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Cincinnati: Downtown: W&S Condominium Project (3rd & Broadway)

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W&S studies downtown development

Headquarters, condos, café considered for downtown

By Jeff McKinney • jmckinney@enquirer.com • October 21, 2010

 

DOWNTOWN - Western & Southern Financial Group is considering plans for future development of at least three new buildings in the southeast section of downtown, including the possibility of a new headquarters, The Enquirer has learned.

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Anyone want to take bets on when we'll have to change the thread name to Queen City Square Phase 3?


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

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The W&S Parking Garage or the Queen City Club site. Not technically adjacent, but pretty close. I'm trying to figure out where they plan on fitting in that condo building.

 

 

Does W&S own the QCC land?


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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If that middle highrise (Neo-Deco Wells Fargo Minneapolis-ish) is built between Vine and Scripps, I'll purposely be nice on this forum forever!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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If they can build A RESIDENTIAL condo tower and make it AFFORDABLE by adding 30-50 floors while not OVER-DOING the amenities and keeping the HOA's LOW ... then I will be the first to sign a contract and I'll be the first to move in!

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If they do build it, I wish they'd build it on the western end of DT or further north.  I think they skyline would look funny with two skyscraper right next to each other and so many on the south eastern side of DT.

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The W&S Parking Garage or the Queen City Club site. Not technically adjacent, but pretty close. I'm trying to figure out where they plan on fitting in that condo building.

 

 

Does W&S own the QCC land?

 

I don't think so--I don't think they own the University Club, either. 

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Really, after QCS how big of a tower do you think would go where the parking garage is? 


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

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In an ideal world a new W&S HQ would be built on the surface parking lot between 6th and 7th on Sycamore next to St. Xavier church.  Too bad they don't own that lot.

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What about those two huge lots next to where The Edge was gonna be? I think it's W 5th st and Culvert?  I've always thought it would be cool to see two huge buildings go there.

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First of all, they surely have the plan almost completely set in place and this speculation is designed to keep speculators off-balance. 

 

I'll put my money on an office tower being built in place of the spinning clock garage.  This site has a 200x200 footprint.  The QCS tower has a roughly 200x100 footprint.  The office building trend has clearly favored 3rd St. since the Scripps Tower was built in the early 90's and I don't see why this won't continue until there isn't any land remaining.  I do not think anyone will fight to keep the row homes on Arch St. from being razed, but I don't think that they necessarily will be demolished.   

 

The problem with a new headquarters facing 5th St. is the game of musical chairs that would be necessary during phased construction.  I think the announcement that new garages are going up north of P&G shows that the spinning clock garage is doomed, and that W&S's employee parking will be shifted there. 

 

 

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...and Jmeck, I really do hope they build something at the spinning clock site.  It's so stupid to have a brand new state-of-the-art tower right next to a George Jetson-ilke relic.  Hideous. 

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I'll never be one to complain about a new office tower going up, especially if it's taller than GAI Tower.  But build it at the spinning clock garage site?  Eh, I'm hesitant about that idea because it would block the side profile of GAI from the east....and I admit I love the side profile more than the front profile.  Nevertheless, maybe a new tower would have a more striking profile.  So I say go for it.  Still, I'd prefer a new tower on a different block if possible.

 

Next question:  Do we all honestly think another tower will go up which surpasses GAI in height, or are we all merely dreaming?

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Next question:  Do we all honestly think another tower will go up which surpasses GAI in height, or are we all merely dreaming?

 

Oh dreaming for sure, but I wouldn't bet against it.  Sure they may not surpass QCS in height this next go around, but we have more than enough F500 companies in the region to pitch in on a good ol american skyscraper war at some point in our future. (Some of these companies are past due, Ahem 53)  Not to mention the out of town businesses that Cincy will be able to attract once we put rails in the ground. 

 

 

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I have calculated at 183 X 200 (the rough measure of the spinning clock garage) that the new tower would be at least 21 stories tall.  If W&S seek another tenant to help fill space it could be taller.  But that is what they will need to house 2000 employees and a lobby.


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

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I have calculated at 183 X 200 (the rough measure of the spinning clock garage) that the new tower would be at least 21 stories tall. If W&S seek another tenant to help fill space it could be taller. But that is what they will need to house 2000 employees and a lobby.

 

Hey a wall of towers along 3rd Street is fine by me;)

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Third Street has become more important as the city has returned to the river as its heart. As the river is now the region's great boulevard, building on Third Street gives you a place in all the wonderful shots of dt and a place to establish your brand on the skyline.

 

I do think that WS getting in on the tower game is all about battling over being the dominant insurer in town (those upstart Lindner's shouldn't have the best building). I also wonder if w/ some of the problems w/ economy, that insurers actually get a good value out of building a new office tower instead of some of the other investments that they tried to use over the last decade (especially, new housing developments in the 'burbs).

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This is way ahead but I would like to see an updated version of the spinning clock atop said tower.  Hopefully it would finish of a top similar to Scripps with the spinner integrated.  Who's with me?

 

I have calculated at 183 X 200 (the rough measure of the spinning clock garage) that the new tower would be at least 21 stories tall.  If W&S seek another tenant to help fill space it could be taller.  But that is what they will need to house 2000 employees and a lobby.

 

What I would hope is that the floors plates are not that large and (whatever size they are) that they are square, circular or irregular and not primarily rectangular like the unfortunately east/west oriented QCS/GAT.  Although they are plain Janes, I love what Chiquita and 600 Vine do to the skyline with their angles.

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I do think that WS getting in on the tower game is all about battling over being the dominant insurer in town (those upstart Lindner's shouldn't have the best building).

 

You do know that Eagle Realty, which built QCS and recruited Great American as the tenant, is owned by Western-Southern, right?  If they wanted to be the anchor tenant I am guessing they could have.  Also, I think that Great American is mostly a property and casualty insurer, while WS is (as the name implies) primarily in the life insurance biz.  Though both insurers, I don't think they are "competing" as directly as, say, Fifth Third and US Bank may be.  Just an outside observer, but I think QCS and any new headquarters probably just reflect the fact that WS has these real estate interests. 

 

 

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I was told that when the demolition of the old garage was announced for QCS, there were many calls to the company by people concerned about the spinning clock, thinking that was the garage that was coming down. 

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I'm aware of the differences, but the Lindner's are still considered by nouveau riche by the older money of the city, which W&S mostly represents.

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The spinning clock is kind of a landmark. Granted, a new tower would be nice, but I'll miss that clock.

 

just put the spinning clock on top of the new tower, problem solved.

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The spinning clock is kind of a landmark.  Granted, a new tower would be nice, but I'll miss that clock.

 

just put the spinning clock on top of the new tower, problem solved.

 

Or you could put it in the birdcage and turn it into a lighthouse of sorts.

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The spinning clock is kind of a landmark. Granted, a new tower would be nice, but I'll miss that clock.

 

just put the spinning clock on top of the new tower, problem solved.

 

Or you could put it in the birdcage and turn it into a lighthouse of sorts.

 

I'm for this idea, 100%

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I think part of what has motivated the shift of downtown offices east of Vine Street is the approach from I-71 and Columbia Parkway, where most senior management lives.  Queen City Square definitely dominates from those angles. 

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I think part of what has motivated the shift of downtown offices east of Vine Street is the approach from I-71 and Columbia Parkway, where most senior management lives.   Queen City Square definitely dominates from those angles.

 

Good point.  I always wanted to see a monster building go into 4th and Plum but there's also those two huge lots next to what was going to be The Edge.  Plus the casino not far away.  Sounds kinda corny but I've always liked big downtowns where the highway either goes between skyscrapers or right up against them.  Cincy can have that if it expands East.

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It is going to be very interesting to see what becomes of many of these corporate skyscrapers built from the 50's onward. Larger cities like New York will have the demand, interest, and cash to simply knock them down but smaller cities won't have that luxury. Many of these buildings lack the character and charm that draw people to renovate them. For example, with the proper work and design, I could see someone wanting to live in Carew Tower but I can't say the same for the old National City building.

I think people's tastes change with time. We don't see these buildings as desirable now, but in 50 years people might look at them as beautiful and QCS in disgust. (Some already do). This is the struggle that the Terrace Plaza Hotel is now facing. It was an architectural masterpiece when it was built but only a few people can see its true beauty in 2010 and therefore it sits vacant.

I don't know. I don't really see the architectural value in the Kroger and 5/3 towers. And you're right, the 5/3 tower isn't all that bad. I just wish they would update their signage on top.

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The Kroger building is where it is because it was built on the site of Barney Kroger's original store and properties gradually acquired by the company.  It originally looked radically different than it does now and was reclad in its present bland white paneling around 1983. 

 

It's pretty clear than Western & Southern and P&G are interested in attracting out-of-town talent and are remaking the city ala Nationwide in Columbus to appease those tastes.  Meanwhile, Kroger doesn't seem to give a damn, and aside from the Gateway garage project five years ago, seems perfectly content to conduct business in a C- building facing the dreadful 1980's remake of the Court St. market. 

 

 

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The spinning clock is kind of a landmark.  Granted, a new tower would be nice, but I'll miss that clock.

 

just put the spinning clock on top of the new tower, problem solved.

 

There's an echo in here.  Are my posts on ignore?

 

Jake, I'd like to hear more of your rationale on the development east of Vine being attributed to C-suite commute patterns.

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Wide would a company that makes 2 cents on a dollar care what the appearance of their building looks like?  They have much larger priorities than that.

 

And I actually like the location of Kroger.  It is the backend of the core DT and holds it all together.

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I like 5/3.  I feel the verticality of the facade is perfect against a large open space like Fountain Square. Not to mention, it's really one of the only skyscrapers in Cincinnati that emphasizes the verticals over the horizontals.  I think it's Cincinnati's best example of a modern international style skyscraper.

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All Fifth Third Center needs is a glassy makeover ala BMO Toronto and it'll look better.  Perhaps a reflection of Fountain Square and the sky would do that building well.  I agree it's probably Cincinnati's best example of vertical lines but the color/material is what needs to be changed.

 

As for Kroger, I still prefer it over its ORIGINAL self.  Oy!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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As for Kroger, I still prefer it over its ORIGINAL self. Oy!

 

Any chance anyone here has a picture of it? I can't seem to find one, and it's well before my time.

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Courtesy of CincyImages, Old Kroger's in all it's tasty tacky glory!! :-D:

 

40398779.OTR.jpg

 

 

 

If you can't see the picture, link is here.


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

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If you can't see the picture, link is here.

Forbidden  :-(


"It's just fate, as usual, keeping its bargain and screwing us in the fine print..." - John Crichton

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According to Walter Langsam, the W&S Building on the northeast corner of 4th & Broadway was designed to be a tower with floors added in the future; not the squat building it is.  When they decided to expand in the past, they decided to grow out and not up (cheaper probably) . . . so hence the additions to the north and east.

 

I say just build on top!

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