Sunday, June 10, 2001

Industry notes: Commercial real estate

Developer brims with confidence

By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Even though two past efforts to build a mall north of Interstate 275 have failed, developer John Silverman has no worries about his Voice of America project.

        He cites two reasons for his confidence: people and money.

        The outdoor mall planned for the northeast corner of Cox and Tylersville roads, off Interstate 75, is close to Greater Cincinnati's fastest-growing and wealthiest communities.

        Within five miles, the average household income is $89,982. Two miles further, household income is $88,200.

        Those impressive figures, Mr. Silverman says, have caught the eye of new-to-market retailers such as Jacobson's and Galyan's Trading Co. Michigan-based Jacobson Stores Inc. signed a lease to anchor the 500,000-square-foot Voice of America Centre. Developer Midland Atlantic is also finalizing a lease with Galyan's, a sporting goods retailer based in Plainfield, Ind.

        Two other anchor stores that Mr. Silverman would not name have signed letters of intent, he said. A marketing brochure identifies Lazarus Furniture and a large bookstore as the other anchors.

        Rounding out the center will be 150,000 square feet of specialty shops and restaurants.

        Mr. Silverman expects to break ground this summer after receiving final approval from Butler County officials. He's aiming for an October 2002 opening.

        Is there room for another mall in Greater Cincinnati? Other mall developers have had little luck north of the I-275 loop.

        Plans for a mall in Monroe were tossed aside after state transportation officials refused to approve an interchange. And Maryland developer Rouse Co. bailed on plans for a Deerfield Township site when its anchor, Nordstrom, dropped plans for a store.

        Mr. Silverman isn't worried about past attempts. He believes his mall is uniquely positioned to pull customers from northern Cincinnati and areas south of Dayton.

Lofts geared toward high-tech crowd

        Urban Sites Properties last week had an open house for its 25,000-square-foot loft space in Over-the-Rhine.

        The Excelsior Business Lofts, at 14th and Clay streets, is geared toward Main Street's tech crowd. Each loft includes a kitchen, restroom and shower.

        The building, former home of Excelsior Laundry, was refurbished with exposed brick, high-speed communications and a rooftop garden.

Marketing outfit buys Forest Park space

        RZ Marketing bought a Forest Park 11,895-square-foot office/warehouse for $710,000. The previous tenant, RX Bizaar, an Internet provider of pharmaceuticals, was attempting to sublease the space but RZ Marketing offered to buy.

        Adam Simon, an industrial agent with Everest Group, represented the Internet drug company. Staubach Co. represented the buyer.

Duke-Weeks named developer of year

        Chalk up another award for Duke-Weeks Realty Corp., Greater Cincinnati's largest developer. Duke-Weeks was named developer of the year for 2001 by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.

        The Indianapolis-based developer will receive the award at NAIOP's annual meeting in Chicago Oct. 24-26.

        Ken Alltucker covers commercial real estate for the Enquirer. Have news? Call him at 768-8384, e-mail or fax 768-8340.


Pharmacy says farewell to Fourth Street
Telemarketing law irks businesses, thrills residents
What's the Buzz?
Store serves special needs
Tristate Business Notes
- Industry notes: Commercial real estate
Commercial real estate transfers
Shopping malls not dead yet
Some ways to massage a message
Wireless providers slowing speed-up plans
Business meetings, seminars