint venture between Al Neyer  and Towne Properties LLC. U Square @ the Loop was developed on a 4.2-acre strip of land between McMillan Avenue and Calhoun Street, just south of the University of Cincinnati. It features 80,000 square feet of retail space, 40,000 square feet of office space, 161 apartments, a community green and two structured parking garages with more than 700 spaces. There is also space reserved for a future hotel. When the project broke ground in January 2012, plans also called for the construction of a 100 to 110 room hotel.

The apartments at U Square @ the Loop range from studios to two bedrooms. According to the development’s website, rents range from $695 to $1,800 per month. Amenities include a clubroom, a fitness center, outdoor terraces and more. Apartments for low-income tenants are also available.

The retail portion of the project features such tenants as Starbucks, Chase, Elephant Walk Injera & Curry House, DiBella’s Old Fashioned Submarines, Firehouse Subs or Great Clips. At first, the developers hired Cassidy Turley to lease the retail space. However, about a month before the start of construction, they decided to sign a new contract with Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate Inc. because they wanted national apparel tenants at the project.

Photo credit: U Square @ the Loop

University of Cincinnati’s Morgens Hall Open for Students Following $35M Renovation

26 Aug 2013, 4:47 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor


The University of Cincinnati recently announced it is preparing for another all-time record enrollment. The 194-year old university expects 43,000 students to attend classes this year and, in order to welcome them, it unveiled its $35 million renovation of Morgens Hall on Aug. 15.

The residence hall was constructed in 1964 by architectural firm F.W. Pressler & Associates, as part of a three-building complex that also included Scioto and Sawyer halls. Named after Howard J. Morgens, former president of Procter & Gamble, it is the only one still open to students. Sawyer was razed in 2006 and Scioto has been closed since 2008.

Morgens Hall is now shining bright at 2931 Scioto Lane, near the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Jefferson Avenue. The old concrete-and-brick exterior has been replaced with 2,000 high-tech glass panels that will offer the building greater insulation. Morgens Hall was designed in collaboration with Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects and is expected to achieve LEED status.

UC students moved in on Aug. 21. All available rooms were spoken for less than a month after they became available, in February. There are 144 apartments with a total of 456 beds. Morgens Hall offers four different apartment styles:

  • two-person small studio;
  • two-person standard studio;
  • three-person, two-bedroom apartment;
  • eight-person, five-bedroom apartment.

Multiple-occupancy units cost $3,938 per person each semester, while single-occupancy bedrooms in the two- or five-bedroom apartments cost $4,175 per person each semester. All the apartments contain full bathrooms and kitchens as well as furniture designed by UC students.


Photo Credits: The University of Cincinnati

The Banks Development Team Announces Start Date for Construction on Phase IIA

19 Aug 2013, 4:05 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Banks is destined to be Cincinnati’s largest single mixed-use development, with residential, office, hotel and retail components. In a recent release, the Banks’ master development team of Carter and The Dawson Co. announced work will soon start on Phase IIA of the project.

On Monday, Aug. 5, the Cincinnati City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee considered the proposed amendments to The Banks Master Development Agreement of Phase IIA of the development. Later this month, on Aug. 21, the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners will also consider the matter at its board meeting.

Phase IIA calls for the construction of a nine-story building with about 305 one- and two-bedroom apartments, ranging between 615 and 1,300 square feet, and 21,000 square feet of retail space. The development will be located on a full city block, from Rosa Parks to Race Street and between Freedom Way and Second Street.

Mayor Mark Mallory said in a press release that the projectwill continue the momentum of our city’s economic development efforts – adding jobs and making Cincinnati a more vibrant community. Chris Monzel, President of the Hamilton County Commissioners, also called the Banks a “huge success thus far for the county’s economic development efforts.”

Construction on Phase IIA will begin this December. It is expected to be completed in the fall of 2015. The city of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will grant a tax abatement on the residential portion of Phase IIA. Its has an estimated value of almost $12.9 million over 15 years.

Phase IA of the riverfront development is already finished. It includes a revised street grid, a parking facility, 300 apartments and 96,000 square feet of retail. The apartments are fully leased, while the retail space is 91 percent occupied. Phase IA has created more than 3,600 net new permanent jobs.

Photo credits: http://thebankscincy.com

Antioch College’s North Hall Becomes One of Oldest LEED Gold Buildings Worldwide

6 Aug 2013, 4:17 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

North Hall, one of Antioch College’s three original buildings, has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Antioch College President Mark Roosevelt made the announcement last week.

The Antioch College Board of Trustees approved the $5.7 million, state-of-the-art North Hall renovation project in October 2011. The project was based on plans submitted by Pittsburgh architecture firm MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni. It added new singles for resident hall advisors, a total of 49 new doubles (98 beds) for students, a full-service kitchen, larger bathrooms, lounges and common areas, and a new elevator. The renovation project was completed in early October 2012.

The green features that helped the building achieve LEED Gold certification include low-flow plumbing fixtures, lighting controls, low VOC materials, improvements to the building’s envelope and more. A solar PV power plant on the roof supplies the building with electric energy, while a state-of-the-art system based on geothermal energy is used to heat and cool it.

The dormitory was constructed in 1853 in Yellow Springs, Ohio. In a press release, the college said North Hall is now the second-oldest building in the world to achieve LEED certification at any level in the new construction and major renovations category, and the second oldest to achieve LEED Gold certification in that category. The USGBC recently published a list of some of the oldest LEED-certified buildings in the world. The oldest in the United States is the Fay House at Harvard University, built in 1807, while the oldest building in the world is a Venetian Gothic palazzo constructed in 1453.

“Restoring one of our original campus buildings was an incredibly important, symbolic win for us as we continue to rebuild this college,” said Roosevelt in a statement for the press. “Achieving LEED Gold certification for North Hall is a superb accomplishment and is certainly one of the larger milestones in our rebirth. Not only does it exhibit our deep commitment to providing our students with excellent facilities, but it also demonstrates our unreserved dedication to sustainability in both education and practice.”

Photo credits: Antioch College

Two Cincinnati-Area Retail Properties Sell; More Expected

29 Jul 2013, 1:56 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The recovering Cincinnati economy is attracting investors. Recently, two large multi-tenant assets have sold for a combined $75 million, and Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services expects the sale of retail assets in the area to gain traction during the course of the year.

Rubenstein Real Estate Co., a private real estate company based in Overland Park, Kan., paid $30 million for the Colerain Towne Centre. New York-based Kimco Realty Corp. was the seller and was represented by Joe Girardi and Ben Wineman of Mid-America Real Estate Corp.’s Investment Sales Group. The buyer was self-represented.

Colerain Towne Centre is a 400,000-square-foot power center located on 37 acres of land in the northeast quadrant of Colerain Avenue and Interstate 275 in Colerain Township. It is anchored by a Walmart Supercenter, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Jo-Ann Fabrics, PetSmart and Hobby Lobby. Kimco acquired the property in 2000 for more than $26.5 million.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that American Pacific International Capital, a Portland, Ore.-based private investment company backed by Chinese investors, is the new owner of Tri-County Mall. The property was acquired at a Hamilton County Sheriff’s auction for $45 million. The opening bid was $35 million.

Tri-County Mall is located at the interchange of State Route 747 and Interstate 275 in the northern suburb of Springdale. It opened in 1960. With more than 1.3 million square feet of leasable space, the mall is estimated to be  60 to 70 percent occupied. It is home to more than 150 retailers, including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Sears and BJ’s Restaurant.

The Hamilton County sheriff valued the property at $52.5 million, significantly less than the $179.5 million price tag in 2005. The mall fell on hard times in recent years and went into foreclosure in 2012. American Pacific International Capital President Wilson Chen said after the auction that he will continue to run the property as a mall and that he plans to invest in it and “bring it back to its old glory.”

Photo credit: Google Maps
Charts courtesy of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services 

Troubled Apartment Building in Evanston Makes Way for New Homes

22 Jul 2013, 4:08 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Developer The Model Group demolished the century-old St. Leger apartment building in Evanston on July 17, making way for development of a new building and helping to revitalize the Cincinnati neighborhood. Hundreds of people were present at the event and cheered as machines belonging to the O’Rourke Wrecking Co. brought down the mammoth building. Anzora Adkins, president of the Evanston Community Council, Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. and Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls were among them.

The 81-unit St. Leger was constructed in 1905. It was located at a place known as the Five Points because of the five streets that intersect there, right in the center of Evanston. Over time, it attracted crime. The building was eventually closed, and its residents were relocated. According to a press release, Adkins had been looking forward to this project for some time now. She called the demolition a “huge step toward our vision of growing Evanston into a thriving, healthy community once again.”

“Demolition of the St. Leger is the end of an era of crime, violence and disorder,” Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls added in the release. “We’re finally closing the door on that past and opening the door to revitalization and investment in the great neighborhood of Evanston.”

The demolition was funded in part by the Moving Ohio Forward program. Working in partnership with the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, the city of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and the state of Ohio, the program is dedicated to helping stabilize and improve communities by demolishing blighted buildings and making way for reinvestment.

A new building will be developed on the site of the old St. Leger. Named the St. Ambrose Apartments after the Patron Saint of Learning and to honor Evanston’s reputation as an educating community, it will include 26 new townhouses and flats and will be LEED certified. The one-, two- and three-bedroom units will be affordable to families.

The Model Group expects to complete the new apartments in the summer of 2014.

Photo credit: Google Maps

Hyatt Regency Cincinnati Completes $23M Renovation; $8.4M Holiday Inn Planned by Casino

16 Jul 2013, 3:34 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati has announced the completion of renovations to its lobby and existing 486 guest rooms. At a cost of $23 million, the project also called for the addition of five new rooms, to bring the hotel’s total to 491 guest rooms.

The renovation project, begun in December 2012, also included a new upscale Red Roost Tavern that opened on the hotel’s lobby level in early June and the Market, an on-the-go dining option. The Market opened on the hotel’s first floor on June 14.

Now the hotel’s rooms are furnished in neutral tones with red accents and they include new bedding, wall coverings, drapes, workstations, carpeting, mini-refrigerators, safes and 42-inch flat-screen TVs. With a clean and modern design, the new lobby features a variety of seating areas for guests to gather, while the front desk area is equipped with pods for front desk employees to interact with guests.

“These latest renovations allow us to focus on what’s most important to our guests: providing them with a unique experience that anticipates their needs and ensures the most enjoyable stay possible,” said Bruce Flyer, general manager of the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, in a statement for the press. “The new rooms – as well as the changes we’ve been able to implement locally as part of the evolution of the Hyatt brand – allow us to provide a customized experience to our guests.” The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati opened in the city in 1985.

In other news, the Cincinnati Enquirer announced plans are in motion for construction of a 115-room Holiday Inn & Suites in Cincinnati’s downtown, near the Horseshoe Casino. The 85,000-square-foot hotel will cost $8.4 million to build and will be developed by Rolling Hills Hospitality.

Photo credit: Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
Charts courtesy of Marcus & Millichap.

Construction to Start This Month on University Station’s $54M First Phase

9 Jul 2013, 8:21 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

July is turning out to be a great month for Cincinnati’s Xavier University. On July 1st, Xavier officially entered the Big East, one of the premier athletic conferences in the country, fulfilling a 30-year plan for athletics to help put the university in the national spotlight. Now it’s getting ready to start work together with Messer Construction Co. and Ackermann Group on a long-delayed apartment and retail development at Montgomery Road and Cleneay Avenue, adjacent to the campus.

The project was initially announced in 2007. At that time, it was named Xavier Square, with Covington-based Corporex Cos. as the developer. But the plan was shelved in 2008, when the financial crisis hit. Xavier will now revive it, with a new development team and a new name: University Station.

Work will start in mid-July on the $54 million first phase of the project. It will create more than 350 jobs and is expected to be completed in August 2014. Phase One is a 315,000-square-foot mixed-use development on 15 acres. It calls for the construction of 40,000 square feet of office space, 35,000 square feet of retail, 900 parking spaces and a 225,000-square-foot, 480-bed, 180-unit apartment complex for Xavier students and local residents. An 11,000-square-foot college bookstore will sit at the corner of Montgomery and Cleneay.

The developers are in talks with prospective tenants for the office and retail space and expect to announce leases in the coming weeks. As the first phase of the project is being built, the developers will be working on Phase Two. It calls for more office and retail space and even a hotel.

University Station will be located on a 20-acre site partly in Cincinnati and partly in Norwood. It was once occupied by the BASF plant, Zumbiel Packaging and other smaller businesses. Xavier will continue to own the land and will lease it to a Messer/Ackermann entity for 95 years. The buildings and other improvements will also be owned by the developer.

According to the developers, funding for the project is already secured. University Station is being financed by a U.S. Bank loan and New Market Tax Credits from local and national sources. It will also use funds from a city of Norwood Tax Increment Financing District to help finance the required public improvements. The development team also includes Costandi Studio L.L.C. as the project’s architect, Humphreys & Partners L.P. as residential architect,  The Kleingers Group as civil engineer, Martin Koepke Design as the landscape architect, with Jeffrey R. Anderson Real Estate in charge of retail leasing and CBRE Group Inc. in charge of commercial leasing.

Photo credits Xaveier University

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