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The Enquirer is reporting that officials included the Macy's site in the city's bid for Amazon's HQ2 (so they must have either known it was coming or at least anticipated it would be closing). An Amazon tower there would be quite the symbol - the eCommerce giant literally replacing a department store.

 

Amazon HQ2. 

 

Not a big enough footprint for HQ2

 

Pretty much all of Cincinnati's biggest towers sit on smaller footprints. The Carew Tower/Netherland Plaza footprint is almost exactly the same. Scripps and 600 Vine are probably about half as big (1/4 of a block). Queen City Square's footprint is about the same sans the parking garage.

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The Enquirer is reporting that officials included the Macy's site in the city's bid for Amazon's HQ2 (so they must have either known it was coming or at least anticipated it would be closing). An Amazon tower there would be quite the symbol - the eCommerce giant literally replacing a department store.

 

Amazon HQ2. 

 

Not a big enough footprint for HQ2

 

Pretty much all of Cincinnati's biggest towers sit on smaller footprints. The Carew Tower/Netherland Plaza footprint is almost exactly the same. Scripps and 600 Vine are probably about half as big (1/4 of a block). Queen City Square's footprint is about the same sans the parking garage.

 

Man, this HQ2 thing is going from a “moonshot” or “nice to have” to a “need to have” for Cincinnati’s downtown.

 

An aside- I am NOT connected in any way, I do NOT have any info whatsoever and I am NOT trying to start a rumor, but my hypothesis would be if HQ2 came to town, Amazon may purchase Macy’s (as in, the whole company) and that could be a reason for them to choose Cincinnati.


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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The Enquirer is reporting that officials included the Macy's site in the city's bid for Amazon's HQ2 (so they must have either known it was coming or at least anticipated it would be closing). An Amazon tower there would be quite the symbol - the eCommerce giant literally replacing a department store.

 

Amazon HQ2. 

 

Not a big enough footprint for HQ2

 

Pretty much all of Cincinnati's biggest towers sit on smaller footprints. The Carew Tower/Netherland Plaza footprint is almost exactly the same. Scripps and 600 Vine are probably about half as big (1/4 of a block). Queen City Square's footprint is about the same sans the parking garage.

 

Man, this HQ2 thing is going from a “moonshot” or “nice to have” to a “need to have” for Cincinnati’s downtown.

 

An aside- I am NOT connected in any way, I do NOT have any info whatsoever and I am NOT trying to start a rumor, but my hypothesis would be if HQ2 came to town, Amazon may purchase Macy’s (as in, the whole company) and that could be a reason for them to choose Cincinnati.

 

Name your source Bill!!! NAME YOUR SOURCE!!!  ;D


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

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^I was perhaps the first person to post that speculation on comment boards around the internet, and a week or two later we started seeing national commentators put Amazon in Cincinnati as their "dark horse" candidate. 

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from the Enquirer: Reality check: History says replacing Macy's won't be easy http://cin.ci/2lRBUIT

 

Barring no HQ2....

 

It really won’t be easy to replace Macy’s with another store, because Macy’s is actually doing better than it’s competitors and headquartered here, if they can’t make it work nobody will.

 

But, I don’t think we should get to caught up in the “city’s most valuable real estate” hype. All we need is a few hundred people living there, to make hotel visitors comfortable to walk around at night because there are locals walking around. (Some nights in the CBD in wintertime 50% of the people you pass will ask you for money, this has to change.) preferably middle class people actually living there who walk around and not just rich folks using it as a pied a terre.

 

I think the crystal forest proposal was probably the hieght of the era of when we had forgotten what makes a city a city. (Even today we have clear examples of what works and what doesn’t but the general public & politicians aren’t really tuned in to the reasons things do or don’t work or know why they like a particular place or not.)


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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from the Enquirer: Reality check: History says replacing Macy's won't be easy http://cin.ci/2lRBUIT

 

Barring no HQ2....

 

It really won’t be easy to replace Macy’s with another store, because Macy’s is actually doing better than it’s competitors and headquartered here, if they can’t make it work nobody will.

 

But, I don’t think we should get to caught up in the “city’s most valuable real estate” hype. All we need is a few hundred people living there, to make hotel visitors comfortable to walk around at night because there are locals walking around. (Some nights in the CBD in wintertime 50% of the people you pass will ask you for money, this has to change.) preferably middle class people actually living there who walk around and not just rich folks using it as a pied a terre.

 

I think the crystal forest proposal was probably the hieght of the era of when we had forgotten what makes a city a city. (Even today we have clear examples of what works and what doesn’t but the general public & politicians aren’t really tuned in to the reasons things do or don’t work or know why they like a particular place or not.)

 

I agree that we need more downtown residents, but the foot traffic around Fountain Square isn't driven much by downtown residents... and I'm not sure that losing Macy's will make much of a difference. From Fountain Square, the Vine Street streetscape is occupied by other stores, so losing Macy's isn't a huge loss. Along 5th and Race, it's more of a loss since there won't be anything activating the Macy's space at street level.

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from the Enquirer: Reality check: History says replacing Macy's won't be easy http://cin.ci/2lRBUIT

 

Barring no HQ2....

 

It really won’t be easy to replace Macy’s with another store, because Macy’s is actually doing better than it’s competitors and headquartered here, if they can’t make it work nobody will.

 

But, I don’t think we should get to caught up in the “city’s most valuable real estate” hype. All we need is a few hundred people living there, to make hotel visitors comfortable to walk around at night because there are locals walking around. (Some nights in the CBD in wintertime 50% of the people you pass will ask you for money, this has to change.) preferably middle class people actually living there who walk around and not just rich folks using it as a pied a terre.

 

I think the crystal forest proposal was probably the hieght of the era of when we had forgotten what makes a city a city. (Even today we have clear examples of what works and what doesn’t but the general public & politicians aren’t really tuned in to the reasons things do or don’t work or know why they like a particular place or not.)

 

I agree that we need more downtown residents, but the foot traffic around Fountain Square isn't driven much by downtown residents... and I'm not sure that losing Macy's will make much of a difference. From Fountain Square, the Vine Street streetscape is occupied by other stores, so losing Macy's isn't a huge loss. Along 5th and Race, it's more of a loss since there won't be anything activating the Macy's space at street level.

 

Agree on how residents don’t seem to contribute much foot traffic now, but they need to. We have a huge problem around Fountain Square (and CBD in general) on weekday nights (especially wintertime, when it’s not too cold out.) Panhandlers and people asking for money can outnumber the people just going about their business. I was thinking if out of a 300 unit building, 5% of the residents were out and about doing whatever at 9pm, that could make a difference to how the area feels to visitors.


www.cincinnatiideas.com

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^5% of 300 residents is only *15* people, which won't make a different in downtown. I'm not trying to argue with your point that we need more downtown residents (we absolutely do!)... but I'm trying to point out that downtown will always feel empty unless it's a destination for visitors. 3CDC does a good job of making Fountain Square a destination year round. That wasn't the case in the past before the Square was renovated and 3CDC started scheduling events every day. Other areas (like The Banks) need to do a better job.

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It really won’t be easy to replace Macy’s with another store, because Macy’s is actually doing better than it’s competitors and headquartered here, if they can’t make it work nobody will.

 

Did Macy's corporate treat it differently? Or was it just another store?

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Whenever I went there I was disappointed in the selection compared to Kenwood.  So it seems they treated it like less than just another store, at least in the men's clothing department anyway. 

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They probably consider Kenwood the flagship store.  Downtown, Northgate, and Tri-County never have had the selection that Kenwood has.  I do remember an article last year or the year before that said Macy's was going to try a new concept at the downtown store targeted at millennials, but I guess that plan was never put in place. 

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It’s also important to consider that it is not just up to Macy’s in regards to what is sold in each store. That brands have criteria for which store they will stock their merchandise in. Even Kenwood doesn’t have near the selection a store in a market like Atlanta or Chicago. The downtown Cincinnati store was small and wasn’t a premier store so they were hamstrung from that perspective.

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Whenever I went there I was disappointed in the selection compared to Kenwood.  So it seems they treated it like less than just another store, at least in the men's clothing department anyway. 

 

This!  Very much this!


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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Kenwood is one of their top stores in the country.  The downtown store only hung on until now because their lease expired.  If it expired three years ago, they would have left then. 

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Whenever I went there I was disappointed in the selection compared to Kenwood.  So it seems they treated it like less than just another store, at least in the men's clothing department anyway. 

 

Retailers hate selling men's clothing these days unless it's band shirts or shirts with a picture of a Pokemon on them.

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It’s also important to consider that it is not just up to Macy’s in regards to what is sold in each store. That brands have criteria for which store they will stock their merchandise in. Even Kenwood doesn’t have near the selection a store in a market like Atlanta or Chicago. The downtown Cincinnati store was small and wasn’t a premier store so they were hamstrung from that perspective.

 

Amazing how a lot of other cities have special HQ stores, yet in Cincy its very hard to do this concept, only the new Kroger might hit it.  IMO it reeks of the elites of Cincy not really caring as much about their city as they should...

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Well Macy’s isn’t a Cincinnati brand or company, despite its back office “HQ” being based here. When people think of Macy’s, they think of NYC, not Cincinnati. That is where their flagship store is, where they sponsor the thanksgiving parade...it’s iconic to that city. Had Lazarus or McAlpins or Pogues become the Macy’s of our day, then yes, it would be strange to not have a flagship store in downtown Cincinnati.

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Did anyone else notice that the star atop the city's Christmas tree looked suspiciously like the Macy's logo? 

 

Yeah.  I believe Macy's is a sponsor and therefore we use their star logo.


"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." - Warren Buffett 

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Tiffany's is leaving.  You have to wonder if the building is being vacated for demolition/rehab.  By the end of the year, Palomino and the book store will be its only tenants. 

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/business/2018/02/06/tiffany-co-leaving-downtown-cincinnati-moving-kenwood-towne-centre/311808002/

 

Don't forget about USPS.

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Tiffany's is leaving.  You have to wonder if the building is being vacated for demolition/rehab.  By the end of the year, Palomino and the book store will be its only tenants. 

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/business/2018/02/06/tiffany-co-leaving-downtown-cincinnati-moving-kenwood-towne-centre/311808002/

 

Yes I get the same impression. The tenants leaving along with the proposed residential component on top that has gone silent points to a new concept being developed for the site. While I hate seeing businesses leave the core, this corner should be put to a higher/better use than a 3 floor property.

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Tiffany's is leaving.  You have to wonder if the building is being vacated for demolition/rehab.  By the end of the year, Palomino and the book store will be its only tenants. 

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/business/2018/02/06/tiffany-co-leaving-downtown-cincinnati-moving-kenwood-towne-centre/311808002/

 

Don't forget about USPS.

 

USPS is in the 525 vine building technically. However how long do you think it will be before Saks says F off and closes its doors.

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Tiffany's is leaving.  You have to wonder if the building is being vacated for demolition/rehab.  By the end of the year, Palomino and the book store will be its only tenants. 

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/business/2018/02/06/tiffany-co-leaving-downtown-cincinnati-moving-kenwood-towne-centre/311808002/

 

Don't forget about USPS.

 

USPS is in the 525 vine building technically. However how long do you think it will be before Saks says F off and closes its doors.

 

I imagine that is soon and inevitable. And may not even be a bad thing. If those two corners can be replaced by taller residential buildings with smaller more manageable retail component that would add a lot to the center of downtown. (Granted here we are still waiting for 4/Race).

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Tiffany's is leaving.  You have to wonder if the building is being vacated for demolition/rehab.  By the end of the year, Palomino and the book store will be its only tenants. 

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/business/2018/02/06/tiffany-co-leaving-downtown-cincinnati-moving-kenwood-towne-centre/311808002/

 

Don't forget about USPS.

 

USPS is in the 525 vine building technically. However how long do you think it will be before Saks says F off and closes its doors.

 

I imagine that is soon and inevitable. And may not even be a bad thing. If those two corners can be replaced by taller residential buildings with smaller more manageable retail component that would add a lot to the center of downtown. (Granted here we are still waiting for 4/Race).

 

Ha! this is Cincinnati we wont get taller residential projects, we get weird mid-rise apartment buildings on ugly parking garage podiums. For whatever reason the city wont force developers to disguise the parking podium better and it just looks like this cheap building. Oh that is right you just need to write a check to Cranley political campaign and you get a hall pass. 

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Wasn't the Macy's building constructed to be able to support residential on top? Presumably it would be cheaper to construct the additional floors, as opposed to demolishing and then re-building.

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Wasn't the Macy's building constructed to be able to support residential on top? Presumably it would be cheaper to construct the additional floors, as opposed to demolishing and then re-building.

 

Macy's podium was designed to hold a 40-60 story tower. Fountain Square West by Kohn Pederson and Fox was 50 stories and they made a podium to hold a taller structure at a later time.

 

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Tiffany's is leaving.  You have to wonder if the building is being vacated for demolition/rehab.  By the end of the year, Palomino and the book store will be its only tenants. 

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/business/2018/02/06/tiffany-co-leaving-downtown-cincinnati-moving-kenwood-towne-centre/311808002/

 

Yes I get the same impression. The tenants leaving along with the proposed residential component on top that has gone silent points to a new concept being developed for the site. While I hate seeing businesses leave the core, this corner should be put to a higher/better use than a 3 floor property.

 

Wait, what? Tiffany's is leaving because Macy's is leaving. Saks will almost certainly follow suit and leave soon, too. This isn't a situation where they wanted to stay but are being pushed out by developers eyeing the site for bigger and better uses.

 

This is a huge loss for downtown. What used to a premier corner will now be vacant, and I would bet it will be vacant for some time. Frontage on the square presumably makes this site more attractive than others downtown, but when you have 4th and Race plus developments along the riverfront (skyhouse, the banks) stalled, it doesn't inspire me with confidence that this site is going to become something anytime soon. Cleveland has long standing surface lots fronting their Public Square, so I guess there's an in-state precedent for this.

 

Does anyone else feel like the center city has actually been declining for the past year or two? After making some huge strides, like building the CAC, Smale Park, Great American Tower, the stadiums and Freedom Center, and streetcar, it seems like the city is only inching forward these days, if at all. OTR continues to hum along (even though it feels like the pace of development has slowed a bit there, too), but downtown seems to be struggling. Outside of the Court Street Kroger + apartment building, there is little else going on.

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Macy's podium was designed to hold a 40-60 story tower. Fountain Square West by Kohn Pederson and Fox was 50 stories and they made a podium to hold a taller structure at a later time.

 

 

No, the existing structure can only support a tower of about 20 stories.  You can see the space for the elevators when you look down from the Carew Tower.  I don't know if a 20-story tower would require converting the current department store space into a parking garage or not. 

 

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Outside of the Court Street Kroger + apartment building, there is little else going on.

 

It's pretty obvious that 3CDC is intentionally delaying 4th & Race so that the Court St. Kroger apartments have zero competition.  In fact, they might have delayed it for that reason AND to cue Fountain Place for redevelopment next. 

 

 

 

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Fountain Place is owned by the Bortz family. They are as stubborn as it comes, and they're always looking for massive handouts from the city. They had plans drawn up for a 20-ish story condo or apartment building on top of Macy's 5 years ago. I actually got to see the renderings, as the company I worked for at the time was involved with helping the City retain Macy's and Saks, as both were threatening to move at the time. The reason they never pulled the trigger on the project is because they couldn't hit the dollar amount they wanted to get out of the city. Rather than work to find other financing, they decided to drop the proposal altogether, with the hope that the city would reevaluate and come up with their money (sounds kind of like what happened to Skyhouse, but I have no insider knowledge there). Given that the redevelopment of Fountain Place has been stalled before the Kroger apartments were even dreamed up, I don't think 3CDC is responsible for this one. I think it comes down to the greed of Arn Bortz, and that's about it.

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This was the building designed to fit on the base.  I don't know if Towne Properties is now the sole owner, but it was built and initially owned by a consortium of Towne Properties, Belvedere Corp., Warm Bros., and Madison Marquette.

 

Losing a nice store or anchor sucks, but department stores are not long for this world.  Another store or use that is more appealing to the masses will be an improvement in the long run.

 

FSW_CC_edited.jpg.9288a91858cad42a900450a8f18f710b.jpg

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Macy's podium was designed to hold a 40-60 story tower. Fountain Square West by Kohn Pederson and Fox was 50 stories and they made a podium to hold a taller structure at a later time.

 

 

No, the existing structure can only support a tower of about 20 stories.  You can see the space for the elevators when you look down from the Carew Tower.  I don't know if a 20-story tower would require converting the current department store space into a parking garage or not. 

 

I just looked at existing structural drawings we have in our office, the podium can hold up to 40 story tower. We worked on a couple scheme for Towne a couple years ago, Also have worked on a scheme for 84.61 a year or so back. This unfortunately is due to old blue blood ownership just sitting on something like the Joseph family does with all there property downtown...

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^Interesting, I'd swear that I read 20 floors at some point.  Also, didn't 5/3 own the air rights?

 

The height and square footage of the building is of course limited by parking.  I don't know how many spaces the Macy's garage has.  I've never been in it. 

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So...

 

Fountain Square West returns?

fountainwest_317x600.jpgMidwestModelMakers_3D_unbuiltcincy3.jpg

 

Or Helmut Jahn's design?  Might as well add it if Queen City Square was built like...not long ago.

tumblr_o8o65eHKLn1uotgxio1_1280.jpg


"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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I don't think the pencil drawing was the Helmut Jahn design.  There was a different model that had an overhang in the direction of the fountain. 

 

I'll never forget Gary Burbank's "Big Bad Jahn" skit. 

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Are any of these still realistic? Would be nice to have something that would add to the skyline but feel like they would probably just build some ten story apartment building on top of a 5 story parking garage.

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^^^^ What the heck is that grey building in the lower right corner of the second rendering? And are those... trolleybus wires??


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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It is certainly disappointing to see the these stores leaving Downtown, but with how fast retail is changing it is unrealistic to expect them to stay in their current form. If City's like Seattle, SF, and Minneapolis are losing or getting downsized versions then the writing is on the wall for smaller markets.

 

And while optically it looks bad these are moving/closing from the Fountain Square area it opens up a chance to transform two prominent corners into higher density uses...time will tell.

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^^^^ What the heck is that grey building in the lower right corner of the second rendering? And are those... trolleybus wires??

 

That is a still from a video that came out in the late 90's early 2000's or so where the 'old cincinnati' changed building by building into the 'future cincinnati'. This just caught it at a blending point. I remember being quite amazed at it at the time having never seen 'old Cincinnati' in 3d before.

 

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