Thursday, January 04, 2001

Bell trolling for better parking

Firm threatening move over lack of downtown spots

By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The city of Cincinnati will need to deliver more than a daily shuttle bus to help solve a parking crunch at the downtown headquarters of Cincinnati Bell.

        The Cincinnati-based telecommunications company has threatened a move from downtown and even hired a real estate company to find office space elsewhere.

        The company has warned Cincinnati leaders that lack of parking has sapped sales force productivity and it will consider moving some of its 2,000 corporate jobs outside downtown if it doesn't get a favorable solution.

        “The active solution we are pursing now is with the City of Cincinnati,” spokeswoman Tressie Long said. The company has enlisted Cincinnati Commercial Realtors to visit and research other available office space in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and elsewhere.

        The prospect of losing any of Cincinnati Bell's 2,000 employees at its corporate headquarters has left city officials and downtown boosters scrambling for a solution.

        “We want to be aggres sively responsive to any needs that they have or issues that they have,” said David Ginsburg of Downtown Cincinnati Inc., a downtown advocacy group.

        DCI worked with Metro and city leaders to launch a daily shuttle bus to allow workers easier access to riverfront parking spaces.

        That's a nice start, but not a complete solution, Cincinnati Bell officials said.

        Ms. Long said the company needs quick access for sales employees who arrive and depart downtown. Officials did not say what an ideal solution would be.


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