Thursday, September 14, 2000

Industry notes: Commercial real estate

By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Area broker sells Kodak land fast

        A figure never far from Tom Powers' mind over the past year: 5 million square feet.

        That's how much industrial land the CB Richard Ellis broker was picked to sell at Eastman Kodak Co.'s campus near Rochester, N.Y,, by the end of the second quarter this year. Mr. Powers, a Cincinnati broker, was tapped to market the out-of-state land because of his extensive national contacts.

        He completed the deal on time for Kodak, selling the surplus land for $30 million to a Southern California investor, Cohen Asset Management.

        “This is more of a two- to three-year thing that we had to accomplish in six or seven months,” Mr. Powers said. “It was a huge endeavor that could have been a white elephant.”

        Mr. Powers teamed up with Dave Wallace of CB's Rochester office to establish a marketing plan last November for the Kodak's Elm Grove property. The space became expendable for Kodak after a series of downsizings in recent years left a “Swiss cheese” effect of noncontiguous vacant space at Kodak's massive 31 million-square-foot campus.

        Cohen will rename the land Rochester Technology Park and attempt to sell large chunks of it to top technology firms. Mr. Wallace is Cohen's executive vice president in charge of the park, having left CB Richard Ellis when the deal closed.

        Cohen's plan excites Monroe County, N.Y., officials eager to attract more high-wage technology jobs. It will take another two years for Kodak to vacate the space.

        “When Eastman-Kodak announced it would divest itself, it was perceived initially as a disaster,” said Thomas Battley, economic development director for Monroe County. “What Cohen saw was a huge opportunity.”

Ohio Casualty vacating Hamilton building

        Ohio Casualty has picked CB Richard Ellis to sell its 407,000-square-foot office development in Hamilton. The asking price: $16 million.

        The insurer earlier this year decided to move its corporate headquarters from Hamilton to Fairfield, and it no longer needs the space. The building is 25 percent occupied.

        The eight-story building was built in 1979 and remodeled 10 years later, said CB's Bill Schneller, who is selling the building.

Short takes
        • RWA Architects Inc. acquired the former Talbots building at 2771 Observatory Ave. in Hyde Park. It will relocate there this fall from its Madison Road office in O'Bryonville.

        • The Everest Group has been hired to sell or lease a 25,700-square-foot building formerly occupied by QC Industries in Clermont County. The 4.9-acre site is located at 1114 Ferris Road in Amelia.

        Have a news tip? Send it to Ken Alltucker, Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202, or call (513) 768-8384.



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- Industry notes: Commercial real estate
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