Sunday, April 13, 2003

Industry notes: Commercial real estate

Bank One staying at Kenwood site

By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

In one of the largest deals of the year, Bank One opted to renew a lease of two floors at its Kenwood office building.

Even though the 10-year lease for nearly 30,000 square feet is about half the space Bank One occupied before, the bank maintains naming rights for Bank One Towers at 8044 Montgomery Road off Interstate 71. It's been Bank One's headquarters since the building opened in 1990.

Todd Munson, president of Bank One Cincinnati, described the building owned by Duke Realty Corp. as the bank's "recognized home in Cincinnati" from where the bank intends to fatten its Greater Cincinnati customer base. The bank operates 28 Greater Cincinnati branches and $950 million in deposits.

As a relatively large user in a tenant-starved market, Bank One shopped around for several potential new homes, including as an anchor for the proposed Cornerstone office building across from Rookwood Tower in Norwood. However, it was ultimately Bank One's relationship with Duke that prompted it to stay put, according to CB Richard Ellis Vice President Bill Schneller, who consulted the bank in lease negotiations. Dan Ruh represented Duke.

Map Group leasing space in Fort Wright

The Map Group, which produces maps for municipalities and business groups, signed a lease of 7,400 square feet at Corporex Cos. Lookout Corporate Center in Fort Wright. The group's business branches include Target Marketing, Engels Maps and City Map.

Other recent deals signed by Corporex include leases for Waddington North America, Transfreight, Alliance Mortgage Co. and High Power.

Blue Ash company's fate uncertain

Managers overseeing operations of a Divine Inc. subsidiary in Blue Ash say they could vacate a 28,000-square-foot space at Duke's Pfeiffer Woods office and search for a smaller area office.

The potential move of Divine Whittman-Hart is prompted by a bankruptcy filing by its parent, Divine Inc., which is shedding various units as part of court proceedings.

Raj Uttamchandani, who oversees 40 Cincinnati-area employees for Divine Whittman-Hart, expects his firm will make a final decision on a new office ranging from 7,000 to 10,000 square feet within a month or two. Part of the uncertainty is the firm's future. Divine Whittman-Hart will be auctioned by April 21 as part of a separate bankruptcy proceeding.

Uttamchandani said his firm has negotiated an agreement with Duke to stay at Pfeiffer Woods until the auction is complete; the firm will make a decision for a new, smaller space after that. He said the firm could stay put at the Blue Ash office if it can reach terms with Duke.

Officials for Duke Realty declined comment.

OKI plans move to Sawyer Point

The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments is eyeing a new home at the former Arthur Andersen building at Sawyer Point.

The OKI Board of Directors on Thursday approved its staff to negotiate a lease of about 20,000 square feet at the Sawyer Point Building. Another possibility is relocating to a slightly larger space at the Holiday Office Park in Queensgate, where OKI has about 15,000 square feet for its 40 employees.

Ken Alltucker covers commercial real estate for the Enquirer. Call him at (513) 768-8384 or e-mail

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