Ms. Valerie L. Newell, Chairman and Managing Director of RiverPoint Capital Management, runs one of Greater Cincinnati’s largest money managers.
Last year, she won the 2008 WE Celebrate Woman of the Year Award (Entrepreneur) from the CincyUSA Regional Chamber.
In essence, this lady doesn’t mess around.
And yet, when one of Cincinnati’s most powerful and influential business leaders walks into her place of business, The Scripps Center at 312 Walnut, she feels like she’s walking into The Land of Oz – sans Toto, the Tin Man, et al.
“You do! The ceilings are so high, and the artwork there, it’s all just so beautiful. The people are always friendly, and as you walk down these grand hallways in the lobby you see the hair salon, the deli, the day-care center …. It’s unbelievable when you can have that feeling on the way to work,” said Newell.
Newell and the 40+ other businesses that call The Scripps Center at 312 Walnut home are beneficiaries of the closest thing to the “Family Tradition” espoused by the one and only Bocephus himself, aka Hank Williams Jr.
Call this song “Family Tradition, Cincinnati Style,” and it’s starring a one-two punch from North Avondale in the form of two brothers, Neal and Fred Mayerson, two of Cincinnati’s corporate and philanthropic titans.
TREATING TENANTS LIKE FAMILY
The Mayersons own and manage the building from their onsite operations center, headquarters of The Mayerson Company, which prides itself on treating tenants like family.
Cases in point, involving:
– a woman who worked in the building lost a priceless family heirloom, a diamond ring, in the ladies’ restroom. Management closed the facility, scoured the room and found the ring;
– another lady working in the building inadvertently flushed her eyeglasses in the restroom. Mayerson Co. personnel pulled the commode off its platform, went fishing …. and found the glasses;
– dozens of other go-the-extra-mile stories involving flat tires, cars running out of gas, jump-starting engines, fishing key chains out of grated sewers.
“You do really feel the care that they put into this place, the nurturing that the family does. Both Fred and Neal are very deeply, intimately involved, which makes a difference. I’ve never been in a building quite like this,” Newell said.
Over the next year, the Downtown Cincinnati office market promises to be a bloody battle for tenants as the curtain starts to rise on Great American Tower at Queen City Square.
To The Mayerson Company and its team, however, which includes Jay Morey with Duke Realty, listing agent during the building’s almost 20-year history (it opened in October 1990 during the Reds’ World Series Championship) and Mayerson Co. Asset Manager Bob Luby, business remains as usual: taking care of friends, neighbors and business partners in a “Family Tradition.”
For businesses looking for space, this might be the most economically feasible time to make the move Downtown; for companies already there, who may be looking for additional space or approaching renewal time for their leases, the time is now. Either way, the Scripps Center can still accommodate tenants, even though it’s already 94 percent occupied.
NEW LEASES ACCOUNT FOR ALMOST ONE-THIRD OF TOWER
Thompson Hine is a business law firm with almost 400 employees in eight U.S. offices. The firm recently renewed its lease for 60,000 square feet at the building, a 10-year deal personally negotiated by Neal and Fred Mayerson. The Mayersons were engaged throughout the process, but in essence, they had no choice: They couldn’t lose one of their favorite neighbors.
And the neighbors didn’t want to walk.
Thompson Hine joins a prestigious roster of new tenants and expanded, sometimes relocated professional, class A offices that have, over the last two years, renewed 180,000 square feet, or almost one-third of the half-million-square-foot-plus office tower (540,000 square feet). Besides Thompson Hine’s 60,000 square feet, the namesake tenant Scripps Co. renewed for approximately 100,000 square feet in late 2007.
More recently is a new, 10,000-square-foot office on the 35th floor – and there ain’t no such thing as Class A space on the 35th floor of the Scripps Center, it’s all AAA++ digs up in the clouds – for Gateway Investment Advisers LLC, relocating soon from the Rookwood Tower in Norwood. Other new offices have recently been built for McCormick Barstow, a law firm leasing 5,000 square feet on the 10th floor, and Jackson Lewis, another law firm signed to 4,500 square feet on the 25th Floor.
Competition for Thompson Hine was fast and furious. The firm stayed because it wanted to; because The Mayerson Company has always made them feel at home, and because they got the deal they wanted.
“First, the building is quite beautiful and is well-maintained and managed. And Neal and Fred Mayerson, and the Mayerson Company, are responsive and very good to work with,” said Trish Smitson, Partner-in-Charge of the Cincinnati office.
“Negotiations were professional and cordial. They were willing to listen to our business requirements and to go the extra mile so we could continue our long term relationship as one of their major tenants,” Smitson said.
“We’re really pleased with the results and look forward to serving our clients from this location for many years.”
“There’s a lot of Mayerson family blood in this building, starting with our father,” said Fred Mayerson. “This building, and the people that we take care of in this building, are all about the continuation of a ‘Family Tradition.’ From my father, through myself and my brother, we have proven that this building is a proven partner.
“When this building was built, it was completely state-of-the-art, and that went for all involved. The architect. The engineers. Everybody. When you look back at the building today, and realize wow, this was really built 20 years ago, it still looks current. The design is timeless. It’s always been ahead of its time.”
Three years ago, The Mayerson Company made a move to call the building its own. After successful negotiations, The Mayerson Company bought out its developer partners, executives with mega-developer Duke Realty, and since then, “we recommitted to investing more of our time, energy and talent to serve our tenants,” said Neal Mayerson.
“The decision to buy out Duke was not predicated on us saying, ‘Wow, this building is so incredible, we can buy-out Duke, so let’s go do it,’ ” Neal added. “We knew leases were coming up for renewal. We knew it was not as occupied as we wanted it to be. It was an unknown. But it was our father’s vision, and one that we wanted to carry forward into the future.”
“Ninety-nine percent of the call in buying out Duke had to do with my father and our family wanting to control our own future, and running of the building, 100 percent by ourselves,” Fred added. “We took on a lot of obligations to allow ourselves the privilege of running this building 100 percent on our own. We never thought, ‘Hey, here’s a windfall,’ we all thought, ‘Hey, this is gonna be a whole lotta hard work, but it will be worth it.’ ”
“In today’s environment, there are a lot of buildings owned by out-of-town owners, a lot of out-of-town landlords,” Neal said. “I think one of the things our tenants really like is our local, long-term, secure and stable ownership. There’s a commitment by our family to the future. This is not only a place we own and lease, but it’s also where we choose to live, and run all of our enterprises.”
For more information about The Scripps Center at 312 Walnut, please call (513) 621-7500, visit http://www.ScrippsCenter.com or contact Mr. Luby at the aforementioned number or robl@ScrippsCenter.com. For leasing, please contact Mr. Jay Morey with Duke Realty at (513) 956-4494 or james.morey@DukeRealty.com.
Dr. Mayerson can be reached at (513) 621-7500 or nealm@ScrippsCenter.com; Fred Mayerson can be reached at (513) 241-1200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media inquiries, please contact TheWritingFiend@Large, Mr. Andy Hemmer, at (513) 604-5428 or email@example.com.