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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:02 AM   #1
MDguy
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CINCINNATI | Queen City Square | 210m | 689ft | 37 fl | Com















more here





City's tallest tower to be built
Queen City Square to get started in spring
BY KEITH T. REED | KREED@ENQUIRER.COM
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Western & Southern Financial Group met with city officials Tuesday to propose a timeline for building its long-planned Queen City Square office tower, a project that would become the tallest building in downtown Cincinnati. The building would open in 2011.

Executives from the company and its project manager, Turner Construction, met with city officials Tuesday at City Hall to lay out details.

The project is slated to stand 40 stories, bringing a massive 800,000 square feet of office space, 21,000 square feet of ground-level retail and 1,300 parking spaces on nine levels, city officials said. Because of its distinctive arching roof, Queen City Square would be taller than the 574-foot Carew Tower even though it would have fewer floors.


Western & Southern executives declined to comment, but company chairman John F. Barrett has sent invitations to local developers and dignitaries for “a major announcement” Thursday afternoon.

Left unanswered are how much Queen City Square will cost and key details about its financing.

Demolition on an existing 1,500-space parking garage at the site – roughly bordered by Third Street to the south, Fourth to the north, Broadway to the east and Sycamore to the west – is planned to start in mid-2008.

With about 33 months from start to finish, demolition to completion, construction of the building would likely overlap the building of at least the initial phases of The Banks, the planned mixed-use project slated for the riverfront between Great American Ball Park and Paul Brown Stadium.

“We are excited that Western & Southern is taking this opportunity to invest in the city,” Holly Childs, the city’s economic development director, said. “Their commitment to Queen City Square is a catalytic development for the Banks project and the future of the central business district.”

The developers of that project are actively looking for an architect for its first residential and retail phase, and groundbreaking for infrastructure improvements at that site is slated fo the first quarter of 2008.

The Banks also is scheduled to include two office towers holding a total of 200,000 to 1 million square feet of space.

Western & Southern was among the Fourth Street property owners that raised concerns this fall about an increase in the size of The Banks project and a 30-story height limit. They worried that The Banks would compete with downtown by siphoning off tenants and parking spaces. In response, the Banks Working Group – the city-county group that drafted an agreement with that project’s developers – lowered the maximum recommended building height to 24 stories.

Left unanswered are how much Queen City Square will cost and key details about its financing. Childs said Western & Southern has not asked the city for any financial assistance with the project, but the city has not ruled out that possibility.

Another key piece of the financing puzzle might lie in whether the developer has a primary tenant lined up. Real estate lenders and investors view tenants in office projects as collateral and often require signed leases or letters of intent before approving funding for major projects.

Earlier this year, Barrett said Western & Southern was “out there aggressively trying to pre-lease that tower,” referring to the project.

The company initially floated the idea of Queen City Square roughly 20 years ago, then revived it in 2002.

The new building would be adjacent to the 303 Broadway building, at the northwest corner of Third and Broadway. The building – the first new office tower built in downtown in 14 years – opened in 2005 and is almost full

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...312190005/1076



So this tower is planned to be the tallest building in Cincinnati, its been planned for a while and i think it is amazing! good work Cinncy! So im guessing it has a crown like it does because Cincinnatis nick name of Queen city? It's great anyway!
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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:35 AM   #2
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Im glad to see this one getting built, seems like its been on the backburner forever. Lovely building.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:11 AM   #3
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it doesnt look 210. even with the arc feature it still looks around 160-170
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:12 AM   #4
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Amazing....I am in Melbourne Australia and just sent an email to a friend in Lexington Kentucky and mentioned our trip up to Cinncinatti in late August this year. We went to the roof of the Carew Tower...It was a very hot day near 100deg. and windy but a great view and I thought the building was nice but was surprised it had held it's tallest status for so long...then logged onto SSC and see this. The world is watching!!!!
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Old December 20th, 2007, 05:54 AM   #5
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Finally. One of the longest living proposals ever............

I'm glad that design is still intact. Looks good in Cincinnati.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 05:57 AM   #6
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^Left unanswered are how much Queen City Square will cost and key details about its financing...Another key piece of the financing puzzle might lie in whether the developer has a primary tenant lined up.

It's still just a proposal. Financing is not secure yet. Like I said five years ago, I'll believe it when I see it. This is how it is with every project in Ohio. There is usually a ten-year delay on any major project after initial proposals, and that's if they even get built at all. Remember the Ameritrust Center proposals in Cleveland? They tore down buildings, and nothing went up on the site.

The Banks in Cincinnati was proposed a decade ago and still has yet to turn a shovel. Ohio cities all have moderately high vacancies in their downtowns, though Cincinnati is a little better than the others. Still, there is really no justification for adding 800,000 square feet of office space at this point. 2011 is certainly out of the question, and there will NOT be demand for 800,000 square feet within the next four years. That's just absurd, especially with sprawltastic disasters like Blue Ash. I'd say if it gets built, it will be half the size of this proposal and will open in 2016 at the earliest.

The Banks is far more important than this project, and that's where the city needs to put its money. There is a damn good chance Western & Southern Financial will ask for help from the city (financing isn't even secure yet), and if Cincinnati is smart, they won't invest in an office tower that is not needed. They should concentrate on the long-delayed Banks project which has far more potential to transform the image of the city and fix up a riverfront that's been neglected for half a century. Infill and riverfront development is what Cincinnati needs. A taller skyscraper is a want.

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Old December 20th, 2007, 06:31 AM   #7
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Even I can be more optimistic than that! I thought I'd never hear of this one again. Is WSF planning to occupy part of this tower, or is it purely on spec? I really hope they keep the original design. If it is redone as a box a la Chicago's 353 N. Clark than I hope it does fail. I'm surprised the Pomo haters haven't dropped in yet to say how stupid the crown is and that I shouldn't be living in the past. You know who you are.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #8
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nice I like the roof it looks kind of like an opera house
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Old December 20th, 2007, 08:59 PM   #9
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stunning!!!!
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Old December 21st, 2007, 05:13 AM   #10
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here's a link to the building on the news, the model of the building is at the end of the clip, they say construction will start this summer and they say its a 'go ahead'!

also, heres a post from jmecklenborg at ssp

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
To recap, phase II is !'already finished. This tower is phase I.

The site of the new tower is where the old orange parking garage stands in this photo. Construction should begin on an arguably unrelated project in the empty lot at center in 2008 as well, somewhere between 15-20 floors.


A 2002 view of the lot where Queen City Square phase II was built 2003-2005, with the orange garage.


2003 view of excavation for Queen City Square phase II:


Phase II under construction:


A 2005 view from the top of the garage that will be demolished.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 08:32 AM   #11
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I hope they build it! That's all I have to say...
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Old December 21st, 2007, 10:39 AM   #12
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I just made a post a few days ago....I was a tourist from Australia and visited Cincinnatti in August....anyway....just an observation from someone who had never laid eyes on your city before then.....The River is a great asset and you have sporting complexes between the city and the river but the River banks themselves seemed a little underdeveloped....whether that be built or as garden open space....coming in from Kentucky I noticed industrial stuff beside that highway bridge very close to the city. I understand a working city is part of it's heartbeat and soul so could be out of line here, but imagine in the longer term all this riverfront being beautiful parklands one day.....Didnt see as much of the city as I would have liked...tagged along with a local showing me around....maybe you have places like I mention somewhere already but the river is the front door.....I left with a good impression...a nice mix of preserved older buildings and the new also adding to the mix....Surprised at the overhead walkway system through city blocks and buildings but realized with varied climate you have the advantage of having this. Just take all of this as from someone looking in from the outside OK.....
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 02:53 AM   #13
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Good on ya Cincinnati
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 07:35 PM   #14
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Good project for Cincinnati.Very classy!
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 08:36 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilliod Njaim View Post
^Left unanswered are how much Queen City Square will cost and key details about its financing...Another key piece of the financing puzzle might lie in whether the developer has a primary tenant lined up.

It's still just a proposal. Financing is not secure yet. Like I said five years ago, I'll believe it when I see it. This is how it is with every project in Ohio. There is usually a ten-year delay on any major project after initial proposals, and that's if they even get built at all. Remember the Ameritrust Center proposals in Cleveland? They tore down buildings, and nothing went up on the site.

The Banks in Cincinnati was proposed a decade ago and still has yet to turn a shovel. Ohio cities all have moderately high vacancies in their downtowns, though Cincinnati is a little better than the others. Still, there is really no justification for adding 800,000 square feet of office space at this point. 2011 is certainly out of the question, and there will NOT be demand for 800,000 square feet within the next four years. That's just absurd, especially with sprawltastic disasters like Blue Ash. I'd say if it gets built, it will be half the size of this proposal and will open in 2016 at the earliest.

The Banks is far more important than this project, and that's where the city needs to put its money. There is a damn good chance Western & Southern Financial will ask for help from the city (financing isn't even secure yet), and if Cincinnati is smart, they won't invest in an office tower that is not needed. They should concentrate on the long-delayed Banks project which has far more potential to transform the image of the city and fix up a riverfront that's been neglected for half a century. Infill and riverfront development is what Cincinnati needs. A taller skyscraper is a want.
Sound like you have problems with anything that has to do with Cincinnati. What the hell Cincy ever do to you?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 09:02 PM   #16
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Cincinnatians over on SSP are having a hissy-fit about this project.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #17
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^ havn't they been having one for like three years?
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Old December 28th, 2007, 08:10 AM   #18
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This tower is going to fit right in with cincy
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Old December 28th, 2007, 01:46 PM   #19
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Congrats, Cincy!!
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Old January 1st, 2008, 03:30 PM   #20
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wow
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