‘UNIVERSITY STATION GAINING STEAM’ ~~ Ackermann Group Q-and-A on ‘Affinity Tenants,’ the XU Entertainment District, and the hottest redevelopment and mixed-use (office/retail/residential) project in Greater Cincinnati ~~ Teased on Page 1 in your Cincinnati Business Courier and featured in ‘Structures,’ specialty pub for the built environment ~~ thx, @BusinessCourier and @TomCinciBiz! ~~ http://www.AckermannGroup.com



Even before the first phase of development at University Station was complete, all 46,000 square feet of office space were leased.

University Station is a $54 million mixed-use development on 15 acres near Xavier University in Evanston. The 315,000-square-foot project, which is being developed by Ackermann Group and Messer Construction Co., also includes retail space and student housing.

But with strong demand for office space, Dobbs Ackermann, CEO of Ackermann Group, is looking at even more office space in Phase iI. Dobbs weighs in on what drove demand, how the rest of the development will come together and the larger trend of office users seeking out mixed-use space:

Cincinnati Business Courier: University Station has leased all of its office space. What drove the demand?

Dobbs Ackermann, Ackermann Group: University Station is attracting an office tenant that is looking for a central location, a campus environment and has interest in being connected to a growing and respected Xavier University.

Cincinnati Business Courier: Will you adjust the mix of office space for Phase II, based on demand for the first phase?

Dobbs Ackermann, Ackermann GroupThe Phase II portion of the development calls for up to 250,000 more square feet of office. We believe the market will absorb that amount of square feet given the overall project dynamics. The development team of Messer Construction Co. and Ackermann Group, along with a group of local investors, and Xavier are bringing a vision to life that has created an on-campus experience, adjacent to campus. The energy that is garnered from the student environment and the transformation of a community is a major driver in the office environment that is being created.

Cincinnati Business CourierWhy are office users attracted to mixed-use developments?

Dobbs Ackermann, Ackermann Group: Office users today are attracted to mixed-use developments because they are planned for the way people want to live, work and play. Parking is convenient, office spaces are efficient and healthy, and the entertainment element is an integral part of the lifestyle built into the development. Mixed-use today is healthy, efficient, safe and walkable – all of which makes for a more productive work environment. Our goal as a development team is to help make the users of our developments more successful. We do that with thoughtful planning and details that foster business.

Cincinnati Business CourierAside from the tenants that signed leases, what other type of tenants have shown interest?

Dobbs Ackermann, Ackermann GroupWe are calling our interested tenants “affinity tenants.” Everyone to date has had an interest to be a part of the Xavier growth and momentum. They are interested in being connected to students for internships, to the classrooms for programming or to the campus for the electric environment that students bring. The site has had tremendous interest due to its ability to attract large or small users – 5,000 to 150,000 square feet.

Cincinnati Business Courier: What made this a good site for redevelopment?

Dobbs Ackermann, Ackermann Group: If you look at the Interstate 71 corridor you will see that between Oakley and Clifton, major redevelopment has already taken place (in the range between $50 million and $100 million developments). Rookwood Exchange, Center of Cincinnati, Linden Point, Cornerstone, Keystone, etc. This site is in the center of all that development. From a bird’s eye view, if you look at I-71, this property and the surrounding area represent the hottest pocket for redevelopment. South Norwood and Evanston have amazing infrastructure. There are major road arteries, there is highway access, there is market for office, retail and residential. We are looking to build an entertainment district for the area that isn’t currently there, and our prediction is that over the next five years, this area will become the hottest redevelopment market in all of Cincinnati.

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