Cincinnati’s 309 Vine to Get $15M Makeover

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor The annex building that supplements the 31-story PNC Tower will soon get a $15 million makeover. With construction ongoing at the nearby Banks development, downtown Cincinnati is seeing a lot of activity lately. This new renovation project will bring life back to an important area of downtown Cincinnati and spawn development [...]

The annex building that supplements the 31-story PNC Tower will soon get a $15 million makeover. With construction ongoing at the nearby Banks development, downtown Cincinnati is seeing a lot of activity lately. This new renovation project will bring life back to an important area of downtown Cincinnati and spawn development along Third and Vine streets, ultimately making the entire block a destination for shoppers and diners.

The Union Central Life Insurance Co. built PNC Tower in 1913 at the corner of Fourth and Vine. As Cincinnati became the center of the insurance industry outside New York, the company soon outgrew the building and was forced to construct a second building next door. 309 Vine was completed in 1928.

The eight-story building has 300,000 square feet of available space. Floor plates range in size from 22,000 to 49,000 square feet. Its strong and wide structure was supposed to hold as much as 18 more stories, but the expansion never took place. 309 Vine was built atop a 400-car parking garage, an uncommon feature in the early 1900s. Two bridges connect 309 Vine to PNC Tower at the first and fourth levels.

Over time, the annex was occupied by such companies as the Union Central Life Insurance Co., Central Trust Bank, and Provident, National City and PNC banks. Fosdick & Hilmer engineering consultants, Ekvall International, Café de Vine and an Appearance Plus dry cleaner are now the only tenants left.

It will now have its facade restored and floors upgraded. The building’s ceilings will be raised up to 17 feet, and more than 600 new energy-efficient windows will be installed. Renovation plans also include ornate decorative painting, moldings, gold leaf, new HVAC and new tenant interiors. BHDP Architecture is in charge of design and hopes to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Work begins this summer. With downtown’s office vacancy slowly shrinking, Central Trust Tower Associates, the building’s owner, hopes to soon sign leases with new tenants. One firm will get its name in lights atop the building.

Image courtesy of http://www.309vine.com.