Friday, May 28, 2004

Downtown building bucks vacancy trend



By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

In the third-largest office lease deal signed in downtown Cincinnati this year, insurer Mitsui Sumitomo Marine Management Inc. will take nearly 40,000 square feet at Duke Realty Corp.'s 312 Elm St. tower, which bears The Enquirer's name. (The Enquirer's non-production offices occupy several floors of the building).

The insurer signed a 10-year lease for the office space at Third and Elm streets. It will relocate from downtown's Dixie Terminal building by Sept. 1.

Mitsui will take over parts of the 11th and 12th floors of the downtown tower, including space vacated by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The Freedom Center's staff will relocate to office space at its riverfront museum, scheduled to open Aug. 23.

Mitsui and a pending 5,000-square-foot lease deal with Cin Weekly will boost occupancy at 312 Elm St. to 98 percent. Downtown's average Class A office vacancy is 12.3 percent, according to Grubb & Ellis West Shell Commercial.

Mitsui Marine Management came to Cincinnati in 2001 through its acquisition of the Japanese division of Great American Insurance Co. The firm later bought Sumitomo Marine, which had offices in New Jersey. The firm has been approved for tax abatements by the city of Cincinnati and state of Ohio.

The deal comes a week after AT&T inked a deal to move about 400 downtown workers from the Crowne Plaza office on Sixth Street to the 525 Vine St. tower.

Other major office deals this year include Intrieve Inc.'s lease renewal of 64,000 square feet at 312 Plum St.

Jim Huff of Huff Commercial Group represented Mitsui. Jay Morey negotiated terms for Duke.

E-mail kalltucker@enquirer.com




BUSINESS HEADLINES
Federated to give away cosmetics to end lawsuit
Graeter's rolls out fresh look
Main Street hits downturn
Need for war supplies has factories humming
Downtown building bucks vacancy trend
Home Depot shareholders voice fears on service, stock
Fed slaps firms with $70M fine over loans
Stocks rise on strong GDP data
Seattle begins using hybrid transit buses
Simon Group to build $43M headquarters in Indianapolis
IMF loans to rebuild Iraq likely this year
More Americans setting off again to explore world
Forum to focus on workplace race relations
Tristate business summary
Business digest