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Next Role for 1929 UC Building: High-Tech Hub

27 Feb 2015, 11:34 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

A makeover is in store for the University of Cincinnati’s venerable Campus Services Building. On Feb. 24, the university’s trustees approved a $16 million plan to transform the 86-year-old facility into a hub for startup companies born of technology developed at the university.

When it opened in 1929, the building at 2900 Reading Road was the city’s first Sears, Roebuck as well as the first major department store outside downtown. UC acquired the property in 1981 and housed several departments there for more than three decades. The 133,071-square-foot building has sat empty since early last year, when the departments moved to a former warehouse on Fishwick Drive.

Highlights of the makeover include creation of office space in a two-story tower that once housed a water tank for fire suppression. A 40,000-square-foot addition, built in 1945 on the building’s north end, will be razed and be replaced with green space. An 8,000-square-foot addition will provide space for an elevator and a stairway. Heating, ventilation, plumbing and fire safety systems will get upgrades, as will surface parking areas on the building’s east and south sides.

Beth McGrew, the university architect, said in a statement that replacing the building would cost significantly more than renovation. Debt funding will account for $14 million of the project’s budget, while local funds will make up the remaining $2 million. UC expects to fund much of the taxable debt service payment through revenue from leases.

The university will initially develop only one floor and will build out additional space to the specifications of future tenants. According to UC, the first tenant is likely to be the University of Cincinnati Research Institute, which could open its new offices within 18 months.

Downtown Dayton Duo Heads to Auction

24 Feb 2015, 8:37 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Two downtown Dayton office buildings will hit the auction block next month. CBRE Auction Services is selling the mid-rise, Class C buildings at 333 W. 1st St. and 349 W. 1st St., together with a 340-space attached parking garage. The minimum bid for the online auction is $350,000.

The larger of the buildings, 333 W. 1st St., rises seven stories and offers about 210,000 square feet of space. Its 24,600-square-foot neighbor at 349 W. 1st St. is three stories tall. Both buildings were completed in 1956.

According to real estate website PropertyShark,Titan Loan Investment Fund L.P. paid $4 million for the buildings in November 2007. PropertyShark also reported that the current market value of 333 W. 1st St. is $1.6 million, and 349 W. 1st St. is valued at $275,000.

The auction is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25.The opening bid is set at $100,000.

Photo credit: CBRE

Auto Supplier Opens $50M Plant in Monroe

23 Feb 2015, 5:53 pm

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Last year, UGN, an automotive industry supplier, announced plans to develop a manufacturing plant in Monroe, 30 miles north of Cincinnati. Those plans have come to fruition with the completion of the $50 million project this month.

The 206,400-square-foot plant is UGN’s seventh in the United States. It has 18,000 square feet office space and almost 190,000 square feet of space for manufacturing, with room for an additional 150,000-square-foot expansion. The project was developed by IDI/Gazeley and constructed by the Paul Hemmer Co. KZF Design served as architect and structural engineer of record.

In the fall of 2013, Tinley Park, Ill.-based UGN announced it had narrowed down its list of possible locations for a new plant to Ohio and Indiana. The company chose Monroe in part because of its close proximity to two of its biggest customers, Toyota and Honda. To help land the project, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 65 percent, nine-year job creation tax credit. As part of the deal, UGN must keep its operations in Monroe for at least 12 years.

The project is expected to create 150 new jobs and generate more than $7 million in annual wages and payroll. UGN said it will add positions in the new plant in phases.

Photo credit: KZF Design

Rubenstein Takes 2 in Downtown Cincinnati

22 Feb 2015, 4:43 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

312 Elm St.

Two high-rise office buildings in downtown Cincinnati are under new ownership. According to the Cincinnati Business Courier, the buildings at 312 Elm St. and 312 Plum St. were acquired by a joint venture of Philadelphia-based Rubenstein Partners LP., SCP Elm Plum L.L.C. and Parkway Corp. DTZ acted as the broker in the sale.

The seller, CVG Partners L.L.C., is a joint venture managed by Nashville-based Smith/Hallemann Partners comprises of local Nashville investors and a fund managed by Harbert Management Corp. of Birmingham, Ala.

PropertyShark reports that CVG Partners purchased the buildings in February 2011 from the developer, Duke Realty Corp. The joint venture paid $49.4 million for 312 Elm  and $21.2 million for 312 Plum.

312 Plum St.

The larger of the two buildings, the 379.000-square-foot 312 Elm, opened in 1988. According to a DTZ marketing brochure, 312 Elm currently has 55,765 square feet of available space and a 1,000-space parking garage. The smaller building, 312 Plum., was completed in 1992 and offers a 250-space parking structure as well as 230,000 square feet of space on its 15 floors. According to DTZ, it currently has 41,386 square feet of available space.

Brandon Huffman, Midwestern regional director for Rubenstein Partners, told the Cincinnati Business Courier that his company plans to renovate the lobby areas in the two properties, with more seating and modern fixtures, while incorporating the outside streetscape into the design.  A fitness center will also be added to 312 Elm.

Photo credit: smithhallemann.com



Middletown OKs 216-Unit Apartment Project

22 Feb 2015, 3:44 am

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The Middletown City Council approved Fred Burns Associates’ proposal last Tuesday night to develop a 216-unit luxury apartment complex on South Towne Boulevard between Lefferson Road and Arbor Court, according to the Dayton Business Journal.

The project, to be named Nicholas Place Apartments, will consist of nine 24-unit buildings on a 23-acre site. In January, the Journal-News reported the project’s cost as $20 million. Following the project’s approval, Fred Burns Associates plans to close on the acquisition of the site from Ravello Properties L.L.C. and break ground as early as this spring, the newspaper reported.

Nicholas Place will feature 144 two-bedroom units and 72 three-bedroom units, averaging 1,145 square feet in size. Amenities will include a swimming pool, basketball court, playground, dog park and a community garden. The first units are scheduled to be ready for occupancy in 2016.


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