$40 million office building planned next to TQL Stadium

$40 million office building planned next to TQL Stadium

FC Cincinnati’s ownership group plans to renovate an existing industrial building next to the team’s stadium in the West End into a class A office building.

The project, known as Pitch Side Center, would redevelop the former Tri-State Wholesale Building Supplies property into 110,000 square feet of office space just steps from TQL Stadium. The redevelopment project would be an investment of about $40 million.

Meg Ryan, chief marketing officer of FC Cincinnati, said when the team selected the stadium site, it envisioned mixed-use development in the surrounding area.

“When we committed to building the stadium, we also committed to make the area around TQL Stadium a place where people can live, work, and play,” Ryan said. “We want a thriving environment, not just an island.”

The ownership group hired Cushman & Wakefield to help master plan for the property north of the stadium. Peter Snow, executive managing director with Cushman & Wakefield, has been working with the team for about 2.5 years.

Cushman brought in its project services group from Washington, D.C. to help with the master planning. In turn, Cushman recommended the team work with Perkins Eastman, a New York City-based global design firm, as master planner.

As Perkins Eastman was studying how the whole neighborhood could come together, the Tri-State building at 1550 Central Ave. stood out as one that could be kept and converted to a different use.

“This is really a hidden gem,” Snow told me.

The ownership group worked with MSA Design to design a complete renovation of the building, converting it to office space.

“It will be one of the coolest, most creative buildings in the city,” Snow said. “There is going to be nothing else like it in Cincinnati.”

To get a look at renderings of the renovated building, click on the images above.

The building is unique in the area because of its large floorplates, roughly 40,000 square feet per floor. That gives potential large tenants the ability to put all their employees on one floor.

The renovated building would include exposed concrete columns, tall ceilings and ample natural light with full length windows.

Michael Schuster, principal and president of MSA Design, said today’s workforce is looking for a more creative environment to work in. Being next to TQL Stadium, an area that is already a creative environment that especially comes alive on game days, make it a place to be.

“This is a creative place, a creative area and a creative space,” Schuster told me. “It’s people space, thoughtful space and that’s pretty strong stuff.”

The ownership group is not looking to start Pitch Side Center speculatively, meaning without any signed tenants, but it would start redevelopment if it secures a significant lease in the building.

Scott Abernethy and Digger Daley with Cushman & Wakefield are marketing Pitch Side Center for lease. Abernethy, senior director with Cushman & Wakefield, said office has been in flux over the last 20 months since the start of the pandemic.

“We do see 2022 as bringing back some pent-up demand, especially for higher end, trophy type properties,” Abernethy told me.

Space in Pitch Side Center is being marketed at $22 per square foot for the lower level, $25 per square foot for the entry and second level, and $26.95 per square foot for the third level. The building is designed to have outdoor terraces not only at the street level, but also for the second and third floors.

Pitch Side Center is expected to be the first piece of a mixed-use district north of TQL Stadium. While details on the rest of the mixed-use development near the stadium are not available, it is expected to include a mix of inclusive housing, retail and a hotel.

“It’s a fantastic location, close to downtown and between two vibrant neighborhoods which is why we built our stadium here,” Ryan said. “We are excited about bringing people to the area year-round.”

The flight to quality is an office trend I wrote about earlier this year, and it continues. Regardless of employer size, these companies want to make their office space a place where employees want to be.

“They want their employees to be excited about coming to work,” Abernethy said.

Snow pointed to the Foundry as an example of a new office space, that is uniquely designed and surrounded by amenities, that has been able to sign leases with large, growing companies. Foundry has already signed leases with Deloitte, Turner Construction and Divisions Maintenance Group before construction is complete.