Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest UncleRando

Cincinnati: Downtown: Fountain Square West

Recommended Posts

3CDC hopes to parlay success into additional $65M in tax credits

BY DAN MONK & LUCY MAY | CINCINNATI BUSINESS COURIER

April 13, 2007

 

DOWNTOWN - After using federal tax credits to spark a restaurant boom near Fountain Square and a new condo cluster in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. is working to line up financing for its next wave of projects, possibly including a new office tower at Fifth and Vine streets.

Click link for article.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Yeah, I like those buildings in Philly as well. There are similar ones all over now it seems. San Diego for instance.

 

I'd rather see QCS II.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh sheesh.  I am SO not holding my breath on this one.  I went through all the hopes throughout the 80's, with one proposal after another, and ended up with gut-wrenching disappointment.  I refuse to put myself through it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny that you mention the Liberty Place towers in the background...they were designed by Helmut Jahn.  He was the architect of this proposal for Fountain Square West:

 

fsw.jpg

 

 

 

if we build that we need a bat signal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh sheesh.  I am SO not holding my breath on this one.  I went through all the hopes throughout the 80's, with one proposal after another, and ended up with gut-wrenching disappointment.  I refuse to put myself through it again.

 

 

I don't blame you, those must have been rough times. Just thinking about it ... kind of gives me a mental image of innocent civilians being blown up in baghdad by Shiite extremist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ I was being sarcastic. This is how 1012 is making it sound. C'mon UncleRando ... we've been in UO discussions for how long now? No one is making fun of the events that happened. It is a current problem and has been been every since Ishmael and Isaac during OT days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they build something tall there I hope they take into account if and how much natural light they will be blocking from the square itself.

 

And also, if you think the Banks is important, you have to think Queen City Square Phase II is more important than the potential Fountain Square West project.  Which are both being considered by the same company, I believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ I was being sarcastic. This is how 1012 is making it sound. C'mon UncleRando ... we've been in UO discussions for how long now? No one is making fun of the events that happened. It is a current problem and has been been every since Ishmael and Isaac during OT days.

 

I understood what you were saying...sort of playing along; in a confusing manner.  My apologies!  :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they build something tall there I hope they take into account if and how much natural light they will be blocking from the square itself.

 

And also, if you think the Banks is important, you have to think Queen City Square Phase II is more important than the potential Fountain Square West project.  Which are both being considered by the same company, I believe.

 

Since the law firm is looking into an equity position in the office space; I would find it hard to believe that they are looking into QCS II very much.  That is a project/building that I believe will be owned and operated by Eagle Realty.  Now I'm sure things can change, especially if they (Eagle) is looking to get the project going.  I just find it more likely that if they are truly concerned about an equity position that they will be drawn to the prospect of the FSW site.

 

In addition 100,000 sf is not enough leased space to get QCS II off the ground.  They will need more than that amount to warrant construction.  So I think both can still happen a mid-sized to large tower at FSW, with QCS II progressing with their large tower.  However they will need a large headquarters to come in order for that to happen.  This is what Eagle Realty has been saying that they are searching for, for the tower.  So if you hear that QCS II is going to happen...that will mean that a new corporate headquarters will be locating downtown.  Thats the only way it will happen from my understanding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's funny is back in January or Feb I took some photos of the square from where the Skywalk used to extend from the DuBois Tower and overheard a pair of 5/3 higher-ups talking about the Lazarus air rights.  Apparently the one guy had no idea they had the air rights, understandable if he moved to Cincinnati recently.  I talked to them both and asked what they knew about the parking situation and they had no idea if a garage could be built above the existing department store.  I told them there was a plan afoot during the Nordstrom courtship to dedicate some of their parking for a new tower above Lazarus and that elevator shaft stubs can be seen from the Carew Tower observation deck, news to them both.  Anyway I walked back out of the building on the Skywalk and halfway across a security guard ran out after me telling me "5/3 doesn't like you taking photos on their property!".  Whatever man, not realizing I had just been taking photos in plain view of a pair of guys each making probably over $150K, maybe way more. 

 

Also my insider who used to work in that building speculates that 5/3 bought the air rights specifically to prevent a building from being built there.  Why?  They don't want the view from those coming off I-75 on 5th St. blocked and don't want a building taking attention away from theirs while they still might sell out to Wells-Fargo or another larger bank.  In fact the whole reconstruction of the square was fueled by that situation according to him.

 

Also, even with a 25 floor building I don't think the sunlight issue is too big of a deal.  I can't remember the sun even hitting the square from that angle except maybe in the late summer evenings.  But if this was part of the Big Dig, $17 million could be budgeted for shadow and view corridor studies to find out for sure.     

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ "A security guard ran out after me telling me "5/3 doesn't like you taking photos on their property!"."

 

I've got an idea for the next Cincinnati meet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also my insider who used to work in that building speculates that 5/3 bought the air rights specifically to prevent a building from being built there.  Why?  They don't want the view from those coming off I-75 on 5th St. blocked and don't want a building taking attention away from theirs while they still might sell out to Wells-Fargo or another larger bank.  In fact the whole reconstruction of the square was fueled by that situation according to him.

 

This is true for the most part, but it was specifically used to block Star/FirstStar/USBank from becoming an anchor tenant and putting their name on the building.  Star Bank was flying high at the time and was expanding greatly and looking for more office space and recognition.  5/3 did not want their competitor's name on two sides of Fountain Square like they already had.  I hope 5/3 does use it soon for additional space though, that would rock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ I was being sarcastic. This is how 1012 is making it sound. C'mon UncleRando ... we've been in UO discussions for how long now? No one is making fun of the events that happened. It is a current problem and has been been every since Ishmael and Isaac during OT days.

 

You're right, Cincy Rise - I thought it was a fate worse than innocent people being blown up.  After all, that's exactly what I wrote in my post, right?

 

And you were there, weren't you.  I mean, you're what - 25?  So you know first hand what the news was like about those projects, right?  You were all of what - 1 year old when the idea for FSW was first proposed?

 

Get real.  As passionate as I was about seeing Fountain Square West go up, you would have thought I was a bigger die-hard fan of downtown Cincinnati than some of YOU guys are.  I mean, this IS UrbanOhio, isn't it?  Don't most of you post over at SSPage and SSC as it is?  I mean, aren't those forums dedicated to the love of tall buildings?  Is it really THAT unreasonable that I would be disappointed over what happened in the 80's and 90's?  Yes, it was gut wrenching disappointment for me that we simply ended up with a 3-story department store.  The city COMPLETELY wasted the potential for that site, and given Cincinnati's aversion to building a new tallest, there isn't a chance in the world I'm going to get excited about this "renewed" possibility for FSW to actually happen after all.  I'm just expressing my thoughts.  Somehow, it doesn't matter what I say on these boards.  I just get trounced.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somehow, it doesn't matter what I say on these boards.  I just get trounced.

 

Proverb: "It's not exactly what you say..." (finish it here)


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, it was gut wrenching disappointment for me that we simply ended up with a 3-story department store.  The city COMPLETELY wasted the potential for that site, and given Cincinnati's aversion to building a new tallest, there isn't a chance in the world I'm going to get excited about this "renewed" possibility for FSW to actually happen after all.

 

Well if the market wasn't there for the office tower...but it was there for the lower department store; why is it a bad thing that they at least built the part that could be a success??  The tower can still be built on top.  I'm sure as hell glad that at least Macy's and the like are there as opposed to some damn surface lot (cough...5th and Race).  Sometimes you've just got to take what you can get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Having lived through the three-ring circus that was FSW ,I can see where 1012 is coming from. After all the plans/proposals,all the hoopla and the lofty expectations (and lets not forget that we did end up with a surface lot at that location for years) all we get is a 3-story department store.  OMG!! are you frikkin' kidding me Cincinnati, way to shoot for the stars!!

 

How would you guys feel if after everything is said and done with the banks, the end result is something far, far, far inferior to what was envisioned?  Then, perhaps you can relate to 1012's disappointment. 

 

Really, the saddest part of the whole FSW fiasco was the demolition of the Elder Beerman Dept. store. Underneath that horrible 60's reclad structure were 2 very historical, significant, and beautiful buildings.  The old Rollman's Dept. store bldg. and the old Havlin Hotel bldg.  If the city had simply refurbished them that would have been 10 times better than what we have today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Developers plan 225 apartments above downtown Macy's

 

by Dan Monk - Senior Staff Reporter - Business Courier

 

Developers of the Fountain Place retail complex are working to build up to 225 apartment units in a high-rise above Macy’s Inc.’s downtown department store. It’s one of several upgrades aimed at improving the performance and longevity of the store closest to Macy’s corporate headquarters.

 

“Macy’s has expressed their enthusiasm,” said Arn Bortz, a Towne Properties LLC principal who is working on the project with the city of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Center City Development Corp., or 3CDC. “We’re concentrating with Macy’s on giving them good reasons to stay.”

 

More at link...

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2012/11/26/developers-look-to-keep-macys-store.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crazy, I was just walking through Fountain Square today after checking out the 21c hotel (VERY nice), and i looked up at the Macy's jumbotron and thought, "When are they going to build on Fountain Place?  It's gotta happen sometime in the next five years."  All these announcements in the past few weeks have really made it feel like we've crossed some sort of invisible line with downtown housing, and that things will really accelerate from here.  Here's hoping!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will be interested to see to what extent this and Dunhumby will be built as a unit.  Some of the Fountain Place parking will have to be across the street in the new garages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The announcements just keep coming! Seriously, this is fabulous news. I had never expected to actually see this spot utilized to its full potential until after a lot of the surface lots around downtown were developed. I'm glad I'm being proven wrong! It really does seem like news of investment downtown is really accelerating lately. Something is changing and I am quite fond of it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah but to what extent is this an answer to the 580 Building announcement?  I can't imagine both coming online at the same time.  The banks probably won't lend to two competing projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news on the apartments, but not so great news on the state of retail downtown... Brooks Brothers closing their downtown store and Macy's "disappointed" in the performance of their store. These are both major red flags for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news on the apartments, but not so great news on the state of retail downtown... Brooks Brothers closing their downtown store and Macy's "disappointed" in the performance of their store. These are both major red flags for me.

 

with the potential  of the 2nd banks apartments to come online, 580 building and macy's  apartments. That is a lot of new downtown residents, to help improve retail.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reread what I just said.  No way will the banks allow all of these to be completed in a 12-month period.

 

I read what you wrote and ignored it.

 

I didn't know The Banks developer owned all of those other sites.

 

Wait, did you mean The Banks or commercial lenders?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they build up to the 22 stories that the structure was designed to accommodate, then we'd be looking at about 10 apartments per floor.

 

This is good news, assuming the financing goes through. Given the obvious demand for downtown / OTR housing, I'm not too concerned about that. I just hope they take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade the exterior facade of the retail floors while they're at it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they build up to the 22 stories that the structure was designed to accommodate, then we'd be looking at about 10 apartments per floor.

 

This is good news, assuming the financing goes through. Given the obvious demand for downtown / OTR housing, I'm not too concerned about that. I just hope they take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade the exterior facade of the retail floors while they're at it.

 

Article says exterior of Macy's will get facelift.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^I thought it was designed for 55 floors.

 

I wish! alas, no 22.

 

>commercial lenders

 

Banks, like 5/3, not The Banks, like The Banks.

 

Since 5/3 actually owns the air rights for the any Fountain Square West tower, they'd surely play a major role.

 

 

 

5/3's air rights end in ~2014.  They will most certainly want to see this move forward or the City will take it back and bid it out (City owns building, 5/3 has lease on air rights).  Banks (lending institutions) don't care about The Banks anymore than they care about OTR.  The Banks are owned and developed by an out of state company, not some insider player with deep connections.  I've heard that The Banks are having trouble getting financing locally, hence why Current is up for sale. 

 

It will be great to see this done.  Surely the City will tax abate the sh*t out of the property and chip in some capital, likely around $1,000,000.  If this gets done, Banks phase 2 gets done and Mercer Commons/gateway V gets done all within 2 years I would bet we could have a grocery store opening by 2014.

 

Possible Location: Pogue's garage ground floor (after major renovation that removes the ramps and moves the elevator to inside the garage). I've been told 1500-2000 more residents is what "grocery chains" (no idea who that means) want before opening up shop in DT cincy.

 

I'm assuming the jumbo tron will be replaced by a larger, better one built into the building (3CDC wants it bigger and better)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to see somebody like FRCH get the commission to redesign the base of the Macy's building, as the stuff they do tends to be a lot more dynamic than the early 1990's pastiche that building has now. FRCH did the glassy south facade of the 5/3 garage that faces Fountain Square, and they've done quite a few projects for Macy's around the country, so their involvement would certainly be plausible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news!  As far as the retail, I wouldn't read too much into it, these types of articles pop up every five years or so and have since I have been involved in downtown Cincinnati development since the late 80s (not saying it won't happen but these articles pop up all the time).  As far as banks lending to two simultaneous projects, both of those may sound like a lot of money, but the amounts are pretty small relatively speaking and any lender will do their own underwriting based on the project's strengths and proforma and there are plenty of lenders looking to place money in quality projects with strong demand, which downtown Cincinnati has in spades at this point.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Good analysis.

 

Also, should be noted, no one from Brooks Brothers was saying anything about moving. Only Arn Bortz is saying that. Arn Bortz is a scheming, conniving politician who always gets what he wants. I'm sure he's saying this for the purpose of getting something (more tax money from the city, etc,). That being said, he and Towne considered downtown as a market when no one else would (mid 90's to 2002)And have done some great things. But I feel like their quality and management have been slipping recently.

 

Heck, he talked about Macy's being disappointed and I was told recently that 2012 is turning out to be that stores best since the mid 2000's. Again, as I've previously stated, that store generally only breaks even but it's supposedly getting a little better.

 

 

As a side note, how many of us shop at the Brooks Brothers, Macy's or Jos. A Bank that are Downtown? Those are nice stores that also are in Kenwood. It would be sad to see any leave!

 

I've shopped at each at least once in the last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...