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Cincinnati: Downtown: The Reserve at 4th and Race

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14-story Cincinnati office tower may become apartments

By Laura Baverman • lbaverman@enquirer.com • June 21, 2010

 

Ashley Development Co. of Edgewood plans a $17 million conversion of the 14-story Fourth and Race Tower, built in 1927 to house the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and later, the Federal Reserve Bank. Ashley has requested nearly $1 million in gap financing from the city.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100621/BIZ01/6220333/Office-tower-may-become-apartments

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Hopefully they find a way to make this happen.  The article mentions Queen City Square and its effect on the office market... if its construction leeds to more conversion of Class B office space to residential then that can only be a good thing.   

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Not that kind of slum, just lack of maintenance and bleeding the buildings until they are unlivable.  Miller Valentine is a good contractor/developer, but it is the actual property owner, Holbrook who should not be trusted IMO.  As an example look how 4th and Race Tower has gone downhill since he bought it just 3 years ago. 

 

He has apartments in Independence KY that have been condemned.  Council would be wise to talk with the Independence Building Inspector, to get some backround on this guy before starting to loan him money.  He would rent burned-out apartments to people, stuff like that.

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^good point. At first I misread the article and thought Ashley was the same as Holbrook. If they do purchase it from Holbrook and he has no involvement after the sale this could be very good for Cincinnati and this building.  I don't know anything good or bad about Ashley Development. 

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Would it be fair to say, that if they are not receiving a bulk tenant and most of the building isn't filled due to a glut of Class B office space, then the building stands to deteriorate or stagnate?

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Holbrook has been slowly selling off his vast real estate empire.  He owns some more property in downtown, Covington and a trailer park in Bellevue and he used to own the marina in Dayton KY before selling it off to Manhattan Harbour.  Unfortunately, as a public official I can't say much more about him publicly though.  This is a good development and compliments the growing "Soapbox" District and other residential developments on W 4th. 


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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Looking at their website http://www.ashleybuilders.com/ Ashley mostly does large suburban style homes, though they have done a conversion of a church into loft apartments (St. Anthony Lofts in Bellevue). This looks to be completely outside of their typical portfolio but you would think that they're probably going for a high end market since that is what they know.

 

Anyone know anything about Ashley beyond their website?

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Gotta break into a new market somehow. I believe that The Banks is also the largest project Dawson has ever done, but they have the backing of Carter. Likewise Ashley seems to have the backing of Miller Valentine.

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I work with Ashley from time to time and I can tell you the St. Anthony conversion has not started yet.  Unfortunately, they need more pre-sales to get financing.  The company has two divisions; a commercial division and a residential division. T\hey have been looking to expand their commercial division by taking on different projects.  One such project is the commercial building in downtown Norwood (Corner of Sherman and Montgomery) where they built a building a new building in the rear yard and are slated to redo the front facade of the existing building. 


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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Anyone know anything about Ashley beyond their website?

 

Their commercial division is pretty solid, usually building smaller buildings like banking centers and restaurants.

 

While it is pretty obvious this is a huge break from their niche, on a professional level I have no doubt they will do an excellent job.  It really comes down to the subcontractors used, and Ashley's mix of commercial and residential experience will be sufficient for this project.

 

In my opinion, their are very few contractors in Cincy that could handle a project of this size and scope, so Ashley might see an opportunity to develop more projects like this one in the future.  I hope 4th and Race goes well for everyone's sake!

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Would it be fair to say, that if they are not receiving a bulk tenant and most of the building isn't filled due to a glut of Class B office space, then the building stands to deteriorate or stagnate?

 

In any case where a building lacks a tenant, and thus the money to maintain it, it stands the risk of deteriorating or stagnating.  The "glut" of Class B office space in downtown Cincinnati isn't as much an unusual problem, as it is a cyclical thing.

 

This Class B office space has become antiquated for modern office users.  What happens is that new Class A space is created (QCS), then existing older Class A users move there and leave their older Class A space behind for Class B users.  Everyone moves up due to lowering market prices, and eventually the bottom end spaces have to be converted to another use (i.e. apartments) or be removed from the market.

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Ashley sets plan for Fourth and Race Tower

By Lucy May, Cincinnati Business Courier | June 22, 2010

 

Ashley Commercial Group is working on a $17 million plan to redevelop the historic Fourth and Race Tower downtown, according to a source familiar with the project.  Under the plan, the office building would be converted to 88 apartments.

 

The project would be LEED-certified and would include a complete renovation of the building from 16 floors of an office tower to five floors of office and 11 floors of market-rate apartments. Of the 88 units, 32 would be one-bedroom apartments, and 56 would have two bedrooms. The commercial tenants now there would remain in the building, according to a fact sheet.

 

Read full story here:

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2010/06/21/daily17.html

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I did a double take when I saw this thread.  I thought for a second that the 5th & Race thread had been updated.  This looks like it could be a nice addition anyway.

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I think this would be better to stay office.  I prefer residential with balconies and more perimeter window space.  And I'm not so sure residential is best located in the banking area of town.  Did the nearby McAlpin sell all their condos?

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I thought the banking area was more the eastern end of 5th Street with PNC, US Bank, and 5/3 all having their HQ's there.

 

That said, I think for condos, I would agree with you, balconies are important. For rental apartments it would be good because they offer living in the center of the city. Lytle tower apts on 4th street as well as the Shilleto Lofts do not offer balconies and they seem successful

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This will be pretty similar in offerings to Lytle Place, except for the office on lower levels.  It will have a pretty nice roof deck, and the top floor has all the common area stuff (gym, theater, party room(s), a guest suite) that most towers this size should have. 

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Downtown luxury apartment project gets Clean Ohio grant

Business Courier

Date: Monday, November 8, 2010, 2:55pm EST - Last Modified: Monday, November 8, 2010, 4:40pm EST

 

 

A plan to bring luxury apartments and commercial space to downtown Cincinnati's former Federal Reserve Building received a $750,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Development.

 

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2010/11/08/downton-luxury-apartment-project-gets.html

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There are plenty of downtown developments that don't have balconies. It's not a huge loss. But I can see some tasteful balconies added if it is structurally feasible.

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I love this building and location, I just hope they don't change the facade. Have they disclosed any renderings of the apartments? Are they luxury apartments, I dunno if I understand the term market rate? Conversions can be quite transformative for a downtown, I hope they find more buildings to convert. I just really love the contrast of a pre-war building and modern amenities. I rather have no balconies I live by a luxury apartment complex in Indianapolis and it can be quite tacky from street level seeing large coolers or beach towels hanging off the the railings, especially if those beach towels are Spongebob or Dora the Explorer, Ha.

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Project is a go, will start in January.  "The Reserve at Fourth and Race"  Unfortunately they are behind the times and didn't use an "@" symbol.

 

^No changes to the facade

 

^^It will have a pretty nice roof deck and all the shared amenities (conference/party room, gym, etc) will be on top floor.

 

Apartments are standard, with I believe a entire floor of loft-style apts at the top. 

 

Not sure about finishes or pricing yet.

 

I think this is an excellent use for an old office building.  Hopefully this happens a few more times in the area so the business district can build up a solid critical mass.  Only then do I think you'll see something like a condo tower above Macy's happen.

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Mr. Skinner,

 

The final sentence in this paragraph is patently untrue.  Lanny Holbrook has owned the building for well over a decade.

 

Moreover, he's maintained his law offices in the building and has attempted to find ways to make the property viable as an office structure.  However, the market simply doesn't exist for Class B office space when there is such a plethora of cheap Class A space on the market.

 

I know nothing about Lanny's other real estate holdings aside from his past ownership of the marina.  He sought for years a partner to develop that site to no avail.

 

Please understand that Mr. Holbrook is an attorney, not a real estate developer, and he doesn't pretend to be the latter.  His real estate acquisitions have been solely for investment purposes.

 

Not that kind of slum, just lack of maintenance and bleeding the buildings until they are unlivable.  Miller Valentine is a good contractor/developer, but it is the actual property owner, Holbrook who should not be trusted IMO.  As an example look how 4th and Race Tower has gone downhill since he bought it just 3 years ago.

 

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Buried in this article is mention of this project:

 

In other business Friday, the port also signed off on providing a $750,000 Clean Ohio Grant as part of a $19 million plan to remake the historic Federal Reserve Building at the corner of Race and Fourth streets downtown.

 

The project is expected to kick off next month and will include 88 apartments and 59,000 square feet of commercial space to be developed by Edgewood-Ashley Development Corp.

 

Called The Reserve at Fourth and Race, the first apartments are expected to be available by August and will rent for about $1,000 a month and up. Currently, the tower houses a handful of smaller tenants, including a property management company, Heritage Managing Group and Stock Yards Bank & Trust Co.

 

more: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20101112/BIZ01/11130313/1055/NEWS/Old-Kmart-site-to-be-redeveloped

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