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Cincinnati: Fountain Square: Development and News

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Simon Malls is headquartered in Indianapolis and they own most of the "better" malls in the US. They are in a building right downtown near that Mall. I think that is why is a lot of the stuff is down there.  There are no anchors in Circle Center anymore...was Nordstrom and Carson Pirie Scott...both gone. As leases run out it will probably become a dead mall.  Carsons just closed last year.  Dead Malls happen fast after anchors leave.

 

I go to Indy often to visit my sister. The downtown is boring chain restaurant central. I was just there and we went up to Mass Ave to go to more local cool places..I actually feel like they are behind the times. What a mid -level city like Cincy or Cleveland or Pittsburgh was in the 90's or 2000's. 

Edited by metrocity

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21 hours ago, metrocity said:

Simon Malls is headquartered in Indianapolis and they own most of the "better" malls in the US. They are in a building right downtown near that Mall. I think that is why is a lot of the stuff is down there.  There are no anchors in Circle Center anymore...was Nordstrom and Carson Pirie Scott...both gone. As leases run out it will probably become a dead mall.  Carsons just closed last year.  Dead Malls happen fast after anchors leave.

 

I go to Indy often to visit my sister. The downtown is boring chain restaurant central. I was just there and we went up to Mass Ave to go to more local cool places..I actually feel like they are behind the times. What a mid -level city like Cincy or Cleveland or Pittsburgh was in the 90's or 2000's. 

 

The mall is quite large so I didn't get to explore all of it. I'm sure the anchor stores departing had some effect, but it was unnoticable to me as a first timer their. 

 

The pedestrian activity was no different than say Kenwood. The food court was full of options, and the stores inside the mall still had the essential core retail chains you would have at most malls. For instance the h and m store is much larger than the kenwood.

 

Also in regards to chains. I went to a chain resturaunt by monument circle and the food was exactly what I expected to be.

 

I also went to a non chain and ended spending 70 dollars on high end, farm to table, organic food and left hungry and disappointed. 

 

I think chains to a certain extent are good. You know what your getting it's setting a standard. Non chains can either blow your mind with the food quality or leave you broke, hungry and disappointed. At the end of the day I think every city, especially one that attempts the attract tourists, needs a fair balance of chains and non chain food establishments 

 

 

 

 

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^ Indy has a vibrancy In that area because they do so much with their convention business, especially Sports related.

The NCAA is based there and has a ton of events along with other sports orgs bringing people to downtown. Plus they have a ton of other groups who come in for meetings, etc. giving downtown a busy feel. They are all out of towners for the most part. Being a capital city does not hurt as well as pretty much the only city in Indiana of real size so a lot of state wide functions tend to congregate there too.

 

Cincy could do a little better in that regard if we got our act together on the convention hotel and also coming up with a plan for a new arena in the area.

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2 hours ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

^ Indy has a vibrancy In that area because they do so much with their convention business, especially Sports related.

The NCAA is based there and has a ton of events along with other sports orgs bringing people to downtown. Plus they have a ton of other groups who come in for meetings, etc. giving downtown a busy feel. They are all out of towners for the most part. Being a capital city does not hurt as well as pretty much the only city in Indiana of real size so a lot of state wide functions tend to congregate there too.

 

Cincy could do a little better in that regard if we got our act together on the convention hotel and also coming up with a plan for a new arena in the area.

 

 

I don't think you'd ever find the hard data because those pushing a convention center & new hotel in Cincinnati want the public to think it's all about flashy trade shows, but I suspect that youth sports account for a gigantic percentage of the "convention" business nationwide.  Gymnastics, cheerleading, etc., hold meets in downtown convention centers year-round and they fill up the hotels with kids, parents, and other relatives.  A youth meet that is in a major venue like a convention center or a college arena like Cintas makes the trip seem "worth it" more so than driving 8 hours to a meet in a high school gym. 

 

 

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Just look to Warren County, they have been doing this for years.

 

@jmecklenborg but even trade shows have a need for arena space at times and can fill a 20k seat arena (not often but possibly). We think of the GOP convention in Cleveland a few years back, but beyond that, think of an Amway convention or similar MLM companies will need to fill an arena to give the rah rah to their sales reps. Couple that with NCAA events and even AAU national events and you can have well programmed convention center and arena more often than not.

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I'm just curious why the ownership group of us bank arena is so uninterested in investing in our arena. I know they released those upgrade renderings a while back...I just don't why they aren't more bullish on making this happen?

 

Is the ownership group broke? Doesn't see a need for an upgraded arena in a city like Cincy? Besides the restricted capicity which damages revenue streams for bigger, national events..the places looks extremely outdated and is a dump compared to today standards for arenas. 

 

Just don't understand why some ownership groups in cincy are so content with being absent and uninvolved.

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4 minutes ago, troeros said:

I'm just curious why the ownership group of us bank arena is so uninterested in investing in our arena. I know they released those upgrade renderings a while back...I just don't why they aren't more bullish on making this happen?

 

Is the ownership group broke? Doesn't see a need for an upgraded arena in a city like Cincy? Besides the restricted capicity which damages revenue streams for bigger, national events..the places looks extremely outdated and is a dump compared to today standards for arenas. 

 

Just don't understand why some ownership groups in cincy are so content with being absent and uninvolved.

 

they want the tax payers to come out of pocket. 

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^ I think it is a matter that Cincy needs a better arena more than the ownership group needs to expand it. They have a fully paid for arena now that, while it may not compete for the top acts and events, holds its own on a profitability standpoint now. They can pretty much guarantee their profits "as is" now and it provides a nice stable revenue stream in the future. The upgrade would potentially be more lucrative but also bring the uncertainty with it. They are trying to create more certainty before upgrading, which is why they are leaning on the city.

Since there is no NBA or NHL team, it makes it difficult in this town. Louisville was a unique situation and it has come out that the project there was a huge racket job.

 

Eventually, US Bank will become like the Gardens and not even competitive for the lowest level show, but until it does, there is not the incentive to upgrade

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34 minutes ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

^ I think it is a matter that Cincy needs a better arena more than the ownership group needs to expand it. They have a fully paid for arena now that, while it may not compete for the top acts and events, holds its own on a profitability standpoint now. They can pretty much guarantee their profits "as is" now and it provides a nice stable revenue stream in the future. The upgrade would potentially be more lucrative but also bring the uncertainty with it. They are trying to create more certainty before upgrading, which is why they are leaning on the city.

Since there is no NBA or NHL team, it makes it difficult in this town. Louisville was a unique situation and it has come out that the project there was a huge racket job.

 

Eventually, US Bank will become like the Gardens and not even competitive for the lowest level show, but until it does, there is not the incentive to upgrade


It's the same reason we have giant parking lots downtown. Sure they could make tons of money by redeveloping them, but the owners already make tons of money with no risk whatsoever. What's the incentive to change? A safe investment is better than a risky one.

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For many decades, the arena has been owned by groups that are more focused on their own sports franchises than having the fanciest arena that draws the biggest events. Nederlander Entertainment is co-owner of the arena and also owns the Cincinnati Cyclones. So as long as they can sell enough Cyclones tickets to cover the cost of turning on the lights and paying the staff, all of those nachos and dollar beers they can sell are extra profit. They don't really have to worry about whether the Cyclones are good or the arena is nice.

 

Interestingly, the other co-owner of US Bank Arena is AEG Presents. In 2018, AEG bought PromoWest. And AEG/PromoWest just announced that they're building a $40 million music venue in Newport. So, they obviously think that building a brand new music venue is a better investment than investing in a rehab of their existing arena. So if they aren't willing to invest their own money in the arena...why should the taxpayers?

 

1 hour ago, DEPACincy said:

It's the same reason we have giant parking lots downtown. Sure they could make tons of money by redeveloping them, but the owners already make tons of money with no risk whatsoever. What's the incentive to change? A safe investment is better than a risky one.

 

Haha, I was about to make the exact same analogy. Why invest money in a new arena and take a risk on something that could possibly fail, when you could rely on a steady income stream from the Cyclones Dollar Beer Nights?

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While we may feel the pain right now, this obviously has not reached the tipping point yet.  Many cities have their old arenas they still use for various events. Hell San Francisco still uses the Cow Palace. Portland and Seattle both have old arenas, same with San Diego and I am sure a few other cities.

 However, there comes a time where every arena becomes so dated it cannot compete for even regional acts anymore. How many concerts played at the Gardens in the 80s and 90s? I cant really remember anyone beyond the Shrine Circus that went there towards the end of its run.

 

Edited by Brutus_buckeye

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28 minutes ago, troeros said:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/05/23/exclusive-3cdc-selects-cre-firm-to-market-fountain.html?iana=hpmvp_cinci_news_headline

 

If they are trying to lease the spaces at fountain place now does that mean no new redeveloped tower for that site?

I am assuming for the time being there will be no development at the site (even though Cranley has stated a couple months ago that there were developments) They are prolly more interested in getting a new hotel for the convention center right now since the city is really pushing that issue and with all their other projects including the old kroger site.

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22 minutes ago, Ucgrad2015 said:

I am assuming for the time being there will be no development at the site (even though Cranley has stated a couple months ago that there were developments) They are prolly more interested in getting a new hotel for the convention center right now since the city is really pushing that issue and with all their other projects including the old kroger site.

 

Would fountain place be able to have new tenants while also going through construction of a new tower? Could those 2 things happen simultaneously? Or would 3cdc have to end those leases and make the site vacant again?

 

Not sure how development works in that scenario. 

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9 minutes ago, troeros said:

 

Would fountain place be able to have new tenants while also going through construction of a new tower? Could those 2 things happen simultaneously? Or would 3cdc have to end those leases and make the site vacant again?

 

Not sure how development works in that scenario. 

The leasing plan shows retail spaces along vine and race street. Leaving the center of the building alone. Allowing them to construct a tower if necessary. 

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On 5/23/2019 at 4:55 PM, troeros said:

 

Would fountain place be able to have new tenants while also going through construction of a new tower? Could those 2 things happen simultaneously? Or would 3cdc have to end those leases and make the site vacant again?

 

Not sure how development works in that scenario. 

 

The building is constructed to add a tower without any major work required in the existing building.  On the roof you can see "caps" over the elevator core and steel beams so they can be added on at a later date.  I'd imagine they'd shut down a lane on race and 5th street for construction staging and leave vine st. alone as much as possible.  

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Cincinnati.com: 3CDC's Leeper: Macy's news coming soon for Fountain Square

 

 

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/06/05/macys-space-fountain-square-coming-soon-3-cdc-steve-leeper/1357365001/

 

Steve Lepper says a major announcement will come by end of summer/end of year on the office component where alot of quality jobs would be created. 

 

That said, who could the company be? And would this be with or without a tower? How many office employees can currently fit with the current available office footprint?

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If they fill the Macy's space with office users I feel like you can kiss the tower above goodbye.  No one is going to want to work in there while the tower is being built.  Hopefully it's an announcement of a plan to build out space for the office user along with an addition of a residential tower above.  I'm not sure I'd bet on that though. 

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15 minutes ago, Cincy513 said:

If they fill the Macy's space with office users I feel like you can kiss the tower above goodbye.  No one is going to want to work in there while the tower is being built.  Hopefully it's an announcement of a plan to build out space for the office user along with an addition of a residential tower above.  I'm not sure I'd bet on that though. 

 

Maybe I'm trying to connect dots that don't exist...but if their is an interested company looking to add employees to the Macy building why would they have to wait until end of summer/to end of year to announce this? Isn't the building already vacant and move in ready right now?

 

Also, Steve Leeper made it sound as if it was a significant amount of jobs. I'm crossing my fingers that it's an announcement for a tower to expand the footprint of one of the current fortune 500 companies already located downtown. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, troeros said:

 

Maybe I'm trying to connect dots that don't exist...but if their is an interested company looking to add employees to the Macy building why would they have to wait until end of summer/to end of year to announce this? Isn't the building already vacant and move in ready right now?

 

Also, Steve Leeper made it sound as if it was a significant amount of jobs. I'm crossing my fingers that it's an announcement for a tower to expand the footprint of one of the current fortune 500 companies already located downtown. 

 

 

The Macy's space is an old shopping store, it's not move in ready for a normal office business.  The space is pretty much all open with I'm sure it has old carpet/finishes.  It would still take a little while to build out the space for this office user even if they were more of an open office type of company.  If they needed a decent amount of offices, conference rooms, break rooms, ect, then that would make the build out take longer.  The build out would likely take a couple months at least since it's a huge space.  Plus I'm sure right now they're working on a tax incentive from the city/state for these jobs.  

 

I'm with you though, I really hope we get a tower built on top.  That would be a huge addition to the heart of downtown.  

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51 minutes ago, troeros said:

Cincinnati.com: 3CDC's Leeper: Macy's news coming soon for Fountain Square

 

 

 

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/06/05/macys-space-fountain-square-coming-soon-3-cdc-steve-leeper/1357365001/

 

Steve Lepper says a major announcement will come by end of summer/end of year on the office component where alot of quality jobs would be created. 

 

That said, who could the company be? And would this be with or without a tower? How many office employees can currently fit with the current available office footprint?

Towards the end of Lepper's interview he mentioned in passing that Fountain Place will have a crane.  If they were just renovating the existing building I don't think they'd need a crane...

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Apparently 84.51 told employees last week that they are expecting to double their headcount. I wonder if they'll take the office space instead of expanding into the garage of their current building.

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13 minutes ago, Dresden11 said:

Apparently 84.51 told employees last week that they are expecting to double their headcount. I wonder if they'll take the office space instead of expanding into the garage of their current building.

 

Really glad they built a squat 8 story building just a few years ago...*facepalm*

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They are going to have a tower crane on Fountain Square as part of Fifth Third's project starting this summer.  They also plan on relocating the stage to the opposite side of the square near Graeter's as part of the overall reconfiguration. 

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2 hours ago, Dresden11 said:

Apparently 84.51 told employees last week that they are expecting to double their headcount. I wonder if they'll take the office space instead of expanding into the garage of their current building.

Nope they are talking with 3CDC but they don't want to give up any parking decks in the building. Making too much revenue...

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4 hours ago, Dresden11 said:

Apparently 84.51 told employees last week that they are expecting to double their headcount. I wonder if they'll take the office space instead of expanding into the garage of their current building.

85.51 could double their headcount by converting 2 of the parking garage floors into office space. At least that was the original plan as they grew.


That being said, getting rid of that parking in the 84.51 building along with adding say 400-500 additional workers in the Macy's building, you have have to think there would need to be some type of expanded parking option in that building to accommodate those workers.

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I agree it was so dumb to make the 84.51 building only 8 stories.  They could easily doubled the size and leased out the extra space to other tenants until 84.51 needed it.  Also 84.51 are idiots if they didn't get something in writing that they have the right to those above ground parking garage floors.  

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45 minutes ago, Cincy513 said:

I agree it was so dumb to make the 84.51 building only 8 stories.  They could easily doubled the size and leased out the extra space to other tenants until 84.51 needed it.  Also 84.51 are idiots if they didn't get something in writing that they have the right to those above ground parking garage floors.  

 

Kroger legal team are the idiots in all of this. Remember 84.51 as originally intended for Dunnhumby. It wasnt until shovels hit the ground that Kroger bought Dunnhumby North American operations out, well until they regrouped again. Anyway Kroger being the new tenant could have easily reworked the agreement with the parking deck levels, and left the existing agreement in place. The money spent on those three parking decks to make them easily interchangeable for office use was a budget buster. 

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From reading the article and listening to the podcast, it sounds like retail will wrap the entire first floor in retail and office space will be put in the 2nd and 3rd floors. Then at some point down the road a residential tower could be built on top. It is clear they are not tearing down the structure and rebuilding. 

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Yeah, Cranley was FC Cincinnati/Wasson Way levels of excited for what was coming to Fountain Place a few months ago, I'd hope it isn't just getting filled and that's it.

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Cranley got excited when a Domino's opened up in the Mabley garage so I don't usually look to him for being a good metric of "exciting downtown development".

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

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39 minutes ago, BigDipper 80 said:

Cranley got excited when a Domino's opened up in the Mabley garage so I don't usually look to him for being a good metric of "exciting downtown development".

 

The media used to go ape over every downtown business closing.  McAlpin's in 1996, The Maisonette in 2003, etc.  Somehow Cranley has been excused as Macy's and Tiffany's left Fountain Square West the vacant property it was back 1991-1997.  

 

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^Well now it's easier to brush off as "the death of retail" instead of "the death of downtown".


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

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2 hours ago, 10albersa said:

Yeah, Cranley was FC Cincinnati/Wasson Way levels of excited for what was coming to Fountain Place a few months ago, I'd hope it isn't just getting filled and that's it.

It's a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!!!! https://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/2019/02/27/mayor-big-news-coming-ex-macys-fountain-square/3002219002/

 

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7 hours ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

The media used to go ape over every downtown business closing.  McAlpin's in 1996, The Maisonette in 2003, etc.  Somehow Cranley has been excused as Macy's and Tiffany's left Fountain Square West the vacant property it was back 1991-1997.  

 

Macy's has been struggling nationally for years and we have watched as all other cities our peer size or larger have lost their downtown stores. Plus the Macy's has been a ghost town for years now. It was time to let it go.

 

In the 90s the key to revitalizing downtown was to build a suburban shopping mall in the city. Indy did it to success and got Nordstrom. Columbus did it and had a Lazarus and Montgomery Ward, Pittsburgh went all out to save Horne's. We saw Cleveland lose their downtown department stores and same with Detroit. You did not want to be in that peer group at that time so you threw stupid money at it to keep a dying concept in an area that could not support it.

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