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Cincinnati: Fountain Square: Development and News

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4 hours ago, RealAdamP said:

I've been told that Messer Construction will begin demo work on the fountain square buildings sometime in december. Supposedly there will be a announcement about what is coming there soon. 

 

Your talking in regards to fountain place? Are they tearing the structure down? That will be strange considering they are actively leasing the ground floor spaces? 

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9 minutes ago, troeros said:

 

That will be strange considering they are actively leasing the ground floor spaces? 

 

🤔


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

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On 11/19/2019 at 11:00 AM, RealAdamP said:

I've been told that Messer Construction will begin demo work on the fountain square buildings sometime in december. Supposedly there will be a announcement about what is coming there soon. 

 

And here is confirmation from the Enquirer: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/money/2019/11/20/massive-remodel-planned-for-macys-at-fountain-place/4250767002/


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

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30 minutes ago, troeros said:

 

Can you summarize?


Demolition should begin next month, waiting for permits to be issued. Messer Construction will lead demo. Will be demolishing “the interior walls and finishes”

 

- Demolition will result in the shut down of most access to the building including the Carew tower skywalk

 

- They are “ Close to securing tenants”

 

- Hoping for an Announcement by the end of the year ( So within the next 4-5 weeks)

 

As I said before there was no way this project was going to be on the “back burner” like some said. This project is absolutely critical and I would say urgent.

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1 hour ago, 646empire said:


Demolition should begin next month, waiting for permits to be issued. Messer Construction will lead demo. Will be demolishing “the interior walls and finishes”

 

- Demolition will result in the shut down of most access to the building including the Carew tower skywalk

 

- They are “ Close to securing tenants”

 

- Hoping for an Announcement by the end of the year ( So within the next 4-5 weeks)

 

As I said before there was no way this project was going to be on the “back burner” like some said. This project is absolutely critical and I would say urgent.

 

Thanks. 

 

I'm glad this is moving forward. I'm hoping that the tenants they land are somewhat unique and different...I also hope that the plan isn't just to fill the space with a bunch of national chain resturaunts. 

 

It would be nice to get a comedy club/dinner show type of establishment. Something that doesn't really currently exist yet in the urban core. 

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1 hour ago, seaswan said:

page 27, for anyone curious

 

Sell a $19 million city-owned asset to an ostensibly non-profit developer for $1...what a joke.  

 

Also, the plan indicates almost the entire ground-level floor will become office space, which is odd.  So my suspicion is that this conversion to office is a "temporary" 10-20 year plan for the site.  

 

We'll also likely see the whole façade thrown in the trash and replaced with a glass curtain.  The north side of the building abuts another building, so no floors will have northward windows.  

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1 hour ago, jmecklenborg said:

 

Sell a $19 million city-owned asset to an ostensibly non-profit developer for $1...what a joke.  

 

Also, the plan indicates almost the entire ground-level floor will become office space, which is odd.  So my suspicion is that this conversion to office is a "temporary" 10-20 year plan for the site.  

 

We'll also likely see the whole façade thrown in the trash and replaced with a glass curtain.  The north side of the building abuts another building, so no floors will have northward windows.  


This is a bit confusing, 3CDC purchased Fountain Place in January for 7.5 Million Dollars so what is this sale? 
 

Also these $1 sales happen all the time particularly with parking lots when big developments are happening 

 

One more thing why do you find it odd that almost the entire first floor is going to be office space? The plan is to pretty much turn this entire building into office space including the upper floors with some ground floor retail. There’s nothing odd about that. And personally 10-20 years isn’t what I would describe as temporary lol thats about the life span before any building usually needs to do a big facelift. *See Fountain Place today which is about 20 years old and almost vacant.

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If there’s no tower this time around either It’s now crossed my mind if this turns out to be another Kroger related jobs announcement like what’s been speculated, Fountain Place would make a lot of sense for a future Kroger Headquarters Tower up top. Combined with its 84.51 building next door its makes all too much sense. 

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What exactly costs 59 million though? I know the building needs a bit of polishing, and needs interior demolition to make way for the new office space/ground floor retail..but 59 million dollars? That seems a bit much, no?

 

I'm happy the CBD will have more jobs. I believe it was rumored to be upwards of 1,000 new jobs if I'm not mistaken...That said it's a bit sad that this corner will seemingly become a dead spot after 5-6pm and more so on the weekends. 

 

Ideally including 1,000 plus jobs on the upper levels of fountain place and a residential tower above would have done wonders for this corner in terms of reactivating it day and night. 

Edited by troeros

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3 minutes ago, troeros said:

What exactly costs 59 million though? I know the building needs a bit of polishing, and needs interior demolition to make way for the new office space/ground floor retail..but 59 million dollars? That seems a bit much, no?


I agree, the details we have heard so far makes me think it should be in the 40 million range. I’m assuming the renovation will look much more flashy than we are expecting?? 

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34 minutes ago, 646empire said:


I agree, the details we have heard so far makes me think it should be in the 40 million range. I’m assuming the renovation will look much more flashy than we are expecting?? 

 

I'm guessing the exterior facade will be replaced? That would maybe explain the cost I guess...

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I was a bit curious too, I know next to nothing about construction costs but it seems like a very expensive rehab.

 

They are tearing down the Skywalk to the Carew Tower as well, which probably has a high cost...

 

MAYBE, they are going to do a tower portion on top but it didn't sound like it. It said currently 250k square foot, remake 25k square foot into retail and 225k square foot into office space. 225k square feet of office space is pretty close to the amount in the 84.51 building.

 

I still think it will be a big upgrade even if it won't be a tower on top.

 

***Edit: I was looking at another project, the Encore, $52 Million for garage and tower: https://www.3cdc.org/project/8th-sycamore/

 

 

Edited by IAGuy39

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$59M for 250K SF is $236/SF which doesn't sound out of line for a gut rehab, especially if there's major facade work, mechanicals, class-a finishes, etc. 

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$236 psf is awfully expensive for a renovation.  You already have the garage and exterior shell, even if your are going to replace the curtain wall, that is very high.  Maybe that number includes the vacancy losses until they can find tenants. LOL  And I'm not sure this means 1,000 new jobs for downtown.  It likely means 1,000 jobs moving from existing Class B & C buildings downtown.

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7 minutes ago, thesenator said:

$236 psf is awfully expensive for a renovation.  You already have the garage and exterior shell, even if your are going to replace the curtain wall, that is very high.  Maybe that number includes the vacancy losses until they can find tenants. LOL  And I'm not sure this means 1,000 new jobs for downtown.  It likely means 1,000 jobs moving from existing Class B & C buildings downtown.


Your last point isn’t true. Mr. Leeper at 3CDC said earlier in the year on a podcast that these jobs will be new and high paying. So at the very least these jobs are not currently located downtown and I get a feeling will be totally new tech jobs from Kroger or someone.

Edited by 646empire

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1 hour ago, thesenator said:

$236 psf is awfully expensive for a renovation.  You already have the garage and exterior shell, even if your are going to replace the curtain wall, that is very high.  Maybe that number includes the vacancy losses until they can find tenants. LOL  And I'm not sure this means 1,000 new jobs for downtown.  It likely means 1,000 jobs moving from existing Class B & C buildings downtown.

 

From what I understand alot of the jobs will be Kroger corporate jobs that are currently based in the suburbs (around blue Ash) that will be relocating downtown. 

 

The speculation about whether this could eventually be Kroger new HQ is an interesting thought. The Kroger on Central is starting to max out in regards to available space. 

 

I almost do wonder as well if the long term plan would be to eventually build a tower above the base to house Kroger new HQ.

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3cdc is now stating they aren't 100% sure if they are going to demolish the skywalk. 

 

https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/cincinnati/planning-commission-vote-would-lay-groundwork-to-demolish-skywalk-on-fifth-street-city-says

 

They are still stating it will cost 59 million dollars..which makes it that more absurd if there are no costs associated with skywalk demo.

 

I mean am I crazy but couldnt 59 million dollars build a  short squat tower up top... especially if the skywalk isn't being demo'd?

Edited by troeros

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4th & Race is around $100 million and most of that cost is the parking garage.  $59 million for Fountain Place has to include something more than an extensive interior renovation.  The numbers aren't making sense.  

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https://www.wcpo.com/news/transportation-development/move-up-cincinnati/3cdc-hopes-redeveloped-fountain-place-will-attract-major-tenant-1-500-workers

 

Nothing that new to add except 3cdc is now stating upwards of 1,500 jobs at Fountain Place and total Renovation cost will be upwards of 60 million dollars.

 

5-6 new, smaller square footage, ground floor retail tenants that will generate high foot traffic. 

 

Interior demolition started last week, with no completion date set as of yet. 

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2 hours ago, nicker66 said:

4th & Race is around $100 million and most of that cost is the parking garage.  $59 million for Fountain Place has to include something more than an extensive interior renovation.  The numbers aren't making sense.  

 

Yeah, does it really cost 60 million dollars to convert a 3 store building into Class A office space? 

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^It sounds doubtful they will add a tower or anything on top.

 

All that said, it is still going to be a huge upgrade and a great project for there. I think 3CDC will get it right in terms of retailers, etc. and improving on it big time.

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From the WCPO article-

 

"They bought the building for $7.5 million earlier this year, and 3CDC expects to purchase the land from the city of Cincinnati for $1.

The bargain price allows the city to avoid paying property taxes on the land, as 3CDC moves forward with redevelopment of the 225,000-square-foot building."

 

 

This sounds like BS?  Does a city pay property tax on a land sale? Or do they mean 3CDC will have a lower property tax liability going forward since the land sale will be recorded as $1??  All this welfare.....  I pay full freight on my property. Why can't they?

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I don't like corporate welfare any more than the next guy, but 3CDC is still technically a non-profit and in theory are investing all of their non-overhead and salaried money back into the urban core. If this ends up being just a Kroger office, I will agree with you because Fortune 500 companies can pay their taxes, but I get why 3CDC gets special treatment. 

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Why not put something that will be a destination type place. Now that there is a grocery store downtown, the thing they are missing is a movie theatre. It can be an Esquire type theatre even, but that would be a nice addition to the urban core with the new residents and add to street life.

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1 minute ago, Brutus_buckeye said:

Why not put something that will be a destination type place. Now that there is a grocery store downtown, the thing they are missing is a movie theatre. It can be an Esquire type theatre even, but that would be a nice addition to the urban core with the new residents and add to street life.

 

Yeah I'm not sure what 3cdc was thinking with this one. 

 

Assuming their is no tower in the cards, then 3cdc is essentially spending 60 million dollars for renovating office space. 

 

While adding 1,500 jobs (hopefully new jobs, or relocating suburban jobs) will be a huge win for the CBD, it feels like a missed opportunity to not have a Kenwood Towne center type of developement where you have a mixed use entertainment center filled with a boutique envision cinemas, a comedy club, maybe a sprinkle in a few cafes/resturaunts/dinner show type of establishments. Things that are new to the urban core in terms of entertainment, while adding new foot traffic. 

 

THEN add a office tower on top with new jobs. 

 

Instead we are getting a sprinkle of retail and mainly office jobs and this corner will still be primarily dead during the weekdays when the workers go home, and maybe see a little bit of activity during the weekend with the new retail tenants...all while spending 60 million dollars, which in theory, could have afforded 3cdc to build a nucely sized modest tower above. 

 

I guess we don't know all of the details yet or long term plans. But so far none of it makes sense. Especially when 3cdc has a great, proven track record of bringing new life and vibrancy to quiet street corners. 

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I don't see why all the handwringing, I mean I understand, people want a new tower, but if there isn't, I don't think it's that big of a deal. It's still going to be a big upgrade.

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I believe Hudson Managment was going to put 70 million to renovated a 12 story Textile building into apartments 

 

60 million into a 3 story building smh

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17 minutes ago, cin614 said:

I believe Hudson Managment was going to put 70 million to renovated a 12 story Textile building into apartments 

 

60 million into a 3 story building smh

Hudson management was a hot mess developer from Florida that didn't know what they were doing and left alot of companies and firms in Cincinnati with unpaid bills...

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8 hours ago, IAGuy39 said:

I don't see why all the handwringing, I mean I understand, people want a new tower, but if there isn't, I don't think it's that big of a deal. It's still going to be a big upgrade.

 

I mean I think it's more of the fact 60 million dollars is going to be spent in renovations for a 3 story building.

 

Imo, 3cdc should have just focused on leasing out the building to new retail and use that 60 million for an office tower infill in the much abundant surface lots of the urban core...

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On 12/6/2019 at 11:51 PM, troeros said:

 

I mean I think it's more of the fact 60 million dollars is going to be spent in renovations for a 3 story building.

 

Imo, 3cdc should have just focused on leasing out the building to new retail and use that 60 million for an office tower infill in the much abundant surface lots of the urban core...

 

I am having a bit of trouble understanding your logic.

 

So they would fill what was already there at Fountain Place and not working... with a repeat of what was already there and not working?

 

I doubt Fountain Place failed because of who was leasing the retail or what the retail was. I would guess it failed because really big retail in the middle of downtown Cincinnati is not feasible even when it is really good anchors like a very nice Macy's and Tiffany's!!

 

So, I feel like your logic here is a bit of false choice... They can't use this building to fill fully with retail, it probably isn't very conducive to apartments, BUT they can get some quality retail which will work along with 1500 workers right on Fountain Square in a beautiful, revamped building.

 

The problem with the abundant surface lots.... They don't own those surface lots and neither does the city, that would make the costs even that much higher, the process slower, etc. They have decided this is the best move at this moment in time.

 

Don't worry, they will get more surface lots filled soon, there is a big project happening on 4th and Race right now and the big projects coming up by the Convention Center. I would guess too that 3CDC is going to push hard to get another big project like the Kroger building done on some of those lots by that new tower. That seems like a big focus for them.

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City poised to sell land underneath Fountain Place

 

fountainplace2019*750xx1800-1014-0-165.j

 

Cincinnati City Council is expected to sell the land underneath Fountain Place to the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. on Wednesday for $1 and abate property taxes on the improvements to the nearly empty building for 30 years.

 

3CDC is planning a $59 million office conversion project for the building that will create 205,000 square feet of office space and renovate 20,000 of commercial space. It also will include a 165-space underground parking garage. 3CDC plans to try to attract a single user that will bring 1,000 jobs to the site, said Phil Denning, the city’s economic development director.

 

One citizen objected to the sale, urging council to vote “no” on it and calling it a multimillion-dollar giveaway. The Hamilton County auditor has estimated the land is worth $13.8 million.

 

More below:

https://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/news/2019/12/16/city-poised-to-sell-land-underneath-fountain-place.html


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^Not a fan of how they are pretending in the meeting they need to do this or else they won't find a tenant, when it seems that Kroger IT is already a done deal.  At lease be more transparent and state that a lease has been made contingent on the $1 sale.  

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^ Yep. Expect the next two weeks to be a "silly season" at City Hall as the city tries to ram through every land sale, tax abatement, and TIF district creation they possibly can, in advance of the CPS deal expiring at the end of the year.

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