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Cincinnati: Downtown: Renaissance Hotel (Bartlett Building Redevlopment)

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The tower was purchased last week by a firm out of Columbus:

 

Will the lights go back on in iconic downtown tower?

Jon Newberry

Staff Reporter-

Business Courier

 

The just-completed sale of the historic Bartlett Building could finally set the stage for its return to some useful purpose, removing a dark blot on a once-bustling corner of downtown Cincinnati.

Still, no one seems to be talking publicly about what that useful purpose might be. And any renovation would almost certainly require government incentives.

An affiliate of Columbus real estate firm E.V. Bishoff Co. acquired the 17-story building on Feb. 8 for $535,000, ending more than five years of legal limbo for the vacant tower. It last sold for $8 million nearly seven years ago.


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

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Not knowing anything about this building, what are the possibilities for residential conversion? Is it a prime candidate for said conversion? Or is it more valuable as office space?

 

Obviously quite a bit of the previous talk in this thread was about that, but that talk always happens with every older office building. Is this a realistic use for this specific building. Because it's gorgeous and would make for some lovely condos/apartments if possible.

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I have to think it would be a good residential conversion candidate.  It's not overly large, and it is really quite old, which (IMO) makes it that much more difficult to turn something into prime office space. 

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At this point, in Cincinnati, a big portion of the picture boils down to parking. if a developer can come up with a workable solution to parking, a large scale condo/apartment conversion becomes much more feasible in their minds. its one of the reasons the enquirer building conversion to residential floundered. right or wrong, in the current market, most people interested in living downtown/able to pay the prices are also going to be people who have a car and want a place to park it. that said, there are plenty of garages nearby which at least allows for the possibility  of a deal being struck. I also believe there are elevator issues in the Bartlett building, possibly relating to the number of existing cores or being brought up to code for residential.... i don't quite remember what they might be though. I do know several developers have explored the option of turning it to residential and the numbers haven't worked for them for whatever reason in the past. the residential market in downtown is experiencing something of a boom right now though, so i wouldn't be surprised to see someone take a chance.

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This building seems like it's in the very heart of downtown's financial district, if you can call it that. Am I the only one who wants to see it stay as office space? I'd much rather see some new residential construction on some of our vacant lots - Seventh & Vine, Seventh & Sycamore and Eighth & Walnut in particular.

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More details revealed for Bartlett Building hotel conversion

Chris Wetterich - Cincinnati Business Courier

May 14, 2013, 4:38pm EDT

 

Columbia Sussex Corp. will convert the Bartlett Building, 36 E. Fourth St., into a $33 million hotel and get 12 years worth of green tax credits under an ordinance that could receive Cincinnati City Council approval on Wednesday.

 

Council’s Budget and Finance Committee approved the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design agreement on Monday. City documents contained a few more details about the downtown project:

 

• The now-vacant office building will be converted into a Renaissance luxury hotel with 312 rooms.

 

• Construction is set to begin by July with the goal of opening by September 2014.

 

Cont


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

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I'm thrilled at the redevelopment of this, but can the city actually fill all these new hotel rooms coming online? Thats not to mention that the casino gets to build one in a few years too.

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I'm thrilled at the redevelopment of this, but can the city actually fill all these new hotel rooms coming online? Thats not to mention that the casino gets to build one in a few years too.

 

Up to ownership to fill them, not the city. No idea what future vacancy rates might be. 312 rooms, and a luxury name looks like a good development.

The Residence Inn and 21 C are about 130-150 rooms. Competition means other operators have to make renovations from time to time.

What do we have here, 8 hotels in the CBD? (with 3 more coming). Indy probably has 15.

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Incidentally this building was financed by Jacob Schmidlapp.  Presumably some of the revenue from this building's first decades of existence went into the Schmidlapp Fund upon his death in 1919 which Fifth Third Bank still manages and recently funded the Schmidlapp Event Lawn.  His bank was merged into what became Fifth Third, and so it's a bit sad/amusing that Fifth Third recently came back into ownership of the building 100 years later through foreclosure. 

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Incidentally this building was financed by Jacob Schmidlapp.  Presumably some of the revenue from this building's first decades of existence went into the Schmidlapp Fund upon his death in 1919 which Fifth Third Bank still manages and recently funded the Schmidlapp Event Lawn.  His bank was merged into what became Fifth Third, and so it's a bit sad/amusing that Fifth Third recently came back into ownership of the building 100 years later through foreclosure. 

 

Great tidbit!

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Hopefully there will be some good pictures of the construction. I haven't seen any photos inside before...

 

I found some photos here:

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Website now says July 2014. The construction elevator was removed a couple weeks back. Still a lot of work going on. First date you can book a room is August 1st.


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

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Wow.  That's a big sign. Cool.

 

I love that sort of thing in Cities, and wish Cincinnati would relax its sign laws. Cluter and Chaos is what makes cities great ;)

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Wow.  That's a big sign. Cool.

 

I love that sort of thing in Cities, and wish Cincinnati would relax its sign laws. Cluter and Chaos is what makes cities great ;)

 

Agreed, which is why this is one of my favorite pictures of Cincinnati:

 

800px-Cincinnati_Vine_Street_in_1973.jpg

 

The tiny, Olde Montgomery-esque signs in the Gateway Quarter today are a bit depressing.

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Wow.  That's a big sign. Cool.

 

I love that sort of thing in Cities, and wish Cincinnati would relax its sign laws. Cluter and Chaos is what makes cities great ;)

 

Not allowing illuminated signs and chasing lights contributes to retail failing in neighborhood business districts.  People need to know in an instant that there is a business in the building, what they sell, and that they're open. 

 

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Rumor has it the hotel should be open in less than a week (I've heard this weekend or beginning of next week). No official announcement that I know of, yet. It let's you book for July 31, one week from today.

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All construction fencing has been removed. It is unfortunate the sidewalk won't be replaced as apart of this conversion.


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

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All construction fencing has been removed. It is unfortunate the sidewalk won't be replaced as apart of this conversion.

 

I agree. I have a question: Why hasn't the city implemented a city wide sidewalk standard? It would be nice if all the sidewalks were uniform. Does anyone have any background information on this?

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The sidewalks on Walnut between 4th and 5th are horrendous looking.

 

Hopefully that section is to be replaced along with 4th between walnut and vine.

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It'll be interesting to see how evening rush hour traffic is handled at the Fourth & Walnut intersection with Renaissance valet taking up a lane. Yesterday afternoon there were probably 10 cars unloading. The valet drivers can be seen running down Fourth St. from the Pogue garage. Figure this will switch to Mabley Place garage once it's complete. Still, that's a lot of ground to cover and the hotel isn't completely finished.


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

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